Audience Engagement: What It Means to Your Website and 7 Tips to Increase It
If you think creating and setting up your own website for your online store completes the job, you need to think again because it is only actually the beginning of your online journey. What’s next is to ensure strong audience engagement, oftentimes also referred to as user engagement, to help your site rank. What does this mean? Read on.
What is audience engagement?
Do you remember how you visited a site or an online store in the past? You either stayed, went through the content, and followed the call to action or bounced straight out of ther. Audience engagement or user engagement refers to your visitors appreciating your content and sticking around to absorb it and convert into a customer. If your engagement is high, there is a higher chance of developing loyalty among your customers.
There are various types of user engagement, and the following are some of these:
- Comments and discussions
This is called active participation because your audience participates in polls, surveys, quizzes, and other content. They may also interact with your chatbot if you have any.
- Social sharing
When you have an online store, it should also have social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are linked to your store's website, so the mere act of clicking on any of these share buttons is already user engagement.
- Reading content
The first 7-10 seconds of a visitor landing on your online store is crucial because he can opt to leave your page anytime at this point. The number of times a user does this is called the bounce rate. However, if they stay, read your content, open your site's other pages, and comes to visit on another day is a type of user engagement.
But why is audience engagement important to your online store?
Why is engagement important?
There are a lot of reasons why businesses and marketers believe in the importance of audience engagement to your business.
1. It’s an affirmation
How does it feel to see high audience engagement on your business? When people engage with your site and content, it is an affirmation of your strategy and direction. It tells you that you are successfully targeting the right audience, creating the right content, and employing the correct SEO strategies.
Visitors that share your content like videos, photos, articles, and updates on social media help you reach a wider audience; therefore, expanding your market and brand awareness. This is especially more effective if you keep the commenting feature of your posts on.
3. It promotes authenticity
We may not see our customers, visitors, and clients in person but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to know if you and your services are authentic. When you regularly engage with your audience, they will realize that you mean business and that you really do exist. This is important, especially in today’s world where fakeness has become widespread.
7 tips to increase audience engagement
1. Website loading speed matters…a lot!
If you want your visitors to stay and browse your pages and have a good customer experience, you’ve got to give them fast loading times. Though their internet connection plays a part in this, you should employ strategies to keep your loading speed high. Apparently, visitors care more about how fast they can see what’s on your site than all the web design and layout you have there. Also, it’s an important factor in making your site rank on Google search pages. You can test your online store's page loading speeds through tools like Pingdom.
2. Go for a simpler and straightforward design
We often associate user engagement with an extravagant web layout and design, but this is not always the case. In fact, such can cause confusion that can eventually lead to a high bounce rate.
What to do?
- Keep it simple. Make sure that your menu is easily visible. It should take the center stage so your visitors can easily navigate and know where to go, eventually leading to them responding to your call to action.
- Use plain colors. Whites, blacks, and light colors should dominate your layout to make the other elements pop. Also, steer clear from complex fonts and prefer simple and easily-readable ones.
- Add a search box. Help your visitor find what they are looking for easily by adding a search box.
3. Have a good internal linking structure
Aside from the fact that internal linking is great for SEO, it can also help your visitors navigate your online store more easily. When they come across these links, they can click on them, and they’ll be automatically taken to the next page. In order to make your links effective, these should have a descriptive anchor text and should be relevant.
4. Create relevant content
Content is important because that’s what visitors read. The longer the article they are reading, the longer they stay on your online store, but this is only true if your content is interesting enough. So how long is a good length? Between 1,000 to 2,000 words should be good.
However, some visitors might find articles this long boring. So, to make it contribute to your user engagement, here are some tips:
- Use bullets. If you have a list like this one, use bullets because these make the overall article appear more organized and easier to read.
- Use subheadings. Subheadings divide your articles into shorter parts, making it seem like your visitors are reading shorter articles.
- Put enough spacing. Don’t overcrowd your pages with so much text. After every bullet or subheading, leave a good amount of space.
- Use photos and videos. People are generally visual, so it helps to break the monotony with images and videos.
5. Create a chatbox
This is a growing trend today because it is like having a sales representative that’s ready to assist your visitors. It shouldn’t dominate the entire page but should also be visible enough for visitors to see it. It should be friendly and enticing.
6. Use a responsive design
It isn’t a surprise that according to a report, 52.7% of the world’s population in 2015 accessed the internet using their mobile phones. This means that you should make your online store mobile responsive in order to promote audience engagement. Imagine the frustration of your visitors when your store is everywhere on their device’s screen because it isn’t mobile responsive.
7. Place related content
Otherwise called backlinking, this can help visitors believe that you know what you’re talking about. For example, you have cited a study and some figures. It will help if you link this back to its source so that your reader will know that it’s authentic.
Audience engagement is beneficial to your business in so many ways. You should take advantage of it and make your website work.
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