Research makes it clear: You only get one chance to make a first impression — and that chance comes with an incredibly small window of time.
How small? 50 milliseconds. That’s right, in the first 50 milliseconds of landing on your site, visitors make a snap judgment about the visual appeal of your website and decide whether to stay or go.
But this is just the beginning. Even if you perfect the first impression, you still need to stick the landing. In practice, this means creating a website that offers both style and substance to keep users coming back.
Not sure how to make your website more engaging? We’ve got you covered with 17 tips for success.
17 Tips for Enhanced Website Engagement
Ready to make your website more attractive? Let’s get started.
Start With a Simple and Clear Homepage
Our first tip for engaging website design is creating a simple and clear homepage.
Here’s why: When visitors land on your site, you want them to immediately know who you are and what you do. If they have to click through multiple pages or navigate multiple menus for this information, they won’t stay long, and they won’t come back.
Best bet? Start with a powerful, easy-to-use website builder — such as the Wix Website Builder — to create simple and engaging designs that help capture user attention.
Utilize Easy and Intuitive Navigation
Next up is easy and intuitive navigation. It makes sense: Sites that don’t use obvious menu buttons or links, or those that require multiple clicks for a simple action, quickly frustrate users.
As a result, it’s critical to make sure that navigation is simple, easy and clear — the less time it takes users to find your product or service pages, the better your chances of converting a new customer.
Choose Color Schemes and Imagery Strategically
Colors and images can help your website stand out. The colors and images you choose, however, determine if you stand out for the right reasons.
For example, colors such as bright blue and pale yellow have a generally negative effect on the user experience. The same is true of sites that use a single-color scheme or overload every page with images. Here, the goal is moderation: Use a color scheme that’s easy on the eyes and helps written content stand out, and place images with a purpose rather than simply filling the space.
Use Highly Legible Font Styles
Fun fonts such as Comic Sans are great for comic books, but not so great for websites. When it comes to making your website more appealing, the more readable, the better, so opt for simple and highly legible font styles.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use White Space
White space, like white noise, can be soothing. Too much color and too many images can distract from the impact of your site. Instead, use white space to break things up.
Display Clear Calls to Action (CTAs) on Pages
Just because visitors are on your site, it doesn’t make them a guaranteed sale. Make sure they know where to go for what they want by putting a clear call to action on each page. This could be a discount offer, an invitation to sign up for a newsletter or a notice about new products — whatever works.
Break Up Content With Headers
Huge blocks of text are hard to read. It’s one reason we’ve broken up this piece into 17 subsections. If we removed all the headers, chances are you would have stopped reading long ago.
Have Contact Information Easily Available
Email addresses, social media handles and phone numbers: Make sure they’re prominently displayed on each page. While customers committed to finding and purchasing your product might be willing to search for buried contact info, most visitors will simply leave.
Focus on Creating Content Users Actually Want to Read
The rule here is simple: Content is king. If you’re not creating informational content that users want to read, they won’t read it — and you’ll miss opportunities for growth.
Develop Your Preferred Tone for the Audience
Is your brand funny? Serious? Are you experts in the field or just learning? No matter what tone you select for your website content, make sure it’s consistent and aligns with customer expectations.
Integrate Social Media Sharing Options
If customers really like your product, they’ll tell their friends. Social media sharing options such as hashtags and handles make it easier for buyers to tag your brand in their social posts and help bring in new business.
Utilize Videos & Other Interactive Media
User video consumption is on the way up. As a result, it’s worth utilizing videos and other interactive media to capture visitor interest when they arrive.
Consider Implementing a Chatbot/Chat Widget
Chatbots are AI-driven tools designed to answer basic visitor questions without the need for a human agent. They’re also a great way to boost engagement, since they let visitors get the general information they need ASAP and get them transferred to human agents if their questions are more specific.
Add Internal Links to Other Pages Across the Site
Link to your own content wherever possible. For example, if you sell windows and you’ve written an article about the difference between double- and triple-pane windows, link to this content and make it easier for visitors to explore your site.
Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly
Desktop-only websites are no longer enough. To drive consistent engagement, you need a site that adapts to user devices. Known as responsive design, this practice ensures that no matter how visitors are connected — whether via desktops, smartphones or tablets — your site delivers a consistent experience.
Consider Making SEO Enhancements
It’s also worth improving your search engine optimization (SEO) to help your site rank higher. There are now a host of free tools that improve SEO design to help optimize your site design, content and linking strategy to boost search results.
Test Your Site for Technical Errors
Technical errors can slow down your site or cause the wrong information to be displayed, in turn reducing visitor engagement. Make sure your site is performing as expected by regularly testing for technical errors.
User Engagement: More than the Sum of Site Parts
While each aspect of your site — from home pages to color choices, video use and SEO optimization — can help boost engagement, getting the most from your site means understanding that this is a team effort. By creating a consistent, compelling and content-driven site, you can deliver sustained engagement to boost overall site success.