Making your site more interactive can increase the number of visitors who return and who tell others about your site. In other words you want to give you visitor’s reasons to keep coming back again and again.
First and foremost content is king. You must have good, informative content or all the window dressing in the world is wasted. You must also update your content frequently. Now that you have the content in place you need to find ways to encourage your visitors to stick around and interact with your site and each other.
If you are not blogging every day you had better start. This is the quickest and simplest way to get your visitors involved in your site. Invite them to comment and rate your posts. Check out my article here on ways to encourage visitors comment on your blog.
Add polls to your site. This can be done quickly and easily in most cases. To be truly effective your polls should be updated regularly and the results should be available to the voters right away.
Connect your site and your social networks. This is beyond just adding a link to your profiles. Add a Twitter widget that shows your most recent Tweets. Use the Facebook community widget to show the last few visitors and a link to each of their profiles. There is another twitter tool that can add a one click “Tweet This Article” button at the end of every post. Oh and don’t forget Add This which adds a single button to each post that allows users to post your page to tons of sites, bookmark it or email it to a friend.
Speaking of emailing a page to a friend you should consider adding a “Tell A Friend” form to your site. This is a simple form that allows visitors to send a short email to their friends about your site.
Consider holding some sort of competition. This may not be for everyone but it can be very effective if done properly. People love to compete and they love to win stuff, just make sure the contest relates in some way to your product or service.
Add a one click link to Skype. I don’t know about your but everyone I know has a Skype account these days. Adding a link to your Skype gives your visitors a one-click way to get in touch with you.
Add a forum. This is not as easy as creating a poll but can be very effective. This gives you and your visitor a place to interact and it encourages people to become attached to your web site. A forum also provides a way for people to interact with each other and can build a real sense of “community”.
It is this ability to interact and be a part the community that makes the web more gratifying than getting information from a newspaper. Using some (or all) of the things in this article to make your site more interactive can help you create that that sense of community with your web site at the center.
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure how to apply these things to your site. Contact us today and let us take care of the details while you reap the rewards.