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7 Ways to Increase Engagement on Your Website

It can be a chore to drive traffic to your website. So, once you do gain a click through organic search, a referral or an ad, you need to you do what you can to keep them there long enough for them to dig in and see what you’ve got.

website engagement

photo credit: theunquietlibrary

Below are a handful of tactics that can help visitors find what they are looking for, consume more content and enjoy a more engaged experience overall.

1. Click to

There are a variety of actions and associated tools related to helping people get or do what they want. Click to call, chat or schedule tools give people the ability to ask a quick question, ring you up to check stock, download a free session, or schedule an appointment without the need to pick up the phone. We use Olark for chat on your site and tools such Schedulicity and Genbook are worth a look for click to functionality.

2. Site search

Oftentimes someone tells a friend to go to your site to get what they want, but it’s not obvious when all they have is the home page. Adding search functionality to your site has become a fairly common and useful practice. You can use Google Custom Search or the WordPress search widget.

3. Video

The video format is a great way to increase engagement as you can entertain, surprise and build trust in ways that text rarely can. Using lots of short little videos on your site can be a great way to introduce core concepts, demonstrate how to use products and display client success stories. Adding functionality and calls to action to your video can make them even more engaging. Today’s post sponsor, Viewbix, has a great tool for that.

4. Related content

Once someone finds a piece of content on your site that offers information they are looking for it’s a great practice to use tools that can suggest additional related content. This is one of the best ways to keep people digging and clicking around your site. I’ve used the WordPress Contextual Related Content Plugin for some time and find it works well. It automatically places five related blog posts at the end of each post I write.

5. Smart content

Let’s say you sell big smelly diesel trucks as well as super green hybrid city delivery vehicles. Would it be safe to say that the prospective buyers of those two vehicles might be looking for very different things? Using technology like Getsmartcontent your site can display content based on a variety of factors, such as what someone typed into a search to find you site. Tailoring content to specific segments is a great way to increase engagement.

6. Guided tour

If your website caters to many needs it can be very engaging to present your visitors with options that lead them deeper and deeper into the precise information they are looking for. Using a tool like SurveyFunnel allows you to present your visitors with a series of questions and let the answers determine where they end up or what they subscribe to.

7. Advice and feedback

Asking for feedback and advice is not only a great way to increase engagement it’s a great way to learn how to get better. If someone comes to your site and doesn’t find what they are looking for wouldn’t it be great to understand what went wrong? Consider using a tool like 4Q, which offers up a little four-question survey to people leaving your site.

Measuring engagement

Once you employ a few tools it’s time to learn if you’ve improved engagement. Using Google Analytics Goals is a great way to see the impact. Analytics measures averages of many things, including time on site and page views per user. These two measures are a nice way to get a glimpse at engagement levels.

One way to track increases is to look at your current averages for these two metrics and create goals for each that are slightly above your current average. This will start to show increases, but it will also allow you to drill down and see where your increases are coming from – social, SEO or referral.

Increased engagement leads to increased awareness and trust and both of these can eventually lead to much greater conversion.

viewbixThis post is sponsored by Viewbix – Easily add apps and calls to action to your video.

5 Ways to Use Social Media and Your Online Presence to Drive People Offline

No matter what your business sells, how it sells it or how and where people buy you it, people are going online to find it, pure and simple. That’s as true for those one of kind hand made earrings as it is for the spa and auto repair shop in their neighborhood.

Explore The Bruce via Flickr

And, it’s increasingly true for the local insurance provider, landscaper, plumber, attorney and tax professional.

So, what does this mean for the local small business? You’ve got to start thinking about your online presence as a central tool for driving people offline and into your store, sales presentation, meeting, demonstration, appointment or evaluation.

Below are five ways to think about your online activity as an offline opportunity generator.

1) Online calls to action

When people do find and visit your site make it easy for them to use your website to get a free pass, coupon or trial product.

Enable tools like click to call or chat from Olark, so they can get in touch right now and get their burning questions asked

Put a tool like GenBook on your site they can find a time and schedule appointment without needing to call.

Make sure that you have turn by turn directions and links to maps so they can find your business and even send the directions to their smart phone.

2) O2O advertising

Most people run ads to get people buy, what if you thought about your online advertising as a way to simple drive people offline – O2O?

Create local campaigns using Google Adwords that drive people to your website to take advantage of the calls to action, such a the free pass or coupon, that I discussed in the previous point.

Make sure that your Google Places page is complete and compelling and consider the coupon and advertising options available for this tool.

Look into Facebook targeted ads for your calls to action. You can target local Facebook folks all the way down to targeting fans of your competitors.

To make your O2O advertising even more effective create local landing pages for each campaign or even neighborhood you are targeting.

3) Networked networking

Offline networking is still a great way to create and build potential relationships, but you can really amplify this tactic when you add some simple online tactics to your networking efforts.

When you connect offline with a prospect at say a Chamber event, move to also connect online and watch how much faster you can build a relationship.

Employ Social CRM tools like Rapportive or Nimble so you can easily connect the social profiles of anyone you meet to their record. This will make it much easier to learn how to connect.

Look at tools like MeetUp that make it easy to create offline events and gatherings using an online marketing system.

4) Local social groups

Most social networks give you the ability to create groups. Some organizations have had tremendous success by creating and facilitating local, special interest groups on networks like LinkedIn.

The key here is to think “interest group” and not something that’s clearly a promotional tool for your business. If you can create an industry group or some other niche topic that allows your customers to explore and expand an interest they have, you’ve hit on a formula that’s very potent.

5) Online and on the go

Increasingly, our prospects are not only online they are mobile while doing so. There are some very creative ways to take advantage of this fact and drive people with great buying intent offline.

First off make sure you claim your location on sites like Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter. This way you can enhance the details and make sure people using geo location services can check in at the right place.

Create and test an offer on a service like Foursquare that can help highlight your business when someone checks in at another nearby business.

Look into the group coupon tools like Groupon, Google Offers or Living Social, but make sure you’re ready to capture the leads these programs produce in a way that allows you to turn a low profit sale into a long term customer.

Think about ways to create check-in games that you could use as part of a promotion. Get a group of strategic partners to participate and offers special deals for people that have checked in at a number of your partners on Foursquare of that take a photo of their purchases at a number of partners and posted it to Twitter or Instagram.

As you can see, the way you can employ this kind of thinking is limited only to your imagination, but there’s no denying the importance and effectiveness of this strategy.