March 4, 2016 | Rachel Vaughn

Engaging Websites Are the Best Customer Retention Tool

There’s a reason that reality TV shows and the latest potato chip flavor contests continue to thrive, even though the media landscape is already saturated with Kardashians and a slew of crispy snack foods.

While it’s easy enough to find the latest dirt on Kimye, and Lay’s experimental Korean Barbecue flavor clearly (clearly) outclasses Smoked Gouda & Chive, consumers keep coming back for more. When we pause and ask ourselves why we’re so invested in these trivial things, the simple answer is that these brands have mastered the art of engagement.

Given how quickly we become invested in the lives of strangers and the flavors of fried root vegetables, it’s easy to assume that increasing interest in your own business can’t be all that hard. But acquiring and—just as importantly—keeping customers isn’t always easy. It starts with a fundamental inbound marketing principle: you have to understand your buyer personas and give them reasons to stay interested. This applies not only to your content, but also to your website.

Design Your Site for More Than Aesthetics

Beautiful visuals and the perfect typography are critical aspects of website design. However, even the most attractive concept falls flat without the right structure to underpin its good looks. That’s because it's easier to make a good first impression than it is to keep your visitors engaged over time.

One way to ensure your website’s lasting appeal is to employ user interface and user experience (UI/UX) design best practices, which will help guide your visitors to the content they need most. Your website can be a responsive showpiece—on a desktop or mobile device—that’s beautiful and easy to navigate. That will encourage users to explore more of your site in each visit.

Focus on Converting Leads

Producing fresh, compelling, and relevant content for your website is an excellent idea, but you need to back it up with special offers that will help convert your website visitors into leads you can nurture and re-engage.

Whether it’s a downloadable ebook, white paper, or  checklist, your offer should be targeted to your buyer persona at a specific point in the buyer's journey. When a lead gives you contact information in exchange for a resource, they are giving you permission to reach out to them again.

These content offers trigger email workflows that are sent to leads automatically. In these emails, you can re-engage leads with blog posts they haven't yet seen, content offers that relate to their needs, and, finally, with information about your products and services. 

Keep Them Involved with Your Brand

Do you have a company Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, or Instagram account? Make sure those social icons are clearly visible and easy to find, so visitors can quickly share your content and follow you on those platforms.

Potential customers connect with brands on social media to explore products and services they're interested in, interact with customer service representatives, and educate themselves (for example, VIEO's followers want to learn about inbound marketing).

When people share your content, you gain exposure to a brand-new audience, and many of those people will follow links to your website. It becomes a feedback loop: social sharing and follow buttons engage people on your website, and those shares and followers bring in more visitors. You might also consider adding a feed to your site, so that visitors can see your updates and be more inclined to follow you, and even like and share your posts right there.

Get Your Metrics Together

If you’re not monitoring your website analytics, you’re doing it wrong. The right software or platform can certainly help parse the flow of information into insightful, actionable points on which to build more incisive marketing.

Pay attention to which pages—whether it’s services, your portfolio, or even your staff directory—visitors are accessing, lingering on, and revisiting. This will give you an indication of where they’re finding the most valuable information, so that you can fine tune the material there even further. Once your website has been redesigned, it shouldn’t remain static until the next overhaul. Continue to tweak your content and even design with improvements geared toward better retention.

You don’t need to televise a stray Kardashian or invent a new chip flavor (may we suggest Chinese Delivery Leftovers? Or Questionable Tuna Sandwich?) to draw and keep your customers. But you do need to be smart about how you use your tools in support of your inbound marketing strategies and goals.

Check out VIEO’s own website redesign and learn why we’re so awesome at what we do.

VIEO Design Free Website Assessment

Rachel Vaughn

Rachel Vaughn

As a content marketer for VIEO Design, Rachel Vaughn brings serious research chops and boatloads of personality to everything she writes for VIEO and our clients. In particular, she spends her time writing blog posts, website pages, workflow emails, and other marketing materials designed to engage readers and help them connect with VIEO and our clients.

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