Building Website Engagement: How to Keep People on Your Site

You want to build a website that keeps people engaged. You want to achieve the lowest possible bounce rate, you want people to click around your site and decide to enter your sales funnel, and most importantly, you want to inspire users to become paying customers.

Learning how to improve the engagement metrics on your website can help you not only better interest your readers, but also improve your SEO.

Google, and other search engines, look at the bounce rate on your site. A bounce rate refers to a single page session, when a user clicks on your page, but then leaves without engaging further with the site. This means that they do not click on any extra elements on the page, fill out forms, or click onto other pages. A user will be counted as a bounce if they:

  • Click off the page
  • Click back to the SERP
  • Close the browser
  • Follow an outbound link
  • Stay inactive on the site and then time out the session.

Improving the duration people stay on your site can help you build your SEO while also building bonds with users and encouraging them to enter your sales funnel because high bounce is a negative signal to Google for rank. Thus, better site engagement will grow your SEO and your business.

building engagement on your page increases people in your sales funnel

What is a good bounce rate?

On average, a bounce rate below 60% is good. It means that 40% of the people who arrived engaged with the site. The range is really everything in between. Let’s look at the factors to consider.

Before we can begin to discuss what qualifies as a ‘good’ bounce rate, we must first examine all of the ways that bounce rates can vary due to outside factors.

For example, the type of page will have a big impact on the bounce rate. Contact pages that supply phone numbers and addresses, for example, are generally high-bounce pages. People click onto the page to view the contact information for their business of interest, and then they click off. This page will likely have a high bounce rate across all websites, without that high bounce rate indicating anything negative about the site.

Similarly, you must also consider the industry and the type of content that this site focuses on providing. A site that offers recipes for people will have a higher bounce rate overall than a site for a real estate business. A recipe site expects people to open the page, follow the recipe, and click off. While they may have a few people click on related recipes or links to a blog from the page, they will be significantly outnumbered by those who simply digest the recipe and move on.

On the other hand, real estate sites do not expect people to look at a single house and click off. They work to engage people interested in browsing real estate properties within a designated area. Real estate professionals may also look to engage readers with content that helps them understand lending options or what to look for in a good real estate agent.

A very high bounce rate above 90% for a paid traffic source can seem very discouraging and could be an indicator that the campaign targeting needs to be narrowed. However, advertising should usually be measured by ROI of the traffic that does convert to business value.

To know a good bounce rate for your particular site, your best point of comparison will be other brands within your sector. As explained above, looking at average bounce rates for all websites could easily provide you with very misleading information.

Fortunately, Google makes it easy for brands to see the bounce rates within their industry. Use the benchmarking feature within Google analytics to better understand the stats for your specific industry. You can then start to see how you compare. This will give you a great starting point as you prepare to work on keeping people on your page and engaged with your site. As you make changes, compare your progress with this initial benchmark to see the impact you have.

How do I increase engagement metrics on my page?

To build stronger engagement markers within your website, you need to find ways to keep people on the page and generate interest in what you have to say. This will help encourage more people to enter your sales funnel, lower your bounce rate, and build engagement across the site, which will in turn boost SEO.

Step 1. Start with your page design

A clean design is easier for people to read and digest. They are able to absorb more information and gain a better appreciation of what you have to say. Reduce clutter, use lists, bullet points, and other features that allow readers to focus on the aspects of the page that matter the most to them, helping them see how well you understand their needs.

Most of all, decide how the page and content fits into the sit and what the next step should be and make a clear call to action to the visitors in the top, middle, and bottom of the page.

layout for a mobile web page template

Step 2. Incorporate visual features that encourage interaction

Create an exciting page that encourages people to actively interact with your content. Using images, videos, and carousel helps to inspire people to click around your site and build a bond with your brand.

Step 3. Implement site search

Site search is an essential site. In terms of building website engagement, site search allows power users and high-intent visitors to navigate straight to the content they’re looking for. You can also integrate your site search into your analytics suite to get insights on the types of products, services, and topics your site visitors are interested in.

Step 4. Open outside links in new tabs

To build engagement with people on your site, you want to encourage them to remain on your site. Offering external links can play an important role in building a positive experience for the user and help them find the information that will best fit their needs. You want to make sure, however, that in clicking on these links, they do not end up disengaging with your site. Allowing the link to take your visitor off your site and onto the external site reduces the chance for them to come back and learn more about your brand and what you have to offer. Make sure all external sites open in a new tab so the user has plenty of opportunities to continue to engage with you.

Step 5. Supply readers with plenty of internal links that take them to more information

Throughout your content, offer ample internal links. These links will help people find other content that you have produced that supports the ideas that this particular visitor has expressed an interest in reading more about.

Step 5. Optimize your menus

BrightEdge Research shows that menus drive a significant portion of clicks to interior pages. Make sure your menus are well organized, not overwhelming, and feature popular content from the rest of the site.

Step 6. Provide a personalized experience on your site

If your site has the capability to track return visitors, take advantage of this ability to provide users with a more personalized experience. Remember visitors when they come and suggest to them content that they might find interesting based on passed material they downloaded or read. Let them know that you remember them and their pain points and that you have a vested interest in helping them.

Building a highly engaging site that encourages people to remain on the page can drive business for your organization and help you to grow your online user base. Improved engagement metrics can indicate that you meet the needs of the users and that they appreciate what you have to say. This is the first step towards bringing more people into your sales funnel and driving people towards becoming paying customers.

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