Engaging your website visitors

It is easy to get visitors to your website! What is difficult is to ensure that they keep coming back, refer your site / business to people in their network and take an action you want them to! Simply put, the challenge is engaging your website visitors!

There are two aspects of it. One is ensuring that your visitors keep coming back. The other part of the challenge is to ensure that your visitors spend time on the website (they don’t move away) to other or competition websites. We will discuss both.

In business, they say, a very simple mantra for ensuring that your customers keep coming back and spread a good word of mouth is by giving value in return for their time and money.

For whatever you sell on your website – a product, a service, an idea, anything, you need to sell many things first before you move to the actual offering. Yes, trust, visual appeal, ease of navigation, content are all important factors and hence the strategy of engaging your website visitors!

A multi pronged approach that covers web content, graphics, ease of navigation, relevance and accuracy of information is the only way to ensure your visitors stay with the website and take an action.

1.  Trust

One of the determining factors for website traffic is the amount of trust the users have on the website. If the visitor finds out that he can trust you for the information you offer and his information that he uploads he has but no reason to move away. The visitor may arrive upon this, basis his past experience, reviews of others or plain gut feel.

2.  Information / product update

Once the trust has been established early on, the next thing the visitor looks for is whether the site is being updated regularly or not. Are new products / services being listed? How many reviews / posts does your site garner? Does any change in information reflect immediately on the site? If the answer to these questions is yes, the visitor will stay with you, if you take of other factors (that follow) as well.

3.  Graphics / ease of navigation

A webpage that is bombarded with images and graphics or that is too flashy may easily distract many, forcing them to move away (there are some industry exceptions here). On the other hand a website that looks very old and basic may also dissuade your visitors from transacting with the website.

Another factor would be the ease of navigation across various web pages. The easier, the better!

4.  Relevance and accuracy of Information

Another important factor in engaging your website visitors would be the relevance and accuracy of information posted. In view of the continuous change in how search engines rank websites, content marketing – posting valuable and relevant information, is the key to success in future. Refer to content marketing to drive profitable consumer action for more information.

The content should be compelling enough for him to take the action, you want him to. Just follow the age old ABC (accuracy, brevity and clarity) rule of writing.

5. Completeness of Information

More often than not users come across something on a website that they don’t understand or want to check out immediately. In absence of a link to an internal page in the site, the user moves out of the site to some other website that provides the answer.

For all the content you post, just ensure that your website is adequately resourced to ensure that the visitor doesn’t have to go anywhere for any trivial information. This will make him spend more time on the website and get accustomed to it.

Once you have got the basics right, you may try other techniques of engaging your visitors. Offer some incentive (points, member status etc) to make them feel privileged. Many websites do these, you can think of one for your site.

You may also use these incentives for referrals, word of mouth publicity.