How to Increase User Engagement on Your Website
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
One of the most powerful things you can do to improve your website’s results is to increase user engagement. All the traffic in the world doesn’t do you any good if you don’t keep people there once they land on your page. You need to capture their attention long enough to convert them into customers.
According to Internet Live Stats, there are 1.8 billion websites on the internet. Although only a small portion is your direct competition, you are still vying for the attention of a limited pool of people. Your website needs to hit all the perfect notes for excellent user experience (UX) and smoothly move site visitors through the phases of the buyer’s journey.
There are dozens of things you can do to increase user engagement. We’ll focus on both standard and unique ideas.
10 Ways to Increase User Engagement
1. Know Your Purpose
Before you can figure out how to increase user engagement, you need to know the purpose of the page.
What is the objective for those who land there? Do you want to collect their information so you can continue marketing to them? Perhaps you want to move them from the awareness stage to the decision stage in the sales funnel. Write out your goals for each page of your website. They may have different intentions, depending on where a user enters your site.
Your business should have a primary mission statement. Each page of your site also has a goal. One page might have the objective of educating customers. Another page might be solely to collect leads. Understanding the purpose of each location helps you tailor the elements on the page to your objective.
2. Embrace Mobile Design
With advances in 4G and 5G technology, more people are using their phones to access the internet than ever. Although there are differences in the type of coverage, mmWave 5G offers speeds as high as 10 gigabytes per second, rivaling high-speed wired internet in some locations.
If your site isn’t mobile responsive, you risk losing out on users who land on your page via their smartphones. Make sure your design not only adapts to mobile but also features such as forms and interactive elements are easy to access on a smaller screen.
Don’t just rely on an online wizard to confirm that the page looks okay aesthetically. Actually pick up your cell phone and visit your own site. Click through each feature and fill out forms, hit buttons and find any issues a user might run into.
Picture 1. Make your website mobile responsive
3. Add Testimonials and Reviews
When a user first lands on your page, they have no reason to trust you. They may have never heard of your brand before that moment. You have to prove yourself and add trust factors, so they know you’ll stand behind what you say.
One of the simplest ways to gain user trust is through the addition of reviews and testimonials. Reviews should be open, so anyone can add a comment. However, limit them to only those who have previously bought your product or service. You can either tie the system to the shopping cart, or you can ask for their order number when they fill in a form.
Enlist the help of your top customers and ask them for testimonials about their experience with you. Highlight them with a video, photo and a link to their website. Details show they are real people who love your company and want to tell others about it. Using both testimonials and reviews can increase user engagement and make them more likely to read on.
4. Invest in Professional Design
Have you ever visited a company’s website and been turned off by the amateurish design? A bad site shows they don’t care to invest in it, and thus they may cut corners with their other work. If you want to really wow first-time visitors, spend money on a top designer. Your online business presence isn’t the place for a do-it-yourself mentality.
Professional designers also know how to space elements and draw attention to the most critical features on a page, such as a call to action (CTA) button. While you will pay for their expertise, you’ll gain new business due to their knowledge and your site’s improved layout.
Look for a designer skilled in UX who understands why your site needs to engage site visitors from the minute they land there.
5. Utilize Banners
What you place in the header of your design is the first thing people see. It should enhance your page’s overall theme and be something that shows up on every page of your site. Banners can also be resized and used on social media to create cohesion between the different places you appear online.
There are some things to keep in mind to create amazing banners for your business. Think about the message you want to send. A banner can be as simple as a wide background with your logo in the corner and your tagline in the center.
Think about how the banner appears on different devices. You want it useful to someone entering your site from a desktop PC or an iPhone. Give your banner a purpose and then test it to see how it performs with users.
Picture 2. Vital homepage banner
6. Offer Relevant Content
People start with a problem they need solving — often called a pain point. Get to know who your target audience is, so you fully understand the issues they’re dealing with. Once you have an idea of the pain points, address them with solutions.
You can offer advice via articles, videos, infographics and many other formats. One clue to pain points is questions people ask while searching for your site. So, if they are an avid golfer, they might ask Google something like, “How can I improve my backswing?” Your content should focus on answering the question and then pointing to how your product or service enhances the solution.
7. Speed Up Your Site
You’ve likely heard this advice before when it comes to UX, but it bears repeating. Backlinko did a page speed study where they considered 5.2 million pages on both desktop and mobile. They found the average desktop speed was about 1.286 seconds, while the average mobile speed was 2.594 seconds.
Users are impatient and won’t wait around long for your site to load. If you aren’t at least hitting average speeds on your site, you need to speed things up. There are a number of ways to reduce load times. Your service is the first thing you can look at. If you’re on a shared server, consider going to a dedicated platform.
You should also utilize caching and a content delivery network (CDN) to speed up load times. Compress images, reduce the use of scripts and even look at your framework. Backlinko found that Wink and Gatsby were the fastest, and Meteor and Tweenmax were the slowest. There was a 213% difference between the fastest and slowest networks.
8. Add Live Chat
Most millennials prefer not to talk on the phone. Adding a live chat is highly desirable to them and also to many Gen-Xers. You’ll find your users are much more engaged when they simply click on a button on your website and get instant answers to their questions.
You can easily utilize live chat and artificial intelligence (AI) to engage visitors. AI automates some of the responses and gathers information such as name and question from the user.
Once you’ve covered the basics, a trained agent can step in and continue the conversation. Empower your staff to come up with creative solutions to meet customers’ specific needs.
Read What is Live Chat?
Picture 3. Paldesk live chat example
9. Showcase Social Proof
People also like to turn to social media to file complaints, ask friends what services and products they use or just to interact. Implement social proof on your website to better engage your audience.
You can easily integrate links to your social media, add a feed of your posts to the sidebar or allow users to like and share articles and content from your site to their own social media pages.
Don’t try to engage users on every social media platform known to man. Instead, choose a few that resonate with your target audience and do an excellent job of utilizing those sites for user engagement.
10. Segment Your Audience
Break your audience down into segments based on their likes and dislikes. Most businesses have more than one buyer persona. Once you fully understand yours, it’s easier to guide them through the sales funnel and get them to the point they need. Someone who already knows about your business and wants to know about packages you offer is at a different stage than someone who has never heard of you before.
Break your audience into groups from your landing page. Offer a couple of options and ask questions to move them to the right location on your site. The better you break your visitors into groups, the more relevant you can make comments and tailor it to the group.
Track Key Performance Indicators
As you make changes to your website to boost user engagement, conduct split testing and pay attention to KPIs. Are your tactics working, or do you need to make additional tweaks? A website with great UX is one continually trying new things based on what users are most likely to respond to. Try new tactics, test everything and pay attention to the results.
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