Marketing your website is all about people. What do the people want to read about? What is your audience interested in? Filling your pages with a jumbled mess of ads and distracting icons is not the way to keep your readers interested. Remember…quality over quantity. In addition, we concentrate so much on the number of clicks and page views that we are forgetting how to get the audience to the site and keep them there in the first place. Think about what makes them want to visit your pages. Let’s get back to the basics and explore 5 ways to truly increase reader engagement.
1. Be A Social Butterfly
With social media being so popular, it is important to include places on your pages to share the content you are writing. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. are all avenues to get your content out there for other people to see. Your current audience is your best advertisement, as word of mouth is still the most valuable asset in growing a website/business. Sharing on social media creates a loyal fan base and builds long term readers. You also want to reach out to them socially too, through replying to comments or answering questions. Being social is literally a 2-way street!
2. Write What Readers Want To Read
The most vital part of your site is the content. But how to know what content to have can be tricky. Basically, to engage readers to the content, you need to: answer a specific question they have, and bring insight to something they are interested in. Furthermore, depth is truly going to make the difference between you and just another site offering the same ole information. Write something insightful, exclusive, and not just a “summary” that offers nothing new. Stand out by being unique.
3. Make the Content Flow
You have to make it easy for visitors to be on your site. The pages should be simple to navigate and provide nice transitions from one place to the next. Add multiple links that connect similar pages or products, don’t have A TON of words on a page (add in some graphics), and just try to make the pages aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, make sure the design and function of the site and its content shows up correctly in multiple forms of browsing. Use larger fonts and contrasting colors to make the words “pop.” Since a lot of people use the Internet on their smartphones, mobile compatibility of your pages is so important. You will lose visitors if they can’t see the content the way its meant to be seen.
4. Speed Up Loading Times
Nothing will turn off a visitor faster than a super slow loading page. The Internet is all about instant gratification, and not many are willing to wait around for a page to show up. They will just move on. Evaluate your site for image size, unnecessary scripts, and energy zapping ads that take up so much broadband width. You may even want to design the site to be super responsive so that it loads quickly on all types of devices, specifically mobile.
5. Be Consistent and Reliable
If you have a lot of reader engagement, that’s great! Now just keep it! Do you post a new article/product/blog entry once every 3 days? Then you better not take an unexplained 4 week hiatus and leave your readers in limbo. If readers feel they can trust you to consistently provide new content that is interesting to them, they will keep coming back. Figuring out the best times to post and sticking with the same schedule (weekly, daily, or whatever) will create loyalty and keep readers coming back for more.