How to increase website engagement
Websites for business are there to generate sales or new customers. They are the main reason for having them. If you have a website for these reasons, how long visitors will stay on your site has a direct effect on how well your business will do. Engagement is key, and it’s not just about the numbers.
SEO and engagement
Most companies, if they’re honest, want to be number one on page one of Google. Stands to reason that the more visible your website is the more business you’re going to get. If only it were so. Similarly. It’s possible to spend thousands a month on AdWords, and a similar amount on an ace social media campaign to get lots of visitors to your site. If the visitors aren’t sticking around long enough, then this time, effort and money is naught but an expensive and heart-breaking waste. Engagement is key.
What is website engagement?
Put simply, it’s how much time people are spending on your site, how many pages they’re viewing, how deep they’re going into the page structure, and if they’re coming back for another look. Maximising each of these things contributes to increased engagement. And by increasing engagement, you increase the chances of making a sale or a lead conversion, and you get a smile from Google which bumps your site up the rankings as a ‘relevant and important’ website.
How to increase website engagement
This really stems from understanding and identifying your customers and giving them what they want. Identifying customers should be done as part of your branding exercise and your overall business plan. Your website is part of your business plan, not an extension, or a bolt-on. There are myriad ways of getting people to your site – we can’t all be number one on Google, or even page one, but ‘How to drive traffic to your site’ is a different article.
Once they’ve arrived, you need to keep them, and this is done by sustaining their interest.
1. Make it clear what it is you do straight away. Doing this will ensure your visitors know they have come to the right place.
2. Expand on what you do and reinforce your value proposition. What makes you different? Why are you great? What are your key skills? Who have you worked with, etc?
3. Make sure your website is well designed, well-coded, and fast. Quick page load speeds are massively important for sustaining interest – people tend to get bored and frustrated if pages take more than a few seconds to load – it doesn’t take much for them to leave and go elsewhere.
4. Make sure there is clear and simple navigation. People will be looking for information that’s relevant to them and they should be able to find it in as few clicks as possible.
5. Keep content simple and concise and reduce clutter. Busy sites can be a bit of a visual assault and even though it may be fabulously well-written, if it looks like too much hassle to trawl through, you will lose visitors.
6. Make it clear what your customers will get from. Your messages should be 80% about the customer and not about you. Show them the value of your services. How many times do you see, “Our engineers have 473 years combined experience in the industry…”? No! Stop it now! How your customers will benefit is a vital message for visitors to understand.
7. Make it easy for people to contact you and take the next step. Make it obvious what people need to do to get in touch. On our site we have a contact form, a phone number, a direct email address, and a WhatsApp link. These cover most of the ways people like to communicate. Some people are happier with written messages or texts, others prefer a one-to-one chat. Give people their preferred option.
These are key examples of how to keep people on your site for longer. It’s not exhaustive. Once you’ve converted visitors into customers, you’ll want to hang on to them and employ some retention strategies for repeat business – repeat sales are easier to get than new sales. This is the stage when you employ your long-term engagement strategy with newsletters, useful client-focussed website content, and a decent aftercare package. But, that’s another article too.
If your site isn’t maintaining your visitors’ interest, please get in touch for a free website audit. We’ll be able to help you with strategies for increasing your sales or lead generation.
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