“Engagement” is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot when we talk about content marketing. The goal of content is to drive engagement (and in the end, elicit an action), but that’s not always easy, especially when there are so many places you’re trying to get people to engage.
Let’s take your website for example. You spend time and money to maintain your company’s website; let’s talk about how to get people there and engage with the content that’s there.
How to get visitors to your website
Email is not dead. It’s alive and driving traffic to websites. In fact, a recent survey done by Chief Marketer shows that email marketing and email newsletters are the numbers one and two most popular tactics used to drive website engagement.
Use email to drive website engagement by including the following in your emails:
- Links to your website
- Calls to action with links that direct traffic to your website
- Teasers and links to full blog posts on your website
Think of your email messages as a reminder for recipients of the added value on your website, and include links that make that value easy to access.
Social media sites are a great way to drive traffic to your website by including short posts with links to more information on your website. The number of web visitors that got there from social network platforms is increasing and may be even more effective than SEO.
Do keep in mind that social media is about conversation and being social, not just self promotion. You can use it to drive website traffic, but keep in mind the 80/20 rule. Only 20% of your social media content should be self promotion.
Drive visitor engagement
Original web content
The value you add should be original content visitors can’t get anywhere else. Keep you website content fresh and user-focused. Consider these content ideas that will make your website a destination users will visit again and again:
- Online training
- White papers
Make your blog and video content easily sharable on social networks by including social share buttons. You can even up the ante on webinars by making them on-demand.
Convenient information architecture
Make your content easy to find. Once a visitor comes to your site, they will either find what they want quickly, or they’ll leave. To keep them engaged, the navigation on your site and the flow of information should be logical and easy. This is a great area to use A/B testing because you want to be sure to do the following:
- Use the language they use so it’s clear which links to click
- Put information in a logical order
- Make pages easy to scan and break them up with space and images
Additionally, keep track of where your visitors are coming from and what devices they use. If you are not already set up with a responsive website, put it at the top of your website “to do” list as something to strive for in 2014.
Keep page load time short; five seconds or fewer at the high end. Forty-seven percent of people expect load time to be two seconds or less and 57% abandon pages that take three seconds or more. If your site can’t meet those speeds, adding a progress bar buys you up to 38 second of patience from users. A few ways to increase website speed:
- Optimize your images to load quickly
- Use a fast web host
- Turn off all plugins you don’t need or use
Make measurable goals for your website engagement and track them. There are a lot of factors involved; organization is important. If you aren’t getting the success you want, tracking will ensure that you’ll know which pieces of your plan need modification.
Websites take time and energy, but you’ll be sure to see a good return on investment as you continue to get users to your site and engage with the content that is there. Try these tips, and share with us what has worked best for you below!