Ever since the inception of the internet, one of the most popular ways to measure how successful a website is, is through page views. One would think that the more page views a website has, the more successful a website is.
However, using page views to count popularity doesn’t tell companies about whether customers are engaged in the website or not. While a lot of customers can be attracted to a website and will go and view it, it doesn’t always mean that they will stay on the page. According to Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat - a data analytics company - a webpage can initially keep a customer’s attention for at most, 15 seconds. Haile also reports that 55% of readers spent less than 15 seconds on a page. Haile’s statistics could mean that while your website may get views, it may not guarantee that your customers are going to stay and explore your site.
So how do you tell if your website is one that will make customers stay for more than 15 seconds? Here are five questions to test your web engagement savvy.
1: Do you make a great first impression?
According to Nielsen Norman, the first 10 seconds are important to engaging your customers. In this span of time, customers decide whether or not they think that your webpage is worth exploring or not. In 10 seconds, customers usually only read a quarter of the content on the page. If your customers don’t think that your website is worth going to, then they will leave in less than 10 seconds.
The key to engaging your customer for more than ten seconds is great web design. According to Kat Kocurek of Kinesis, 94% of customers’ first impressions are design related. Research done by universities, including Stanford, shows that customers tend to judge whether or not they like a website based on how it looks. If your website looks appealing, then customers will be more likely to stay on your website.
2: Do you keep it updated?
When customers go to websites, they’re looking for relevant content that’s fresh and new. They want information that is frequently updated. If you haven’t updated your website recently, then chances are that your customer has already seen it, or that the information you have put out on your website is outdated. As a result, your customers will not be likely to explore your website and abandon your site.
Keep the content on your website up to date. Develop a loyal reader base, by posting frequently. Ankit Oberoi, co-founder of AdPushup, mentions that some leading tech websites update their blogs, hourly. While you do not need to update as frequently, perhaps, one blog post per day, or one blog post per week is a good benchmark. It’s important to give customers new content, so that they have something new to engage with. The newer the content, the more likely that customers will be engaged with your page.
3: Do you distract them too much with ads?
Advertisements can scare off your customers and prevent them from engaging with your content. Time magazine reports that, on articles with native ad content, only one-third of customers retained more than 15 seconds of engagement, as opposed to a typical article with no ads, that had two-thirds of customers retain more than 15 seconds of engagement. Brandon Yanofsky, also adds that popups are an aggressive form of advertising that can prevent your customers from engaging with your content, if they pop up before customers can read your content. If your customers aren’t able to engage with your content, then chances are, they’ll leave your site.
However, it’s not the advertisements themselves that prevent your customers from engaging with your content. It’s the way that the advertisements are being presented. So how do we change these advertisements for the better? Time suggests, that in order for native advertisements to work, the content needs to show advertising that provides value to the customer. With popups, instead of having them appear when your customers first go into your website, have them pop up before your customers leave. This strategy is more effective, as it grabs their interest before they leave. Advertisements can be effective, but they have to be used wisely.
4: Do you encourage them to explore more?
Once your customers are engaged with your content on the first page they view, they are more likely to explore the rest of your website. Despite the fact that the content on the current page might be interesting enough to keep them on that page, customers will leave your website if they can’t find anything else that is interesting on your website. Even if you do have more content that you think your customers will like, your customers will still leave the page if they can’t see it.
To keep your customers on your website, give them a little nudge in order to show them more of your content. At the end of each post, add a “related posts” section. This strategy allows your customers to see all of the different content you offer on your website, and encourages them to stay on your website longer. You can also add a call to action at the end of posts, in order to get your customers to take action, which can either be signing up for a newsletter, or a free trial of your product. Encouraging your customers to explore your page can not only lead to them staying on your website, but it can also allow your customers to take action by getting involved with your product.
5: Do you offer quick easy support?
Not all websites are created perfectly. Sometimes, customers can run into problems that you may not have expected. Parts of your website or product pages may not be easy to navigate through. While you can definitely make changes to your website over time, correcting the problem that your customers have immediately can be difficult. Customers can experience different problems at the same time, and it is a challenge to address all of these problems at once. Your customers need to have a way to contact you, or get information regarding their questions. If customers aren’t able to have their questions answered immediately or have their problem solved immediately, then they will leave your website to go elsewhere, most likely to your competitors.
Websites that do well focus on creating a seamless digital customer experience for their users. They use technology to understand customer behavior to pre-empt possible issues and fix them before they happen. The scope of user experience has gone beyond just basic ease of use.
Increase your web engagement savvy with artificial intelligence
The era of personalization, self-service and real-time support is now driving website architecture. Websites need to use artificial intelligence to give customers an experience that meets their demands of personalization and instant responses. AnswerDash’s Predictive Q&A Engine can help your customers get the information they need, without ever having to leave the page that they are on. AnswerDash is right there with contextual answers to help your customers with their questions, allowing them to focus on what they came to your website for.
Schedule a free demo of AnswerDash and see how you can redefine customer service and increase your web engagement savvy.
Written by Madeleine Le