You can have the most beautifully designed site; it glows with a sense of professionalism. But if it doesn’t engage your visitors, you’re losing conversions.
By definition, engage means to attract or involve someone’s interest or attention. It also means to participate or become involved in. When your visitors become engaged with your site, they are increasing their commitment to go through your sales funnel.
I’ve spent years researching and studying conversion optimization techniques and data. But I’ve really realized recently how important engagement is to the online experience.
For instance, I recently had a conversation with the chief conversion officer at Super Fast Funding. Our conversation was about their site’s redesign. I immediately noticed how much the new design had increased the opportunity for visitor engagement.
This is the original home page:
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The happy smiley-faced cartoon seems as though he’s trying to engage visitors. However, it’s impossible to read the documents that he’s pointing towards. Therefore, they hold no real value in engaging visitors.
There’s also a button to get a free credit evaluation. But the button is black, which in my mind doesn’t feel very engaging.
The headline also asks “Are you fundable?”. This could actually kill engagement, as the only answer is yes or no. When you ask a question that can elicit a negative “no” response, you actually disengage your visitors. Face it: Many people aren’t sure if they’re fundable.
Now take a look at their newly designed home page:
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Instead of creating an opportunity for a “no” response, this headline creates hope
This page does a variety of things to increase visitor engagement. Rather than just offering a phone number, the phone number is preceded by the word “Questions?”. This speaks better to those who may be on the site with a few questions running through their minds.
The site has also added live chat to communicate with visitors and a blog to keep them coming back to read articles.
Rather than just provide an “Our Video” link, they’ve added a video with a play button. Visitors are more likely to actually watch the video when it’s right there in front of them.
These are all great ways to increase visitor engagement. But what impressed me the most about this new design was the addition of the slider bar. The slider is completely interactive. More importantly, it gives the visitor a sense of power and control.
It’s nearly impossible not to play around with it. No boring and tedious form fields to fill out. Now that’s engagement.
When you reduce doubt and anxiety and replace it with power and control, you are more likely to push your visitors to the end of your funnel. This is why visitor engagement is so vital. It’s important to get visitors to engage with your site, but it’s also important to actually engage with them.
There are a variety of ways that you can increase visitor engagement and also, just as importantly, track visitor engagement.
Surveys are a way to ask the questions that you wish you could ask if you were face to face.
When compiling a survey, be sure to ask open ended questions that will elicit more detail than a simple “yes” or “no” response.
Offering up an incentive will also get more visitors to fill out your survey.
Exit polls ask questions too. Although they are typically presented as visitors are leaving a website. They usually ask questions like “What difficulties did you have while browsing this site?”
Many times they focus on obtaining visitor objections so that those objections can then be resolved.
Heat mapping helps to track visitor engagement with your site through color coding. The color range reveals where most people are clicking, where they are not and how far down the page they are scrolling.
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This can provide a wealth of insight. If heat maps reveal that visitors are clicking in an area that has no click-able links, businesses might consider putting a click-able link in this spot.
Or if visitors are not clicking in an area, businesses might consider removing it and putting something that might be of more interest in it’s place.
Visitor playback sessions
An entire visitor session can be recorded and played in video format that shows every move that visitors are making while on the site. You can watch their cursors move and see where they go, where they stop, where they click and where they scroll. Again, this can help determine how to better engage with users.
Usability expert, Jakob Nielsen states that five user tests will reveal 85% of your website issues. He goes on to state that al of your website’s usability issues are revealed with just 15 user tests.
Times may have changed since then, but user tests are a way of looking over the shoulders of people while they browse your site and seeing where they are getting stuck.
Form and funnel analysis
What if visitors are starting to fill out your forms, but then they drop out during the process? What is it that’s causing them to drop out?
Form and funnel analysis tells you exactly where they are dropping out giving you the opportunity to resolve those issues.
HotJar packages all of these –surveys, exit polls, heat mapping, visitor playback, user testing recruitment and form and funnel analysis – into one bundled solution.
With the right tools in place, you can engage visitors and track that engagement.