I had answered this question on Quora and realized this would be helpful too to readers of our blog (yes, you).
The question was: How do I increase engagement rates on my website?
By engagement, I assume you want people to visit more than your Homepage and sign up for your newsletter or leave with a good impression of your business. Engagement could also mean contacting you either via email or a phone call.
In our 21 years of designing websites for businesses, the most basic premise we tell clients is this: ensure your website looks and feels credible because without garnering trust, no one will engage with you.
You can do this by getting your website designed professionally (that’s the first step) but also remember to include credibility boosters (which we wrote about in our book, Web Wisdom).
Credibility boosters are elements that enhance your credibility and increase levels of trust among website visitors. They show that you are a legitimate business and you are real.
Some credibility boosters include:
- Reviews and testimonials about your services and products (even the not-so-good ones as you want to strive for believability, not perfection and it shows you’re human after all)
- Affiliations with reputable organisations (feature their logos and links)
- Membership with recognised associations (feature their logos and links)
- Images of you and your team (link to their LinkedIn but ensure their LinkedIn page is promising)
- Images of your store or your office (with people please! Never show an empty office/shop/cafe because what does an empty office/shop/cafe represent? No business!)
- Case studies of how you’ve helped your customers (link to their websites)
- News section or a Blog section that’s updated with recent news (not news from last year, please!)
- Colours on your website – does this colour scheme inspire confidence? Does it represent your brand well?
Copywriting is also key to credibility. Your copy must be clear and easy to understand (stay away from jargon). It must also cut to the chase and let website visitors know what you offer. If website visitors are confused after they visit your website, the culprit is usually poorly written copy with confusing navigation.
If badly-written copy is the culprit, you need to hire a professional copywriter who understands marketing. (Writing from a marketing perspective means putting the needs of your prospects and explaining why it benefits them to buy from you or work with you.) Write like you’re talking to your prospects i.e. a conversational tone is one of the best ways to present what you have to offer in a friendly way.
Essentially, good engagement also means you’re addressing the needs of your website visitors. If you’re not addressing their needs/problems/ wants head-on, your marketing, your website and everything else will not work.
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