Website Engagement and Website Conversion to some appears like the same thing, but it is in fact much different, or at least in our eyes anyway.
We see a Conversion as a visitor that takes a specific action that you pre-planned. It may be a sign-up to your mailing list, it could be the download of a free resource, or it could be a physical purchase of a product.
When it comes to engagement we view things much differently. We want a visitor to be engaged with our website the same as a school child would be engaged with the lesson they were in.
We want visitors to our website to spend lots of time browsing our site and getting to know us, and we want them to enjoy our content. A visitor freely navigating our website based on their own choices is an engaged visitor, but a visitor navigating our site in a specific way – the way we push them around our site – is a converted visitor, because they are doing exactly as we want them to.
So, thinking more along the lines of Visitor “Engagement”, here’s 8 kick-ass ways of helping to increase it for your own website:
Practically everyone is using social media in one way or another. In fact, some people say they don’t like the idea of social media but then unknowingly are using a service that is exactly that!
Now, by adding social décor to your posts and pages, such as sharing buttons, you are speaking to a visitors sub-conscious and asking them to help spread the word.
Suggesting great content that is popular with other visitors is a perfect way to improve engagement. You are providing them with options that allow them to make up their own mind as to the action they take, at the same time as promoting your on-site content, keeping them on YOUR site for longer, in turn helping to build a relationship with them.
Building a relationship is the sole aim of engagement, as it is this relationship that will eventually flower into a conversion.
PROMINENT OPT-IN BOXES
Using an email mailing list opt-in box is a great way of keeping your visitors connected with you off-site, and generally speaking an email visitor is 5 to 20 times more engaged than other visitors.
People tent to treat their email address like gold and only give it out if they trust you enough. An opt-in box means that they are physically giving you their permission to contact them via email, and a nice large prominent opt-on box will help you to make the “conversion” in order to keep your visitors engaged.
Simple slide-out boxes that appear at the end of your content, perhaps activated when a visitor scrolls to the bottom of the page, can help to keep your visitors engaged by providing additional options for them to choose from – usually suggested related articles.
Offering your visitors links to other content on your site that is related to the content they are currently viewing is a good way of keeping your visitors on your site for longer, thus helping to build a better relationship with them.
Keep your related post suggestions to around 3 or 4, and where design allows try to feature a thumbnail and title.
Not every chunk of content performs the same as others, so use your analytics data to discover what is working and what is not.
By increasing output of the stuff that works you can significantly improve your engagement, whilst doing more of the stuff that doesn’t will kill it instead.
Analytics data can only tell you so much. But wouldn’t it be powerful if you could find out exactly what your visitors were thinking and be able to provide specifically for that.
A simple online survey can help you to better tailor your content to ensure a more satisfied, and as such a more engaged visitor.
Sometimes you can bribe your visitors, but in a good way of course. How many times have you had to part with your email address in order to access a specific chunk of information online?
By doing something such as this – say requesting that a visitor signs up to your email list in order to access a blog post or download a free report – you can not only gain the engagement of the visitor at that exact moment in time, but you also then have their permission to email them… and email engagement as we said before can be up to 20 times that of a normal user. Win win.
The aim of every successful site should be engagement, because with excellent visitor engagement there ultimately comes a conversion. So, rather than focusing on making money why not change your approach and focus on building relationships first.
Not only does it grow a solid base of loyal potential customers but it also helps you to grow that base too… and it can be extremely satisfying to create those relationships during the process too.