4 Great Tweaks to Drive User Engagement on Your Site
Remember the ‘hit-counters’ that many websites sported in the early days of the web? Just attracting a large amount of traffic to your site was a brag-worthy thing, something that many websites didn’t shy away from!
Of course, we have come a long way from praising web traffic. The focus is now on real engagement and measurable results from our websites’ traffic.
Here’s a roundup of the most impactful ways in which you can grow engagement and see conversions on your site.
1. Offer Live Chat to users who seem lost or exceed the average time spent on a page
Being engaging is not all about flashing banners and buttons. In the real world, engaging translates to being useful and offering assistance on a proactive basis. Most users spend an average of 31 seconds reading (or skimming through) a webpage. When a certain user seems to be spending more than the average time spent on a particular page, it should send a signal to your backend systems.
Higher than average time spent on a page can mean two things:
- The user is confused and needs assistance
- The user is analyzing the page contents very carefully – probably comparing it with some other site to arrive at a decision
Such a situation is ripe with opportunities for conversion. Step in and offer assistance to your user via a Live Chat pop-up. In the case of an extremely and unusually long session on a particular page, you could consider a call back on the user’s registered phone number to help them with more options, extra information on the products or services they’re checking out or even simply a discount coupon to nudge them along the path to conversions.
Live Chat has proven to be effective in not just engaging users, but also helping in sales and repeat visits. According to this study, 63% of users who used Live Chat were more likely to return to the site for a future purchase, while 40% of ‘chatters’ were more likely to make a purchase as compared to users who’d never used chat.
2. Don’t hide contact details
Dedicated customer support can be a huge expense on a company’s resources, even more so for smaller startups that need to save every penny. In an attempt at ‘cost-savings’ many website owners offer just email or social media contact details on their website. A user usually has to dig through numerous layers of webpages to discover contact details like a phone number. Even when phone numbers are provided, they typically redirect users to an automated answering service to keep costs low.
Unfortunately, by hiding contact details, we are cutting off a huge competitive advantage that helps users make a purchase, be happy with the service offered, and even keep coming back for repeat purchases. In spite of long the wait times that come with many customer care numbers, the vote is overwhelmingly in favor of phone calls as the quickest and most effective problem resolution mode for users.
Display your contact details for all to see. Remember, if your website performs the way it should, you will NOT be inundated with a million calls seeking resolution to customer problems. If it’s good enough for the best in the business, it is probably an idea worth considering.
3. Use persistent shopping carts to bring back users who abandoned their purchase
One of the great blessings of online shopping is the ability to research and compare the best possible deals before committing any money online. However, this flexibility for users translates to abandoned or forgotten shopping carts for the website owners.
Put that little extra TLC into your website by offering a shopping cart that ‘remembers’ your users’ last near-purchases, even if they close the window and come back a couple of days later.
Want to ensure that your window shoppers turn into real paying customers? Set up an abandoned cart recovery email program. The term may seem large, but the concept is dead simple.
Within hours of a potential user leaving your website with unpurchased items in the cart, send them a reminder email telling them about how they have some items waiting to be bought. Instead of being the passive bystander, take concrete steps to interact with your users and see engagement rates zoom.
4. Leverage social media to give product recommendations based on mutual friends
Now that we have learnt what to do on social media for our brands, we are asking each other, how much are these activities on social media actually translating into business?
While there are tools, plugins and applications galore that can help you analyze the impact social media makes to your bottom line, ever wondered what would happen if you brought social media with all its bells and whistles to your website? That is the digital marketer’s new Everest.
Social logins allow you access not just to the social media information and buying behaviour of your users, they also allow you to see who among their friends also use your site. Taking it one step further, you could send product recommendations to customers based on products that their friends bought on your site. Something like, “Hi Susan, Did you try the new mint flavour of our energy drink yet? Michelle just did and she loves it!”
By now, no one needs to be educated from scratch about how infusing social media you’re your website makes the user experience more interactive and engaging. Starting a blog to speak to users on your own terms is common knowledge. Asking users to sign up for your newsletter is not news.
What really makes a difference to your website’s engagement levels is the little extras that go above and beyond the basic features that every website must have.