The following piece is a guest post, submitted by Chris Hickman. Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient with 15 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. Since 2006, he founded GetBackonGoogle.com, helping businesses and websites suspended in Adwords to Get Back on Google.
If you are interested in submitting a guest post to the Second To None blog, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you do things to your website to increase visitor engagement, they are more likely to purchase your products or services. This engagement demonstrates that the visitor has invested some part of themselves in your brand – whether it’s simply that they took the time to read what you’ve written or went all the way to making a purchase.
The more engagement opportunities that you have on your site, the more likely it becomes that you will develop a community of followers that will buy from you again and again. From there, it becomes easier to promote your site because you have a cadre of people promoting your brand with their interactions (witness Reddit, the community of communities).
So, how do you start building an engagement strategy?
Content, content, content!
If you don’t have something to engage with in the first place, you’re not going to get any engagement on your site. People don’t generally haves strong reactions to straight-up sales copy on a lawyer page, for example. Sure, they might read it, but it’s rare that they’re going to talk about it. But if you do something really outlandish, like the Texas Law Hawk, that gets attention.
There are several things that your reader wants when they visit your site.
- * They want the answer to the burning question of the moment. They want the quick and easy answer to ‘how long does it take to boil an egg?’ or ‘what happened on Game of Thrones last night?’ If you are able to effectively and succinctly answer their question and do it well, then you’re likely to get that first hook of engagement.
- * They want you to be yourself (or the company) and not generic. We’re wired to engage with authenticity. It’s up to you to generate that authority and demonstrate the personality that you have through your site’s content. Your website visitors want a reason to visit your site. You need to give them that reason.
- * They want to feel like they belong to your brand in some way. One of the ways that you can do that is by you asking questions for them to answer, or otherwise enticing them to offer their own opinions of what’s going on. This is not to say that engagement needs permission, but encouragement never hurts.
If you make something that your readers can relate to, then you increase the chance for engagement hence benefiting your search engine optimization campaign..
Mobile-friendly content isn’t just a good idea, it’s essential for generating engagement and views to your site. Over half of all web searches involve a mobile device. Thus, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly you will be losing on out a lot of engagement.
This means that if you’re producing something for your readers, think about the device that they’re going to be reading it on. Maybe you want to break up your giant blocks of text with bullet points, or maybe drawing your reader’s attention to certain words within the text. You should also check the responsiveness of your website to ensure that the navigation works well on smartphones and tablets.
You want engagement, but your readers want to be acknowledged as well. When you receive a comment from a real reader in a public forum, respond to it.
This does a few things.
* It shows that you are listening, and it in some way validates the reader’s thoughts. It will make your readers more likely to engage more with you.
* It demonstrates that you want to connect and it humanizes your company. People don’t want to feel like they’re talking to a brick wall.
* It signals to those who are reading but not engaging with your content that they’re safe to engage with and that they’ll receive a response. This creates more engagement overall.
In short, talk with people and respond to what they say. Even if they say something negative.
Come right out and ask
Your readers have just read something on your site. If you’ve done your job well, they’re now eagerly looking for ways to support you or get more information. Place a call to action at the bottom of your post or at the end of the video to tell them what you’d like them to do after reading.
By placing a succinct call to action at the end of your work, you can direct your visitors to do what you’d like. If it’s compelling enough, they’ll be sure to follow since they just received a positive engagement with your site.
The best websites in the world have webs of content rather than individual pieces of content. Each individual piece expounds on some part of the niche, but they connect as a whole to some part of the rest of your site. In ideal situations, content is planned out ahead of time with every article linking to other relevant articles.
Internal linking gives your audience more opportunities to engage with the content on your site. In reality, it doesn’t matter whether they’re responding to an article about X or Y on your site, just as long as they’re engaging with any article on your site. It’s all part of the same brand. So, if you have something that potentially needs explanation or you’ve written something in the past that might be relatable, then put it in there as a link.
This goes back to the idea of ease of use. You want to make your content as easy to use and as easy to engage with as possible. By putting everything together, you’re adding to the simplicity of the site.
Engagement means money. By getting your users to engage with the content that you’ve got on your site, you’re encouraging them to spend money with you. You’re encouraging the trust and the authority that you deserve. After using these tactics, come back with a comment and tell us how it went!
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