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How to increase your website engagement [Ultimate guide]

June 21, 2022 | Teemu Raitaluoto
Website engagement

Website engagement is one of the key metrics affecting your website conversion rates and SEO. Optimizing engagement is one of the most important tasks of a marketer. Read more to understand why you should care about your engagement and how to increase your page engagement.

To understand what drives engagement, it's useful to understand what are the different types of engagement, what tools there are to measure engagement, and what are the key metrics to measure website engagement. After you have the basics down, you can learn different strategies to increase engagement on your site.

What is page engagement and why it matters

Website engagement is the measure of how relevant and engaging visitors on your website find your pages. High engagement means that they interact with the site and that they find the information useful for them. Especially when visitors land on your site from a search query, high page engagement signals that the visitor found what they were looking for. Low page engagement indicates that your website is of poor quality and doesn't fulfill what the visitor set out to do.

High website engagement arguably leads to higher conversion rates on the site. Users that are interested in your content are likely to consume more of it. This usually means the user takes key actions, eg. downloads an ebook, which is counted as a conversion.

High website engagement indicates customers find your content valuable and found what they were looking for. Engagement leads to higher conversions and better SEO.

Engagement matters also after an initial conversion event when a lead is generated. Users are likely to engage with your site multiple times before they eventually become a closed sale. Higher conversions coming from quality traffic sources will eventually lead to more revenue down the funnel.

High page engagement also has an interesting SEO impact. Google tracks and ranks sites based on how well the initial search matched the result. If a user engages with a site more and longer, Google knows the search intent was met and they should rank your page higher in search results.

6 different types of user engagement

From a visitor's perspective, there are multiple ways to engage with a website. 

Reading relevant content

In most cases, website visitors come to consume content on your website. Depending on how they ended up there, they are looking to fulfill certain needs such as learning about a topic or about your company. Relevant content means that it serves the user and what they are looking to achieve.

Engaging in discussion with other people or a chatbot

Discussion and making questions are great user engagement. When customers discuss with each other on your website, it creates value for other customers as long as the conversation is of good nature.

Visitors engage in discussion with a chatbot to learn more about a business or a product making it valuable engagement as well. It doesn't always have to be a bot at the other end of the chat, conversing with support staff is great engagement too because it indicates that the customer cares enough.

Building your own chatbot might sound complicated, but with a chatbot builder like SendPulse you can create a chatbot with no coding experience. You can create chatbots for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Telegram which you can then also embed on your website.

Sharing on social media

Social shares are perhaps one of the best engagement types because it's the only one that adds more eyeballs to the same content creating viral loops. It's the only engagement type that takes place outside of your website but highly relates to your existing content.

Creating user-generated content (UGC)

Content created by users creates more engagement in two ways: when the users are creating the content and when other users are reading the content. UGC can be a great way to scale engagement as long as the community of people engaging in the conversation has good intentions or the content is sufficiently moderated.

Looking at images and watching videos

Customers engage with your images and videos constantly because they allow condensed information in a simple format. Humans are visual beings so if you're website is missing images, you're likely missing out on some engagement.

Navigating around the website

Navigating around your website counts as engagement. The more pages the customer views the better. If your website doesn't have links to other internal resources, the user is likely to exit when they cannot consume more of your content.

3 website engagement measuring tools

Event analytics

Quantitative analytics tools that provide detailed data on small and frequent are at the center of measuring website engagement. Tools like Google Analytics and Mixpanel show your most commonly used engagement metrics covered in the next chapter. 

Heatmaps

Heatmaps are a great tool to provide aggregate data on what parts of your page visitors engage with and what parts they don't seem to interact with. Heatmaps alone are a poor measure of engagement but rather tell what was engaging.

Session recordings

Session recordings go a step deeper than heatmaps. You can see exactly what a user did on your website from a session recording and inform your improvement efforts by focusing on the obvious mistakes. Session recordings can also uncover usability problems and other UX problems that heatmaps cannot show you.

10 key website engagement metrics

Time on page

Time on page refers to the amount of time a user spends on a particular web page. In general, it doesn't really describe interaction with the site that much. However, it is a good metric to describe how relevant a page was to the visitor when combined with a metric like scroll depth. Time on page can be compared to average time on page to see if a page was particularly engaging to the user compared to other pages. Here's how to calculate the average time on page.

Avg. time on page = session duration / number of pages visited

Session duration

Session duration describes the amount of time a visitor spent in your whole website domain. One session might include multiple page visits so it's a good metric of the overall experience and engagement. You can also consider measuring session duration separately for your blog and the rest of the website to understand how engaging is your long-form content vs short-form content.

Page views

How many pages a visitor visited gives a great overview of how engaging the whole website was. If a user visits only one page, the experience wasn't particularly engaging. Good internal linking is required to boost this metric.

Average number of pages viewed

The average number of pages viewed is a great metric of engagement to indicate how many other pages a visitor visits. In writing, there's a common phrase that the job of the first sentence is to get the reader to read the second sentence. The same goes for engaging web pages.

Avg. number of pages viewed = sum of all pages viewed by all customers / number of customers

Scroll depth

Scroll depth measures how far on the web page a user navigates from the top of the page where they first landed. The deeper they go on your web page the better. Scroll depth can either be measured in pixels or as a percentage of the whole page height. The latter is more favorable to understand averages across your whole website.

Conversions

Conversions are key events that a user takes on a website. Video playback or an ebook download can be considered a conversion. The more conversions a visitor has the more engaging the experience has been. Conversion rate is a good metric for engagement because it particularly describes interaction. Use personalized content to maximize your conversions on the site.

What is a good website conversion rate? Since any action on a website can be considered a conversion the results

Bounce rate

Bounce rate describes whether a user engaged with a site and if the visit was a single page visit.

What is a good bounce rate depends on a lot of factors such as the business niche you're in but an excellent bounce rate is between 20% and 40%. An average bounce rate is 40% to 60%, and anything above 60% is poor.

Number of returning users

User retention can be calculated in different ways, the most common being 7 and 28-day retention. Users who find your website useful and valuable are likely to come back and consume more of your content at some point. The number of returning users is usually presented as a percentage, eg. "50% of users came back within 28 days".

Most common exit page

This metric can be used to identify the weak spots of your website. The most common exit page tells you what was the last page a user viewed before leaving your site. There can be a multitude of reasons why that particular page is the most common page to exit from but it surely indicates that the page could be improved.

Number of social shares

The average number of social shares measures engagement by showing how many times an average visitor shared something on your website on social media. This metric is easier to measure on social media platforms than on the website because any user can copy a link to your website and you would never know it by looking at website analytics alone.

13 actionable strategies how to increase website engagement

Create more personalized content

It's important that your content is as relevant as possible to the visitor who arrives on your site. Sometimes they arrive on your page directly, but they can also come through a search query or paid ad campaign on Google or social media.

To make sure your content is relevant, create content that addresses your intended target audience. If you have multiple customer segments from different industries or company sizes who care about very different things on your website, use website personalization to create more relevant content. Personalized content has been shown to boost website engagement by up to 200%.

To create more relevant content, personalize it for different audiences based on their industry and company size. It can boost your website engagement by up to 200%.

If you have customers coming through a paid ad campaign, make sure your website has the same messaging and keywords your ad does. Otherwise, there's a mismatch and the customer is likely to leave your site. There's a reason they engaged with your ad in the first place so don't lose them.

If a customer has visited your website before, it's unlikely that the most engaging content to them is something they have already read. Similarly, social media platforms keep a steady feed of new content rolling to maximize engagement. You can personalize your website to show different content to users who are returning for a second time and who have already read your other content.

Make sure you personalize images to each customer segment based on their industry to create maximum engagement. If you have enough videos, you can also consider personalizing what you show to the user based on what they have already watched.

Simplify layout and improve website navigation

A simpler layout can be more engaging to users because finding information is easier. Complex layouts tend to deter users because it's easy to get confused about where to find certain information and what to focus on.

Navigating around your website mustn't feel like a labyrinth to the customer. Make sure you have a clear navigation structure at the top and bottom of your website. To help navigation even further, always provide a path to the home page via the top left corner logo because it's something users are accustomed to. Also, avoid navigational dead-ends on your website by making sure you have good internal linking. It should be easy to find a page a user has found valuable in the past and wants to read it again.

Add social share buttons and links

Enable social sharing by adding direct share links in your blog post where they are easily visible, for example, like this post has next to the headline. You can also add social shares next to your content to enable bite-sized shares. Like this link here 😉 Or this embedded share:

You can easily increase your website engagement by adding embedded social shares in your content.

To create an embedded share on your website, follow the Twitter Intent API documentation. You can also embed this code on your site to test it out.

<a href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=This%20is%20the%20best%20post%20I%20have%20ever%20read!&amp;url=https://www.markettailor.io/blog/what-is-website-personalization&amp;hashtags=personalization">Social share text</a>

Also, check out any article on Medium to see how they enable inline social sharing with a hover element:

Medium highlight

Improve page load times

Visitors get bored if a website takes a long time to load. Especially with the attention spans of today, customers expect a page to load fast or they leave.

page_speed_graphHow page speed affects bounce rate (section.io)

You can improve page load times by a variety of different tactics which we don't cover here, but it's safe to say that reducing image sizes by using compressed images goes a long way toward faster load speeds. It also doesn't matter how fast your site is if your website uptime is poor.

Improve mobile-friendliness with responsive web pages

About half of the internet traffic today is coming from mobile devices. These devices have a range of different screen sizes that you need to cater to provide the best visitor experience. If you haven't started your design mobile-first, you need to modify your website styles using CSS to accommodate smaller screens. A web page of the wrong size is not very engaging to a user who has to scroll horizontally and vertically to consume all your content.

Create clear CTAs

A website without clear call-to-actions is not very engaging. In order to create engagement, you need to drive engagement by telling the user to take action. Sometimes the CTA is not a good fit for the customer in question, for example, it's unlikely that a large enterprise customer signs up for a freemium product when their main concerns are whether your product is up to privacy regulations and whether you integrate with their current technologies.

Read more about how to guide customers to the right sales funnel based on their size.

Add a blog

If you don't already have a blog, adding one can take you far in higher user engagement. Customers want to consume content about your area of expertise and product so they visit your blog to learn more. Moreover, a blog acts increasingly as the first landing page for a visitor when they find your content through organic search.

Make sure your blog posts have links to other relevant posts so the reader has a chance to engage with the next piece of content after they have finished reading. This provides continuity instead of ending in a dead-end where the user would likely exit.

Add more images and video

People like to engage with images and videos because they include a lot of information and are easier to consume than the corresponding amount of text. Especially video and infographics are engaging to people.

To maximize engagement of your image and video content, the content should be personalized to visitors. You can increase relevance by showing imagery relevant to people from different industries or when they come to your site from different ad campaigns.

Create an accessible website

Almost 19% of the population in the US have a disability causing impaired use of a computer and websites. Accessible websites are needed for people who use screen readers or have trouble using a mouse or a keyboard. Fixing a lot of the common accessibility issues can go a long way to improve your website engagement. Search the latest recommendations on how to create accessible websites to make sure you're up to date. 

Add customer testimonials / references / reviews

Add comments and reviews from customers to your site to create more engagement. Customers want to learn what other people think about your product and if they find it valuable. Highlight your reviews from Capterra and G2 on your website.

To create more engaging and relevant customer testimonials, you should personalize which testimonials you show to which customer segment. To maximize social proof, customers want to see people from the same background use your product. You can use location-based personalization to show customer reviews from South American customers to visitors who are also located in South America.

Add use cases and case studies

Customers expect to see how they can use your product and how other customers are using it. Customers want to especially learn what results other customers got when buying your product.

Customers only want to read relevant use cases and case studies relevant to them. To make the use cases and case studies more engaging, personalize the content you show them based on their industry or company size. For example, customers from the healthcare industry care more about a case study that includes data privacy than people from the construction industry. Similarly, enterprise customers want to see that you are capable of serving large customers.

Enterprise customers on your website should see very different case studies than SMBs when they visit your website to maximize engagment.

Add a discussion forum, a community, and/or a chatbot

Depending on your website, you might have enabled a forum or discussion board where users can engage with each other. This is great for engagement because each person creates new value for other people feeding more engagement. Social media relies on the same principle but you can enable it on a B2B website as well for example by allowing comments on a blog post.

If you don't want to enable unmoderated chat on your website, you can consider creating a Slack or Facebook community to enable engagement with other customers. This model is also called the community-led growth model if you use it to feed new leads to your sales.

Chatbots are also great for engagement. Users are likely to get an answer to common questions they have if you have created the supporting content on the chatbot side. A chatbot can offer information but also collect leads while helping the customer out. The customer questions can also be turned into relevant content on the website by either adding more content or in real-time using personalization software. 

Conduct usability testing and collect feedback

Sometimes it's not obvious how to improve your website to improve engagement. Conduct a usability study with real people to get qualitative feedback on what caused confusion on the website and what they hoped to find.

A good question to ask a user for any page is "what is missing from this page?". These types of questions can be shown to new and existing customers in a popup format or inline with other elements.

Check where users exit the most when visiting your website to understand where you should put more effort. To improve these pages ask users what they expected to find on the page.

If you want to get a more granular understanding of why a specific user exited a page, you can personalize the page only for returning users. Show them your question form on the same page they exited last time when they come back to your site.

Final thoughts

The question with website engagement always is "how to get the highest engagement on website?" and the answer is that there's no silver bullet. You have to use a combination of strategies from website personalization to chatbots to truly maximize the engagement on your site.

You also have to constantly measure results and interate your approaches. Think of the activities to improve the website engagement as a set of experiments that you systematically go through and measure how they impact your final results. At Markettailor, we have made measuring engagement easy for you and you can also A/B test all your website personalizations.

Signup for our freemium product to start engaging your customers.


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