Eight Ways to Improve Your Website’s User Engagement
Website user engagement is one of the most vital factors that determine the ranking – and the success – of your site. There is a tremendous amount of competition on the internet, where every website is vying for the top spot on search engines, but not all of them achieve success. Even if the traffic on your website is high, it will not make much of a difference if visitors don’t take the desired actions.
User engagement is the crucial first step to start the conversion process. You need to first engage with your target audience, and only then can you convince them to buy your product or service. Also, visitors who fail to quickly find what they’re looking for – or simply don’t like the appearance of your website – leave after viewing just one page, resulting in a high bounce rate.
According to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span is now eight seconds – four seconds less than what it was in the year 2000. If eight seconds is all you have to impress and attract customers, it is all the more essential that you pay a lot of attention to user engagement.
Why is user engagement so important?
It helps promote familiarity and increases loyalty – The more users engage with your material, the more they integrate with your brand community. The more you become familiar, the more are the chances that they would be loyal to your brand.
It increases visibility – Engagement increases your visibility, which means you get a wider audience.
It means your content is more effective – The more engagement your content generates, the more it is able to generate leads and sales.
Eight ways to increase your website’s user experience
There are various ways you can increase the user experience of your customers. Here are the eight most effective:
1. Increase the load speed of your website – Visitors have no patience with slow-loading web pages. According to a study by digital performance management company SOASTA, bounce rates increased by as much as 56% for pages that loaded just one second slower than pages that loaded in 2.4 seconds. As discussed in our February 28, 2018 blog post, Why Your Website Needs to be Up to Speed, website speed is vital to providing a good user experience – just as important as user-friendliness and site reliability. To owners of ecommerce websites, speed continues to increase as a factor in conversion rates.
2. Make sure you have a responsive design – As discussed in our blog post of March 26, 2018, Mobile-First Indexing is Coming: Is Your Website Ready, Google is now rolling out its transition of using the mobile version of web pages – instead of the desktop version – for indexing and ranking. According to Statista, mobile internet traffic accounted for 42.41% of all internet traffic in North America by August, 2017. Optimizing for mobile is no longer a nice extra – it’s essential to survival. Which segues into Number Three:
3. Make your website easy to navigate – It is a serious problem if your visitors leave your site because they’re unable to find what they want. Hard-to-navigate websites lead to high bounce rates. Organize your navigation menu clearly so that it is easy for users (especially mobile users) to reach their destination. Make your navigation bar readily accessible and organize categories in a clean, logical manner.
4. Improve your internal linking and display related content – It becomes easier for your users to navigate your website when you improve your internal linking structure. Proper internal linking can also improve your SEO rankings. An improved SEO ranking and easy to navigate website will increase your page views and reduce your bounce rates, which improves website user engagement. Make sure that the links have descriptive anchor texts, they are specific and relevant, and they reach a new destination.
5. Add video – Video is an excellent way to increase visitor engagement. As noted in our December 26, 2016 blog post, Add Video to Your Content Marketing Plan, video increases your SEO, as well as your chance of a front page Google result by 53 times. Google is paying more attention to video and placing it in prime real estate on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
6. Collect email addresses – Website user engagement is not just about making visitors come to your site once – you need to find ways to make them repeat visitors. Use inbound marketing principles to collect email addresses in order to supply prospective and existing customers with fresh, relevant content – such as white papers, case studies and survey results. Or put them on your mailing list for alerts to sales and/or special offers. Keep in mind, however, that many people have “email fatigue,” and may be less likely to opt in due to heavy bombardment with emails from other businesses they engage with. Take home-message: if you want someone’s email address, you need to offer something they consider worthwhile.
7. Know what your audience wants – Knowing the preferences and values of your audience is another way of increasing website user engagement, and you can do it by conducting a survey. You can use the survey to find out what your customers want from your business, their likes and dislikes, and suggestions. This will help you generate relevant, well-received website content.
8. Add a search box in a prominent place – The top left is ideal for the desktop version of your website, but since the emphasis is now on mobile-first design, top of the screen is the only logical location. Add a drop-down menu if it will improve the search experience for your website’s visitors. According to econsultancy, up to 30% of visitors on ecommerce sites will use the site search box, and each of these users is showing a possible intent to purchase by entering product names or codes.
Creating a website that provides seamless integration of elements that create optimum user engagement will achieve the best results. Virtual Stacks Systems offers comprehensive website design, website redesign, SEO, hosting and video production services. Contact us to learn more.