Are you engaged? Hear that question 20 years ago, and you would either think that someone was asking about your relationship status or whether you are busy at the moment. Today, however, engagement is one of the fundamental aspects of digital marketing, and if users are not engaged with your site, traffic will drop, and your business will suffer.
The thing about the internet is that there is so much of it. In fact, there are over 1.3 billion websites live, and more are appearing every second. Creating a great website that attracts good traffic is only the first part of the challenge. The real magic comes when you manage to keep people’s attention so that they hang around long enough to make a purchase, click a button, or complete whatever other action you need from them.
In the pre-internet age, businesses used printed media and perhaps TV or radio advertising to reach out to customers and get their attention. That was very much a one-way communication stream. The beauty of a website is that you can make it a far more immersive and interactive experience if you get it right. Here’s how.
Keep it current
If there is always something new happening on your site, visitors will get into the habit of checking in regularly, just to see the latest. Compare it with a favorite store in town where you look in as a matter of course, even if you don’t particularly need to. New and fresh content that people will want to read or watch is the key.
Thousands of California lotto players will log on to their favorite site to check out the super lotto results from the last drawing, guaranteeing engaged, repeat visitors – particularly if they are winners. Or a site selling clothes might have regular new blogs on the latest fashion trends, and what the celebrities and influencers of the day have been seen wearing.
Don’t push too hard
Nobody likes a hard sell, and the beauty of digital marketing is that when you do it right, customers come to you instead of you having to go to them. Once they are on your site, they might not be ready to buy right now, so how can you keep them interested and engaged? Remember what we said earlier about making a purchase, clicking a button or whatever you want them to do.
When it comes down to it, many sites give customers the option to either buy something or leave. A third option, such as keep in touch, join our mailing list, or even to connect on social media, keeps that connection, and means that when they are ready to make a purchase, they are more likely to do so from you.
Get them involved
Remember this is a two-way street. If visitors are getting involved and contributing in their own way to your site and online presence, they are naturally more engaged. Invite and encourage comments and feedback wherever you can. Creating content that touches on emotive of controversial topics is a great way to do this.
When someone does comment, wherever possible, you should try to respond in a personal way, even if it’s just a Hi Dave, Thanks for your comment. It only takes a few seconds, but there you have it – a dialogue with your visitors.
It’s good to chat
Regarding dialogue, a chat box is a Godsend for getting visitors more engaged with your site. This is the age of chat, and today’s millennials and Gen Z-ers who spend their lives communicating via WhatsApp, Facebook chat, Snapchat and the rest are more comfortable with this medium than any other.
Keep the chat personal with a name and a face, and if you have to leave it in the hands of a chatbot while nobody is around, that’s fine, as long as you make the fact clear to visitors and let them know when you will be back online.
Keep it slick
Nothing turns people away like a slow-loading site. Make sure your website operates quickly and smoothly, particularly on mobile devices, which now account for more than 50 percent of internet traffic. Not everyone is on a super-fast fiber optic connection, and you need to cater to the lowest common denominator.
Better engagement means business success
The modern business environment is more competitive than it has ever been across all sectors. Winning the hearts and minds of customers and potential customers is vital to success, and creating a more engaging online experience is a fundamental way of achieving just that.