Get Your Website Engaged!

5/16/2007

- Danielle Leitch, Exec. Vice President

What "opportunities" do you offer on your website outside of the call to action leading to a conversion?

It is really important to provide information that will engage visitors so they go from just visitors, to site users. In prior articles, we have shared the importance of providing a clear call-to-action or conversion path(s), actually multiple points of conversion are optimal. This offers options and provides a wider acquisition net for you to capture prospects or sales. However, it is equally important to give people a reason to engage with your site frequently - thereby, encouraging repeat visits and/or lengthy stays. It is critical to provide them with valuable information. Simply offering them a service or a product just isn't enough. Telling them you are the low cost leader isn't compelling for repeat visits.

Think about what you offer, sell, provide, etc. Are there complimentary services available that you could share or provide insight on?

What information might be useful to them either pre or post purchase or during the research phase?

Some of the most engaging sites I have visited have done all of the above.

If you sell something, provide guides or resources on how to use it or keep it or make it last longer. If it is a collectors item, perhaps offer an open forum for users to blog about it or post stories/photos about their collections. Allowing users or customers to share their personal stories or share with each other creates a community. People often become very engaged with a community -especially attractive for you if that community is hosted on your site/domain or closely connected to it.

Here are a few examples:

Real Estate Provider? (sales, rentals, vacations or destination spots)
You offer a service and will likely display to the visitor all of the differentiators as to why to use your company over competitors. But what can you do/provide for them outside of info leading to an acquisition or sale? In this scenario typically providing community information and reviews, local guides and tourist offerings, discounts or special deals in the area - are key. What information would they need before, during or after that you could readily provide them and keep them updated (weather, construction / travel updates, county fairs or art shows)?

Service Professional (doctor, lawyer, arbitrator or medical treatments)
These are often important decisions with much research during the selection process.
Many times people are unsure of what is offered or available in these fields or what their options may be. This is a great opportunity to present research and education to site users versus just yourself or your firm's credentials. Engage them on your site and chances are your company name will become familiar and they will remember you when it's selection time.

Sell Diabetic Products?
Hopefully, customers will come to you when they need to buy a product, but how you can you engage them to visit or return to your site otherwise? These subsequent visits will become much more memorable and favorable than the purchasing visits and should help to sustain their business long term. By providing valuable resources (recipes, medical research or articles on published studies, recommended user forums, etc.) to the diabetic community and their caretakers, it shows interest in them outside of selling a product. The ROI on this type of customer connection could be invaluable (think branding and loyalty).

Look at your site and its visitors to derive a strategy for developing pertinent and relevant content. This should be compelling and interesting plus updated regularly. If the data is stale, there is less likelihood for people to return again, as they will assume nothing new has been posted. Blogs, Newsletters, White Papers, Forums are all interesting ways to keep them coming back for more.

Danielle Leitch is Executive Vice President of MoreVisibility. She can be reached at dleitch@MoreVisibility.com

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