When creating an effective conversion rate optimization strategy, having the right tools for user engagement is critical to your success. Website engagement tools come in all shapes and sizes, and there are literally hundreds of them out there to choose from. The number one reason that people navigate away from a website is because it has a clumsy interface or it doesn’t offer the right tools and solutions.
Anyone that wants to succeed in improving their website conversions needs to hone in on website engagement and how that impacts their overall business. Those who aren’t already employing the use of analytical tools like Google Analytics or another conversion optimization platform that includes data analysis should immediately start by finding the right tools to study the data in the first place. After all, you can’t make improvements if you don’t know where things are going wrong.
Keep reading to learn more about website engagement and find out what 10 tools you absolutely have to check out to assist with all kinds of engagement needs.
What is Website Engagement?
Put simply, website engagement is the rate at which visitors actually engage with the website. A site can generate more than 500,000 visitors and still have a low engagement rate, if people aren’t doing more than visiting and leaving. Traffic is important, but getting that traffic engaged is critical to the success of any website or online business.
If people aren’t engaged, they won’t convert, no matter how perfect the marketing conditions may be. Plus, if people leave as quick as they come, the website could experience a high bounce rate and that reflects poorly among search engines and in rankings. There are a lot of different things that can be done to improve website engagement. There is also a full selection of tools and resources to assist with the process, including everything from analytics tools to tools that help optimize websites and generate a more user-friendly end result.
Finding Issues in the User Experience
Like all things, website engagement rates are not something that can be fixed until you know where they currently stand. The problem cannot be resolved until it is identified. It’s easy enough to see that something is wrong with engagement just by looking at page visit times and other user statistics. Figuring out exactly what the issue is, however, is a much bigger challenge.
Usually, marketers will rely on practices like A/B testing to make small, simple changes one at a time until they figure out what isn’t working. Some engagement issues may be obvious and easy to fix, while others might be harder to identify or resolve. Unfortunately, no matter what they are, the issues have to be discovered so that they can be improved or reworked to create a dynamic, user-friendly experience in all areas of the website.
The first step in any successful improvement campaign, including with website engagement, is to identify the issues that need improving so that appropriate changes can be made.
Tips for Increasing Website Engagement
Implementing the tools below is only part of the solution when it comes to increasing your website engagement. You also have to know which strategies are most effective for engaging visitors in the first place, as well as which things are the biggest turn-offs, so that you can make the right changes with the tools that you implement. The tools that you have are only as good as the information regarding what to do with them, after all.
Improve Load Speeds. People will rarely wait longer than four seconds for a page to load. That's not a lot of time. Get rid of heavy graphics and unnecessary elements. Have a mobile page that’s extra light for easy loading. Do whatever you can to get the quickest page load and you’ll instantly see better engagement.
Fix (or Build) an Internal Link Network. Internal links boost SEO rankings for websites. However, they also make it super easy for users to navigate around a site, even if they aren’t relying on the site’s toolbar or navigation menu. Make sure that you follow internal linking best practices when implementing this for best results.
Make Navigation Simple. If people wanted a maze, they could download an app and play. They've come to a website looking for a product, service, or more information. The sites that make obtaining these things difficult will see low engagement rates. Make it easy for people to find what they need. Give them as few options as possible on landing pages and sales pages, but make sure they can access all areas of the website easily in case they want to dig deeper.
Write for Your Audience. Every audience is different, and as such they will respond differently to various writing styles. This may require A/B testing to find the perfect voice, but it’s worth the effort. Figure out what the audience wants and needs, and how the content on the website can assure them that they are in the right place for everything. Don’t make them work too hard for anything, and make sure that you find the right voice to reach the target audience for your specific niche or industry.
Include a Visible Search Box. Standard search boxes are generated in a size that may be too small to see easily on certain website designs. Many users are coming to a website with a very specific intention. Therefore, if you make it easy for them to find what they need, they are more likely to continue browsing and may be easier to convert. Increase the size of the search box so that it is easily seen and consider adding auto-suggest or a drop-down menu to increase convenience.
Create Useful, Engaging Content. Anyone can sell something. Today's consumer wants to work with an authority that is out to help them, not just sell them something. Creating website content that includes powerful images and useful text is going to set any website apart and keep users much more engaged. Even eCommerce sites have seen significant increases in traffic and engagement as a result of blogging on industry-related topics.
Top Website Engagement Tools for 2020
1. Hello Bar
For all kinds of conversion optimization, including website engagement, Hello Bar has been a staple among internet marketers for years. This tool makes it easy to generate a scrolling pop-up style bar that is always at the top of the page no matter where the user navigates. This makes it easy to find things and provides a great space for advertising or creating conversions for a variety of needs.
While there are plenty of tools that can tell you whether or not people are engaged in your website, there aren’t many that will help determine why. WebEngage includes a unique user form that helps make it easy for users to provide feedback without being overwhelming, and saving the trouble of split testing and hours of research into what issues are preventing optimum engagement rates.
3. iPaper Displays
This is a product discovery platform designed to increase website engagement by putting products and promotions front and center of your webshop. Specifically designed for eCommerce retailers, Displays can be built for promotional sales, themed campaigns and to bring awareness to key brand messages. Add a selection of product images, videos an updated pricing from your shopping feed and your Display will be ready in minutes. Displays are easy to share across your online channels to engage and draw traffic in from every source.
Marketo is a diverse conversion optimization platform that offers a variety of marketing tools and resources. This platform is designed to provide optimal customization in marketing and engagement efforts, and includes a number of different features and solutions for marketers and brands from various industries. Analytics are even included for a true all-in-one solution.
5(& 6). Google Analytics, Pagespeed Insights, and More
With so many different tools and platforms out there offering flashy incentives and big promises, people often forget about the free resource that is Google’s analytics and other engagement and conversion resources. Google offers Analytics for tracking metrics and setting engagement goals, Pagespeed Insights to assist with improving load speeds and finding what users do and don’t enjoy, and Google Trends to offer insight on keyword research, along with a number of other tools and solutions. Their features may be less robust than some offerings, but the price is right and the reputation of Google backs each tool.
This platform is a popular choice for analytics, A/B testing, user personalization and targeted marketing, and other conversion optimization tools and resources. Optimizely is a leader in its industry, offering a solid reputation to back the tools offered, and solutions can be tailored to the business needs, making it easy for everyone to get the perfect engagement improvement assistance from this platform.
Another big name in marketing automation tools, HubSpot focuses on helping with social marketing automation. It can also provide helpful insights and analytics on user engagement and provide a starting point for making improvements to the user experience. HubSpot can integrate with most systems and platforms, and offers a diverse selection of tools and resources for marketers. It also offers segmentation tools and email tracking solutions.
This analytics tool offers a unique selection of heat maps, session recordings, and other data to help brands understand where their marketing is failing and what user engagement issues need to be resolved. The tool also includes conversion funnels to assist with engaging users in the right direction to reach the ultimate conversion goal. It is scalable and designed to work within multiple industries and types of websites, making it a solution for a diverse group of marketers and brands.
10. Social Mention
If the focus of engagement is on social media users, Social Mention is a great tool to have in the tool kit. This resource makes it easy to share posts, comments, and all kinds of user content. It also allows for website content searching to find user information and input, as well as real-time replies to user feedback. It’s a useful tool for figuring out where things are going wrong from the customer perspective.
How to Select the Best Tools
There are so many different tools and resources out there. The first thing to know is that they are all different and they may all provide a solution for various website engagement needs. Take the time to look at the features included, as well as what aspects of engagement each tool focuses on. If the idea is to improve click-throughs on the call-to-action, for example, you will need something that offers buttons and/or pop-ups and other solutions to get the users’ attention.
Choose tools that offer the most customization and personalized targeting solutions. 70% of customers say that they make their buying decisions based on how they are treated and engaged. Therefore, if a marketing strategy targets their needs and provides a specific solution, they’re far more likely to engage than if they were blanket-targeted for a marketing email that may or may not be relevant or useful to them.
Look for comprehensive solutions that include the most features in one platform, and that have the best pricing. Just because Google’s tools are mostly free doesn’t mean that you are limited to using them. There are some tools that are worth paying for. That will be for each marketer to decide for themselves.
There isn’t even a point in thinking about conversion until website engagement rates are where they should be. After all, if users won’t even engage with the site, it’s highly unlikely that they will convert as desired. Take the time to make people feel important and cater the important engagement elements to the user that is intended to make the conversion. Ultimately, it’s about giving people what they want and when you do that, you’ll get the engagement that you deserve in the end.