When a visitor engages in any way with a site, they are responding to one or more things on the site. The level of engagement may vary, along with the type of engagement, and this is determined by observing their behaviors on the site or by directly interacting with them. This may come in the form of blog comments, positive ratings, social shares, discussion threads or actively participating in site activities, like surveys and polls.
Website owners need to understand the importance of user engagement and how to engage visitors more frequently. Following are some tips to help with this goal.
Controversy Draws People In
Websites often benefit from controversy, as long as the goal of the controversy isn’t to offend or belittle anyone. Try to find a relevant subject that has two sides and pick one side to stand one. This encourages discussion on the website among those who agree with this stance and those who do not. As a result, the level of engagement increases.
Ask Open Ended Questions
People love to share their opinion with others, and open ended questions give them an opportunity to do so. Many website owners ask for comments at the end of a blog post, yet this isn’t the only way to incorporate questions into a website. Don’t hesitate to ask a controversial question (see the previous tip) and watch visitors interact with the site and each other as they defend their stance.
Don’t Limit Site Content To One Medium
Visit some sites and they will contain nothing but page after page of text. This doesn’t encourage engagement, nor does a site that is overloaded with photos and very little text. People use different methods for taking in information. Some need to see the material, others need to hear it and some combine these two or use another method entirely. By using a variety of mediums on a site, website owners ensure they don’t overlook anyone, and this can help to boost the level of engagement.
Provide Rewards For Engaging
When a visitor takes the time to interact with the site, find a way to acknowledge it. This can be as simple as thanking them for their opinion or it can be a dialogue between the webmaster and the visitor. It doesn’t hurt to thank individuals when they share site content either, as it’s another way of letting them know they are appreciated.
Try Something New
Many people don’t like surprises in their life, yet don’t mind when a website finds a way to shock them. This can come in the form of a funny cartoon on a serious site or it can be something so outrageous that it attracts attention and quickly goes viral. Regardless of what a website owner does to shock his or her audience, within reason, visitors are almost certain to reward the site by sharing the surprise element with others.
Websites looking to increase user engagement should implement one or more of these strategies today and, over time, add more to further increase customer engagement. Those that do so will find they increase reach within their industry, enhance their visibility and encourage loyalty and familiarity.
In addition, user engagement helps to determine the effectiveness of the content being delivered to visitors, thus this is one piece of data that should never be overlooked. It’s time to assess the level of engagement on your site and determine where changes need to be made to obtain a better return on investment.