How long does it take to make a good first impression?
Researchers at Princeton did a study in 2006 that showed most people make a first impression of another person within seven seconds. Some people can even judge others accurately within one-tenth of a second.
What they see on the page must be useful and valuable – precisely what they are looking for.
It is crucial to engage your potential customer the moment they land on your web page. But you must also guide them through the entire customer journey to ensure they find their solution in your products or services.
When visitors type a term into a search engine and find your content, you want them to do something. They may not be ready to purchase immediately, so you need to add elements that will bring them back to your website or capture their contact details.
Your expected customer behavior could look something like this: The reader consumes your content, clicks through on a call to action (CTA), and then fills out a contact form.
If you keep them hooked, your customer base grows and becomes loyal to your brand. Engaged customers will also share their experiences through social media channels, blogs, and personal recommendations.
This means it should be your top priority to give users an enjoyable and rewarding experience on your website. Offering a memorable experience is key.
But how exactly can you achieve high engagement with gamification?
In this post, we focus on:
- Defining user engagement on your website and beyond
- How to measure various types of user engagement
- What could cause low engagement on your website
- How to use gamification to increase user engagement
- Your next steps
What Is Website User Engagement?
User engagement is different from website traffic. You can have website traffic without any engagement.
Google measures bounce rate by dividing the number of single-page sessions by all page sessions, multiplied by 100.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) also provides an exit rate metric. The difference between bounce and exit rates is that bounces happen on the first (and only) page that the visitor lands on, whereas exits happen on the last page in the session.
Exit rate is beneficial when you know which pages you want visitors to land on after they have completed a valuable action. For instance, a ‘Thank You’ page after a form was filled out or a purchase was completed.
Visitors or app users who take valuable actions on a web page are engaged with the website content. They spend a period of time on your website, visiting multiple pages, and are more likely to convert into customers.
These valuable actions could include reading your blog, watching a video, clicking a button or link, or subscribing to your newsletter.
There are many more forms of user engagement that you can measure on your web pages, depending on the valuable actions you want your visitors and customers to take.
Types Of User Engagement On A Web Page:
- Time on page
- Video watches
- Image gallery views
- Feedback (such as a star rating)
- Form fills
- Pop-up interactions
- Text copy and paste
- Conversions (such as signing up for an account, starting a free trial period, or booking a demo)
- Log ins
User Engagement Beyond Your Website
Additionally, there are other user interactions outside of your website that you can factor in. In Google Analytics, they are attributed as referrals.
Referral traffic in GA4 indicates site visits from clicks on links, buttons, or other elements on external domains. Direct visits, organic search, and paid traffic are not included in referral traffic.
Often, interactions outside of your website are used to drive traffic to your pages. This helps you generate more valuable actions that lead to conversions and sales.
Examples Of External User Engagement:
- Email opens, reads, clicks, and replies
- Social post engagement
- App behavior (for example, activation rates and an increase in feature adoption)
- Links on other websites
- Product reviews
- YouTube (or other video platforms) views and comments
How To Measure User Engagement
Looking at the lists of user engagement types in the previous sections, you may wonder how to start measuring these on your company’s website and beyond.
We have mentioned Google’s Analytics tool for measuring your site’s pageviews, sessions, clicks, and bounce and exit rates. Another core feature GA4 offers is calculating your conversion rate once you have set your Goals.
Goals are actions on your website that you want to measure on your GA4 dashboards: Destination, Duration, Pages/Screens Per Session, and Events. You can set up conditions and labels to facilitate tracking your most valuable customer behaviors.
If you use an email marketing tool to distribute your newsletter or onboarding sequence, then you should be able to access its analytics dashboard and see opens, clicks, and other interactions.
What Causes A Low User Engagement Rate?
There could be a number of reasons why your user engagement is low. Low engagement is often a sign of a poorly designed user experience.
Having a product focus on your website is good, but you must always remember your potential customer’s pain points. What brought them to your site in the first place, and how can your key features answer their needs?
Areas Of Improvement For Low User Engagement Rates:
- Low-Quality User Experience
- Irrelevant Content
- Insufficient Or Incorrect Information
- Low Discoverability
- Unclear CTAs
We will expand on each of these areas of improvement below.
Low-Quality User Experience
A well-planned, user-friendly design and layout can do wonders for the user experience on your website.
Pay attention to how the colors and shapes create contrast and interest. Your website content should attract your visitor’s interest and visually guide them to the most important sections. These highlight core product features with CTAs for the valuable customer behaviors we discussed earlier.
The colors should always be harmonious and not be too sharply contrasted. Many sites also employ a “dark mode” setting to give visitors more accessibility options.
Regarding website copy (the text on the site), brevity and clarity are important factors to consider. The website copy will also be more helpful when you address your target audience using language they can relate to.
To improve readability and accessibility, write in everyday language that would be easy for a high school sophomore to read and understand. Always add metadata such as Alt texts to images to make your content more accessible.
An enjoyable user experience will increase customer loyalty because your website visitors will find what they are searching for quickly and efficiently. It will also create the impression of a helpful product and increase feature adoption – with the minimum development effort.
If you want more engagement on your website, your content should target the relevant audience. When a visitor types a term into a search engine and finds your site, but the content is not aligned with the search term, they will likely bounce.
Moreover, they will create a negative impression of your brand and decide that your products and services are not for them.
But if your content is optimized, helpful, and valuable to your website visitors, you will see more views and clicks.
You should also create different types of content for different user levels. A first-time visitor to your site will search for topical content around your area of expertise or more information about your product. A trial user will be looking for in-depth information on how to use your product features and the pricing.
From a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product perspective, your website content is crucial for a successful onboarding process.
Insufficient Or Incorrect Information
Similarly, a website that lacks sufficient information will seem incomplete or unreliable. Even if your products and services are of good quality and affordable price range, you will see high bounce rates because of insufficient information.
Try and break down complicated feature sets into chunks of information and elaborate on each part. When writing on areas of subject expertise, be as comprehensive as possible.
Put high effort into sharing feature announcements and writing detailed descriptions, so your content is as helpful as possible. As users get to know your product over time, it is likelier that they will convert into customers.
Customers will learn to trust you as a source of reliable and authoritative information in your field, reducing your customer churn rate and increasing user engagement.
Aiming for high traffic numbers on your website will not guarantee high user engagement rates, but it does mean your website will be more discoverable.
Consider employing methodological approaches such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media marketing to home in on your target audience.
Building your website around a marketing strategy will ensure a higher percentage of users engage with your content. You will see a positive revenue impact when your audience is targeted correctly.
There is a reason why content writing and copywriting are two different areas of marketing expertise.
Copywriting for conversion focuses on the customer’s desires and intentions, using their own words to write compelling CTAs.
CTAs are like landmarks that direct visitors through the customer journey to help them get to the conversion. If your CTAs are long and confusing or not well-placed, they will create a barrier to user engagement.
If you have analyzed and addressed the above areas of improvement and have not seen the desired results, consider soliciting individual user feedback.
You can embed a Swipe Game with simple yes and no answers to better understand your website visitors’ and potential customers’ experiences. This is a form of gamification, and it has been proven to make feedback collection more fun and engaging.
Using games in non-game contexts is compelling because it increases cognitive absorption.
Harnessing cognitive absorption through gamification has many benefits, from building customer loyalty to improving conversion rates.
Another way to get feedback on your user experience is to employ a user engagement tool. For example, Hotjar and Mouseflow let you see heatmaps of your visitors’ mouse actions and movements.
We have defined user engagement and examined the valuable actions that may be measured. We have also discussed a few ways to improve your user engagement rate. Now, let us consider how gamification can be used to do this.
Using Gamification To Improve User Engagement
It is clear that high user engagement is a sought-after metric that influences your company’s bottom line.
Imagine you are on a web page and thinking about purchasing a product. Momentarily, a pop-up appears offering you a 20% discount for the product you are interested in.
Would you be more prone to complete your order? We think people would invariably agree that a personalized offer such as this would encourage them to make a purchase.
This is an example of how gamification is utilized to help boost engagement on an ecommerce website. But gamification can be used to enhance any website for more engaged users.
- Gamified Content Marketing
- Instant-Win Games
- User-Generated Content
- Playable Ads
- Interactive Styling
1. Gamified Content Marketing
Effective content marketing is indispensable to keep your consumers interested in your brand.
You can provide your users with interactive elements added to your latest blog posts. This is the strategy that learning management systems (LMSs) focus on to make their online courses engaging and memorable. Social media influencers also often use gamification to make posts more interactive.
For example, your blog post can include a poll or quiz in the middle of a text. This is a proven way to connect your readers with your content.
Gamified content asks website visitors to think about your article’s topic or take a guess at interesting statistics or facts. Your audience will also build a stronger connection with your brand.
Such interactive articles have proven to keep visitors on your website for longer and encourage them to read more of your posts.
2. Instant-Win Games
When a user lands on your website, you can welcome them with a Spin the Wheel Game that offers different prizes. From a 15% discount to a free product, ensure that most customers (if not all) can win something.
Customize your instant win games in various styles and formats using company branding. Personalize the game experience as much as possible to make it more relevant and attractive to potential customers.
3. User-Generated Content
In many cases, user-generated content (UGC) becomes an effective content tool for brands because people enjoy seeing other people’s experiences with brands.
UGC is content created and published by a brand’s customers. It typically includes images, videos, social media posts, reviews, or testimonials.
UGC drives social proof for your products and services, engaging users that would otherwise be passive if they were not presented with an opportunity to interact with your brand.
One entertaining gamified example of this is JibJab’s Christmas e-card service, “Elf Yourself.”
The platform lets its users upload their photos of themselves or their friends and family members’ faces. The photos are embedded in JibJab’s animated dancing elf videos for the user to share. These hilarious videos have been enormously successful, drawing more users by inviting viewers to create their own customized videos.
You can also award prizes for UGC to attract even more users to join a campaign. UGC offers many opportunities to engage customers across all industries, and it will draw the attention of potential customers in your web community.
4. Playable Ads
Seeing more active users on your web pages begins with attracting the right audience to your website.
You can use Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, or other online ad networks to create interactive Search and Display ads.
Ad networks enable you to target users that fulfill certain criteria. For instance, if you have a brick-and-mortar sportswear store in Chicago, USA, then you can target people in Chicago who are searching for sportswear-related keywords online.
We believe gamification is the future of online advertising. Playable ads are more interactive than traditional online ads because they give viewers more autonomy to control the experience. The viewer can cplay a game within the ad or skip certain parts.
5. Interactive Styling
It may seem too basic, but changing the settings on your navigation menu to “stick” it to the top of every web page can improve the user experience significantly.
Your navigation menu usually contains your main CTA (for example, a button that says, “Sign Up” or “Book A Demo”) and all the helpful links to find relevant information on your site. Another option is to create a sidebar menu that sticks to the left- or right-hand side of your blog pages.
Sticky menus will save your users the time and inconvenience of scrolling up whenever they want to navigate to another part of your website. Smoothing out the user journey as much as possible removes barriers to performing valuable actions, such as clicking on the CTAs or filling out a form.
Adding interactive styling to all areas of your website will be beneficial as long as it helps your engaged user on their journey. For example, add a bright brand color and a “pulse” or “jiggle” animation to an important button to indicate the user’s next step.
Ramp Up Your User Experience
Your website is the pillar of your online presence. Disengaged website visitors may lead to massive revenue losses. User engagement tools are essential for measuring the percentage of visitors that turn into customers.
This is why you should implement a customer engagement strategy along with your other marketing efforts. It may take additional development on your website, but it will clarify how people engage with your content and the improvements you can make.
The tips we have shared in this article cover some of the excellent ways to gamify your business with Brame. We can help you discover the various ways to add branded games to your website to increase user engagement. As a result, you will grow your audience’s brand awareness and boost lead conversion.