Site Engagement vs. Site Viewing

Site Engagement vs. Site Viewing

Are visitors engaging,
or just viewing?

They look around your site. Make a decision to fill out a contact form (or not). And leave.

Not much in terms of “engaging the visitor,” is it?

This is the most common interaction (if you can call it that) between visitors and websites (excepting ecommerce sites – a whole other animal). But is it effective?

This level of engagement (if you can call it that) is akin to flipping on the news or some other TV show. You look. You leave. Do you remember what you saw or what was said? Probably not…

Websites have the capability, however, to offer much greater interaction between a visitor and your content. The “best” sites – the ones that grab my attention, draw me in, and make me feel that they’ve really worked at reaching out to the visitor through the screen (per se) are those with interactive sites.

Defining Engagement

Simply clicking on navigation choices from the main menu doesn’t denote enough interaction. (But it’s better than none!) The visitor must make choices and take action when landing on the site about how to move forward towards whatever they seek.

Scrolling down, by itself, doesn’t count. (You also make it easier for those site surfing on their phones, as it is common for them to have to scroll, scroll, and scroll some more to find what they’re looking for.)

Clicks are engagement. But do those clicks signify moving towards their goal? If the visitor is forced to click too many times to reach the desired content, they’ll be pissed off. Too few clicks (i.e. exit intent) and you lose them.

Let’s look at different types of clicking engagement:

  1. Buttons (action)
  2. Checkboxes (multiple)
  3. Radio buttons (choose one)
  4. Sliding bar (choose a degree)
  5. “Click here” (text link)

Trouble is folks don’t like to click on anything unless they’re confident it’s safe to do so.

How to Get Clicks

Whether you’re clicking a button or a radio button or checkboxes, the key to getting a click is making it clear what will happen when the visitor clicks. Common button label text that assists with this step:

  1. Click Here (presumably with an explanation preceding the link/button)
  2. Buy /  Shop  / View /  Add to Cart
  3. Learn More
  4. Subscribe / Sign up / Submit / Join / Login
  5. Save / Cancel / Delete, etc.
  6. Next / Follow / Continue

Button labels may take the form of a question, statement, word — whatever motivates the visitor. Use intrigue, mystery, temptation! Curiosity never killed clicker! Get creative…

Helping to Make the Choice

How do you know which door to choose in the image above? You’re given a hint that the yellow door is likely the right one to open. Why? It’s different from the rest; it’s been dressed up. But what if they were all the same? Too many doors?

Giving the visitor too many choices can cause them to flee in frustration. It’s too hard to make a choice when there’s too much to choose from. Throughout this blog post I’ve provided neuromarketing signals to help steer you through the page. Click the green buttons, not the red ones. Choose this or that. I didn’t ask you to choose from A, B, C, D, E or F. That’s too many. Research shows us that visitors respond best to making easy choices.

Why it Works

If you could see your site visitors’ faces through the screen, this is what you want to see in the picture above. They’re happy and engaged with what they’re viewing on the screen. Chances are they’re thinking positively about this business or service.

By asking your visitors to click to make choices to proceed (or not), each click becomes a commitment. It’s a tiny step further to engage with you. It’s also a clear pathway towards progress: click to take the next step. People like to feel they are making progress. Not doing anything is akin to inaction and indecision. With each call-to-action (which is what each button click is) your visitor is one step closer to buying your program, service or product. With each click, the brain is receiving the signal that it’s on the right path.

Make it a Game

Clicking is fun. A zillion online gaming systems have long proved that it keeps players coming back for more. Even for a simple blog post like this one, it is, in essence, gamification. The visitor must make choices to proceed. Here are a few ways that helps you as the website owner:

  1. You’ll find out what visitors are truly interested in (or not).
  2. The more engaged visitors are in your site, the less likely they are to leave.
  3. The longer they stay on your site, the more your search results ranking improves.
  4. Another bonus is the warm ‘n’ fuzzy feeling left with visitors.

Whaaaaaaaaaat? Trust me, you care about your visitors feeling good about your site; it makes them feel better about you. And if you’re in business to gain more business, you want more goodwill.

Back to the warm ‘n’ fuzzy: When your visitors are interacting with your site, answering questions, being taken for a journey on your site, it feels like an adventure. It feels like fun! We learn when we’re having fun. We don’t learn when activities stress us out or make things harder for us. So reduce the friction.

Make learning about you, your business, and your offering to the visitor, easier to understand and easier to learn about. The visitors will be far more likely to pick up the phone, click the buy button, and fill out the “contact me” information when you do.