If you want your website visitors to consume your content, browse your website, leave comments, and come back later for more, you need to make your website engaging. Your website has to stand out to users, especially new visitors who aren’t familiar with you. So how do you go about making your website more engaging? Here are some simple solutions you can apply to your site in a matter of hours.
1. Use Better Formatting and Visual Cues
If you want users to consume content on your site, you have to start by using better formatting. Break up content into short paragraphs, use sub-headers, distinguish different sections with different colors, and make sure that your content is easy to visualize on mobile devices. You also want to use visual cues such as using a visual hierarchy, adding icons for context, and indicators like arrows.
2. Reduce Loading Time
Long lading times is a common problem when it comes to mobile devices. A slow loading website can be frustrating and lead users to abandon the website altogether. You want to do whatever you can to reduce load times for mobile visitors through the use of various tactics such as compressing images, enabling GZip compression, upgrade your web hosting plan/web hosting provider, using a CDN service, and enable browser caching. There are other ways to reduce load time, so do your research and use every tactic that you can for the best results.
3. Offer Multiple Navigation Options
Do more than offer a standard navigation menu on the top fold of your website. Set up cookie crumb links, a section where users can find new/popular/categorical content, a back to top button, and a way to access the navigation menu without scrolling all the way back up. Some websites have taken steps to create a sub-navigation menu for long form content so that users can jump through different sections quickly.
4. Improve Your Navigation Menu
You’ve probably created a navigation menu already but you might want to go back and give it a second look to see if you can make any improvements. Focus on making the navigation menu clearly visible and accessible on all devices. It’s especially important to revamp your navigation menu for mobile devices. You may want to consider using a drop down menu if your menu tends to be bigger due to the size of your site. Then make sure to improve the categorization of your menu and simplify it as much as possible.
5. Integrate Interactive Elements
More websites are using interactive elements to keep the attention of their visitors. There are many things you can use from parallax effects, mouseover effects, transition effects, and clickable elements. You want to incorporate some of these elements to make your content and sales pages more engaging. Just make sure you don’t overdo it as some of the elements can increase loading times on mobile devices. You also want to use it when it is contextually relevant and not use these elements simply for the sake of doing so.
6. Mix Up the Layout
Gone are the days when you have to stick to one single layout for your site. If you have a larger content site, it is very helpful to mix up your layouts. The reason why is that the same layout can make your website appear like a long monotonous series of content blocks. Many content heavy blogs are mixing up their layout to help all of their content stand out. Adding graphical elements like negative space, dotted borders, and different colored backgrounds is also helpful in changing up your layout.
7. Include Contextual Inbound Links
A great way to get your users to discover more of your content is to insert relevant links when it’s relevant. For example, if you created a blog post about creating a meal plan for weight loss, you can link to a cardio guide somewhere in the post. Another way to go about this is to use a related content plugin. If you have a WordPress blog, this will allow you to add a list of related posts at the end of your post so that users can discover more of what they’re interested in.
8. Improve Your Website’s Design
Your website design will play a huge role in your engagement rates. There are so many different elements that come into play such as the color scheme, negative space, typography, layout, call to action buttons, and navigation path. There are also psychological elements like security badges, social proof, and visualization of engagement metrics (comments, shares, likes, views) that make people want to interact. Think about what design elements are hurting you and what new elements you can add to improve engagement.
9. Add More Visual Content
People pay more attention to visual content than regular articles or blog posts. That’s why you need to mix up your content by publishing more visual content like infographics, image slideshows, data-based charts/graphs, social media feeds, and videos. Even if most of your content will consist of articles and blog posts, you want to add supplementary images and videos to add more context. It not only catches the eye, it also adds more value to your text-based content.
10. Incentivize Users to Participate
If you’re looking to improve your engagement metrics, one of the best ways to do so is to incentivize users. There are many strong examples of social media posts racking up hundreds of comments simply because the poster announced that the best comment or a random person sharing the post would get a free prize. One of the biggest benefits of doing this is that the number of comments will naturally influence other users to participate in the conversation and further improve engagement metrics.
These tactics are easy to implement and can be applied to any kind of website. It really doesn’t take very much to improve your website’s engagement. Start with the fundamentals to make as many improvements as possible. From there, try new things to see what works with your visitors. While you’re undergoing changes, always make sure you are always tracking your changes to ensure that they’re actually improving your site’s performance rather than hurting it.