7 ways to make your website more engaging

Table of Contents

Your website is a vital cog in your marketing machine, so the ability to engage your audience and convince them to interact with your website will have a powerful effect on your online conversion rates.

I spend a lot of time looking at websites. Whether that’s searching the net, looking for new content and information, critiquing people’s websites or working on our client’s sites, I’m always online. And I must say 95% of all the websites I visit are rubbish – horrible to look at, broken links, missing images, no user engagement, I could go on and on. Sure, some great websites are out there, but they’re much harder to find. When you stumble across a good website, you’ll notice that you tend to spend more time on the site without consciously thinking about it. You’re engaged, and you want to know more, but why?

There are a few fundamental things all good, engaging websites have in common.

Let me explain them.

Design does matter

If I go to a poorly designed website with pixelated images, horrible colours, horrible fonts, and poor alignment, I’m instantly distracted by its look and feel. If the site is that bad, I subconsciously judge that the company is either small or not bothered by its public image.

I recently reviewed a company specialising in train refurbishment. This is a BIG company with over 70 staff and a turnover of £10 million a year, but its website suggested it was working out of its parents’ basement. This did not showcase the company’s experience and expertise, and it was also losing potential clients. It’s something I see ALL the time.

You only have 8 seconds to make the right first impression. Make it a good one.

Mix up the layout a bit.

Have you ever gone to a website with the same sidebar on every page that runs for infinite scrolls? The same old sign-up boxes, the same related blog posts, blah blah blah. Boring! Mixing up your pages’ layout and serving different content related to the page content you are on with different colours or words will make you instantly more engaged because the design has changed. The brain has to process something new (a bit of science for you), and the content isn’t the same as the last ten pages they’ve looked at.

Personalisation

People buy from people, and if you can talk to and relate to your site visitors, the more interested they will be in your business and what you have to offer. Get some good-quality pics taken of yourself and the team and get them around the site. Stock imagery does serve a purpose, but don’t use the same good-looking brunette holding a phone that every other site uses.

A person sitting at a desk is using a laptop displaying a thumbnail grid of images. The desk has a glass of water and a lamp in the background, creating a tidy and well-lit workspace.
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Content

The content you want people to read needs to be easy to find, useful to the user and not over complicated. Studies show people read content differently on a website than they do a newsletter or article.

If they see a page with tons of copy, they will usually move on, looking for shorter chunks of information to digest. If you are selling a product or service and have a sales page with the only purpose of the page being to sell, you can get away with a lot of copy as long as it’s engaging and offers a benefit to the reader.

Videos

Video is without a doubt one of the most engaging tools you can put on your website. Why? The simple sound of a human voice speaking to us has an amazing way of converting information into meaningful content, and the movement certainly grabs people’s attention.

It’s been built into our DNA since the Stone Age; we’ve survived by noticing things in motion – it looks like we still do! People are also lazy. We naturally find video easier to consume than trawling through masses of copy.

Just throwing any old video on your website won’t work, though. Filming in your living room wearing your comfy clothes with EastEnders playing on the 42-inch just won’t cut it. It needs to be professionally put together to deliver your message uniquely and personally.

Navigation & Calls to actions

Can people navigate your website quickly and easily? Does the content they’ve found link them to the service, product or information you want them to go to?

A common mistake I see with many websites is that they rely only on the top navigation bar. It’s better to use multiple navigation points around your site, as it will enable users to find exactly what they’re looking for quickly and easily without even having to think about it.

You must also tell people what you want them to do on your website and why. A good call to action isn’t salesy; it simply supports the content and helps you get the user to either click the button or give you a call.

Device friendly

Ever heard the term mobile responsive? What does this mean? Basically, how does your website look on a mobile phone? Does it respond to the device’s screen size, or do you have to pinch and zoom on your phone to view the content? Making your website responsive to the device the user is looking at will give them a much more enjoyable browsing experience, allowing them to find and read the content they are looking for. This will bring them back to your site again and again. You can check out our more detailed post here if you’d like to learn more about responsive websites.

Conclusion

So to make your website engaging you need it to look nice, to be easy to get around, to be mobile friendly, personable and your content needs to be interesting and have some personality. These things can make a huge difference to your website and your conversions.

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A book titled "7 things to change on your website to get more leads in just 7 days" with a subtitle underneath. The cover features a blurred background image of a person typing on a laptop with various documents around. The bottom left corner has the logo "melt.

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