Tammy Blythe Goodman

Jun 05, 20173m read

5 Simple Ways To Increase User Engagement On Your Website

With today’s short attention spans and plenty of social apps to choose from, even the biggest publishers are struggling to compete for audience attention. Your website might have an array of valuable content and a bullet-proof editorial strategy but chances are, your audience is talking about the content elsewhere—likely on Facebook, and user engagement on the site suffers. Though social is an important distribution strategy, that click out represents a missed opportunity for you to own the conversation and monetize your traffic.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to engage your audience on-site and keep them coming back for more.

1)    Generate new content, and often – Keeping your website fresh with sticky, relevant content that your audience wants is one of the keys to improving user engagement. Try increasing the frequency of your posts so new content, particularly long-form content, is displayed at all hours of the day. Making these changes will not only improve bounce rates and time on site but also increase retention as readers will perceive your website as timely with more new stories to consume each time they visit.

2)    Showcase more video – Video remains one of the most popular and successful content marketing tactics because it captures attention quickly and connects with viewers on a more emotional level than text. Most publishers agree, and video consumption among users overall has increased significantly in recent years. In fact, online video will account for 74% of all online traffic by 2017, according to Mary Meeker’s infamous Internet Trends Report. Best of all, technological innovations have made video extremely affordable to produce.   

3)    Encourage Readers To Contribute – User generated content (UGC) can convert your site’s occasional visitors into brand loyalists and ultimately transform your site from a url that is occasionally visited into a trusted destination. Editors can assist by engaging with the audience directly. Consider setting up ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) forums or posing questions at the end of your posts to encourage reader feedback, and then offer a safe space for users to contribute. Spot.IM works with hundreds of publishers across a variety of different verticals to turn “old-school” comments into a live community that flourishes throughout the site and includes automatic moderation so editorial teams won’t get bogged down with safety concerns. Specific features for editors to improve user engagement include Community Questions and Live Blogging.

4)  Drive users to existing content – Leveraging evergreen content is an effective way to recirculate traffic around your site. Posting on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can help drive traffic, however, this tactic will inevitably keep the conversation about your content within those walled gardens. You can also purchase traffic via paid media campaigns or content distribution platforms like Taboola and Outbrain but a more cost-effective approach includes simply making changes to your website.

Attract more attention for content pieces that have a high number of views by placing them on your homepage. Consider repackaging the content with fresh headlines to see which titles resonate more with your audience and ultimately drive clicks. Spot.IM offers publishers several on-site recirculation solutions including a ‘Popular in the Community’ feature and a Social Newsfeed, both of which allow users to easily see in real-time which articles within the site are generating comments.  

5)    Measure and Iterate – Once you’ve started to make modifications, it’s time to gauge performance. By leveraging a powerful web analytics tool such as Google Analytics, you can get a better understanding of whether or not your changes have made an impact in how your audience behaves across your site.

Spot.IM builds global communities around the web. For more information on how Spot.IM can help you drive engagement and retention, drop us a line at: love@spot.im.

Tammy Blythe Goodman

Tammy Blythe Goodman is the Sr. Director, Global Communications at Spot.IM. Previously, Tammy managed PR efforts at Innovid and oversaw global communications at Taboola. She is a graduate of American University's School of Communication in Washington, D.C. and earned her MFA in Film from Columbia University.

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