How to Make Your Website Interactive for Users
It’s hard enough to get people’s attention these days, but even once you’ve achieved that all-important step, keeping their interest is a whole different ball game.
We know that video content is the most popular way to keep viewers on your site, with more than 90% of marketers using that as their main tool. But the facts are that, as video content continues to grow in popularity, it’s no longer a surefire way to ensure that you keep the attention of your visitors.
Drawing your viewers in — and keeping them there — requires something a little more intriguing. And interactive website design could be exactly what you need to make your website climb the rankings, keep the bounce rate down, and entice your visitors back time and time again.
Here are six expert-recommended methods for boosting interactivity on your website, and thus increasing interest, engagement, and length of stay.
- Interactive navigation
- Quizzes and polls
- User-generated content
- Invitations to engage
- Internal links
Effective, workable, user-friendly navigation is always a must for good website design. If your visitor can’t easily find what they’re looking for, your user experience is obviously lacking.
But navigation also offers a unique opportunity to integrate interactivity in a way that doesn’t draw undue attention to itself and melds seamlessly with the overall UI of the site. Consider designing your navigation to respond when visitors hover over links, giving them a preview of what that link will lead to, extra options, or even just interesting factoids.
You could also link animation or movement to the navigation, such as sending off bursts of fireworks when a link is clicked. As long as it suits the overall tone of the site and doesn’t interfere with the navigation itself, adding user-influenced design options could be a great way to build visual interest and carve out a unique user experience.
Quizzes And Polls
One surefire way to get your visitor engaged with your content is to ask their opinion. Everyone has one, and it seems like everyone feels as though they deserve more opportunities to share theirs! If you introduce a quiz or poll within your site design, you’ll play into that innate feeling and increase engagement in an organic way.
Polls also have the added benefit of making visitors feel as though they are contributing something vital to the site, which also increases emotional investment.
User Generated Content
A favorite tactic for marketers and content creators alike, user generated content is also a fantastic way to create interactivity opportunities for your visitors. Invite your visitors to submit reviews, or create UGC contests that allow your customers and clients to tell their own stories and how your company has impacted their lives.
Another way to encourage UCG is through contests that offer rewards to the participants. Let’s say that you have an interactive graphic design site that is based on a crowdsourced business model, and you need to bring in interest in order to build your site. Creating unique, ongoing contests, such as a logo design contest for your ecommerce website for example, will generate continued interest. If a contributor doesn’t win that time, you can offer encouragement for them to continue to apply, and even add incentives for recurring participation.
UGC builds trust and an emotional connection between the brand and the consumer, which in turn builds brand loyalty. It’s also a cost-effective way to create content and market at the same time. And it provides a uniquely interactive experience for your website visitors.
User generated content works best when utilized over multiple platforms, so make sure to involve your social media accounts to reach the widest possible audience.
Invitations To Engage
Following closely on the heels of user generated content and polls, consider incorporating other invitations to engage within your website design. These can be especially effective if used for missed selling opportunities, such as when a visitor leaves the site without following through on a purchase. Ask for feedback about how the site experience can be improved, and you may find that the consumer rethinks their position and returns to complete the purchase.
You can also ask for feedback once the purchase has been completed, allowing you to highlight brand commitment to customer satisfaction and a constant drive to elevate the process. Streamline this process and make sure your request for comments is detailed and clear. Good news is that you can find dozens of different samples and templates online which you can use or get inspiration from, to make your request for feedback as simple, formal, and comprehensive as possible.
Internal links are a fundamental part of driving traffic internally, especially for blog posts and re-worked or updated content. But they can also be an interactivity tool.
Internal links are essential for creating site architecture, but they also contribute to creating an individualized user experience. Linking to more information on related subjects gives each visitor the chance to pursue their interests within the framework of the website, giving them a shortcut that doesn’t require searching keywords in order to find what they’re interested in.
With a well-organized, hierarchical site, you can pre-structure your visitor’s experience by putting all the information they need at their fingertips. It’s up to them whether they want to follow through, but tracking page views and length of visits may give you valuable insight into just how internal linking promotes interactivity in UX.
We all like to be rewarded, and if we can find rewards through something as simple as visiting a website every day, then we’ll probably find the time to do so.
A great example of how this works can be seen with ThredUp, which rewards visitors who sign into the site at least fifteen days out of every month. The reward is given in points, which contributes to certain goals the visitor can reach, such as free shipping for purchases.
Rewarding your visitor can be done in any number of ways, but the ultimate goal is to gamify the site visiting experience so that your visitor is continually motivated to come back again and again. The level of interactivity here may vary depending on how you structure the rewards and what needs to be done, but the important part is to keep it from being too far out of reach — a month’s worth of site interactivity is one thing, but requiring visits over an extended period of time will likely seem like too large of an investment for comparatively little reward.
Interactivity, by whatever means works for your site, is a great way to encourage your visitors to invest on an emotional level in your brand, and ultimately drives interest and engagement, resulting in boosted numbers and company growth. Considering how easy it can be to introduce interactivity, it’s definitely worth the effort!
Diligent, meticulous and having an avid understanding of the business dynamics, Hannah Williams works with clients who want the best for their business. She’s a content strategist, a brand designer, and a corporate communication consultant. Connect with her.