User engagement on websites is critical for anyone who wants to monetize their content.

To stay competitive in today’s digital environment, you need to grab attention and hold it. Mastering these skills is straightforward, but it does take some work.

Following these 3 fundamental steps will help you earn more money and keep up with your competition in today’s world.

1. Perform Data-Driven Research

Research is required throughout the lifecycle of your website. Here are the core areas you need to stay on top of when building and maintaining your website and content marketing program:

Audience Research

Use data to learn about your audience and their informational needs. Discover how your product or solution solves that need, and find the content that fills this audience’s information gap. “Educational marketing” positions your site as an authority, builds thought leadership, and increases loyalty.

Industry Research

Use content recommendation and content monitoring tools to learn about the industry. You should create a system to continuously track the trends within your marketplace, so you can exploit popularity spikes and predict which way the wind is blowing.

Vendor Research

As we’ll see below, the fast-growing advertising and monetization space constantly changes. There are always new players in the internet marketing world, so keep tabs on which ones offer you the best value, the best returns, and the best bang for your buck.

2. Create the Right Content

Today, SEO and content marketing need to be unified.

As far back as 2013, search engine specialists were speculating that human engagement might be considered a ranking signal. Today, the situation is even more pronounced, as circumstantial data points toward engagement rates being used as a ranking signal. We’re not there yet, but we’re probably on the way.

SEO isn’t the only reason to create the right content for your users, however.

Engagement plays a critical role in all online monetization methods. Though optimal engagement models vary from business to business, every business needs to engage users to a certain extent. Whether you are selling a product or building a mobile video game, you need to grab users’ attention and hold it long enough to profit from it.

Based on your audience research and your business model, design the right content that fits your marketing and your product. In some cases, the content itself will be the product. In others, it will be used to sell a product.

Content-based websites will need content that is informative, entertaining, and ultimately engaging. Apps will need to provide a service that fills a need within a user-friendly interface.

Always experiment with new content formats. As technology evolves, so does the consumer, and, therefore, so does the playing field.

Infographics, which are very shareable and easy to understand, quickly grew in popularity and are now a common content format. The same is true with video. In the future, the same may become true for other types of content, such as augmented reality and virtual reality.

 3. Engagement Optimization

Once you have performed your research, established your user engagement model, and planned out your monetization strategy, it’s time to optimize your engagement rates.

Here are a few tips for increasing engagement on your website, blog, or other digital property:

Use analytics to learn refine your content strategy

Analytics are the bread and butter of any effective online marketing program. Use them to keep researching and optimizing your funnel.

Implement user testing and split-testing

Split-testing is another fundamental strategy for your success. Content and campaigns should also be split-tested, including email campaigns, landing pages, opt-in forms, and so on.

Find content monetization platforms that add value

Interruption advertising annoys and deters users, so find platforms that monetize and add value simultaneously. CodeFuel’s SiteFuel solution, for instance, delivers relevant search results and content recommendations in a visually rich, user-friendly grid. The more native and less noticeable your monetization solution, the better it will be for your customers and your bottom line.

Use content promotion tools to promote your content across networks of sites

Find a programmatic content recommendation network to increase your reach and bring more users back to your site. This will help drive traffic to your website, which is the first step towards engaging users.

Install recommendation tools on your site to recirculate traffic, decrease bounce rate, and increase retention rates

A recommendation engine helps to deliver relevant on-site content to users, increasing time on site. The longer you can hold users’ attention, the more you will be able to grow brand awareness, build loyalty, and increase user retention.

Segment and go granular so you can personalize and predict

In today’s data-driven world, the most advanced data scientists win. Stay up to date with the latest in analytics: today, it means going granular and employing multi-dimensional data modeling.

 

No matter what business you’re in, whether you’re a content marketer or an app developer, user engagement must be a central pillar of your monetization strategy. Following these 3 steps will help you keep hold of your customers for longer periods of time so you can stay competitive and boost your bottom line.

User Engagement 3 Basic Steps to Increase User Engagement on Websites