24 Feb 2018
8 Ways to Boost Your Site’s Engagement and Give Consumers What They Want
Customer engagement is a phrase that means how long a customer stays on your website, how much they enjoy the experience and how that all translates into conversions. Figuring out how to engage your site visitors isn’t always an easy task, though. You have to consider everything from the UX of your site to the conversion funnel.
Over 50 percent of companies say they don’t have a specific customer engagement plan, and about 60 percent aren’t sure how many customers they lose in an average year. You can come up with a better approach?—?one that takes into account what your site visitors want and takes action to give it to them. There are a number of things you can do to ramp up your site’s engagement while meeting consumer needs, and here are eight of them.
1. Offer Unique Content
Have you ever searched for information on a topic and read several articles that all sounded the same? The concepts might be reworked a bit, but they are essentially saying the same thing over and over again. This can really turn off the site visitor who knows a lot about the topic at hand. That’s why you should strive to add something unique to your content, whether it’s a fresh look at the topic or your own personal experiences.
TED is an excellent example of a site that offers unique content you can’t find anywhere else. They seek out experts in a variety of fields and upload videos of their talks. Because the people speaking are at the top of their fields or look at the world in a unique way, the content itself is different. It’s like attending a conference filled with experts, but you never have to leave your living room.
2. Know Your Target Audience
Take the time to dig into your site visitor analytics. What area of the world do most of your site visitors come from? Are they male or female? What sites are they visiting before they land on your page? All of these components can tell you a lot about the person.
Once you have the data about your site visitors, you’ll want to put a poll up that digs even deeper into details about the typical person who visits your site and stays as well. Then, you can create a user persona that exemplifies your average visitor. Now, you can target that persona and make sure the typical user is engaged from the moment they land on your page until the moment they leave.
3. Hold a Contest
Holding a contest can serve as an effective and fun way to drive new visitors to your site and reward loyal fans. A contest can be simply collecting emails as entries for a prize. It can also involve having others provide content on social media or their own websites and link back to your contest page. This can drive traffic, particularly if you organize it in a way that you reach your target audience.
Clopay takes contests to a new level by tying their photo entry contest into a hashtag. That hashtag is then used not only on Twitter, but also on Pinterest, on the Clopay website and all over social media. This is a great way to show off what their products can do for homeowners, while also creating buzz for the brand. It engages their most loyal customers by asking them to upload a photo of their finished products.
4. Make Navigation Easy to Find
About 50 percent of the people visiting your site will immediately look for your navigation menu to familiarize themselves with the layout of your site. Make it easy for site visitors to locate your menu by placing it in a common location, such as across the top of the screen just under the header. Don’t hide it in a small box or down the page.
5. Increase Image Loading Speed
A landing page that loads slowly is a turnoff for nearly every site visitor and will result in a higher bounce rate for your site. About 39 percent of your site visitors will simply stop engaging if the images load slowly or not at all. When it comes to mobile browsers, they are even less patient in waiting for your site to load. To create better engagement, speed up your servers, optimize your images and make sure everything is mobile friendly.
Mercado Livre is the fastest loading site on the Internet, ahead of even Amazon. The instant a visitor lands on the page, everything loads at lightning speed, including images. The simple and intuitive layout allows for this lightning loading speed, but the quality of the site’s servers also come into play.
6. Include Contact Information
Including your contact information shows that you are a trustworthy company. Without contact information, the consumer might wonder how they will get in touch with you if they have a problem with their purchase?—?and 44 percent of online consumers state that if there is no contact info or phone number listed, they will just leave a website and move on.
Adding a contact link to your navigation bar and information in your footer are two simple ways to improve customer trust.
7. Social Media Engagement
Many customers today expect companies to engage on social media. Twitter customer service interactions are up by about 250 percent, for example, and many companies point to Facebook as a good place to engage the consumer. If you want consumers to feel they are heard, no matter where they interact with you, then you must have a social media presence. The more engaged you are, the more engaged they will be.
Innocent Drinks does an excellent job engaging customers on Twitter. They aren’t only posting regular entertaining updates about various holidays, but they respond to customers with a friendly, fun tone.
8. Increase Average Session Duration
Do visitors land on your website and bounce away within seconds? A good average for time spent on a site is between two to three minutes. That is enough time for the person to skim through an article and check out what else your site has to offer.
There are a number of ways to keep people on your site longer. First, you need absolutely amazing headlines that grab the reader and draw them in. Make content skimmable. Remember that many users will access your site on mobile devices. They are on the go many times and want the ability to pull out key points. Bullet points and plenty of subheadings work well for this purpose. Keep tweaking your landing page until you hit a session duration average you are happy with.
Give ’Em What They Want
Figuring out exactly what site visitors want isn’t always an easy task. In addition to watching your analytics and doing split testing, don’t be afraid to poll your readers and ask what they’d like to see out of your site. Take the time to listen to suggestions, try new things and see what the results are. Truly engaging your site visitors takes knowledge of who they are and some creative thinking. Sometimes you have to give them what they didn’t even realize they wanted.