How to Make Your Website more Engaging

Engagement is a key performance metric for a reason. Visitors to your site demonstrate that you’ve provided value to them by spending more time with you, interacting with your site, visiting and reading for longer and across more pieces of content. Visitors that you’ve provided value to have a more favorable and longer-lasting impression of your brand and are more likely to take actions that benefit you, whether that’s a purchase, a registration, or a content share.

Making your website more engaging is really about growing your brand and your business, and making the most of what you’ve already invested in establishing an online presence. Within the broader target of “providing value to your visitors”, we can look at a number of different factors to work on. First, it’s important to identify your target.

Your primary goal should not be to engage the entire world with your content. That’s far too many different interests, preferences and purposes to serve unless you have the budget, engineering talent and the algorithmic mastery of Google or Facebook. Instead, focus on the highest value audience for your product and brand. Who spends the most money or benefits your business the most? What are they like? What are they interested in? Aim your website design and content at engaging these visitors specifically. If your overall traffic goes down, that may be a good thing. You don’t want just traffic, you want engagement with high-value visitors who have the potential to convert into clients or customers.

Taking this into account, what changes can you make to your site to make it more engaging to your most desired visitors?

Reduce friction

Take a good look at your site design and performance. Use online tools to measure performance and test on multiple devices and browsers. Your visitors should be able to load and use your website to achieve their purposes as efficiently as possible. Your goal is to reduce friction, to make your site a pleasure to use and meet your visitor’s needs as quickly and painlessly as possible. This means menus that are visible and easy to use on mobile as well as full browsers. It means pages that load quickly and reliably. It means getting any advertising content placed in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with visitor’s core experiences. If reviewing and enhancing performance is outside your in-house or go-to designer’s wheelhouse, this is worth bringing in a specialist consultant to help you tighten up the code.

Boost design

Graphics are non-negotiable in today’s top web designs. Everywhere you look, the images are getting larger, sharper, and more central. Your website needs to harness the value of a strong visual identity and engage visitors with excellent photos, designs and videos. Think full-page photos, parallax structure (where the background image moves separately from the foreground or content), or minimalist, coordinated color schemes to showcase a limited palette and put the visual content first. Sourcing quality stock images for backgrounds and to complement text-based content will become a regular part of your website use and updates. Dreamstime offers a wide variety of visual assets including photography, illustrations and video. Remember that it’s more than just a matter of slapping a stock photo into your template and calling it a day. Choose graphics that have a shared look, theme and color scheme to support your brand visual identity. Try to avoid stock photo clichés. Instagram-style “object” photos can be a good alternative.

Invest in content – three approaches:

Funnel content

A pretty, zippy site is useless without content that people want to spend time with. There are many ways of engaging visitors with content, and your strategy will depend on your ideal customer or client interests and preferences, as well as your brand identity. You may find success with entertaining content; humorous posts and video content. Maybe well-researched, insightful content keeps people like your clients reading or watching. Or informative, practical advice articles and how-to videos may capture the right audience’s attention. Sometimes human-interest, emotionally impactful, or celebrity-oriented content is the right direction for your business and customers. Text and video-based content both have their benefits. Video content is growing by leaps and bounds, but not all audiences are comfortable or interested in watching, so if you’re not sure what your target audience will respond to, testing a range of content types with similar themes and measuring engagement is a good path forward. Funnel content draws people to you because of its targeted appeal.

Product content

Engaging content can also be directly related to your product or service offering, as long as the customer perceives that it adds value to her or his experience. Detailed, desirable product photography, appealing and informative product details and community reviews, as well as a site structure that encourages browsing and makes it easy and fun to shop can provide value to customers in the form of an enjoyable, frictionless shopping experience.

Special offer content

Direct incentives for engagement can be another part of your strategy. You can drive traffic with special offers, giveaways and sales, but be cautious. You don’t want to pay so much to stimulate audience’s attention that it eats up your profits or draws low-value traffic that won’t contribute to longer-term success. Tie offers to an action that benefits your strategic goals for best results.

Boost high-value engagement with your website by removing barriers to visitors in the form of speed, performance, and design enhancements. Starting from that frictionless experience, add excellent quality, relevant graphics for a pleasant, on-brand and entertaining visit. Then make sure your content is appealing to your target audience, meeting their needs while funneling them toward your goals.

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