Getting customers and readers to your site is one thing. But keeping them engaged? That's something else entirely.
It's common knowledge that the number one thing a successful website needs to do to attract an audience is to create awesome content. Mind-blowing content. Content your readers will love!
But once you've attracted readers with awesome content, you want to keep them going – you want to make sure they're fully engaged with your site, product, and expertise.
This is the ultimate funnel for sales: grow an audience, keep that audience through trust and reliability, and then turn that audience into customers.
And the way to zero in on that second step – keeping your audience – is to successfully engage readers once they've reached your site.
How do you make that happen? By providing ample opportunities for readers to explore. You want to make it as easy as possible for readers to find more of your content they'll love to keep them heading down that sales funnel.
Here are 5 ways YOU can increase on-site audience engagement right now:
1. In-sentence links to more content
This one is (thankfully!) a no-brainer for many savvy writers. Casually dropping a link in the middle of a sentence (Wikipedia style) gives your reader the flexibility to choose what they want to dive into – without interrupting the flow of their reading process.
Any time you mention your services? Link to your services page. Any time you mention a recent article (like this one on easy SEO tips) or recent content (like these brand-spankin'-new blog templates)? Link to it!
→ In-sentence links are a low-energy, low-investment way for readers to casually interact with more content.
2. RELATED ARTICLES (Summary blocks) at the end of every post
This one is really, truly, a game changer. We'd been blogging for months before we realized the HUGE mistake we'd been making by neglecting to include roundups to our related content at the end of each blog post.
Squarespace has an awesome, easy solution to quickly link to related content in a dynamic and evolving way: summary blocks. Select your layout (wall, carousel, or grid), specify which content you'd like to use (choose Blog and then pick a category!) and you're all set.
Want to see what I mean? Here's a summary block featuring our content categorized under Blogging:
This content will automatically update when we publish a new post in the Blogging category, so it'll always be up to date.
→ Including summary blocks that direct your readers' attention to related topics is a perfect way to engage them with more content.
3. In-post [Related] links
Alright. So we've got in-sentence links when your audience is reading along and summary roundup links at the end of the article. But there's another way to engage readers throughout your post: [Related] links in between paragraphs.
Say I name-drop Kanye West in a paragraph for some reason. Well, why not include a quick, unassuming [Related: Kanye West helps us explain 3 blog post concepts for people who hate hate hate writing] in between paragraphs? This content is too tangential for a simple in-line Wikipedia style link but works perfectly as a quiet aside.
What's the benefit to including more types of links than just in-sentence links? The ability to leapfrog to somewhat related content.
→ Using [Related] links betweens paragraphs gives you the flexibility to direct your reader to content that leapfrogs off of a minor, passing concept.
These types of links won't have a place in every article, but are a great resource to have in your back pocket for those special times they're needed!
4. Resource galleries, libraries or lounges
You want to make it easier, not harder, for your audience to engage with your content. Offering resource galleries, exclusive lounges, or other members-only areas gives your committed audience members something more to explore.
Offering add-ons to your posts (like worksheets, downloads, or checklists) available in your exclusive library is a surefire way to begin growing your mailing list – which, in turn, is a perfect avenue to grow your business by ensuring ongoing contact with your readers.
5. use Static pages on your site to house links or embeds you commonly use
We encourage our readers and social media contacts to sign up for our newsletter quite often. In the past, we had been consistently sending out the link to our Mailchimp sign-up page – which is just a random string of letters.
But then it hit us. Why were we sending our fans offsite?! Why not create a static page for all newsletter referrals instead?
Using the Squarespace newsletter block we were able to set up a static page to house the signup on our own site in a flash. Now all of our social media newsletter referrals can see exactly where the link will take them and we create a seamless, uninterrupted brand experience on our site. That transparency keeps users moving along and keeps your audience engaged.
For us, strategic engagement is a must.
These strategies are a few helpful tactics to increase your audience engagement and grow a loyal following. What are some of your additional strategies to create the best user experience possible?
Hoot Design Co. is a marketing, branding, and design agency located in Columbia, MO. We specialize in creating a custom and comprehensive marketing strategy centered around your business's unique strengths and educating you with the tools you need from day one. From logo design to brand identity, website design and execution, and social media marketing strategies in-person and through online courses, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.