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May 16, 2016 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

5 Ways to Boost User Engagement on Your Website

Every business has a website, but in this age of instant gratification and smartphone surfing, just having a website isn't enough. You need to have a website that demands users' attentions, and which they find friendly, and engaging.

That's a tall order, especially with so many other sites which are all competing for eyes and followers.

However, if you incorporate some of these methods, brought to you by Entrepreneur, The Daily Egg, and Writtent, then you'll see the numbers of engaged users on your site start to go up quite quickly.

Here are a few methods we us to keep sites engaging.

5 Ways to Boost User Engagement on Your Website

Method #1: Use Polite Pop Ups to Capture Leads

While pop up ads are typically seen as a way to annoy your users and drive away traffic, it's possible to get the opposite effect with what Bright Orange Thread has dubbed "polite" pop ups.

Wait - wait- what's the difference between a polite pop and a regular pop up? Well, think of a traditional pop up ad. It typically takes up the whole screen, blocks your view of what you were trying to look at, and it usually loads as soon as you load a website. It's likely the pushy salesperson who turns off customers by doing everything short of jumping out and down.

This is a email signup pop up that comes up on blogger Neil Patel's site is HUGE. I love Neil Patel's thourough posts on marketing and blogging, so I'm already signed up for his email list. Yet every time I visit his site…boom! Huge email pop up. (To be fair, this is an exit popup. Which isn’t polite, but it is a last ditch effort to get the attention).

Now, I bet this is a very effective form. Probably the one that got me to sign up! But it would be better if a) it knew I was already signed up and stopped showing the same form to me, or b) it wasn't so obtrusive to my overall experience.

I'm not saying this pop up is "rude". But it is a bit annoying when I see it every time I move my mouse away from the screen.

A polite pop up, by contrast, only appears once customers have shown they're interested in your site (typically by scrolling down). The pop up comes in at the lower corner of the screen, and it's subdued, offering further assistance or aid in the form of intelligent content recommendations, which tries to lead readers to more content that will suit their wants and needs.

Neil Patel also uses "polite pop ups". This slide in pop up is an intelligent content recommendation that slides in when you scroll down the page. It's not very obtrusive. It only appears when I scroll. And it's easy to dismiss (or convert!). Hmm…I wonder how the conversion rates compare. Care to share, Neil? smile

In short, a polite pop up is more like a butler who offers you a drink at a cocktail party, once you've had a chance to circulate and settle in. Because of that, they hook a lot more potential customers than the louder, more in-your-face variety.

Method #2: Be A Storyteller

Facts and figures, while useful things, are cold and detached. Too many of them, and your customers' eyes will start drooping while they reflexively reach for the back button. If you really want to catch, and hold, your readers' attention then you need to tell them a story.

Talk about where your brand came from, the challenges you've overcome, or where you want to go in the future. Tell your readers about who you are on a personal, individual level. Make your "About Us" page a compelling dossier, and you'll have sunk the hook squarely. From that point on, your visitors will need to know more. Even more importantly, though, they might decide they want to become a part of your company's story. When that happens, you have their full and total engagement.

Method #3: Invite Influencers to Your Page

An influencer's words will add extra authority to your site and tout your own connections.

Reach out to influencers you respect and ask them to contribute to your site. Their endorsement will resonate with the audience who respects the influencer and their expertise. It's like how athletes talk about sports drinks or athletic shoes, except from a B2B angle.

The influencer doesn't have to do anything major, either. There are several differnt ways you can bring in the added bonus of influencer content:

  • Ask them to to contribute a guest blog post
  • Interview them for a blog post of your own
  • Ask for a testimonial

People like to see that you are respected as a company. If an influencer respects your blog and is comfortable putting their content on your site, that says a lot about you! It can have a big effect on your viewers' trust, and thus their engagement with your site.

Method #4: Stand Out From The Competition

Standing out from all the other websites is, perhaps, the most basic piece of business advice anyone has ever received about their website. It's worth remembering, though, because customers and potential customers love things that shock them out of the samey routine that comes with browsing the Internet.

There are only so many times you can see a website with the same layout, and the same color scheme, before they start to blur together in your head. A site that's unlike any of the others will carve a niche in the viewer's memory.

Just make sure you're standing out for good reasons, like intuitive design choices and eye-catching photos, instead of bad ones, like difficult to read text or videos that take forever to load.

Method #5: Make it Easy to Contact You

There is nothing more frustrating than a website that keeps the company's contact details hidden in an easy-to-miss corner or menu bar. Not being able to find your phone number, address, email, or social media details can take a customer who was getting engaged, and cool them right down after a few minutes of searching.

Putting your contact details in your header is considered best practice. It makes sure your phone number or email appear on every page in a place that is obvious, but out of the way.

Pros: This tutoring company includes their phone number and a link to their "Locations" page in the header of their site. The header is "sticky", which means the contact information is still accessible when users scroll down the page.Cons: The "We'll Call You" text in the header clearly looks like a link - but it's not clickable! The best solution would be to make this link to a contact form for users that prefer email

While you don't want to plaster your details in places they don't belong, don't be afraid to repeat how customers can contact you on a few different locations. Your "About Us" page is a good place to start, and you should be certain to leave your contact details on your website's blog, too. Preferably in your call to action section, where you encourage anyone interested in more information to reach out to you.

Also make sure your phone number is click-to-call on mobile!

Last Tip: Listen to What Users Are Telling You!

These are just a handful of methods you can use to increase your website engagement. However, there is one, big thing you can do that will unlock even more engagement.

Listen to your feedback! If you hear clients or prospects saying - "I was looking for this, but I couldn't find it" - make it more obvious.

Or if your analytics are telling you people are only viewing one blog post per visit, try out intelligent content pop ups!

Increasing on site ingagement will correlate to increasing conversions!

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