A website is built with a clear plan in mind- the end user and how long he or she stays on the site. But the work doesn’t end here. A one-time visit or a first visit is useless without repeats. The idea is to make the site attractive and engaging so that people come to it over and over and that they spend time there and make purchases and avail of services. This means that engaging and retaining users; is a must for websites.

Engaging and Retaining Users

Engaging and Retaining Users

How can a website do both? Here are a few suggestions:

1. The key differentiator

There are many websites out there. What’s it about your site that brings people to it? The key differentiator needs to be thought of with care. There must be something, a value proposition that sets you apart from the others. This is the main method to retain customers. Your differentiator is a statement of resolution- it tells users who you are, how what you have to offer helps them and how they benefit more from procuring whatever it is they are looking for from you and not your competitors.

2. Layout

One of the first things we notice about a website is the visual or word element at the top. This is where your important message should be. After that, the scrolling action of the user depends completely on whether they find the site interesting or not. That means, don’t cram all information on the site in one place. You’ll overwhelm them and that will be counter-productive. Make your website design interesting and easy to use and to navigate through. Your design needs to be simple, with all the details required for easy access.

3. Multi-platform use

If your website lends itself to different platforms- mobile, laptop, tablet etc., it can be used more and more frequently. Your text and visuals should be easily adaptable to whatever the user needs and in the device he or she chooses to use.

4. Keeping up with trends

The design is dynamic and in no time, a website becomes old and tired. If you want to retain users, your website design has to be updated at regular intervals. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change each time, but if there’s a significant tweak that can make a difference to your website appeal, you should be doing it. In fact, a change in website design can even re-launch your brand if you wanted. You could give your business a totally different feel with a revamped look.

5. Urge action

Users want to feel a sense of engagement with the entire experience. It must be interactive. Ask them to sign up for great deals or free stuff. Put the banner in an unobtrusive fashion, so as not to look like you’re bombarding them with a threat. Action can be urged with the kind of language you use and the visuals you harness the power of. Keep it simple, ask them to do something and explain what they get from it.

Work also to eliminate error pages, broken links, and slow pages. All these can put off even the most ardent of users.

A few more useful readings-