“Engagement” is quite the digital marketing buzzword. Usually, when we talk about engagement, though, we’re talking about social media marketing. However, keeping visitors on your website is even more important. It’s where they really get to know your company and what you offer, and ultimately, where they’ll go from being a casual shopper to a customer.
Your website must hook visitors in from the very beginning and lead them all the way to that final conversion. To do that, it must have the following elements in line:
1. Site Speed
Site speed is already a desktop ranking factor and will become a mobile ranking factor in July 2018. Besides that, it’s a HUGE usability factor. If a visitor can’t download your content, or they impatiently leave before the page renders, you’ve lost all opportunity to engage right out of the gate. It’s not your visitor’s job to be patient. It’s your job to be speedy.
Here are some steps to increase your site speed:
2. Mobile Friendly
Along the same lines, mobile visitors need to have a seamless experience on your site. If your site isn’t friendly to mobile devices, large chunks of your audience will leave before they can even assess the quality of your content, products, and/or services.
Use responsive design to make sure your site performs optimally on all devices. Make sure your mobile site is not secondary to your desktop. In fact, in today’s environment, you really should be thinking mobile first.
In an ideal world, visitors will land on a page that perfectly meets their needs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way, so you need a clear and intuitive navigation that helps them easily find the information they need.
Your navigation must strike a delicate balance between having enough navigational options that they can find what they need but not so many that they get overwhelmed and leave before they get the needed information. Clean and focused navigation walks that fine line. Use keywords in the navigational options to further increase its usability.
4. Internal Linking
Another great, and under-utilized, navigation device is internal linking. Main navigation is vital, but it does take visitors out of the content. Internal linking instead pulls them along and keeps them engaged with your content. If you discuss anything on a page in which more information is provided elsewhere (on or off your site), be sure to link to it like this restaurant does.
5. Internal Site Search
When all else fails, visitors will turn to your search function to find what they want. But remember, a poorly functioning internal site search can be worse than none at all. Test your internal site search to ensure it provides valuable results.
6. Speak to Your Target Audience
Does your website resonate with your target audience and address their specific pain points? It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks about your site. If your target audience doesn’t connect with it, the best site on earth won’t do you any good.
Develop buyer personas and make sure your site is tailor made for the customers you want. Use keyword research to make sure you are “speaking their language,” using the terms they use to refer to your products and services.
7. Use Your Voice
Beyond that, your brand needs to have its own “voice” that is used consistently throughout the website. Of course, this voice needs to resonate with your followers, but it must also be true to your brand.
“Choosing a brand voice can not only help you to engage your users—it can help differentiate you from your competition, and build trust amongst your audience.”
Here are some common types of voices utilized by brands:
- Brutally honest
8. Offer Something Unique
If visitors arrive on your site and there’s nothing to differentiate you from your competitors, why should they stick around?
There’s always going to be someone else offering what you are. You can’t change that, but you can find your unique value proposition (UVP). Not sure what yours is? Well, here are some areas where you can differentiate your business:
- Your approach: Even if you do something 100’s of other businesses do, you can do it in a different way that will appeal to certain customers. For instance, Pole Position Marketing approaches things a little differently than other agencies in that, rather than having one person handling every aspect of an account, we have dedicated experts for each area of digital marketing. So a PPM client may work with many different people, but they are getting deep expertise for every area of their campaign.
- Quality: If you offer a higher quality product or service, scream it from the rooftops! If you have low quality, explain why, like Spirit Airlines does.
- Unique features: Do you offer free shipping? An industry-leading guarantee? Tell them about it. Better yet, highlight the benefits. If your differentiator is that you’ve been in business the longest, talk about how they’ll benefit from your extensive experience.
Once you’ve zeroed in on your UVP, make sure it’s clearly articulated on your site.
9. Create an action
So you spent a ton of time creating awesome content that keeps visitors on the page. What happens when they are done with the content on that page?
You have to tell visitors what to do next to keep them engaged and lead them down the conversion process. Figure out the purpose of each page and what the next step is. It might be to buy, to download, to call, to click, or any combination of those and other actions. Just be sure that the desired action and how to complete it is crystal clear.
10. Get Subscribers
You can’t keep visitors on your site forever. And you aren’t going to get a conversion with every single visitor. What you can do is bring them back for more.
One of the best ways to do that is to get them give you their email address. Use that to continue engaging with them on a regular basis. Just be sure never to spam, and make sure they’ve consented to receive every type of communication you send. If you provide valuable information, they will keep coming back, and when the time comes to buy, they’ll be more likely to purchase from you.
Engaged Visitors Are Potential Customers
Not every visitor who arrives on your site will become a customer, but the more engaging you can make your site, the more visitors you’ll be able to convert. Use these tips to provide an engaging experience that leads as many visitors as possible through the conversion process.