How long do visitors linger on your website? Do they engage by reading blogs, leaving comments or liking content? If not, then you need to increase customer engagement on your website, but why? And how do you do this?
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement is about the interaction between the user and a website. This could be users seeking out your content, signing up to an e-newsletter, leaving comments on blogs or a review of a product or service you offer.
In other words, it is when people choose to engage with your website. It’s great for other visitors to see and encourages them to do the same, but customer engagement and interaction is also crucial from an SEO point of view.
There are various components that make up Google’s algorithm – there are other search engines, too, and their algorithms are similar. This is the equation against which bots measure the website. Components include page loading speed as well as whether a site is seen as authoritative and trusted. If people leave comments on your blogs or reviews of your products, it sends good signals to a search engine.
The more reviews and interactions you have on your website, the better but how do you encourage people to not ‘just’ visit but take the time to leave a comment, review or hit the like button?
5 tips for more customer engagement
1 Create an e-newsletter and ask people to join your mailing list
To appeal to users and to get them to interact, you need to start the conversation. There are many ways of doing this on a website, and one is to an e-newsletter. There are various rules for e-newsletters and etiquette too – for example, promising not to bombard people’s inboxes is one of them.
The average email opening rate is just over 21% and whilst this statistic looks lowly if you have 10,000 recipients of your e-newsletter than means you have just over two thousand people looking at your latest deals and ideas.
The great thing about email marketing is that it can be tailored and personalised to meet the needs of your customers. For someone new signing up who may not know your brand, this is a great way to introduce them to what you do. For repeat customers, you can offer tailored deals and so on.
Customer engagement is not a one-way street. It may be a significant boost your rankings if customers and visitors to your site do leave a review or ask a question.
But what happens then?
If you answer ‘not much’ then you are truly failing to leverage the full potential of this valuable exchange. It’s a bit like inviting someone to talk to you and then making no response when they do. Frankly, it’s awkward and more than a little rude.
That said if you spearhead a campaign asking people to leave reviews and you get deluged with hundreds of them, responding to each, and every one will take a long time. There are automated programs that can help you respond to comments but when you have a few coming in, set time aside for you and your team to say ‘thank you’ if nothing else.
Comments on blog posts with no response from the writer do not look good, and neither do reviews on social media platforms. If you are serious about boosting customer engagement, you need to be serious about responding.
3 Get active on your socials… and connect them to your website
If your brand is active on social media, then it makes sense to connect these accounts to your website. Social media platforms can provide useful bridges to getting people TO your website as well as staying connected.
The clue with social media is in the name – ‘social’. This again means inviting people to engage, and when they do, you connect with them. If someone has taken to the time to tell how good your product is, why wouldn’t you want to engage with them further?
Social media engagement means casting your net further and wider, but you need to be confident that your brand is in the right place to engage with your customer demographic.
And when your social media channels are updated in real-time on your website, you are improving links and interactions on your site too.
4 Ask for feedback and reviews
Ask visitors for comments and ask shoppers for reviews are two other means by which you can boost engagement on your website.
• Product or service reviews – when shoppers see others have left helpful reviews, you will find your sales increase too. And they are more likely to leave a review too, usually concurring with other reviewers what a great product or service you offer.
• Run a competition to encourage engagement – for example, run a competition that anyone who leaves a review during a certain time period will be entered into a draw to win back the cost of their order or another worthy prize.
• Incentivise reviews and comments – incentivising means offering something to people to encourage them to leave a comment on a blog post and so on. Maybe you can offer an incentive to your social media followers to take a look and comment on your latest post and so on.
5 Tidy up your website
Is your website written and designed in such a way that it sends a clear message to users that you want to hear from them? If your bounce rate is high, an important metric for all website owners to be aware of, it may be that the site and its content are not conducive to people engaging with you.
From breaking up text, to making it more obvious how people can engage with content, product reviews and blog posts, making a few changes could mean that your users are more willing to engage.
Customer engagement on your website is a great boost in terms of SEO, but also in showing other users and potential customers what a great brand you are.