How to boost user engagement and why it matters to your website
How to boost user engagement and why it matters to your website
User engagement is one of the most important metrics to examine when measuring how successful your website is.
Competition online is fierce and getting lots of visitors to your website is no longer enough. For your website to succeed and be profitable it also needs to engage visitors.
21/09/2021 | Reading time: 4 minutes
User engagement is all about how people visiting your website interact with it. Examining how users engage with your website can give you some indication about whether visitors find your website valuable and how effective it is.
From the SEO point of view, customer engagement is one of the key factor that determine the ranking positions. If you think about it, search engines’ main goal is giving the user the best answers to what other users are looking for. When Google determines that your site is not triggering enough engagement – they’ll start assuming that your website doesn’t add any value to the readers, putting your entire SEO strategy at risk.
In this article, we will explain a little more about what user engagement is and how you can nurture it to start getting more from your website.
What is user engagement?
User engagement measures how much value visitors are finding in your website. Generally, the more engagement your website receives, the more profitable it will be.
Examples of different types of user engagement include visiting your website, clicking links, making a purchase or a booking, signing up for your newsletter, talking to a chatbot, submitting a contact form, watching a video or commenting on your blog.
So, how do you find out how engaged your website visitors are?
Some key user engagement metrics to track include:
- Average click-through rate
- Average number of page views
- Average time spent on the website
- New vs returning visitors
- Conversion rates
- Bounce rates
If people are spending a lot of time browsing your website, then it usually means that they are finding value in it, and you can give yourself a big pat on the back.
But if your website’s bounce rate is very high and visitors are not viewing many pages during a session, then your website is not engaging them and there’s room for improvement.
Generally, the more engaged visitors are with your website, the more likely they are to become profitable, return customers.
Why is user engagement so important?
A successful user engagement strategy will positively impact your website’s ROI.
The internet is a crowded place, and with so many businesses like yours out there all vying for attention, encouraging engagement from your users can put you ahead of your competitors.
Here are three reasons why user engagement is such an important metric to track and consistently work to improve:
Improve customer experience and satisfaction – The level of engagement your website receives can reflect the quality of the customer experience your website is providing. Websites that foster plenty of user interactions are usually providing a high-quality customer experience and will enjoy high levels of customer satisfaction. Generally, engaged users like what they see and have found your website, products, or services to be useful or enjoyable. Tracking user engagement metrics can help you to find ways to improve the overall customer experience your website is offering.
Nurture return visitors – A website that encourages customer engagement is likely to have lower bounce and churn rates and see a higher rate of valuable, return visitors. This is because engaged visitors are more likely to feel a connection with your business, remember your website and return to it. These returning visitors are significantly more likely to convert into paying customers and boost your website’s ROI.
Rank higher in search – Google wants to provide its users with relevant and high-quality search results. One way that it figures out which websites meet these requirements is by looking for pointers that indicate that users have found a website valuable, i.e. engagement metrics. Google’s algorithm looks at on-page engagement metrics like click-through rate and visitors’ average dwell time.
Dwell time is an inherent measurement that helps search engines determine if a searcher’s needs were met with the results the search engine provided. Searchers will input their query, click through to a top result, and stay on a site that satisfies their need. For search engines, it’s a measure of their effectiveness.
Therefore, websites with high levels of user engagement are more likely to be deemed important by Google and ranked higher up in search results.
8 tips for boosting user engagement strategy
Feeling excited about the benefits that engaging website visitors could offer your business?
Develop your website’s strategy by implementing these 8 tips for boosting user engagement on your website.
1. Make sure it’s SEO-friendly
The simplest way to encourage more people to stay on your website for longer and engage with it is to build an SEO-friendly website that delivers the best performance on every possible area. To keep up with competitors your website needs to look professional, provide a first-class user experience, and be designed with conversion in mind, encouraging users to buy your products or get in touch now.
The most important things you can do to make your website SEO-friendly are:
A. Ensure it is free of technical errors – encountering annoying or clumsy technical errors such as broken links can be frustrating and off-putting for visitors, especially if it is the first time that they’ve visited your website. Make regular technical SEO audits to identify issues that could be harming your user experience.
B. Improve your site speed – ideally, your web pages should load within three seconds, or you risk visitors getting frustrated and bouncing off your website before it’s even had a chance to load and going to a competitor site instead.
C. Use a responsive design – At least half of your website visitors will be viewing your website on a mobile phone. A responsive design will ensure that your website’s design adapts to any screen size, ensuring it still looks the part and is user-friendly no matter whether it is being viewed on a mobile, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
2. Know your audience
When you know your audience inside out you can tailor the look, feel, tone, and way that your website functions to appeal to your audience and meet their needs. A website that contains more personalised content will have a better chance of connecting with its audience, grabbing their attention, engaging them, and keeping them on-site for longer.
3. Make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for
If visitors find navigating around your website confusing or can’t immediately find what they’re looking for, then they’re likely to get frustrated and bounce of your website and onto a competitor’s website instead. You can make it as simple for visitors to find what they’re looking for by adding a search bar in the header and using simple and intuitive navigation. This simple strategy helps to make your website more user-friendly and can keep visitors on the website for longer and encourage further customer engagement.
4. Offer unique and useful content
User engagement is all about creating a valuable customer experience that organically fosters engagement. What better way to do this than by creating content that is informative, unique, entertaining, or useful to enrich the customer experience you’re offering. Unique, high-quality content can help to create a buzz around your brand and inspire people to discuss, comment on, or share your content.
You can also provide content in different formats
Whilst I prefer to read text content, my best friend prefers video content. I may also choose to watch video content at home but find text content more convenient when I’m out and about. You can encourage visitors to engage with your content by providing the same content in different formats, making it more likely that your audience will find an option that is right for them at that moment.
5. Keep a clean and visually attractive design
People visiting your website will be making split-second judgements about it based on how it looks. A successful website design should be professional, feature consistent branding throughout, and look clean, uncluttered, and appealing. An attractive web design invites and encourages visitors to come further in and engage with the website.
6. Display your trust indicators
Examples of trust indicators include customer reviews, case studies, testimonials, and awards that your business or website has won. Displaying trust indicators prominently on your website can help to reassure customers that your website is legit, you are competent and experienced at what you do, and that they will have a positive experience if they choose to engage with you.
7. Use clear calls-to-action (CTA)
Want visitors to engage with your content? Then tell them so! Effective calls-to-action draw visitors’ attention to the areas of your website that you want them to engage with. An effective call-to-action should be prominent, clear, concise and motivate visitors to act.
8. Provide a chatbot
If it is feasible for you to offer a chatbot facility on your website, then this could help to massively improve user engagement. Chatbots allow visitors to ask questions to a real person in real-time, providing fast and effective answers to their queries, helping them to find what they’re looking for on-site and answering questions that may have otherwise held them back from engaging further with your website.
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