User experience and User engagement is critical to the success of your website; it means that visitors appreciate what you have to say enough to stay put, absorb and interact with your content and, ultimately, convert into customers. The higher your user engagement is, the more loyal your audience will be, coming back time after time because your website works and gives them what they need. As fully-engaged customers will drive more revenue for your business, it’s vital to get more people interested and engaged.
Why is User Engagement Important?
The short answer is that engaged users will be more profitable for your business. An engaged user will spend more time interacting with your website. Whether engagement comes in the form of downloading content, commenting or sharing, they are showing that they have connected in some way with what you and your business have to say. User engagement on your website relates to some seriously desirable business benefits:
- Loyalty – an engaged user that uses your site frequently will feel like they are a part of your brand. As such, they are much more likely to choose the familiarity of your company than a competitor’s when choosing services or products.
- Profitability – quite simply, user engagement is directly proportional to profitability.
- Awareness – if your users stay on your website longer, interact with your website and share your content, it may well increase your search engine ranking,
The problem with driving user engagement is that we operate in a highly competitive world. You need to make users aware of your website, capture their interest and ensure they don’t simply swap to a competitor’s site. Engaging website visitors should be a priority for business owners. We’ve compiled some of the best ways you can improve your website to increase user engagement.
Accelerate Load Time
When it comes to your website, speed will impress your users. Although you’ll want your site to look great, ensuring it loads quickly is far more important. It’s been shown that 40% of users will leave a website that takes over three seconds to load, so time really is of the essence. What’s more, if your site loads slowly and lots of visitors bounce immediately there will be knock-on effect to your search engine rankings.
To improve your website’s load speed, you’ll first need to measure how quickly it loads so you have an indicator of how big a change is needed. Next, you’ll need to look at what is causing the issues. Consider compressing large images, removing unnecessary plugins or even changing your website host.
Users need to be able to find what they are looking for and easily understand what your site is all about. If the layout of your website is too confusing, again you’ll see higher bounce rates. The design of your website, especially your homepage and landing pages, is often the first impression that users will have of your business. To ensure your layout will make sense to your users, consider whether your site is:
- Responsive – with such a huge percentage of people using mobile devices you need to make sure your site looks great across all devices.
- Uncluttered – not only will this help your site to load faster but it will help visitors focus on the essential parts of your site.
- Readable – your content needs to be visually appealing by having legible fonts with a visual hierarchy.
- Clean – white space is no bad thing, make sure your pages aren’t overloaded with information and give some space around your content.
- Optimized – use A/B testing to find out how moving the position of some of your website’s content impacts on engagement and conversion.
Ensure your content is useful and solves an actual problem for your target audience. You can do this by defining your buyer personas and primarily writing for them. Once you’ve done this, you can try to capture the interest of your visitors by using catchy headlines and imagery. Make sure you break up your content with subheadings, bullet points and images. Users will often skim content for key outtakes, so you need to ensure they’re there for the taking.
Don’t be afraid to produce long pieces of content; it will take longer for visitors to read and can increase engagement. However, you do need to ensure your content is high-quality, informative and actionable. Write in a way that is understandable and relatable for your audience, using technical terms or complex sentences may well make them go elsewhere.
Finally, you’ll want to correctly optimize your content so when visitors arrive at your site from a search engine, they get the information they are expecting to receive.
You need to ensure that your website visitors can find the information they are looking for within just a few clicks. The easiest way to do this is to make sure your navigation menu is as intuitive as possible. As well as your main navigation, you can use page categories, to organize information and ensure its always accessible. Using a search box is another way to make sure visitors can find information.
If a user enjoys an article on your website and wants to read another one or learn more about your company, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Incorporating features like related content and internal links into your website pages will always give your readers the option to delve deeper into your site.
If you want people to interact with your website, then you need to give them plenty of ways in which to do it, after all, engagement is nothing without interactions. Encourage visitors to leave comments on your articles and to share your content by embedding social media buttons across your site.
Another way to encourage interactions is to add a live chat to your website. You will need to ensure that you can respond quickly to any query and to make the option to chat visible but not intrusive.
How to Keep Your Users Engaged
To continue boosting your user engagement, it’s vital to track metrics such as bounce rates, page views, time on site and conversions. Continuing to test, adjust and learn will allow you to ensure your users stay engaged and that your content remains as powerful as it can be.