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.

3 Mobile Behaviors You Must Embrace Right Now

When marketing people start talking about mobile these days, and they’re doing it a lot, they usually default to tactics – mobile ads, SMS, throw in some near field communications and we’re on the mobile track.

Text Message Marketing

photo credit: Drriss via photo pin cc

I’ve been doing this a long time and with every emerging evolution there seems to be an equally reactive rush to embrace the accompanying tactics and it’s what leads people to do things that don’t make sense.

Ten years ago everyone was hiring web designers to create web sites that had nothing to do with the rest of the organization’s marketing or branding – but they had to have a web site.

Then social media came along and everyone rushed to figure out Twitter and how to run a contest on Facebook.

The mobile rush is currently starting to heat up and, once again, I think most people are asking the wrong thing.

Instead of how do wet get into mobile, where can we get our own cool app or how much should we spend on mobile ads, the question is and should be this.

What behaviors are our current customers exhibiting right now when it comes to mobile and how can we tap those behaviors using some combination of existing and emerging tools.

I truly believe that’s the formula for considering any new tactic or tool. When you factor what you’re doing now that works and ask how you can use the tools to do more of that, you’ll rarely get caught up in the rush towards new for new sake.

Below are three mobile behaviors you can no longer ignore as they’ve become universal and cross industries and demographics in undeniable ways.

1) Content is getting consumed on mobile devices on the go.

I have a Nexus7, iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire. I use apps like Reeder and FlipBoard on most of those devices to consume content. And, while I’m not your average online folk, my wife does the same and so do my kids.

Our content must be made to be consumed by people using really small screens riding in a car, at the library and at the conference. Right now, there are very few business that can pull off a generally useful app, but every business should invest in making all of their content pitch perfect for the various ways it’s being consumed.

This means using plugins such as WPTouch Pro, choosing themes and designers that use Responsive Web Design and exploring mobile landing pages and content pages designed to provide very specific content to mobile surfers with tools such as Tekora or GoMobi

2) Mobile is a key element in the buying process

And, here’s the most important aspect of that behavior – mobile shoppers are proving more valuable then traditional shoppers, including demonstrating less price sensitivity according the July Mobile Retail Insights report from Mobile Ad Network Greystripe.

Okay this statement relies on murky research, but think about it – mobile shoppers, people that do research on the fly looking for somewhere to shop, eat, drink, visit, or even hire a service, are more likely to jump on the things they find first, conveniently and seamlessly.

While people are using their mobile devices during the buying or shopping process many are choosing to make actual purchases either offline (see next behavior) or using a laptop, but tablets are going to change this dramatically.

The key is to understand that mobile is a link in the buying chain and proper integration is where conversion comes from.

3) People expect mobile engagement

Once you understand this behavior you’ll stop bad mouthing text message marketing. That’s not to say that there aren’t people doing it poorly or using it to spam, but it is to say there are terribly powerful and valid reasons to use SMS and now is the time to analyze how you can use service such as EXTexting or Trumpia for customer service, flash sales and specials and appointment opening.

I’ve also seen people use SMS short codes to allow people to subscribe to their email newsletter and more and more businesses are offering receipts by way of email and text.

I allow people to download slides from my speaking events, something they would often ask me to do anyway, by sending a short code text to a specific number. This particular process allows them to get what they want when they want it without much work and certainly takes me out of the process as well.

Enabling mobile engagement through tools such a click to call, click to chat or click for driving directions is another way to help people get what they want in the highly impatient, highly motivated world of mobile commerce.

I think the key to understanding any new technology or tactic is pretty simple. First figure out how you can use it to make something your customer is already doing easier and better. If you can do that it doesn’t matter how you see others using it or not.

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