One of the most important – yet often overlooked – steps to building a solid digital presence is improving your site’s on-page engagement.
What is on-page engagement?
On-page engagement is any type of action that a user chooses to perform upon landing on your web page.
If a web user clicks any link on your page, opts into your email list, adds a comment or even scrolls down to read further – all of these actions may be referred to as on-page engagement.
A decade ago, converting a page visitor into a buyer was much easier. Building a well set-up, clutter-free sales funnel was all it took.
These days things have changed for several reasons:
- The consumer is basically overwhelmed with online content: they seldom have time to take a pause and dive in. No wonder attention spans are growing shorter
- Online competition is growing fast, and consumers are being bombarded with ads and offer all over the web
Plus, not all of your web pages are created to actually sell, so focusing on direct conversions across the board means missing out on other goals which include building brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Both of those goals can be achieved by increasing on-page engagement. In fact, getting a web user engaged with your page helps your business on many levels, including:
- Getting them more familiar with your brand (which builds brand loyalty and helps reputation management)
- Generating natural backlinks which increase rankings and drive clicks
- Growing your brand’s assets, including your email list, etc.
On top of all that, on-page engagement (i.e. clicks, shares, comments) helps build brand awareness, which is the foundation of everything that contributes to your brand’s bottom line:
Three ways to boost on-page engagement
1. Optimize content for search intent
Search intent is basically what a web user intends to do when typing a certain query into the search box. You want your landing page to match its target query search intent because this means giving your site visitors what they want.
Naturally, if you give your site visitors what they need, they will be more likely to engage with your page. It’s as easy as that.
Google gives you lots of cues as to what its users are likely to be interested in when searching. For example, typing pizza into Google’s search box, it becomes pretty clear that:
- Google has found its users to be interested in ordering pizza when typing that search term
- People searching for pizza often find it helpful to see its nutritional information
Not many people searching Google for pizza are into finding a recipe, so we don’t see that information anywhere in the top of SERPs:
Simply searching Google for your target queries gives you lots of insight into what Google’s users expect to find.
It is also a smart idea to use semantic search tools that give you even more data to act upon. Text Optimizer uses Google’s search snippets to suggest related terms, entities, and concepts that will help you to create a page copy that does a good job of meeting Google’s and its users’ expectations:
The more terms you use, the better results you’ll get. Creating content-based on Text Optimizer’s recommendations helps Google classify it as the most relevant page based on the identified search intent.
Assuming you have common usability and SEO issues fixed on your site, optimizing for search intent is going to boost your on-page engagement.
2. Use smart content recommendation tools
Why are people leaving your site? Because there’s nothing else on your site that may interest them.
And it’s not always about related content or further reading. If you did your job well, your readers may have satisfied their thirst for answers on this particular topic when reading the article on which they landed.
It’s about giving them more interesting topics to read. That’s where the idea of Alter comes in.
Alter is the smart content recommendation engine that uses Artificial Intelligence to learn more about your audience and suggest content that is more likely to grab their attention.
Alter also uses exit-intent popups to lure your readers back into the site when they are about to leave:
3. Add interactive page elements
Finally, giving your site users something to play with goes a long way. That could be as simple as embedding a video, or something as advanced as offering them to complete an interesting survey.
Your own imagination is the only limit here. Luckily, there’s no shortage of tools with which to experiment:
- Here’s a list of interactive website templates that allow you to easily add slideshows, interactive HTML page elements, countdown widgets, and more
- Create interesting and entertaining surveys easily using SurveyAnyPlace (we had a pleasure to interview their founder)
- Here’s how to create (and embed) interactive timelines with Google Docs
- Create interactive product walk-throughs with WhatFix
- On-page engagement helps on many levels, including boosting conversions, building brand loyalty and fostering positive reviews
- To improve your on-page engagement, start with optimizing your copy for search intent using WordPress or other CMS tools.
- Use various tools that utilize algorithms to engage your users when they are ready to leave
- Give your site users diverse and interactive page elements like surveys, videos and more