Visitor engagement is the key to a website’s success. Most tend to focus too much on the content or on the design. While these are important factors, it is crucial that you find ways with which to make your site as engaging and as persuasive as possible. The key to do this is to formulate every aspect of the site by bearing the answer to this question in mind: calls to action are being placed everywhere on the site, but are they really making visitors act? Are we getting them there? Are we encouraging them to make a transaction?
Let us discuss some ways with which we can make your site look more credible and engaging.
For starters, we need to focus a great deal on the homepage. This is the first page visitors will land on, and if they are not enticed with it, they are going to leave without even bothering to look at any of the other pages. The homepage needs to load quickly and at just one glance, visitors need to feel at ease with the design and encouraged to start browsing. Thus the layout and the design need to be creative and simple. A ‘Get Started’ button is a common way to make it simpler for visitors to start off. They won’t have to worry where to look or browse endlessly. Simply clicking such a button is practically leading the way for them to find what they need really quickly and without hassle. There are many users who actually hate menu bars, especially if they are long. So try to find ways to simplify things for them.
You need to reduce, and possibly, eliminate any doubts in a visitor’s mind. So if a visitor lands on your site and spends even a short amount of time unsure as to where to click, chances are he/she will immediately lose confidence and leave. We do not want that to happen.
So the content should be interesting and laid out in a way that visitors will not be discouraged to read through it. Bullet points or numbered points can help. Subheadings also help to break down chunks of text. Before deciding what content to place on your site, go through it and check if it is ideal for a visitor. Just imagine having a conversation with that person and ask yourself if that text sounds natural. Ideally the content needs to be specific rather than generic. It is also recommended that whenever possible you make use of numbers. It is statistically proven that when numbers are used, people are better able to understand, and even visualize, what you are trying to explain. Adding a couple of quotes could also be effective. Finally, go for emotional and sensory words whenever possible, instead of blandness. You have to make this as persuasive and as memorable as possible if you want to increase user engagement.
Once you have written a first draft, go over it so as to see if there are any weak words, complicated words, redundant sentences or irrelevant ideas. These can be irritating for a visitor, and so you should scrap them. Also, avoid using the passive voice. Obviously, check for any spelling and grammar errors as you go along. Such errors will greatly reduce your site’s credibility. Proofreading is very important, and while you go through the text read it aloud so as to get a better feeling whether it sounds natural or not.
Once you have done all this, it is time to actually use the site. Live user testing is highly recommended. With such a study you will be able to find areas where users are having problems. You do not have to carry out live user testing with hundreds of users – even a small number will offer you good results to work on. Visitor playback sessions can also be very helpful. In such videos you will be able to see exactly where users tend to stop, click and scroll. The same concept applies with heat mapping. With color coding you will be able to see where users are clicking, and where they are not. In such a way you will be able to discern which parts of the site are engaging users, and which parts you need to work on.
Another good way to get feedback from visitors is to use exit polls. Before leaving your site a pop-up box will appear and users will be encouraged to answer a question. If you notice that several visitors are referring to a particular issue, you will be able to address it to reduce objections and make ameliorations. You can also make use of surveys so as to gather user feedback. You will be amazed at how much information you can get and how many things users may want you to change to have a better user experience and a more engaging website. By reducing visitor frustration, you will be able to make your site more engaging and successful.