So you drive traffic to your homepage by the heaps. That’s great!
But that’s just the first part of your job as a marketer.
Now that you have the customer looking at your virtual storefront, the next and more crucial step is to get them to spend time inside—with an eye to eventually getting them to the checkout.
If you are a retailer selling tangible goods, you can easily draw on tried-and-true tactics to create delightful experiences, engage your customers, and get them to “add item to cart.”
But when it comes to the world of online marketing, the rules are constantly evolving.
Here are our top 5 tips to drastically improve how users engage with your website in 2020:
Tip #1 – Interactive Funnel – The Ultimate User Response
Interactivity refers to a 2-way flow of information in which your website responds to a user’s input.
Interactivity can play a role from the very top of the funnel when the user enters the awareness stage and continue through the middle and the bottom of the funnel to the conversion stage.
Let’s begin at the top of the funnel:
Roey Parush, Analytics and BI Director at Natural Intelligence, suggests that with a large enough pool of visitors, you can segment users into different groups. Each group is led to a different landing page.
But how to distinguish between the groups?
Usually, it’s based on shared behaviors (e.g., keyword) or characteristics (e.g., geolocation). Each segment sees different content and receives a different user experience.
Now let’s talk about the middle of the funnel (consideration stage):
This is the stage where interactive tools can truly make a difference.
Here’s an example of a targeted interactive tool that promotes personalization and drives more sales:
For our Top10 “Best Mortgage Lenders” comparison website, we have created this smart loan calculator.
The user enters their loan purpose, desired amount, and credit score.
The calculator then aggregates the mortgage lending companies that fit the specific needs of the user.
Here’s another cool example from LendingTree:
This personal loan calculator displays the monthly payment, total interest, and total repayment according to the user’s preferred loan amount and repayment term.
Below, it offers the user the opportunity to view free offers for this result.
And it’s not just a playful activity; it truly answers some pressing questions your prospects need answers on.
Your interactive content should fulfil 2 goals:
- Increase the customer’s interest in your product
- Encourage them to continue to the bottom of the funnel (purchase decision)
Tip #2 – Gamification – Everyone Loves to Play
Gamification is the application of typical game-playing elements (point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage user engagement with a product or service.
Gamification is everywhere:
- Educational platforms like Datacamp and Babbel, which update your score based on how you perform.
- Mindfulness and exercise apps that send you emoji-filled push notifications when you maintain your commitment for several days running (HeadSpace is the perfect example).
- Rewards programs like one run by Starbucks, where you earn stars and progress through levels based on how much you buy.
Noom, a health app designed by behavioral psychologists to help people lose weight, is a good example of a business that engages the user mostly through gamification.
In the beginning, it asks a user a series of questions, then uses the answers to set weight-loss goals for the user.
The game continues until the user reaches their goal.
Resembles a Super Mario level a bit, doesn’t it?
What all the companies we mentioned above recognize is that there is a child inside all of us. And that child still gets a thrill from games.
To “stay in the game,” you need to turn your user experience into one.
Tip #3 – Think Small – Think Mobile
Mobile searches first overtook desktop searches back in 2015.
Today, it is around a 60:40 split in favor of mobile.
As people have become more comfortable with their smartphones, they have increasingly used these smaller devices to search for products, make decisions, and—yes—even buy.
It is absolutely essential that your website be mobile-ready.
For starters, the mobile version of your website will soon be the site by which Google judges you—whether you are ready or not.
But SEO aside, optimizing your website for mobile is the first step you must take to engage your mobile users.
If you don’t have an app or mobile-responsive website yet, go ahead and get the product team working on one. It’s a 2-month project that shouldn’t cost too much.
Tip #4 – Re-Engagement – Emails That Attract Them Back
User engagement doesn’t just end when a user leaves your website after their first visit.
You can bring them back through what is known as re-engagement: the practice of sending emails or serving ads to users who have already shown intent to convert on your website.
Email re-engagement is essentially a 2-step process:
Step 1 is the process of capturing email leads.
As Neil Patel notes, there are at least 10 ways you can capture leads without disturbing your visitors, e.g., present a popup at the end of your content, offer a content upgrade (for which the user must enter their email address), or add a non-intrusive sidebar.
Step 2 is the email itself.
Hubspot offers 10 examples of great re-engagement emails here. We especially like number 4, Grammarly, which combines re-engagement and gamification:
This is your chance to go creative.
Understand why the user came to your website to begin with, list the incentives that may draw them back, and simply provide it to them.
Tip #5 – Don’t Forget to Measure – Conversion Goals on Google Analytics
When it comes to measuring user engagement—Google Analytics is your best friend.
The top 3 metrics for measuring user engagement are:
- Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors who exit your site after viewing only one page. For a more in-depth look, you can also view the bounce rate for each page on your website. The lower the bounce rate, the better you are doing at engaging users.
- Page views: The number of times a page on your website is loaded by a user. A single user session can include many page views (if the user navigates to multiple pages on your website before exiting). Page views tell you which pages attract the most attention.
- Time spent on page: When it comes to website content (blog posts, infographics, comparison charts, how-to guides), the best way of measuring whether users are engaged is to look at the time on page. If you’re reading this sentence, then it’s likely you’ve spent at least a couple of minutes getting here! So a) good job for me b) take an example from this article as to what kept you reading.
A fourth, underrated metric for measuring user engagement on Google Analytics is the Exit Pages section. This allows you to see which pages people end their sessions on (as opposed to the landing pages, which show which pages they start their session).
If a particular type of page or content is causing people to leave, it might be time to shake things up.
User Engagement Is a Make-It-Or-Break-It for 2020
I’m sure you offer the best product at the most competitive prices on the market.
But if your competitor’s website engages users better than yours does, you will never get the chance to prove it to your potential prospects.
Make it more playful, personalized, and engaging. Google will love you for it and, most importantly, your customers will.
For more user-engagement tips and case studies, fill out this short form, and connect with our marketing specialists.Let’s talk engagement!