11 Top Tips to Increase Reader Engagement

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Is your website suffering from high bounce rates?

Are you getting unique visitors but no returning visitors?

If this is the case, you’re not alone.  The majority of websites have people come and go without doing anything; and without really taking a note of the brand of the site they’re engaging with.

In this article, we’ll show you the top 11 tips to improve reader engagement and get people coming back again and again.  After all, that’s what you want, isn’t it?

We all know that repeat visitors mean sales and conversions!

Reader Engagement

Reader Engagement – Source

1. Write Super Content

Your blogs and your web copy should be superbly written.  They should be engaging, interesting, and spark the imagination of the consumer.  With the sales copy, you should ensure that you use concepts from neuro-linguistic programming and sales persuasion techniques… but do so in a subtle and understated way.  The copy needs to be readable and needs to speak to your consumers too.

With article content and SEO content it’s crucial that it’s interesting, well-written and in line with your brand.  You shouldn’t be overly self-promoting but content should be brand confident in its tone.

It’s vital that the content is of top quality; with no spelling errors, no grammar errors, and no factual errors.  By keeping the content at this level you will increase the confidence people have in your brand and also make them want to come back again and again.

2. Keep the User Journey Simple

Your website navigation should be simple.  You shouldn’t have different navigation on every different webpage. Navigation should be consistent through the site and easily identifiable.  There’s the old adage that you should at no point be more than three clicks from any content in your website, and it should be easy to find what you need.  Search functionality will of course increase the usability of your website, especially if you are information heavy.

With sales, keep it simple too.  Three options presented is probably the best approach.  If offering five, six, seven, eight, nine variations on a product you will end up confusing the customer and they’ll go away because of choice paralysis, as opposed to making a sensible decision from more limited options.

You should think of your website as a funnel to your important information.  When someone comes in into any position in the site they should quickly identify your main products, services, or offering and be able to go through to understand more in a simple and effective way.

3. Make the Site Look Nice

Of course, you want people to like the aesthetics of your website.  You should:

  • Use a professionally designed logo
  • Use colours that work and fit your industry and your brand
  • Use images that are not too heavy for loading but are attractive and purposeful

These simple steps will make a massive difference to how people perceive your brand.  Generic website templates just don’t cut the mustard these days, and a custom designed website normally does a much better job. Make sure that you go for a professional company and don’t just ask a friend that knows a bit about a web design to build a site.

4. Do Some Spring Cleaning and Fix Site Issues

There’s nothing that puts people off more than dead website links and images that are improperly linked.  If the site has errors you need to get them fixed.  A good place to start is to pop in to webmaster tools, the Google service for webmasters. Sign up, get your site linked up and view the errors in there.  You can then continually monitor where errors appear.  If products fall out of the catalogue, they should no longer be linked, or should have links to related products.

5. Use Motivating Calls To Action

It’s no good telling people all about different products but then not leading them to make a decision.  You should encourage visitors to make choices by offering calls to action.  ‘Click here’ is not particularly inspiring but may work in your market. ‘Discover more here’ might work better.  ‘Find out more’ is always interesting because that is a soft way to get people to the next stage in the sales process.

You can of course engage with people by requesting their contact details in order to get back to them.  ‘Call me back’ features often work very well as do lead generation and quote forms.  It’s important that you request action from website users and test different engagement call to actions.

6. Use Audio-Visual Enhancements

These days we live in a rich media web world where people are offering videos and demonstrations on their websites.  It’s possible to talk directly to your consumers through an embedded video or product demonstration that really can have a massive impact.  The visual side of websites has become more and more important as broadband speeds have increased and people are able to engage with heavier websites.  The average broadband speed is 10Mbps these days in the UK and therefore you can put up good quality streaming videos that will say a lot more to your customers a lot faster.

7. Pose Questions

Question

Question – Source

In your web content you should continually pose questions.

“Would these help you?”

“Are you looking for a solution to this problem?”

“Are there any other ways to do this?”

“Is this the best product on the market?”

When you’re talking about your products, get people thinking about the ways they do things now and how your products can make their life easier.  If your content is predominantly blog-related, and not necessarily directly related to your products, again get people talking and get people thinking.  You need to get people answering questions and engaging with your post.  When you have a rich base of loyal contributors to your posts you’ll have a rich base of loyal consumers that emerge very quickly.

8. Request Suggestions

When it comes to both content and products it’s important that you engage with your consumers by requesting suggestions.  It could be that they can request enhancements to your software product or your design portfolio.

It could also be that they request answers to certain questions so that you can explain to them from an industry expert standpoint.

Getting this type of interaction builds you as an authority in the field and also enhances your reputation as a flexible provider of services.

9. Interview Authority Figures

In order to gain a competitive advantage in your market place it’s always good to speak with authorities in your industry.  By doing interviews in your blog section, or directly on your product pages, you can gain massive exposure and also build your brand.  Just by speaking to someone on your website regarding your products or the industry, you immediately raise your level of regard in the industry.  Build a reputation and you will build the brand; build the brand and you will build a following.

10. Incentivize with Quizzes or Competitions

Many websites will offer regular competitions or quizzes in order to attract people back.  If you have something that you can offer with perceived high value then you can offer it to consumers through a prize draw or some other type of competition.

Ensure that you do everything legitimately for local regulations so that you don’t end up needing licenses and not having them.  That will be bad for your brand.

By offering quizzes or rewards at the bottom of your emails, through tweets, through other social media, and on your posts, you can really start engaging with people by offering them something for nothing.

11. Use the Available Data

stats

stats

It really is a great idea to get to the bottom of the data that comes in through Google analytics, Webmaster Tools, and any other statistics program that you have for your website.

Additionally, ask questions of the consumers that you interact with and run polls and surveys, either through your website or over the phone, in order to gain more information about the demographics of your target consumers (and also of course their preferences).  By doing this, you can target your marketing more keenly at the people you’re looking to advertise to and can gain better conversion rates; spending less, earning more.

So there you have it, my top 11 tips for increasing reader engagement.  You really do have to think from the point of view of the person visiting your website to ensure that you provide them with some added value to keep them coming back again and again.  They need to be interested and motivated. Most of all . . .  as soon as they arrive, you have to grab their attention.

The process of a sale involves grabbing attention, developing interest, building the desire for your products and your industry and then encouraging them to take an action.  Your website should tick all these boxes through the various forms of interaction that propel reader engagement to the next level.

Hey, am - the CEO and Founder of the Guest Crew Influencer Marketing Community and a full time Blogger. Follow me on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook.


11 responses to “11 Top Tips to Increase Reader Engagement”

  1. It is always a difficult task for converting the visitors into readers.

    By following the methods you have shared, we can easily increase their stay in our blog and also engage them with our contents by sharing and going through other posts also.

    This would indirectly also help in reducing our Bounce Rate which is a good sign to rank our site top in Search Engine Result Page.

    • Uttoran Sen says:

      Hey Shathyan,
      thanks for your comments,

      Yeah, absolutely agree with you, converting visitors into loyal readers is one tough job!
      also, bounce rate is becoming a real huge ranking factor, must work on it and keep it low,

      cheers,
      Uttoran Sen,

  2. Martin says:

    Want to add something about Pinterest. It gives people a visual road map, so there doesn’t have to be any reading going on, yet people are still discovering content on your site. Linking a picture on a blog post to Pinterest is a nice level way of getting people to go look at your Pinterest boards in the first place.

    • Uttoran Sen says:

      Hey Martin,
      thanks for your comments and welcome to Guest Crew,

      agree with you on Pinterest. visual is much more appealing to readers and a great way to discover content,
      regards,
      Uttoran Sen,

  3. Reginald says:

    Hi there,

    Nice write up. For me, if you want your audience to stay longer, put in Slideshare, Youtube video or even Infographic.

    Extremely useful and definitely must try for long article 🙂

    Reginald

    • Uttoran Sen says:

      Hi Reginald,
      Excellent suggestion about infographics – and great timing too 😛
      An infographics is coming, hopefully early next week.

      cheers,
      Uttoran Sen,

  4. Gautams says:

    New to your blog & really like what you have shared here. Nice post helping me lot. Thanks for share

  5. Denis D. says:

    One of the key factors that you mentioned is a professionally designed logo and website. Having a professionally designed logo helps you establish a brand and having a unique theme for your site separates you from the rest as unique and different. I think these are some of the most important elements in order to keep increasing loyal readers apart of course from creating quality and niche relevent content.

  6. In my experience providing invaluable information that solves a readers problem and being very efficient in the way your article is formatted really helps.
    For example no one likes to read long paragraphs, so split your work into short and sweet ones. Add pictures and that’s just icing on the cake.
    The colors you choose also help. Great points in your article by the way.

    • Uttoran Sen says:

      Hey Ricardo,
      welcome to Guest Crew and thanks for your comments,

      absolutely agree with you – smaller paragraphs, one liners – catchy sub-heads all helps.
      Glad to know that you liked the points,

      thanks,
      Uttoran Sen,

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