20 Tips for Making Your Website More Engaging
You know that awkward moment when you visit a website that visually seems pretty amazing but simply doesn’t inspire you to click, explore or open any other page so you leave and forget why you even got to that website in the first place? That is certainly not a scenario you want for your online business or blog. The thing that all those forgotten websites have in common is the fact that they are just not engaging enough. How do you create an engaging website, what makes a website engaging, and why it is necessary to engage with your audience are all the questions we are going to deal with in this article.
The need to communicate, engage, and establish a relationship is intrinsic to human nature. Despite the common complaints about how the internet made us estranged, the fact is that it allows us to connect and communicate on many different levels and in many different ways. Making your website engaging essentially boils down to making it relevant for your target audience. But, you also need to think about the technical aspects of your website that can promote or strain communication flow and make sure you provide a smooth user experience so that nothing distracts the user when he starts interacting with you.
Now, let’s have a closer look at all the factors that constitute an engaging website. We’ll analyze engagement and interactivity from the content, SEO, and design perspectives to make sure you got it all covered. Read on to learn more about:
You are surely aware of how creating unique, authentic, and relevant content is an absolute prerequisite for the success of any website. What you also need to think about to make your content more engaging, is how you will share that content and how you will present it to the world.
Know Your Target Group
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times but, here it goes once again – know your audience. Not everyone is interested in visiting your website, nor do you need everyone to come to you – you should aim to attract that precise segment of the audience that is interested in what you’ve got to offer. Trying to please everyone rarely takes you far and that accounts in the online world too. So, once you learn what type of people you attract, and what type of people you need to attract it will be much easier to devise a content, marketing, and design strategy that will make your website more engaging.
Bear in mind that it is also not realistic to have only one target audience. You probably have two, three most prominent types of users. Your goal is to recognize those typical audiences, learn how they behave on your website, what pages they stay on for longer periods, what they click. Then, armed with this knowledge, offer the type of content that they will react to, place CTAs where they will be most likely to click on them, share on a social media platform that they prefer and so on. In case you are running an online store, it will be particularly useful for you to learn about the most common types of shoppers too.
One of the most common mistakes people make is that they often focus either on new or on existing users. But, for a website to grow you need to address both. Learning about your target audience will also help you understand how to attract those new users and keep them, as well as how to establish and nurture relationships with the existing ones.
Create Pages that Match User Intent
Creating specific pages that match the user intent increases your website’s relevance for your target group. The more relevant your users find your pages, the more likely they are to engage with your website. This practically means you need to have dedicated pages that cover certain hot issues depending on who is your target audience.
For example, if you are selling a product that solves a specific problem for your users it would be smart to have a page covering the problem in detail as well as a page showcasing the product that solves the problem. Some users come to your website ready to buy, others are in the phase when they are just trying to find a solution to their problem – both will use a search engine to find what they need. Having specific and highly targeted pages betters your chances of attracting users through search engines.
User-Friendly Content Organization
Your website needs to have a clear structure and hierarchy. Categorization of products and content needs to be intuitive so that users can access every page in some way from your navigation menu.
The way you categorize your content will also have an impact on your SEO. The easier it is for a user to find what he wants the more likely he is to engage with your website. Pyramid navigational structure is pretty common for engaging websites. This type of navigation is particularly desirable as it allows search engines to crawl through your pages more smoothly, which also increases your chances of better ranking.
Make Your Content Easy to Skim and Read
Making your articles easy to read is essential for engagement. You may have beautiful animations and visuals, but you have to ensure your articles are visually appealing too. Endless piles of text seem like they may take too much time to read, or like they are just boring and will hardly inspire anyone to engage with it in any way.
So, the first thing to do is to split the text into paragraphs, make subheadlines, bold the most important parts of sentences and use corresponding visuals throughout the text. Anything that will make your articles more easily digestible is highly recommended. There are many free online tools like Readability Analyzer and Grammarly that you can use to check the readability and make necessary improvements.
Plus, all these interventions will also impact your SEO as the content organized this way makes it easier for Google to parse it and understand its meaning.
Add Site Search
It is hard if not impossible to create perfect menus and many users will find it way easier to jump exactly to the page of their interest using the site search. But, apart from this obvious advantage that allows your users to easily find what they need on your site, site search also helps you learn more about your users.
By knowing what your users most often search for on your site and which page they start from, you will be able to make many useful adjustments and make your website even more user-friendly. This will also have a positive impact on conversion rates and probably even give you new ideas about the kind of products/services you could offer.
Tune Your Communication Tone to Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience implies many things and one of them is that you also use their way of communication. Every social group has its language patterns, typical phrases, and way of explaining things.
The more you understand and use your target group’s language the better they will connect with you and the more likely they will be to engage with your website. Regardless of your niche, you should generally aim at keeping things as simple as possible and always use a friendly tone.
Enrich Your Footer with Relevant Links
Promoting the most popular pages of your website by adding relevant links in your footer is beneficial for many reasons. First, it inspires curiosity in users. Second, it helps them understand what your website is about quickly and last but not least, directs their attention to the hottest topics.
The existing users will appreciate it as it will allow them to navigate your pages faster, and the new users will immediately have an idea of what they should explore. There are many more creative ways to use your website’s footer. Knowing how to add code to your footer could provide you with a lot more possibilities for making this element of your website more interactive and engaging.
Enrich Your Content with Relevant Internal Links
Internal links help you provide a more quality user experience whilst at the same time improving your SEO and promoting your content. Your users will appreciate they can easily and quickly dive into the specific topic, and your website’s relevance may also improve. Just make sure you only provide links to the pages that are relevant to the text.
Make Your Contact Details Easily Accessible
Although the vast majority of your site users will never contact you directly, making your contact details easily accessible helps you give off a trustworthy image. Adding contact details in your footer, on downloadable materials, and anywhere you believe it is appropriate is a good idea for more than one reason.
The rare users who actually want to contact you will feel welcome to do so and will appreciate they do not have to browse the pages to find the contact info. Just make sure your contact details are updated and check your inbox regularly so you can provide timely answers to those who take the step of contacting you.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media usually provide a more informal and relaxed atmosphere for interacting with your users – at least that’s the image they typically give off. People seem to be a lot more willing to make comments and take part in a conversation on social media than on your site pages. Why not use this to your advantage? Make sure you offer social media links on your website. You can add them in the footer, header, add SM widget in the sidebar, or wherever you believe it will work. The more opportunities you provide to your audience to engage the better they will respond.
The thing you should bear in mind, in this case, is that you should only share links to those social media platforms that you actively use for your business. If you have a profile on Twitter that you log in to every once in a while, it doesn’t make sense to direct your users there. You have to be ready to engage too, and if users feel like they are not heard they will easily lose both interest and respect for your product/service. Don’t forget that social media is also a great marketing channel for promoting your website.
Add a Chat to Your Website
Chats are nowadays a very popular form of communication. Not as formal as emails, not too personal like phone conversations they allow participants to feel relaxed and communicate freely. If you want to promote and inspire your users to communicate with each other, you can also create a WordPress chat room and encourage them to discuss and exchange opinions and experiences on specific topics.
Alternatively, you can install and configure chatbots to provide the answers to typical inquiries directly and easily without having to answer the same questions over and over again. If you have resources that support live chat, that’s also a great feature to add to make your website more engaging.
Add Testimonials and Reviews
Apart from the fact that they are like a free commercial for your website, testimonials are also great for inspiring your users to interact and engage more with your website. Testimonials show to your users that you value their opinion and experience.
If they see many testimonials, even ones that are not at all awesome, the users will still feel it is natural for them to leave their impressions about your products/services too. In case you already have some reviews and testimonials collected on your Facebook account, there is a way to embed Facebook reviews on your website. You can also choose some of the many WordPress testimonial plugins and add this element easily to any page of your site.
Ensure Optimal Loading Speed
Speed is everything. None of the tips from this list will be worth it unless your website’s loading time is short enough. Users will find it easier to search for what they need on other websites than to wait for your pages to load.
Even the users who already know your brand and are very willing to engage, are likely to leave your site if the loading takes too much time. Considering how many things you can easily do to ensure optimal page loading speed, it would really be a pity to lose your audience on such a basic matter.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly and Responsive
More than 50% of your users come to your pages via mobile devices. Therefore if you want to ensure high engagement rates, your website needs to look and work just as well regardless of the device. Your WordPress site’s mobile page loading speed and design are of huge importance and influence a lot more than the engagement rates.
To ensure you got this covered, it is best to start with a mobile-friendly and responsive theme, so that you don’t have to make big adjustments later in the process. Bear in mind that mobile-first indexing may arrive as early as 2022.
Research and Use Keywords Smartly
Invest some time to research your keywords well to ensure your articles rank for the right keywords. If users come to a page with a wrong idea about what the page is about, they are prone to leave without engaging whatsoever.
The more your users feel understood, seen, and heard the more likely they are to interact. Producing authentic content that provides real value, either emotional or practical, or both to your users is essential. Even Google’s algorithm is refined to the extent that it distinguishes between a spin-off and an authentic piece of work.
Use White Space Smartly
It is not the amount of content on the website that decides how cluttered a website will seem, but the way you organize the content and in terms of design – the way you use white space. The use of white space also plays a role in how readable your pages will be. You need to leave just enough space between different elements on every page so that each piece of content has enough room to attract the user’s attention.
You may have great visuals, but if you put too many of them without leaving enough space in between, the user will easily get confused and distracted. The same goes for spaces between letters and all the other graphic and visual elements on your website. Try to feel how white space would follow the natural attention flow.
Use the Power of Colors
Using colors to influence someone’s perception is one of the oldest marketing tricks that still work to this day. Colors speak directly to our emotional brain and therefore should be chosen carefully. Besides the traditional meaning that psychologists assigned to each color, there are also other layers of meaning that come from the cultural, and generational backgrounds.
You need to take all these color meanings into account when choosing your logo colors. Creating a color palette that appeals to your target audience, using colors wisely for CTAs and other interactive elements is one the most natural ways to improve website engagement.
Attract Attention with Multimedia
Multimedia content is a proven way to make the user experience more dynamic, exciting, and engaging. Relevant, quality multimedia content is like a breath of fresh air on your pages. It makes the user feel like they are a part of the experience and therefore they are prone to engage with your website more easily. Videos that describe products are often more convincing than images and people are more likely to interact with a video than any other type of content in general. Multimedia content is also very handy for sharing on social media.
Use Visually Appealing Elements
There’s no argument that humans are visual beings. Understanding the aesthetic and design that appeal to your target audience plays a huge role in how engaging your website will appear. Visuals will help you make long articles more easily digestible, you can use them to illustrate complex facts in a simple and appealing manner, or just to amuse the user.
There are many online resources of free images you can use to make your website more visually engaging. If your target group reacts to illustrations, use them abundantly wherever it makes sense. Making small changes in design by adding different, attractive visual elements every now and then is also a great way to keep the user experience fresh and boost engagement.
Smart Distribution and Design of CTAs
Knowing where to place, what to write on, and which colors to choose for your CTAs requires a serious plan and in-depth knowledge of your target audience’s behavior. Too many CTAs may seem a bit too intrusive for a user. Not having enough CTAs may make it too complicated for your users to take action even when they are very willing.
Try to experience your website from your user’s point of view, and add CTAs where it feels natural to take the user to the next step. A CTA does not have to be related only to sales, you can use it to spark curiosity in the user by offering them to learn more about specific topics, direct them to specific pages, and similar.
It may seem overwhelming to follow all these tips at first. Once you understand that the level of engagement depends on the quality of communication you establish, many of these tips will feel perfectly natural. The first step is certainly to use all the analytics tools you have at your disposal to get an in-depth knowledge of your target audience.
Always stay open to hearing their feedback and don’t be afraid of getting bad reviews. Show up for your users, stay active on selected social media, read your emails regularly – the more you engage in establishing a relationship with your users, the easier it will be to make your website more engaging.