How to Engage Your Users
The Internet is a competitive place and it’s no longer enough to just get visitors to your site. You need to keep them, and hopefully turn their casual stop into something more permanent and productive. In other words, you want to engage your user and keep them interested in what you have to offer.
This is the obvious first step. Dry static information is only going to hold someone’s interest for so long, and then they’re gone. Menu animations and flippable pages (click here) for more on the new flipbooks) are two great ways to encourage people to keep clicking and reading.
Learn About Analytics
A single visitor count figure won’t tell you anything about engagement. You need to start monitoring how often people return, how many pages they see during a visit and how long they stay on your site. That means you need a crash course in analytics. Don’t worry; you won’t have to become a statistician overnight. Most good tools, like the popular Google Analytics, will provide handy and easy-to-follow reports.
The point is that you need to look beyond the simple number of hits you get each day. See what’s holding people and keeping them looking. What is one page doing?
This remains a powerful tool in keeping visitors on your radar. Rather than work to get them to come to you, you send material to them. Social networking has its place, but being able to send content to someone’s email is still a highly targeted way to stay in touch.
Gather email addresses by asking people to subscribe. If people aren’t biting, try offering a free e-book or other digital goodie to get people to sign up. Another method is to run a contest, asking for emails for entry.
A monthly newsletter that lets people know what’s new at your site, and possibly even helpful non-sales articles will get people reading. And once they are reading, they’re more likely to return to your site. Don’t spam or send over-frequent notices out, and respect people’s wished to unsubscribe. You want interested people, not just bulk numbers.
Get People Talking
People like sharing their opinions on anything and everything, and these days that means posting comments. Expect to run some moderation as folks are also just as likely to post nonsense or rude remarks as they are to add helpful commentary. Even so, it can be worth the effort to build conversations with your visitors. Reply when you can, to encourage people to return and respond in kind.
There are various tools for including comments, including Facebook, Disqus or various WordPress plugins.
Get People Following
Social media is a huge force right now, and you need to use that to your advantage. Once you have a visitor on your site, ensure they have a way of keeping in touch via social media. Have clear buttons where people can like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. Be available on as many as you can, so that you can capture whatever sort of user comes your way. Once they’ve created that network connection to you, they are more likely to come back later or to follow your posts to stay interested.