Keeping your site visitors engaged could increase sales and keep people interested. Achieving engagement goals isn’t always easy, but here are some practical strategies that will help.
Make the Website Mobile-Friendly
It’s not always convenient or comfortable for someone to restrict all their internet usage to activities occurring on computers. That’s why many people prefer to visit sites on their phones. However, mobile users may quickly get frustrated and lose patience with a website that takes too long to load on a mobile device.
A 2021 study showed that 90% of people quickly leave sites that take five seconds to load. Even when the loading time decreases to three seconds, 32% of people go elsewhere online before looking at more than one page of content.
Fortunately, there are some simple but effective things you can do to cater to mobile users. Start by creating a short site menu rather than a navigation bar. Also, add a search box or button to every page and make design choices that help that feature catch visitors’ attention. Including a click-to-call feature also gives people an opportunity to immediately connect with the business verbally while still using their phones.
Keep the Site Updated and Relevant
If a person lands on a website and sees no new information posted over the last several months, they’ll quickly become disinterested and may assume a company went out of business. They’ll likely have a similarly undesirable response to a website that doesn’t contain content they consider appealing.
Evaluate your team’s current workload to determine how often someone could comfortably add content to the website. It’s much better to be realistic about that timeframe rather than becoming overeager and quickly feeling swamped. Even doing something relatively simple like adding a new blog post each week provides people with ongoing content to explore and increases the chances of getting them to take positive action, such as signing up for an email list or buying something.
Stay relevant for visitors by verifying that your site’s content matches what they typically search for when landing on it. Consider using a mixture of evergreen and timely material to encourage people to stay on the site and browse. For example, providing a blog post with tips or publishing a video showing how your technology works or the company’s manufacturing process can position your organization as helpful and current.
Send Emails Related to Site Activity
A person may leave your website without taking the action you’d hoped they would, but that doesn’t mean you can’t entice them to return. A common way to do that is to send people emails based on things they’ve done on your site.
Perhaps a person placed something in their cart but left without purchasing it. An email telling the consumer that the item will stay there for 24 hours encourages the person to act quickly and complete the purchase to avoid missing out on the product.
Another option is to send welcome emails. Those are friendly ways to show gratitude, and you can also use them to get people acquainted with what your site offers. Perhaps someone purchased a software subscription. In that case, you could direct them to video tutorials, a user community or a help database, all located on your website.
Stay Connected With Visitors Through Multiple Channels
A buyer’s preferred channel for engagement may change during their purchasing journey. Additionally, some people have primary methods of engaging regardless of how close they are to buying something. One study found a 58% higher 30-day retention rate when brands contacted people through numerous channels. That approach also caused a 73% increase in purchase likelihood.
Explore how you can provide a fulfilling experience regardless of how someone initially connects to your company. Plus, look at ways to continually direct people to your website. For example, you might publish a statistic on social media, then encourage people to download the associated study on your website. Alternatively, if you send emails announcing a new product line or site feature, provide direct links in the messaging so that people can check it out.
The idea is that you may first interact with someone in a place other than your website, but the person will eventually feel compelled to see what your site offers. Taking a multichannel approach to engagement also requires taking steps so that employees stay continually familiar with your site content. Doing that keeps everyone on the same page and correctly informed.
Add High-Quality Visuals
Images help keep people interested in the site content, particularly when they relate to products you sell. For example, many e-commerce sites allow people to zoom in on pictures of merchandise and examine them from multiple angles.
However, images keep people’s attention even if your content doesn’t have an online shop. For example, maybe you have a web design company that recently relocated to a bigger, more modern office space. Pictures will likely do a better job of showcasing the premises than words alone could.
Images also support better site engagement by breaking up blocks of text. Perhaps you use longer blog posts to convey authority and build trust in the audience. Even when people appreciate the content’s in-depth nature, they’ll probably connect with it even more when you insert supplementary pictures. They can strengthen your points, especially if you write material that teaches people how to spot warning signs of a problem or something similar.
Include a Live Chat Feature
Some site visitors will likely have questions that arise as they browse your site. They might want to confirm a physical business location, ask about your fees for a particular service or inquire about product availability. Adding a live chat option on the site is an excellent way to give people a way to get quick, reliable answers.
Offering live chat doesn’t require having representatives respond to queries 24/7. It’s enough to tell customers which hours you offer the chat and give them an email address or online form to use outside those times.
Another possibility is to create a FAQ page that tackles the things people wonder about most often. That way, visitors can check for the answers they need there before starting a chat conversation. Besides cutting down on the repetitive questions representatives answer during an average workday, an FAQ page can increase how much time someone spends on the site, helping you get better engagement metrics.
Treat Improved Site Engagement as an Ongoing Goal
Raising site engagement levels is not something to try to accomplish in a week or a month. Before moving ahead with any of these tips, check your current site engagement metrics and see what trends they show. Understanding your starting point is vital for knowing how well any changes pay off.
As you choose the best ways forward, consider what investments might support your goals. For example, do you need to hire more people for your company’s content team or invest in a tool that facilitates sending targeted emails? Assessing which investments to make and when is a proactive way to get closer to milestones.
Finally, take site visitor feedback into account regarding any updates made. The people who interact with your site may bring up numerous factors limiting their site engagement that your company representatives hadn’t previously considered. They’ll also be the first to tell you — either directly or through site metrics — whether the website alterations have the effects you want.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.