On-site user engagement is fundamental to any website owner’s monetization and marketing strategy.
The more time, emotions, and energy people invest in your website, the more opportunities you will have to monetize those users. A website owner’s revenue, in other words, depends on on-site user engagement.
To improve that engagement, keep hold of your users for a longer period of time, and make more money, it pays to focus on the user experience. A usable website helps visitors accomplish their goals and adds value, so people are more likely to stick around, purchase products, click on ads, and so forth.
Here are some top tips for improving website usability and on-site user engagement.
1. Add Over-the-Top Value
If you want to stand out, then you have to be better and different from your competitors. A site that looks run-of-the-mill will get run-of-the-mill business. Average content, average value, and average website design will just blend into the internet’s noise.
Instead, wow your customers. Make an impression that they won’t forget.
Here are a two ways to add value that is way over the top:
- Create a website that pushes the boundaries of technology and design, such as the Space Needle’s site.. Immerse users in an experience, not just “a website.” Most businesses don’t use a fraction of the potential offered by technology. Though it may seem risky and expensive, think of it as an investment.
- Implement customer service that goes far beyond expectations. Though automation is an easy out, people crave human contact and personal attention. The more authentic and real you are, the greater your engagement and loyalty. For example, Dell used social media to turn its lousy customer service into an industry leader.
- Fuse value and monetization. Users react negatively to overzealous marketing, as the recent ad blocking phenomenon demonstrates. Experiment with innovative monetization platforms, such as SiteFuel, an on-site monetization solution that delivers relevant, money-making search results. It delivers more value than users expect from a normal search engine, however, by serving multiple content formats in a visually rich, user-friendly search grid.
These are just a few ways you can go over-the-top.
Instead of finding an edge or “being better” than competitors in your niche, knock it out of the ballpark. This way, users won’t have any choice but to stay engaged.
2. Optimize Across Channels
Watch your analytics and focus on usage patterns.
Pay attention to the calendar. When are people most active? When are they least active?
This information can help you improve the timing of your offsite marketing funnel. If you notice peak engagement times in the evening, for instance, you can focus your social media and paid advertising efforts at that time.
Drill down into details. Which searches bring you the most engaged users?
Understanding the searches that bring visitors to your site will help you optimize your content to meet their needs. The more value you can add through your on-site content, the longer people will stick around to read articles, watch videos, and so forth.
Think of your site as just one part of your business. What do your offsite analytics tell you about your users?
Even if your website is your primary focus, recognize that it’s just part of your funnel. You may have a significant untapped audience on Facebook, Twitter, or other social sites. Your email list may contain infrequent site visitors, thus offering deeper insights about your audience.
If your website is the central focus of your monetization strategy, use your offsite marketing methods as fishing lines. Incorporate tempting tidbits of content into email and social media, then include calls-to-action designed to pull people back to your site.
3. Data’s Great, But It’s Not Everything
Data and analytics provide great information about your site and your audience.
You can learn what works, what doesn’t, what people want, and what they hate. When combined with split-testing and campaign experiments, data can significantly increase your bottom line.
But don’t forget about your instincts.
Intuition, common sense, and gut feelings can fill the gap left by data. The creativity that often fuels killer campaigns, for example, can skyrocket growth or give you viral content. Empathy can provide you with the understanding you need to break past stumbling blocks.
If you find yourself numbed by metrics, analytics, and numbers, take a step back and separate yourself from your site. A fresh look can often give you the outside perspective that gets lost when one is too close to a project.
There’s always a risk of divorcing the numbers from the people they represent. When you do use data, make sure you’re using it to learn more about your customers as people.
These three big tips will help you take your on-site user engagement to outperform your competition. Going over the top with your website and taking your website content offsite will help you take on-site user engagement to the next level.