Back in February, a Webmaster Hangouts revealed that a website’s user experience plays an important role when it comes to ranking.
User engagement is a new metric used to measure how well your website is doing. It’s determined by user activity on your site, such as how many times users visit your website, how long they stay on it, and whether they return at all.
We all want our website visitors to be engaged and interact with our content. We want them to share, comment and read the rest of our articles. The problem is that most visitors get on our website, read the article, and leave.
So, how can you drive more engagement on your website and keep your bounce rate low? To increase user engagement on your website, you need a dedicated strategy that blends both short- and long-term tactics. This approach must take into account the things that can be changed immediately, as well as the things that will take time to see results.
Below are easy to implement strategies you can use to increase website engagement
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Produce quality content
According to Kristopher Jones, content is integral to your branding efforts. But with so much content out there, you need to find a way to stand out. The best way to do this and increase engagement is by providing unique and valuable content.
When it comes to content marketing, focusing on quality over quantity is still better. Present your unique voice and provide something valuable to your audience. That way, you can develop thought leadership within your niche.
Just keep in mind that some content deserves to be written, while some are better off as visual or auditory pieces. Regardless of your chosen medium, the key to producing quality content is to be better than the competition.
Create compelling calls-to-action
A call-to-action (CTA) is a website element that entices a website visitor to click. It can take on many forms, such as buttons and hyperlinked texts, and can help boost engagement on your site.
According to Joe Fylan, “You want your readers to engage with you or your content, the number of those who do can most likely be increased by enhancing your calls to action.”
There are a lot of tools that can help you insert cool CTAs on your site. Also, Fylan shared some tips on crafting CTA content that will drive clicks:
- Inform your readers what the CTA is about.
- Offer secondary and tertiary actions such as signing up to your newsletter.
- Your CTA text must be clear and specific and nothing like “Click Me!”.
Ensure a fast loading site
With the introduction of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Facebook’s Instant Articles, website owners and online content producers are prompted to improve their site’s loading speed.
A website that takes a while to load can be frustrating to a user. According to an Akamai study, “47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.” And 40% of those will leave a site if it loads for more than three seconds.
Where does this 40% go? To other, faster loading sites.
And what happens to your site? When users leave your site without any interactions and move on to other websites (this is called “pogo-sticking”), this sends a bad signal to search engines. It tells them that your site is not usable.
As a result, it can negatively impact your search ranking.
Make your site mobile-friendly
Recent data from Statista revealed that 47.96% of global internet traffic is from mobile. This number is expected to grow.
Thus, it is essential to use responsive web design and themes to make your site mobile-friendly and users can access it on any device if you want to increase engagement.
Not doing so means making your users zoom and pinch on your content to take action. The same with a slow loading website, this can lead to frustration, and users pogo sticking out of your site.
The fewer people interact and engage with your content, the more search engines see a red flag. You should also keep Google’s mobile-first indexing in mind. When that happens, search engines can penalize you by lowering your website’s search ranking.
Include a search box
An internet user visits a website to look for something specific. While you may not know what’s running inside their head, you can engage them by having a search bar.
When a website is hard to navigate, a visitor will pogo stick in an instant. The best way to prevent this is to (1) fix your site navigation and (2) place the easy to see search box.
Why do you need to fix your site navigation first? Cluttered navigation is like driving without direction. Your users might get lost and will not be able to find what they are looking for.
On the other hand, your search bar is the site visitors’ last resort. Without it, you are ruining your site’s usability and making it hard for users to find the information, which can negatively impact your search rankings.
Invite influencers to your site
You may think of influencers as brand ambassadors. While that is true, they can also help drive engaged users to your site.
According to Hendrik-Jan Francke, there are several ways that you can compel influencers to bring in visitors to your site:
- Let them contribute a guest post
- Interview them for your site
- Ask for a testimonial
When looking for an influencer to collaborate with, keep the following tips in mind:
- They should be viewed as a thought-leader in your niche
- There should be an overlap between your audience and theirs
Engagement is what makes your site visitors stay longer.
You can either direct them to relevant content, encourage them to watch a video, or share your site via social media. Another is to encourage them to leave a comment.
However, it is essential to make commenting easy and convenient for them. Otherwise, they won’t bother sharing their thoughts.
Good thing, some tools, and plugins offer this kind of convenience. Installing these plugins can encourage users to leave a comment on your site.
Engagement is an indicator that your website provides a great user experience and that your content is useful. To boost your website engagement, all you need to remember is to make it easy for your audience to access valuable content from your site.
About the Author – Digital Drive (Web Design Belfast) is a web design agency and certified Shopify Experts. They are focused on delivering creative website solutions to help ambitious companies grow online. They embrace new challenges with a desire to help their clients achieve success.