Four Ways to Make a More Engaging Website
By Kerry Guard on October 8, 2012
As a website operator, you have 1/20th of a second to capture your visitors attention
That statistic, as provided by our friends at Launch Tower, helps show that brands should be interested in finding ways to make their website more valuable & engaging to their visitors.
With that statistic in mind, how can brands go about creating a more engaging website for their visitors?
Here are four of our favorite ways to consider when evaluating website engagement:
Would you buy a $200 pair of shoes from a naked stranger in the middle of a crowded area? How about a long-haired skater kid in tattered pants who was skipping third period geography to meet with you?
Didn’t think so.
The way your site presents itself to the general internet population as a whole plays a large part in the way they engage with your site.
In this sense, professionalism can mean …
- Clean design that is easy to navigate
- Clear distinction between content, conversion points and advertising content (when applicable)
- Attention to detail on the visual features of your site. Do you utilize static photography? Video? What visual pieces are included that keep users on site and engaged?
Ease of Use
We touched on this a bit in the professionalism tip above, but what specifically can you measure to understand how easy it is to use your site?
- Page Load Speed: Are users kept waiting as your site loads when they click through or does the content load seamlessly? Services like Google Analytics will report page load speed back to you, if configured properly.
- Is Your Site Optimized for Browsing: In laymen's terms, this point focuses on engagement. Are users likely to read a single piece of content and exit the site, or does the site engage them to the point where they want to read one piece of content after the other?
Unique Content & Value-Added Opportunities
- Freshness of Content: With Google's recent Google Panda update earlier this year, the search giant has placed an emphasis on producing unique and fresh content on a regular basis. In fact, 30% of the Google's first page organic search results are ranked accordingly because they are the freshest versions of search queries.
- Give Non-Believers Something to Miss Out On: Giving visitors something to miss out on is a great way to boost engagement. Think about it this way: If you, the visitor, do not engage with the website past the first page view or return to the website ever again, what will you miss out on?
- Added Value Opportunities: Give some added value. Not only should the site be easy to browse, but the value users will receive in exchange for their time and/or money should be an easy 'oh yes, i want that!' from their experience.
An additional example of added value opportunities …
Take my friend Jun Loayza, who was running a service business a few years back and came in too high on a quote for a prospective client.
Instead of immediately overreacting to their response of ‘this is WAY too high’, he simply offered some additional out-of-scope social media consulting time into the proposal, at 0 cost to the client.
And they gave him the project.
I know this can’t be stated enough, but having quality testimonials placed strategically across your website can give you enough ‘street cred’ within your browsing audience to make these visitors browse deeper into your website.
Neil Patel, one of our great Seattle-based start up colleagues, always places testimonials from well-known business leaders in the form of banner ads across his website.
These banners don’t always directly drive revenue spikes (as in click, purchase large amount of goods or services immediately), but they do help new visitors to the site understand that Neil’s companies have successfully worked with big-name clients.
What Kind of Things Do You Do To Engage Visitors on Your Website?
Give us a shout with some of your tips in the comments section!
Mike Krass | CEO & All-Around Nice Guy MKG Marketing Inc. </span>
Aside from being the CEO of MKG Marketing Inc., Mike is a dark beer aficionado with a healthy appetite for travel and pushing personal boundaries. A proud graduate of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University, Mike currently calls San Francisco home. Feel free to contact him via Twitter & Email: Twitter firstname.lastname@example.org </div>