Traffic is meaningless if your blog performs poorly regarding reader engagement. It’s comparable to owning a ground floor store in a crowded mall, but failing to convert walk-in visitors into paying customers.
In such a situation, you need to hatch strategies that focus on building the trust and confidence of your target market – on top of relentless promotion strategies that raise brand awareness. This will get your visitors to ask questions, make purchases, or exchange their contact information for future opportunities.
But unlike brick-and-mortar establishments that can make noise in a local community, bloggers and online businesses alike only have their online content to connect with their target audience. To drive up engagement rate, below are a few creative strategies you should consider:
1. Create a Membership Section in Your Site
Converting online visitors into leads is paramount to brand growth. To keep your guests coming back for more, one benefit you could offer is exclusivity, which can be delivered either through newsletters or a membership section built within your site. Thankfully, you don’t need to hire a professional web developer or shell out cash on an expensive membership platform to implement these features.
For creating membership sections, you can easily use third-party membership management tools like MemberPlanet, GroupSpaces, and BigTent. You can also install a plugin like Simple Membership if you use WordPress. This enables you to protect certain content from public access and create an unlimited number of membership types with varying privilege levels.
2. Supercharge User Experience
Content is king, but you also need to focus on the full experience that your audience will get. Every single aspect of your site – from your page layouts to loading speed – can impact the engagement of your blog audience. This, in turn, affects their willingness to take action whether through sign-ups or purchases.
As far as the design aspect goes, different combinations may work for accomplishing specific goals and complementing certain brands. Landing pages, for instance, must follow a clean, actionable, and straightforward layout that provides the audience with the information they need to convert. When it comes to site-wide performance, speed is the number one factor that affects user experience. In fact, 40% of your audience will abandon your site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
Caching is one of the easiest ways to give your website a speed boost. It works by saving site data such as images, codes, and web documents for faster retrieval in the future. With the help of free caching plugins, you can enable caching features on your site with little to no code modifications required. To see if your optimization efforts worked, you can run your site through Google PageSpeed Insights.
3. Enable Call Tracking
Customer service is crucial if you want to forge closer relationships with clients and establish a trustworthy brand image. For this, most online businesses leverage online communication technologies, mainly emails and social media channels to get in touch with their audience. However, these channels may not be ideal for customers who require immediate support.
If you want to take customer service to the next level, you need to make your brand reachable via phone calls. For bloggers, having a separate corporate hotline from your home number is a step in the right direction. Still, you need to have a system in place that enables you to track conversations and measure how they affect your bottom line. Phonexa, for example, is a call tracking platform that also tracks advanced call metrics such as campaign source, average call length, call keywords, and location.
4. Use Chatbots
Aside from phone calls, users also prefer live chat to connect with brands and seek answers. Statistics reveal that 79% of customers would rather receive support through chat for reasons such as efficiency, accessibility, and ease of use. The only problem is that bloggers and online businesses may find it difficult to keep up with a large volume of chat requests. In which case, you can leverage automation via chatbots for common questions and interactions.
Today, using Facebook Messenger is the easiest way to program chatbots without extensive coding. It’s capable of automating comprehensive conversations, such as FAQ answering and basic troubleshooting.
Focusing on user engagement is the key to maximizing the profitability of any site – be it a niche blog or a full-on e-commerce store. With the tips above, you can build a warm and approachable brand that people would love to be associated with. Just be sure you have a steady supply of engaging content that your audience will be thankful for.
Author: Christopher Jan Benitez
Content marketer during the day. Heavy sleeper at night. Dreams of non-existent brass rings. Writer by trade. Pro wrestling fan by choice (It’s still real to me, damnit!). Family man all the time.