Let’s face it: a website is only as useful as its visitors. A site without traffic is little more than an online wasteland. It might look good, but it’s about as useful as a chocolate teapot in the desert.
And here’s some fun fact to jolt you back to reality: between 70% and 96% of website visitors who abandon your website don’t return. Yikes!
Imagine wasting time and money driving visitors to your website, only for them to leave and never return. It’s the online equivalent of putting on a party that people attend and immediately cook up excuses to leave.
The chances are good your partygoers bounced because they didn’t find what they were looking for.
Or perhaps they got a bad vibe from your website. Either way, you need to get them back and keep them engaged if you plan to start seeing returns on your investment.
So, how do you get people to stick around? You give them reasons to stay by doing the following:
1. Fulfil What Your Headline promised
Promises are made to be kept. If you promise visitors something in the headline, don’t baulk at delivering it.
Getting people to click on your headline is one thing, but keeping them engaged is another. If the content doesn’t provide the value they were expecting, they’ll be out of there faster than you can say ‘content marketing.’
For example, if your headline reads ‘The Secret to Optimising Your Website,’ you want to ensure the reader will end up with an optimised website after reading it. Otherwise, you might as well forget about them returning to your website.
Getting a gifted copywriter to write you a click-worthy headline that delivers on its promise is considered smart. Getting one to write you captivating, actionable content? That’s even smarter.
2. Make Your Content Scannable
No matter how great your content is, not everyone will read it from start to finish.
Sorry, that’s not how the world works. People are in a rush, so they tend to skim through articles looking for keywords and phrases that jump out at them.
It might have worked in the 70s when reading content was like a game of Where’s Waldo? But today, scannability is key.
You don’t want to send your readers away with long sentences and paragraphs. That’d be like serving a hot meal and expecting guests to eat it in one bite; they’ll end up burning their tongues or choking on the food.
Here are a few scannability tips:
Ensure Readability: Readability goes a long way in keeping visitors engaged. You want to keep the content easy to read, so break down complex ideas into smaller chunks.
You also want to ensure that your font size, line spacing, paragraph length, and bullet points are easy on the eyes.
Use lots of headings and subheadings to divide content into sections: Subheadings or headings make your content easier to read and help readers determine if they should read a particular section of your piece or skip it altogether.
Break long paragraphs into shorter ones: How long should a paragraph be? It’s a hotly debated topic, but most experts agree that anything over three lines is too long. Stick with two or three sentences per paragraph, and you’ll be good.
Include visuals like infographics, videos, or illustrations: You’re a creative being with a creative website. Don’t be afraid to mix things up by adding visuals to your content; it’s proven to help keep readers engaged for longer. And don’t overthink it — with websites such as Canva, creating visuals has never been easier.
Highlight keywords and phrases in bold: Getting readers to interact with your content is great, but you also want them to notice the key points. Highlighting keywords and phrases in bold helps the reader recognise important points quickly and digest them better.
Bullet points should be your best friend: Nobody likes walls of text. Use bullet points to quickly break down important ideas and highlight key takeaways from your content.
3. Add Your CTAs in the Middle and End of your Posts
Your CTA should not be an afterthought. It should have its own special place in your content, preferably in the middle and the end of your posts.
You didn’t create an entertainment or information hub; you created a business website. Your visitors need to be aware of that, and your CTAs will help them do just that.
You want them to take action, whether it’s buying a product, signing up for a newsletter, or subscribing to a podcast.
When you provide the opportunity for them to do so, don’t let it go unnoticed.
There are two ways to go about it:
- i) Ask them to subscribe to your email list to receive other valuable resources from you: There’s more where that came from, and only a few clicks away if they take the time to subscribe to your email list.
- ii) Give them an offer: No one likes a pushy salesperson, but everyone loves a good deal. Give them a chance to purchase or sign up with an unbeatable offer that’s simply too good to pass up on.
Here comes another big question:
Are the visitors noticing your CTA?
Don’t worry, if your CTA is cleverly placed, it’s hard to miss.
Also, be sure to use eye-catching visuals or animated GIFs that intrigue visitors and draw their attention to the call to action. Experiment with different colours, shapes, and sizes to see what works best for your website.
Put yourself in your readers’ shoes and ask: “Would I click on this?” If the answer is yes, you’re good to go.
You can use an opt-in builder like OptinMonster to create and customise a slide-in opt-in form that appears only when you have a visitor’s full attention.
4. Customise Your “Thank You” Page
A bland “thank you” page won’t cut it. Give your visitors something extra to thank them for their engagement and show that you appreciate their time.
Provide a few options like:
- A discount code or coupon they can use on future purchases.
- An eBook, video, or podcast relevant to your website’s content.
- Access to an exclusive forum.
- A special gift or bonus content related to the topic of your website.
A “thank you” page is more than just a confirmation. They mark the exact moment your visitor said, “Yes, I’m interested in this,” and became a warm lead.
You want to seize this opportunity and show the reader that their decision was wise.
It’s also an opportunity to start building a relationship with them. Include your social media links so they can follow you on other platforms for more of your content.
If it’s an eCommerce store, you can use this opportunity to upsell related products or suggest products that other customers have purchased.
A well-crafted “thank you” page will effectively keep your visitors returning for more. So don’t let it go unappreciated; show them you care and make their visit memorable.
5. Use Engaging Videos
Videos will only become more popular as time goes on. According to Forbes, over 90% of customers find video content helpful when making purchase decisions.
More than half say they’d rather watch a video than dig through written content.
Additionally, marketers who incorporate videos into their marketing strategy grow 49% faster than those who don’t.
Videos are a great way to engage visitors and keep them on your site for longer. They capture the attention of people who need visual stimulation and are easy to digest since viewers don’t have to read through long paragraphs of text.
The key here is to make your videos engaging.
Don’t just film a talking head; use high-quality visuals, animations, and other eye-catching elements to draw viewers in.
You can also use video tutorials to teach your visitors something new about your website’s content.
For example, if you have a blog about home decor, create an engaging video tutorial on how to make the perfect centrepiece for a dinner party.
Creating a video might seem like a lot of work or too costly. But with the right tool, it can be as simple as repurposing the content you already have.
For example, with Lumen5, you can turn blog posts into videos in minutes. With Lumen5’s library of royalty-free media and the ability to upload your own visuals, creating engaging video content is fast and easy. So, there’s no excuse not to give it a try.
6. Reduce Page Loading Time
Imagine doing everything else right but having your website visitors click away in frustration because of slow loading times.
You don’t want your website to load like molasses, so prioritise page loading speeds.
Ideally, your page loading time should be two seconds or less. Anything longer and your visitors will click away — and never come back.
You can use a tool like GTMetrix to measure your website’s performance and identify the areas to improve.
Remember, every one-second delay can result in a 7% reduction in conversion rates.
There are many ways to speed up page loading times, such as optimising images, minifying CSS and JS files, and leveraging browser caching.
You can also use a content delivery network (CDN) to cache your website’s static content on servers worldwide, allowing visitors to access your website more quickly.
If you’re not tech-savvy enough to do all this stuff yourself, you can always hire a web developer to help you out.
If it’s running on WordPress, you could also look into caching plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and others.
You also want to install smush it — an image optimisation plugin that compresses images in the background, reducing page loading time and saving you bandwidth.
7. Use an Exit Intent Popup
An exit intent popup is a type of popup that appears when a visitor moves the mouse cursor outside of the window.
Before a visitor abandons your website, you can use this opportunity to display a special offer or an invitation to join your mailing list.
This way, even if the visitor leaves, you still have their contact information and can reach out to them in the future with updates about new products or content.
Exit intent popups grab the visitor’s attention just as they’re about to leave, so make sure to craft a powerful message.
You should also make the opt-in form as short and straightforward as possible. Nobody likes filling out long forms, especially when they’re about to leave.
Here are a few things you can do to make your exit intent popup even more effective:
- Invite the visitor to talk to one of your support agents
- Offer discounts or free shipping
- Include social proof, such as customer testimonials
- Use catchy visuals and copy to grab the visitor’s attention
- Offer an irresistible lead magnate
Once you have the visitor’s attention, it’s up to you to deliver on your promise. If they sign up for your mailing list, ensure they get something of value.
Otherwise, they’ll unsubscribe as soon as they receive their first email from you.
8. Write an Effective Product Description
Product descriptions are a crucial part of selling any product or service. They provide potential customers with the information they need to make an informed decision.
For an ecommerce store, product descriptions can be the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart.
Your product descriptions should provide an accurate description of the product, highlighting its features and benefits.
Here are the best practices for writing product descriptions:
- Keep it concise and simple: Don’t overwhelm your customers with too much information. Focus on their main area of concern and provide details only when needed.
- Use customer-friendly language: Avoid using technical jargon or industry-specific terms your customers might not understand.
- Use power words: Use words that evoke an emotional response, such as luxurious and delightful.
- Include customer reviews: Use customer reviews to show potential customers your product is worth buying.
- Include visuals: Include high-quality images or videos of the product to give customers a better idea of what they’re buying.
- Use Bullet Points: Use bullet points to list the product’s features and benefits. Ensure your customers can easily scan the list and understand what they’re getting.
9. Fix Broken Links Regularly
Broken links can put a serious damper on your website’s performance. Not only do they affect users’ experience, but they can also hurt your site’s SEO.
To avoid this, you should regularly check for broken links on your website and fix them as soon as possible.
Once you’ve identified these links, here’s what you need to do:
- Replace the broken link with a working one
- Redirect the broken link to a relevant page
- Remove the link altogether, if it’s no longer necessary
- Contact the webmaster of the page the link is pointing to and request a fix
Monitor and fix broken links regularly to keep your website in tip-top shape. Do this to improve user experience and help boost your website’s search engine rankings.
10. Use the Right Colours
Colours can have a huge impact on how visitors perceive your website. The right colours evoke emotions, create trust and help visitors navigate the site.
You want to create the right impression, so don’t go overboard with too many colours. Stick to a few shades that fit your brand and ensure they work together.
It also helps to consider the psychology of colours. Different colours have different connotations and can be used to convey certain messages.
Here are some tips on how to use colour effectively on your website:
- Choose a single dominant colour for your brand. This will help create a cohesive and recognisable look.
- Avoid using too many colours. Stick to a few shades that work together and don’t overwhelm the viewer.
- Be conscious of the psychology of colours. Different colours evoke different emotions and should be used accordingly.
- We suggest you use colorhunt to find the perfect colour shades for your website.
Here’s a table summarising the psychological reactions associated with certain colours:
- Red: Passion, Excitement
- Orange: Creativity, Youthfulness
- Yellow: Optimism, Happiness
- Green: Nature, Growth
- Blue: Trust, Reliability, Professionalism
- Purple: Luxury, Nobility
Using the right colours in your website design can help you create the perfect atmosphere and convey the message you want to get across to your visitors.
For example, if you’re selling luxury items, you should go for subtle hues of purple or blue. But if you’re a startup in the tech industry, you can give off a more playful and upbeat feeling with bright oranges and yellows.
11. Consider the Length of Your Copy
The length of your copy plays a big role in how effectively it communicates with your visitors. Too much text can make it hard to read, while too little won’t provide all the information a visitor needs to decide.
The ideal length of your copy will depend on the type of website you have.
For example, if your website sells a product or service, it should include enough information to explain why the customer should buy it.
On the other hand, if your website is more informational, you might want to add some details and anecdotes to keep the readers engaged.
When writing website content, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the purpose of this page?
- What information do I need to include?
- How much detail is necessary?
- Should I include any visuals to break up the text?
The idea is to provide enough content for visitors to get all the necessary information but not so much that it becomes overwhelming.
You can also use other techniques to make long content more digestible. For example, you can divide the page into several sections with headers and subheaders, use bullet points to highlight important information, and add visuals like images or videos.
Key Website Engagement Metrics and KPIs
What metrics should you use to measure website engagement?
Think of it this way: how do you know if visitors are engaging with your content? How do you measure their experiences or what they’re doing on your website?
Having a good understanding of website engagement metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you track user behaviour, measure success, and optimise your site for better engagement.
Here are ten website engagement metrics and KPIs to consider:
- Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing just one page. The lower the bounce rate, the better.
Ideally, you want visitors to stay on your website and explore more pages. So, you don’t want your bounce rate to be too high (20–40% is good but preferably lower).
- Average Time on Page: This metric measures how long visitors spend on a single page. It helps gauge how interesting and engaging your content is. If users aren’t staying on your page for longer than a few seconds, it could indicate that your content is not compelling or relevant to them.
- Percentage of Returning Visitors: This metric reveals how many visitors are returning to your website. A high percentage indicates that users like what they see, which is a good sign.
- Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of visitors who take a specific action on your website, such as registering or purchasing a product. A high conversion rate indicates that your content resonates with visitors and encourages them to take action.
- Page Views: This metric measures how often a page on your website is viewed. This can be helpful in understanding which pages are the most popular and why people visit them.
- Number of Leads: Another way to track visitor engagement is to look at the number of leads you generate from your website. A lead is a potential customer who has expressed interest in your product or service.
Tracking the number of leads can help you measure how effective your content is at converting visitors into customers.
- Pages Per Session: This metric reveals how many pages a visitor views during their session. Generally, the more pages viewed per session, the more engaged visitors are with your content.
- Social Shares: Tracking the number of social shares you get can be a good way to gauge user engagement. It shows how many people are sharing your content, which is a good indication that they find it interesting.
- Comments: You also want to track how many comments you get on your website, which can be a good indicator of user engagement.
Comments show that people are actively engaging with your content.
- Engagement Score: An engagement score is a single metric that combines several KPIs to give you an overall measure of your website engagement.
It considers metrics like bounce rate, average time on page, and social shares to give you an overall view of how users interact with your website.
The Final Word
Keeping your website visitors engaged and returning is an ongoing process, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow the tips above, and you’ll be well on your way to providing an engaging online experience for your readers.