User Engagement : The Key To A Successful Website

In today’s digital arena, the new screen real estate that advertisers compete for in terms of user engagement isn’t TV dominated anymore. With the rise in popularity of an always-on, mobile device in todays society, website and social media marketing has simply skyrocketed into dominance shortly after its inception.

If you’re a business—you have a website, that’s the obvious standard. Not having a website tends to lose credibility with your target audience. Sure, it’s still good to have a good print ad campaign along with a few radio and tv spots. However, digital is so important, that if you lack a website—none of those things matter anymore.

Simply throwing up a website with a few blurbs of information—like a digital brochure, simply isn’t going to cut it. You’re basically just making a digital version of an old-school flyer—nothing innovative to see there. No, your website has to grab your audience’s attention and hold on to it. One of the most important things that goes into achieving that with your website is user engagement.

What Does User Engagement Mean?

User engagement is a term that describes the interaction between your visitors and your website. Simply stated—you want visitors to come to your page, read your content, absorb it, and then convert to a customer.

That’s a very brief summation but engagement goes much further than that. In fact, it’s very much a psychological factor that is present in digital marketing given the rise of social media.

To have a successful website you need to know what optimal engagement is, how to achieve it, and how to harvest leads from it. After all, leads are the reason you put in so many man-hours on your digital marketing. Engagement plays such a crucial role as you will notice, that higher user engagement shows loyalty from your audience. You will get more return visitors that convert, and you will get new visitors from referrals and link shares.

What Does Engagement Look Like?

One of the hardest parts about the concept of user engagement that our customers struggle with—is identifying it. This is probably since user engagement runs a wide gamut in terms of what it entails. In a nutshell, user engagement can be identified by several actions/metrics and then some.

  • Active time on site—When a visitor comes to your site and spends time on your site that is a form of engagement. This also ties in with navigating your site.
  • Navigation across the site—You don’t get a lot of insight just because a visitor comes to your page and stays there for 30 minutes straight. Now, seeing them click on different pages, and navigate throughout the site is a sure sign of engagement.
  • Direct interactions— This is where a visitor interacts with your company via your website directly. It could be comments on posts, emailing with questions, or responding to a pop-up chat box or poll on your site.
  • Sharing— This is a huge one. The fact that a visitor spends time on your site is enough to be grateful for. Now for someone to share your website with friends and those that might be interested—that is priceless.
  • Media consumption—Users love to see content on a website, it grabs their attention—IF—it’s quality content that has value. You can’t just throw up random images and videos—you have to cater to your target audience’s needs and wants.
How To Boost User Engagement

When you build your website for the first time, your engagement is naturally going to be low as you build a following. But if you’ve had a website for a few years and it seems like it’s not converting—it’s likely that your engagement is low. There can be numerous reasons for your engagement being slow, but these are some of the most common fixes.

Decrease Your Site’s Load Time

Internet speeds these days are so quick that even on the lowest tier services, your pages should load instantly. You have mere seconds to catch visitor’s attention, and nothing will lose it faster than a page that does not load instantly.

Even a 2-3 second page load time can deliver a huge blow to engagement and conversion. It doesn’t matter how great your site is, if it doesn’t load in time, the opportunity is lost.

The way to fix this is by optimizing content and other hidden settings that cause your page to load faster. There are tools available from Google that will analyze your site speed and offer possible fixes.

At SiteJab, we also run a full analytic scan on your website when you schedule a consultation with us. We’ll highlight all areas of improvement and let you know where the biggest weaknesses are.

Optimize Your Layout

The aesthetics of a site are very important and so is the structure and layout. If there’s too much chaos going on in the layout it leads to a high bounce rate.

A bounce is the stark opposite of user engagement, where a user comes to your site, does nothing, and then leaves, or “bounces.” Of course, the reason for the bounce could be something other than layout. However, in our research—95% of the time, cluttered layouts are to blame for higher bounce rates.

Make sure your color scheme suits your industry and that your design elements do too. You wouldn’t necessarily use yellow and black geometric hard lines for women’s fashion for example. This is where some psychology and practicality come into play.

Keep the layout minimalistic and make the menu the main focus— keep the menu easy to understand. You should also make heavy use of white space so the content pops and fonts don’t get washed out.

On the topic of fonts, keep them basic and limited to no more than 2 or 3 fonts. A primary font, secondary font, and an auxiliary font for minor elements.

Simplify Navigation

You can’t expect visitors to browse content on your site if it’s difficult to navigate. They should be able to discover the information they need in no more than three clicks. Anything more than that and you are losing their attention rapidly.

Just keep the navigation menu simple, mind your page categories, and be sure to organize blog posts and have proper tags. Adding a search box on your website also helps users find the information they need faster.

Content Is King

Content is crucial to your website for search engine purposes and engagement. However, a small 100-word blurb here and there is counterproductive. Users, according to studies, show that content on pages of at least 1,000-2,000 words get the most engagement.

On the other hand, that doesn’t mean to just puff up your content with garbage text. Make it informative, relevant, and above all, valuable.

It’s also important how you layout the content as well—structured content blocking is key here.

Not many customers will read a block of text, let alone one that’s 2,000 words long. Use paragraphs and white space between them to make readability a lot easier. You can also break up the flow with bullet points and concise paragraphs.

A Responsive Site Gets Better User Engagement

Your website absolutely must be responsive. That is, it must know when it’s being accessed by a mobile device and be able to adjust the design. If you’re not sure if your website is mobile ready, there are tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test that will analyze your site to see if it offers a seamless experience when viewed on mobile.

Mobile devices account for a staggering 51% of all internet traffic—and that number continues to rise. So, if you aren’t catering to those users on a mobile phone—you’re losing visitors and engagement quickly.

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