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As the (kind of cliche) saying goes, ‘content is king’, but what really makes your website successful is ensuring you remain mindful about your user engagement and experience.
When a user lands on your website, you want to encourage them to read your content, connect with your message, share it with their peers and (hopefully) act on your call to action, whether that be to buy your product or service, sign up to your email list, or interact with your forms, surveys etc.
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Essentially, you want to put user engagement into action so you can earn more revenue and gain more leads.
But to do this your users need to appreciate your content enough to want to read it, absorb it and pass it on to others.
Creating content that keeps your user engagement high will encourage your audience to be more loyal, which will build trust, increase return visits and result in a higher level of conversion.
Understanding your customer journey
It is important to not only understand the journey your prospective customer is taking but also where that user is on their journey.
You already know that by the time a user reaches your web content that they have already identified their need for a product or service to solve a problem that they have. They have opened a browser to search for what they need and have landed on your website.
At this point, they have already started their user journey and now want to find out more information about the solutions available. They are not right at the beginning of their journey when they don’t know what they want.
From here you need to capture and hold their attention by giving them exactly what they are looking for, namely answers to their questions.
You already know they need what you are offering so your best approach once they are on your site is to address their concerns and answer their questions as clearly and simply as possible to hold their attention and prevent them from clicking away.
Make your content about them, not you
Many website owners make the mistake of making their site all about them and their business.
When a user goes to a website to find out more information they will be quickly turned off by your content if it is simply pushing your own agenda in a very salesy way.
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By making your content more about your user and not about you, your web visitor will be more inclined to read and absorb your content.
You need to show them that you understand their concerns and their pain-points.
You can improve your web content greatly by involving your users as much as possible. But how exactly do you do that?
Let’s take a look at some top tips for discovering what pain-points, questions and concerns your users may have and how you can use this information to help create more engaging content.
1. Offer visitor comments and discussions
If you offer your users a chance at some active participation, this will help to build a good level of user engagement. You can gather a lot of information by doing this that will enable you to create much more valuable content that will really speak to your audience too!
Depending on your type of business or the services you offer, you could try:
- Quizzes or other entertainment content
- Answer polls
- Online Q&A sessions
- User workshops
- User interviews
Offering these sorts of engagement opportunities are not only fun for your visitors but will encourage them to share with their peers and return for more.
2. Narrow down common user questions
You can use your customer data and the feedback from your surveys and answer polls mentioned above to identify the most common questions you users have and then provide answers to them in your web content.
It can also help to look at your web analytics to see what search terms your users entered that brought them to your website. Most people will search Google and other search engines by asking a question.
3. Encourage social shares
If a user liked one of your blog posts, they may want to share it with their peers on their favourite social platform, so will hit the Facebook button to share your post. Social sharing is user engagement, so make sure that your content is easily shareable.
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An often overlooked social sharing element is the ability to easily follow your business on social media and encouraging them to continue the conversation with you on Facebook or Twitter etc. Including links to your social media pages in your web content and using a call to action that involves engaging with your company on social media is another way to engage with your users, build a relationship with them, raise your company profile, and provide more value.
4. Streamline your site structure
You can create great content but it will be useless if your users cannot easily find it. Focus on creating a site structure that users will understand and find easy to use. You have to be sure your users can find the content they are looking for.
Using a handy tool such as TreeJack is ideal here. This tool enables you to test your site structure against real user tasks. You assign your user a task and observe what steps they take to navigate your site structure to find the information they need.
The last thing you want is for a user to make one wrong click that sends them along the wrong path. Understanding where and why users get lost in your site structure will allow you to fix it and create a more intuitive site structure.
Chalkmark is another useful tool here to help make sure your website architecture is sound. Using this tool you can upload wireframes or design mockups for your users to test through performing set tasks. The tool will create a heatmap to make it easy for you to see if your page hierarchy is working properly.
Involving your users as much as possible to interact and engage with you will help you to create value-rich content for your website.
Remember though to regularly test your site structure and architecture and carry on engaging with your users because your content will need to still be relevant and easily finable the more you add over time.
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