Your website is like your virtual office where visitors step in now and then, spend some time going through what you do and what you have to offer, before they leave. A visitor who plans to invest in your services is not one you are bothered about- he is interested anyway. They key is here is to make him believe that he has taken the right decision by choosing you over your competitors. The other and more important concern is to get those visitors hooked on to your site, who chanced upon your site. They do not know you, have not heard of you, and it’s like an opportunity to impress them or they go to someone else.
Now think of your office, store or studio, where you or your staff takes personal care to show your visitors around, make them feel welcomed, at home and sow that you are keenly interested in assisting them. An interactive website refers to such features introduced to your site which are aimed at enhancing your website’s capability to engage customers in a manner that they find a good reason to stay on the website, enjoy meaningful interaction, and keep coming back for more.
This uphill task can be achieved by taking care of a few areas on your website.
First, design wise, upgrade to a responsive design (if you already haven’t!). With multiple gadgets, mankind is now on the move 24*7, and need to connect just as frequently. By limiting your site to the traditional viewing experience, you are not only limiting your viewers to come see you, even those who do will be unimpressed with what they see, because they have seen and experienced better.
Second, consider getting a content management system (CMS). A CMS allows you to keep a tab of what you display on your site by giving you access to the backend of your site, and continuously update the content for customers to come back for something new each time. Blogging is a great way to share your thoughts, ideas, personal experiences and expert views on your subject matter. In the process, it helps you reach out to your intended audience. Besides, WordPress, the framework that best supports a blog site, is a SEO friendly platform, so you have a website which is already optimized to pull relevant crowd.
Today, social media is the dictator. Ignoring such a vast space which can give your business a huge boost if manipulated properly, would be a foolish thing to do. Make the optimum use of this tool to connect with people, talk about your brand and spread the word. We spend a long time on Facebook anyway! If not into social media yet, hire a professional.
Fourth, and one that naturally follows from the last input is to stay connected, once you make a contact. Be it any medium, once you have become known as a small growing company, inactivity will brand you non-existent! In this aspect, a very delicate way to make your presence felt is by responding to posts and comments by your audience. If you maintain a blog, there are chances that you will get customer inputs after a while. Responding to them is a way to connect with your audience and engage them into further communication.
Apart from blogs and social media, elements that can enhance your interaction with your audience is by participating in forums, guest posts etc. They make you more visible, and in turn get you connected to lot more people. You can also throw close ended questions to your audience asking them to poll. These steps create an informal connection and encourage your visitors to grow familiar with your site and brand.
Again, today, there are thousands of plug-ins and widgets to keep your visitors engaged. In fact, you can offer a host of freebies on your site which can be downloaded or accesses free of cost or at minimum cost to keep members coming back. Make intelligent and selective use of these elements to make your place fun and impressive. Remember - keeping it simple is the key!
Another smart way to uplift the site and making it interactive is by introducing a few, may be a couple of videos and a few images to convey your message. Many users are not so good with text and get bored with just black and white data. Offer variety and use relevant images to make the site look bright. Needless to mention, user discretion is recommended – you don’t want so many images and videos that it takes ages to load the page!
Finally, once you have established the above, maintain your interaction with your audience through their posts and comments, work on their feedback (remember –receiving feedback means someone is reading you!), throw questions, or simply invite thoughts once you have shared your point of view. As long as you can offer something new to your audience, they will keep coming back!