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Want Your Visitors to Stay? Be Interactive!

IMG_9077Now that your visitors know you’re here and you’re ready to talk, the problem is: are your visitors willing to respond?

Getting attention once is not easy, I hate saying this, but it is not enough. The fact is that if you want your visitors to stay, you have to keep getting attention, even if it becomes harder and harder each time.

The best way to gain continuous attention from your visitors is to include them into your ‘world’. Make them feel like they’re part of what you’re talking about, or they could actually influence how things are going on your side.

When your visitors feel ‘belonged’ to your place, they’ll become a lot more proactive and interactive.

Here are a few tips you may rely on to turn your visitors into ‘family members’:

Open the door. First thing to get interaction with your visitors is to provide a channel by which your visitors are free to get through to you. This should be a critical and reliable source of feedback.

In-site forums, email contacts, surveys, subscribing forms are all effective methods of soliciting data from your target audiences. Anything that allows visitors to connect with you will increase user interaction. Always respect their privacy and let them know that you will keep all correspondence in confidence.

Embrace critics. Often, one of the ways that your visitors provide you with feedback is through their criticisms. Take note of what people have to say. This is one of the most useful sources of information on how your message is being received by your visitors. Foster user interaction in any way that you can and build upon what you learn.

Write conversational content. Though being an expert in what you write about is fine, it’s never OK to write something full of jargon and make yourself difficult to understand. Try to write your content in conversational and friendly manner.

Build a community. Having a few close friends is great, but managing a community will probably make your sites look more attractive. Intergrate a blog, Facebook comments or Q&A section to encourage visitors to join in your discussions, share ideas and build up personal relationships.

Provide clear navigation. It’s unlikely that a visitor will ever be in the mood for a talk if he’s busy looking for his way to some place.  Showing your visitors around will definitely increase their ‘staying’ time on your site. However, be careful not to do that too much. Never over complicate your navigation and make it clear what you do from the homepage so that visitors can easily tell if you’re the one they’re looking for.

Know if you’re going the right direction. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and try to figure out if you should follow. Take advice from your existing ‘friends’ and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from new visitors.

Give prompt responses. Respond promptly to emails from your visitors. Show them that you value their comments and appreciate what they have to say. When they offer suggestions, take them seriously and make use of the wise ones to help improve your site.

Getting interaction is not only a way to engage your website visitors, but an opportunity for you to figure out what your visitors want on your site. Make more friends there, and soon you’ll build your own kingdom. I’ll give one more secret to share on how to engage your website visitors next week, don’t go away!