Creating a website is the easy part, but getting engagement on it is a completely other picture.
With more and more businesses becoming online post-Covid-19, it has become essential to grow website traffic and more importantly, increase website engagement. Doing so will result in greater sales and ensure you gain a higher return on investment from this platform.
In this article, we will discuss in detail not only what is meant by website engagement, but also discuss why it is important and how you can increase it to maximize online sales.
Website engagement is the process of analyzing how well your website engages its users, that is, for how long site visitors are likely to stay active on your website and take meaningful actions like subscribing or purchasing products/services.
Not only does increased website engagement result in high sales but also aids in building customer loyalty. A high user engagement means a better website experience which convinces the user to return to the website again for more purchases as well as recommend it to their circle of family and friends.
So, how does one go about increasing website engagement? As daunting as it may seem, it isn't too complex to increase user engagement and can be accomplished by implementing the below-mentioned strategies.
Personalizing your website to display specific content tailored to each user's needs, location, behavior, interests, and other factors, can greatly enhance user experience - causing more and more users to become loyal customers.
An example of this is Amazon which provides customer-specific personalization based on name and address. Their product recommendations are based on browsing behavior and previous purchases, ensuring that each customer's specific interests are reflected in their product recommendation.
Another great way to increase website engagement is to give your site visitors control over what they want to see. For example, when users visit Y Combinator's job web page, they are greeted with a video message (as seen on the bottom right), asking web visitors about their purpose and redirecting them to the right web pages.
Why does this help? Users interact with websites differently based on their purpose behind viewing them. Some are more advanced in the sales funnel and are ready to buy but others are just navigating your site to find the information they're in search of.
Enabling visitors to customize web elements ensures you don't scare them away by pressurizing them for an action they're not ready to take.
Website load speed is crucial in determining whether your website visitors become customers or not.
For 70% of consumers, page speed impacts their willingness to purchase from a website. Slow load speed, therefore, adversely affects the website's conversion rate by increasing the bounce rate. In order to create and retain customers, it is imperative that you reduce your website loading time.
Incorporating social proof such as customer testimonials, celebrity endorsements, and social media shares, into your website design, particularly near the call-to-action buttons, adds legitimacy to your website. It also adds a personal touch to the overall user experience and convinces the end user to take meaningful actions like subscribing or purchasing your product/service.
Take the example below of Grammarly. Right below the 'Go Premium' call to action button, Grammarly shows a review from Forbes. Since Forbes is a credible company, any person new to Grammarly's product will be influenced to try it.
As the number of mobile users increases day by day, having a responsive website that adjusts to the user's devices is not voluntary but rather mandatory.
If your website isn't responsive on mobile devices, your viewers would have to pinch and zoom to see images and videos. It is very likely that they will avoid the hassle and move on to competitor websites that are more responsive and mobile-friendly, thereby reducing customer engagement and adversely affecting conversion rates.
Businesses use live chat to have website conversations with their customers in real time. If a person browsing your website faces any difficulty or has a query, they can quickly and easily reach out and ask a chat agent to help them.
With a busy life on the go, a lot of customers just don't have the time or patience to wait for an email or make a phone call. Live chat gives them immediate results, greatly enhancing user experience and increasing website engagement. Moreover, the user is more likely to revisit the website and order again because as they say time is money and should not be wasted.
The below example from Butter shows a live chat on their website. Not only are there live agents ready to assist but also help articles to guide users if they prefer looking for answers themselves.
We all love free things! Tap into the human psyche and excite your user by offering something free such as e-books or free product samples.
Remember to create content that is valuable for your target audience. If you're a B2B SaaS product offering social media automation services, giving your customers Starbucks gift cards wouldn't make sense.
You're better off giving them a free checklist of the process of creating a viral social media post. This will enhance user engagement and encourage potential customers to purchase from your brand in the near future.
In order to gain the users' attention, it is essential that your website design is attractive and visually striking but at the same not too overloaded.
This can easily be achieved by reducing visual clutter and adopting a minimal design layout - making it easier for the user to understand important content. Highlighting essential information or increasing white spaces around them will also grab the customer's attention at the first glance.
For example, BEAM shows a moving torch to provide a spotlight on its main USP.
Incorporating your social media accounts in your website design will also make the website more appealing to visitors and increase engagement on your website.
Encouraging customers to visit the company's social media accounts and like, share, and comment on your posts will not only increase the website's visibility and create more awareness but also provide a more personalized touch, enhancing the overall user experience.
Important tools to use in order to understand how people engage with your website are heatmaps and session recordings.
Heatmaps show a graphical representation of data where values are represented by color. Website heatmaps specifically show what engages your visitors and what doesn't. They show data related to what visitors do on your website; what buttons they click upon, how far they scroll down on the website, what content they read, and what content they simply ignore!
Similarly, session recordings show mouse movement, clicks, taps, and scrolling across the website. Both these tools help understand user behavior and can be used to improve user website experience by fixing issues and working on elements that make the website more appealing and engaging for the user.
For instance, if heatmaps and session recordings show that people don't scroll past 25% of your website, you can add social proof over there to engage visitors.
Another very important strategy to improve user experience and increase customer engagement is A/B testing. A/B testing encapsulates making changes to your website and then comparing them side by side. This is executed by making two versions of website elements (say, a call to action button) and then showing both the versions to half of your target audience to evaluate which is more popular and successful.
Along with implementing these strategies, it is very important to take into account the below-mentioned website engagement metrics to get the complete picture of your website performance and user engagement.
As the name implies, this metric calculates the average time spent on each page of the website by all non-exit users and can be calculated as follows:
Average time on page: Total time on page / Total page views - (Total exits + bounces)
Average session duration calculates the average time of each session on your website where a session begins the moment the user visits your website and ends when the user leaves the website or closes it.
It can be calculated using the following formula:
Average session duration = Total session duration / Total number of sessions
The returning visitors rate is also a significant metric as it gives insight into customer loyalty. By studying which pages customers returned to, companies can evaluate their marketing communications and website performance.
Returning visitors = Number of repeat visitors / Number of unique visitors
Scroll depth depicts how far website visitors are scrolling down your webpage and is measured as a percentage of the total page content. It can be categorized into vertical and horizontal scroll depth.
Vertical scroll depth describes how far the customers have scrolled from the top of the webpage all the way to the bottom whereas horizontal scroll depth shows how far the user has scrolled to the right of the webpage.
By calculating scroll depth and understanding how much the user has scrolled the website, companies can identify what content the visitors are viewing and what they are missing out on. This allows them to evaluate how to optimally place content on the website to maximize user ease while at the same time improving user experience.
Click depth refers to the number of clicks it takes to reach a specific webpage from the homepage. Every website's goal is to make it as easy as possible for the user to reach their desired content on the website.
Ideally, it should take users three clicks or a maximum of four to reach their relevant information from the homepage. If it takes more clicks for the user to find what they are looking for, it is very likely the user is facing difficulty and will exit the website.
Both these metrics help get insight into the user's experience of one's website. By taking account of both these depths and taking steps to improve these scores, we can greatly enhance user experience and engagement.
Perhaps one of the most important metrics is the bounce rate which depicts the percentage of customers that landed on your website but quickly exited without taking any meaningful action like filling a form, making a purchase, or subscribing to your newsletter.
The bounce rate can be calculated using the following formula:
Bounce rate = Single-page sessions / Total sessions
A high bounce rate is a clear indication that there are issues that require attention and need to be fixed because they are driving the customer away. Reducing the bounce rate directly causes an increase in the conversion rate.
Below mentioned are certain tools that you can use to improve user engagement.
Relevic is a website engagement tool that lets you personalize experiences based on location and time. It is free to start and takes no time to get started.
For example, a clothing website can use Relevic to allow customers from Australia to view their summer collection while at the same time, their American clients can view their winter collection.
As mentioned above, heatmaps and session recordings are a great way to evaluate website engagement. Hotjar is one analytical tool that allows the user to gather this feedback data with the help of heatmaps, session recordings, surveys, and feedback widgets.
Another widely popular analytical tool is Google Analytics which provides various analytical metrics, like average session duration, bounce rate, time spent on page, etc., that can be used to gain insight into the website's performance.
By following the above-mentioned strategies to increase website engagement, companies can easily make their website structure and design more appealing and engaging for their customers, while the different metrics and tools described can help understand what's lacking and what can be done to enhance user experience.
All of this will definitely better website user engagement, reduce bounce rate, and result in higher conversion rates.
Want to create personalized website experiences completely free of cost? Start using Relevic today!
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