Volume without engagement means very little to your website’s success. No matter how many visitors your website gets, it doesn’t really count if none of them actively engage with it and perform a desired outcome.
Not only this, but user engagement determines the rank of your website on all leading search engines, such as Google. And believe us when we say that your Google ranking is crucial to your engagement. The two work hand-in-hand.
Research shows that 86 percent of your customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience — and the first place this starts is with your website. Here’s how to tailor your website interaction for success.
1. Research and Understand Your Audience
Any website marketing fundi will tell you to study your audience. This is one of the most important factors in creating a tailored, engaging experience across your website. By doing so, you are giving your target audience what they want.
Do some research on your audience search behavior, preferences, and values by conducting a survey. This is a good way to create content that they will actually relate to and engage with.
Don’t be afraid to ask your audience what they expect from you. What better way to gain useful information and fulfill their desires? The same goes for asking for constructive criticism — where you can improve across your website.
There are a few other means of getting to know your audience better as well as analyzing how they experience your website. You can perform in-depth interviews and qualitative research.
Another option is with user testing and analyzing how your audiences interact with your site — also known as session replay. Check out decibel.com for more on this type of analysis.
2. Work on Your Web Page Load Time
According to Think with Google, a website’s bounce rate is greatly affected by its page load time. It can actually increase the bounce rate by 32 percent if a page takes longer than 3-seconds to load.
This is why it’s so important to prioritize your own web page load time if you want to improve your website engagement. Think about it — how long are you prepared to wait for a web page to load? If it takes longer than 5-seconds, you’re probably out of there!
Well, the same goes for your average website visitor.
A great way to overcome this engagement obstacle is to test your page load speed. There are plenty of free tools across the internet today, such as those offered by Pingdom. Ideally, you want each web page to load within 2-seconds. If this is not the case, do some research on what could be slowing down your page load time.
While website images play a huge role in aesthetics, they are notorious for slowing down web page load time. Make sure to use the right plugin to improve image loading functionality.
3. Perfect Your Internal Link Network
The internal link structure of your website is so important for various reasons. First of all, it assists in boosting your overall SEO ranking, as well as your Google search rank. To add to this, it’s the best way to ensure your target audience can navigate your website with ease.
Why is this important? It creates a good user experience. It also generates a greater amount of page views and decreases your overall page bounce rate. Both of which are essential to your user engagement status.
The key to a good internal link structure is to use anchor text that relates to other important content on your website. In other words, you shouldn’t add links throughout your content without intention.
All of your internal links should have descriptive anchor text. They should be specific, relevant, and point to somewhere new — not to content that is easily accessed from your main navigation.
It’s also crucial that you don’t overdo your internal linking. This can only annoy your target audience and is a red flag for most search engines.
4. Strategically Direct Your Audience To Related Content
This is another great way to direct your audience to content they may be interested in, thereby improving their user experience.
At the bottom of each web page, use a related content section that displays relevant posts across your website. This encourages your website visitors to click on these related posts. Ultimately, this increases the time they spend on your website, which is great for your website engagement rank.
One of the best ways to display related content is with plug-ins that automatically place excerpts or snippets of posts at the end of your content. You can also display this related content with an eye-catching thumbnail.
5. Simplify Navigation for Better Website Interaction
Ever visited a website that is downright overwhelming? With too many headers, blocks of text, flashing images, and pop-ups, this is a fast-track route to driving away your audience!
Even worse than this is a website that is just too vague, i.e. it does not offer enough information or clear navigation in order to find something. You want to find a middle ground between these two types of websites. One that offers clear navigation, and a good amount of information.
It’s important for your audience to be able to find what they’re looking for with minimal effort. The last thing you want is for them to be confused, frustrated, and put-off by your content and navigation.
Some key factors to remember include a clear and accessible navigation bar. Clear and concise categorization of your web pages. And navigation that is streamlined and does not slow down the load time of your website.
Knowledge You Can Count On
Website interaction relies on a myriad of key factors. But if you can nail down these top 5 principles, you should be able to garner and maintain the best type of website engagement.
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