If we ask you – what sort of engagement do you get on your website?
And you’re sitting there like…
Then pour yourself a coffee and read this blog.
Because in 2022, there’s no excuse for poor user engagement on your website.
It’s never been easier to track your engagement metrics and embrace cutting-edge tools to make your website a magnetic and entertaining place to learn, browse, and shop.
But with so much out there and so many opportunities to engage visitors – from virtual try-ons to chatbots and discount roulettes – it can be a bit overwhelming.
That’s why we’re here. Read on to get a handle on what website engagement actually means and 7 epic examples of strategies to boost engagement.
And, if you want to chat about what tactics suit your company, you know where to find us 😉.
So what are you waiting for?
You’ve heard a lot of buzz about this, but let’s quickly address the question of website engagement. What does it mean and how does it look?
Simply put, website engagement means that when people come to your website – they actually do something.
It’s a straightforward indication that whatever’s on your website is worth people’s time.
They find you interesting. They share your content. They browse through and buy your products.
You can (and should) see if any of that is true for your website by tracking your user engagement metrics.
Good and bad results alike will help you improve your web design. Your new, data-driven web design will in turn improve your user engagement.
Here are two common examples:
|User engagement metric||What it means + why it matters||Web design solutions|
|1. Overall user engagement||How active users are on your website ie. how much time they spend there, how many actions they complete, etc.||
|2. Conversion rate||How many buy, subscribe, contact you, or complete another goal||
And if you’re wondering, a healthy website engagement rate looks like this:
Now, we have to treat this matter like nutrition.
You may be tempted to jump onto the latest bandwagon to fix your issues.
But before we get to superfoods, we gotta make sure your regular everyday diet is serving you well.
Let’s put it like this:
You can invest $600,000 into the slickest, edgiest augmented reality software, but if the page takes forever to load, your visitors will bounce before even seeing it.
Seriously, if your page loading time exceeds 3s, your bounce rate (we didn’t coin it, okay?) jumps up to 90%.
Imagine the tragedy.
There are a couple other website engagement basics worth combing through first:
Address these before you get into other engagement ideas to get the most (or anything at all) out of your effort.
Then you can move onto how else to improve engagement. That will pretty much depend on two factors:
Now listen up.
Your target audience should determine a lot of your brand positioning, voice, tone, style, etc.
But don’t forget about humor. Humor is one of the most popular advertising themes worldwide.
BUT, different audiences like different types of humor, so this is where you dust off your magnifying glass and do some homework on your ideal customers.
That much is true across all industries. That, and having an engaging website means that business is going well.
So here are some ideas on how to bring yours through the roof.
Let’s start this list off with a bang. Interactive media is always a good idea under the assumption that you can do it well and that it won’t slow down your site.
We’re talking product demos, videos, walk-throughs… you name it.
Interactive videos can give you:
It just makes sense.
Any time you offer your visitors the chance to zero in on what they need specifically or to get a more personalized, relevant answer to their question, they will be more interested in what you have to say.
Because it will obviously be more valuable to them, too.
Pro tip: combine interactive videos with other types of content for best results.
This video from Nars lets you click on any look on the screen and see what makeup product was used to achieve it.
It’s a fun and easy way to get customers engaged by making their journey as intuitive and personalized as possible.
Wouldn’t you rather do that as a customer?
Click on the stuff you like, get an immediate pop-up answer saying yeah, that’s concealer X, shade Y and it costs $ if you want it now?
Instead of browsing through tonnes of static images like you do anywhere else.
Interactive video makes smart companies stand out with a creative edge, and this works across the board, not just for eCommerce.
Think about it:
The opportunities are endless.
You know you browse through those recommended products when you really love the one you found.
Hey, shopping can be tricky!
We’ve all been on the other end of retail when you end up going two miserable winters without the appropriate snow boots despite hunting for them like six separate times.
Or buying cheap knock-off after cheap knock-off of the product you really want.
It’s simply too tempting of an opportunity to pass up for a lot of people when it turns out a product they bought was actually valuable for a change.
So why not give them the option?
Consider adding a section like:
It’s a simple but very effective fix for eCommerce website engagement, and it might end up in your customers buying more products than they would have otherwise.
Plenty of brands do this, so the idea is not exactly groundbreaking.
But look at this as an opportunity to show more of your flair and speak your customers’ language, because that’s where you’ll set your brand apart.
Here’s a clean example from ASOS:
Basic, does the job, fits the brand. Now compare it to this section from TreeTribe:
Clearly this brand is going for a more casual, peoples’ people approach. Both work just fine.
The point is the same: offer more value to your customers and do it in a way that sounds like you.
Pop-ups can be the absolute worst.
Persistent, slow-loading notes with a nowhere-to-be-found X button you shove in your visitors’ faces sometimes do more harm than good.
We can’t talk about them without addressing that fact.
However, relevant and strategic pop-ups can be great lead magnets, especially for professional services and B2B.
The rationale is simple: people like shortcuts to useful, quality content.
It’s actually not rocket science. You need to put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and think about what they would benefit from.
Focus on providing valuable content:
But in all seriousness, Galadriel had a point.
If you can put a different spin on a popular topic or add something else to the discourse you know would be gold for your readers, we’d call that valuable.
So, step #1: wrap it into a package like “2021 reports,” free templates, ebooks, or similar format…
And link to it from your pop-up.
Step #2: figure out your trigger. Do you want the pop-up to appear as visitors exit the screen? Or when they start scrolling?
Then, step #3 comes down to the same thing we always talk about: making it obviously relevant to your audience and standing out with your outstanding personality.
This is an exit pop-up in action.
It’s so easy, visitors get a free tool, and Coschedule gets their leads.
This seems like a dying breath of a tab that’s about to be closed, but pop-ups like these that still focus on the audience can be really useful for your business regardless of the industry.
eCommerce brands can easily link to popular pages, products, and blogs.
Professional services, especially in trickier or tech-heavy industries might benefit from offering comprehensive guides and free tools like this.
In any case, it’s a pretty foolproof website engagement idea.
You can play with it and make it a memorable experience. And speaking of being memorable…
404 pages don’t have to be boring.
It’s unfortunate when an error happens, but might as well use the opportunity to make the reader laugh or redirect them to something helpful instead.
For instance, if it was a blog your visitors were trying to read, you can offer a link to some other piece of quality website content you have on a related topic.
But whatever you do, have some fun with it!
First off, for eCommerce, if your product is out of stock, don’t delete the page.
You can let customers sign up for an email update for when it’s restocked.
Another good idea is to put the “similar products” or “try this instead?” suggestions so they aren’t completely left hanging.
Use your 404s as an opportunity to show up for your customers.
Even if only to make them laugh. Humor is in demand, and a 404 page that doesn’t make customers dramatically sigh (we all do it) is a win for your business because they will remember it.
Here are some other elements worth considering for your error pages:
This clean, funny 404 is all you’d expect from the famous minimalist Marie Kondo.
Plus, it uses the opportunity to redirect you to keep browsing so you don’t leave the site.
Here’s another example of eggcellent design by Omelet:
It’s obvious why it works:
Okay, let’s elaborate for a second: pun = humor. Omelet is showing some personality and connecting with their audience over what they find funny.
That’s bound to get some kind of reaction from them.
You want to be there for your customers at all times. It’s a noble quest really, and they certainly expect nothing less.
90% of people rate “immediate response” to their question as a high priority.
But how realistic is it?
And what if we told you there’s a way to sort of achieve it without actually sitting at your desk 24/7 explaining the same things countless times a day?
Enter AI chatbots.
Chatbots are great because:
If you’re still skeptical, 67% of people already had experience talking to chatbots over the last year, and the average satisfaction rate with chatbots only is actually 2% higher compared to chats that are handed over to human agents.
For 24/7 assistance, even if your live support isn’t currently available (people want answers fast or they’re gone even faster).
Make them yours. What we mean is, your chatbots can be boring blobs of text and links, or they can have some personality and be useful on the spot.
Here are some tips to improve your AI chatbot’s effectiveness:
|Chatbot tip||How + why it matters|
|1. Make it humanoid, if not human||
|2. Retarget visitors||
|3. Integrate it||
|4. Include CTAs||
Eva is a great example of a chatbot that gives you instant answers to important (bank!) questions.
She’s available all the time so you don’t have to wait for office hours, and she can even handle tasks like your loan application. The name and avatar are a nice touch, too.
For a more comprehensive example, check out Structurely’s AI assistant:
This chatbot talks like a real human, occasional typos, emojis and all!
She’s made to be empathic, understanding, and competent at solving problems in various industries including professional services and retail.
You know what that means, right?
Higher user engagement and customer satisfaction with LESS work on your end.
A proven track record is one of the most important things you can show your leads to convince them you’re credible, experienced, and suited to help them.
76% of people are less likely to buy if there are no reviews available, and 93% of visitors actually read reviews before deciding whether to buy or not.
But having social proof isn’t enough.
What we mean is, if you’re trying to show credibility by rambling on about the details of what you did, for whom, and displaying it in huge walls of text…
To your average user, that’s incoherent and unappealing.
Why would they have to waste time reading your company’s entire history? You need to keep in mind that the slightest inconvenience is often enough to turn them off.
So instead of boring them to death with your lore, highlight what they want to see:
Whatever makes sense for your line of business essentially.
There’s a ton of website engagement tools at your disposal if you’re using a website builder like WordPress.
You can find a plugin for anything.
For trackers and calculators, you can consider TrustPulse, OptinMonster, or any other similar widget that automatically does your math for you and your customers. As for what you should be showing…
…anything that’s relevant to your brand or your customers works.
And this is a no-brainer for professional services industries like finance, but can be valuable across the board as long as it’s relevant to your mission. So we’re talking:
Not kidding with that last one. We actually had someone in mind…
Meet Ecosia, the green search engine:
Sweet idea, and how about that tree calculator?
It’s a bullseye because Ecosia’s entire value proposition is planting trees from the profit made from your searches.
This explains their entire organization in a matter of seconds. Imagine if, instead of that simple tool, they gave you a 1000-word long essay right at the door.
You’d slam that door before you even got to the tree planting bit.
Thanks to this clever feature, your time is saved, you care more for the info, and you have no reason to say no to the proposal.
In fact, you probably want to add to that “trees total” number.
Spin the wheel or spin to win is a clever engagement trick for eCommerce and fashion brands because it gamifies the experience.
Visitors aren’t only offered a code (which is fine, too), they are challenged to participate in the process so they become curious and invested in the result.
Gamification is a well-known engagement tactic used in online learning as well.
It makes things interesting. Not to mention more personal, which is always a welcome bonus.
Anyway, here’s how you can use it to optimize your eCommerce site.
The logistics would include, you guessed it… another plugin.
WooCommerce and WordPress have some solid options and aren’t too complicated to use, but you can also have a web design agency help you with this.
When you’re done with that part, it works like any other pop-up:
So let’s see what that would be like in action.
This is just to show you what a ‘spin the wheel’ pop-up looks like if you haven’t tried it yourself before:
The concept from OptinMonster can work as a template to get you started. That’s always a good way to make sure you’re following the right steps.
And if you want an even better way to ensure success, teaming up with a web design agency who’s done it a thousand times over is probably your best bet.
Website engagement is one of those must-haves on anyone and their grandma’s business agendas.
Now you’ve got some solid ideas to play with. Up next? Actually pulling up your sleeves and getting to work.
Easier said than done, right?
Especially when you struggle to identify what makes the most sense for your business, or don’t have a great agency in your corner to help you put it into practice.
State Creative’s been focusing on results-driven web design using leading platforms like WordPress and WooCommerce for years.
So you can trust we know what you’re wrestling with here. And we can help!