What publisher wouldn’t want users to treat their site like Disneyland? Or at least spend as much time as possible there and do some desired actions. For example, purchase goods if it’s an online store. Binge-watching videos if it’s a streaming site. Probably, reading articles and opening new ones non-stop. And, after all — interact with the ads, too!
All these things are basically about website engagement or user engagement. So how to engage users and make sure you did it perfectly? Let’s straighten it out.
What is Website Engagement?
Basically, website engagement shows how willing people are to stay at your website and interact with it. In simple words, if users visit your website and leave it immediately after, your site’s engagement tends to zero.
We bet it’s not your case, but there is always something you can improve — and that’s why we will give you the top working tools below — read on!
Why is it essential to engage users? Here is what we have in mind:
- Conversions. Let’s start with the obvious things: users will convert better if they are engaged with your site and find it attractive enough to do some actions. No matter what these actions are: a purchase, a download, app installation, or uploading files to your video converter, for instance.
- SEO. In simple words, SEO works like this: a user types some keywords into the Google (or any other search engine) search bar. The search engine shows your site in the results if it is considered relevant. If a user opens your site and leaves it very soon because you failed to engage them, it makes Google think your site is not relevant — even if it’s really good SEO-wise. What’s the result? Your site is ranked lower, and your SEO efforts might go to waste.
- Monetization. When your website monetization is based on ad placement, it’s important that users see the ads! The more time a user spends on your site, the more ads they can see and click, bringing profit to advertisers — and you.
Inspired enough? Here is the final flourish: daily stats from our publisher who cares much about the website engagement — and knows all nuts and bolts of how to attract and retain users:
Sometimes, a daily profit exceeds $10,000 — no need to comment on this much, nah?…
How Can I Measure Website Engagement?
You say: Ok, I got it! I need to do my best to engage users. But how can I know that they ARE engaged?
No worries, engagement is not intangible — you can get precise figures using the right tools and practices.
Before we start, let’s see WHAT we need to analyze to measure engagement. Here are the most important metrics:
- Time spent on your site. The longer a user stays at your website, the more they might be interested in your services, goods, or content. You can’t count on this metric alone, though: what if users stay for too long because they just can’t quickly find things they need?
- A number of pages viewed. It’s unlikely that someone would spend too much time at a website staring at a single page. A large number of pages viewed shows that you managed to engage a user and interest them enough to switch to other sections of your site. For instance, if you deliver news content and a user reads many of them — you might have engaged them!
- Scroll depth. This metric shows how far your users go reading your content. For instance, if you read this article until this moment, you probably scrolled a page at least once. When you continue and scroll again, our stats will show you were definitely interested in reading it all further. All your (and other readers’) scrolls will be saved in the analytic tools and give a hint on how interesting or valuable this article (or all the articles in our blog) is.
- Exit page. This great metric shows the page that becomes the last stop for users and makes them leave. So, it can directly point to the weakest points of your site. However, an exit page is not always a party killer: for instance, it might be a page where a user makes a conversion or the rest of the information they needed.
- Returning users. If your site is engaging enough, users will come back. If some of them come back often, you might have engaged them pretty much! And the great news is you can check it in your stats.
- Social interaction. When you find something exciting, you most likely want to share it with others. So, if your site has some compelling content, users will share it — and the number of their likes and shares also shows how much they are engaged.
- Bounce rate. ‘To bounce’ in marketing means to leave a site without taking any actions: watching a video, purchasing goods, downloading files, or whatever your site offers. The bounce rate metric shows how many users do this disappointing thing.
There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ stats for all these metrics. Your site scroll depth, bounce rate, etc. may vary depending on your vertical. What is more, it all depends on GEOs and devices.
For instance, here is how bounce rate can vary from a vertical to vertical:
- 20% – 45% for e-commerce websites
- 35% – 60% for content websites
- 65% – 90% for blogs, media, and news websites
So, finally, how to measure it all? Here is a checklist of tools we are glad to share with you:
- Google Analytics. Many pubs stick to Google Analytics as a pretty universal tool: it can show most stats you need to check to estimate your website engagement. You can also try Yandex.Metrica as an alternative.
- Smartlook. This nice thing records every user’s session, creating heatmaps showing where users click, what they scroll, and how they move their cursors on your pages. You can also use Heap, Convertise, Hotjar, and other similar tools.
- Google Optimize. Free A/B testing — what else can you desire? Google Optimize allows you to compare different website versions and see which one draws the most attention.
How Do I Boost my Website Engagement?
So you learned how to measure your website engagement and now want to improve it. What can you do? In the next block, we will give you the best working practices and tools — only the ones our pubs love and apply!
We suppose it’s a pretty obvious part, so we’ll be very brief here 🙂
High-quality content. Professional copywriting, exciting posts, clear CTAs — everything that attracts users from the first glance. And yes, the photos. It’s better to show one great picture than write hundred of words sometimes.
Website speed. There are plenty of reasons why your site might be slow, but the result is always the same: your user engagement is killed. How can you be engaged with something that you need to wait forever? The most common tips here are: try to enable cashing, check the hosting provider, and compress images.
Convenient layout. Just… don’t allow your website to look like this 🙂
If you tick every point from the previous checklist as ‘Done,’ it’s time to move further — and engage like a pro! The PropellerAds sales team and a couple of our pubs shared some more tips to try.
- Don’t overload your website with ads. In fact, we always keep telling our publishers about it — and it remains actual for user engagement rates. How can you engage anyone with top-notch content if users need to drag through a forest of ads? You can set the desired number of displayed ads in the PropellerAds self-service platform for publishers.
- Be careful with the OnClick format. We hope you know that Onclick is one of the most profitable formats we offer at PropellerAds. But stay aware! Its settings allow you to show PopUnder ads very often — so often, that your users won’t simply reach your site content.
Be creative with your content:
- Share some free content. People love free stuff. For instance, checklists. They might never read them, but it will attract them to your site, make them stay here a bit longer — and show they are engaged enough to download your free files. For instance, if you have a travel blog, give users something like a Wise Travel Packing Checklist.
- Add some extra content. Suppose you have a very niche site, for example, a PDF to DOCX converter. It seems like nothing can make the site more than a simple online tool. However, you can always write at least a FAQ section or even consider a ‘How to…’ blog — dedicated to your topic, of course.
Think of the extra features:
- Add interactive elements to your site. People are most engaged when you suggest they do something. What is more engaging, playing a video game or watching someone else playing? The same thing here. But what interactive elements do we mean? Switch to the next part: we collected the best of them plus re-engaging tools as well.
When you are sure your site looks and works great, and various trifling mishaps can’t spoil the engagement metrics, you can try to make it more interactive and nice. Here is what we suggest.
Quizzes. Gamification elements are trendy today — and mainly because they are very engaging. Quizzes are also about gamification, and they are one of the easiest ways to make users spend time on your webpage. What’s also great about quizzes is that they work for most verticals. You can even add a quiz to a news website: look how NY Times did it:
A quiz for an educational blog is also a great way to improve your scroll depth:
To add a quiz to your page, you can use the following tools:
Push Notifications. Share your news, updates, contests — anything — via push notifications. It will allow you to re-engage people even if they are away from your site and make them come back over and over again.
In fact, it’s a pretty complicated thing: you need to find the right balance between all your site content, ads, and push alerts. The main risk is making a user too overwhelmed by your website. However, push notifications are powerful and can boost your engagement to 80% or so.
What we recommend:
- Notix – a push notification tool that allows you to segment audiences, set targeting, customize alerts, and many more. A free version is available.
Live Chats. It’s hard to come across an eCommerce platform that doesn’t have a live chat. And it’s not just about customer service! Live chats and chatbots can significantly improve your website engagement as they allow you to initiate conversations, feel users cared about — and finally convert.
What tools to use?
- Live Chat – one of the top popular platforms for live chats and chatbots. There is also a Live Chat WordPress plugin.
- Zendesk – another good live chat tool, also comes with a WordPress plugin.
Pro Tip: try adding a comments section or suggest users contribute to your site.
Email campaigns. Email marketing is alive and does engage users. Like with push notifications, you need to think over the right strategy — not just sending random emails with your updates. You can share your special offers, sweepstakes, new content, or news digests via email — and keep it simple with some ready-made tools:
Related content. You definitely saw those ‘Similar posts’ or ‘Similar videos’ blocks at various websites. Why not do the same thing to create an additional hook? It works great for many verticals, including video streaming services, news portals, eCommerce sites, and more. For instance, here is how it looks for an online shop:
But you can do it for even very niche sites offering some utilities:
And yeah, did you notice the links to the other relevant articles right on this page?… Yes, this is what we exactly talking about and actively practice 🙂
To sum up
If you read until here, you were pretty engaged, right? And we are sure that you now know how to grab your users’ attention and see your website engagement grow and grow and grow! Or probably you have more insights to share? We welcome your comments!