Updated September 24, 2019.
Why should you put time and money into creating content for your website or social media channels? To increase website engagement from your content creation strategy, the content you publish online has to attract and resonate with your target customers.
At AddThis, we conducted a study on trends in content sharing and engagement, and uncovered 5 facts that can help you increase website engagement with your target audience:
1. Apple Users Are More Likely to Engage with Long-Form Content
Use a web analytics software like Google Analytics to find out a lot about the individuals visiting your site, including which operating system they use.
We found that Apple users are 17% more likely to scroll for long-form content. That doesn’t mean that you should cater exclusively to those visiting on an iPhone, iPad, and Mac, but it does mean that you should consider the design, layout and scrolling functionality of your content for those devices.
If the majority of your web visitors are PC users, you’ll likely want to focus on the content more than the design. Since you know they’re less likely to scroll, make the content shorter, especially if you’re using it as a lead-in for a call-to-action. Or, structure your content in a way to encourage scrolling.
2. Tuesdays and Wednesdays Get More Website Engagement
Generally, you can expect higher engagement—about 55%—on a Tuesday or Wednesday. If you have limited resources for production and distribution, start by focusing your efforts on those days of the week.
However, days of higher engagement can sometimes vary by business or industry. Don’t be afraid to test which days might work best for your organization. One way you can do this is by promoting content at the same time on different days to learn your website engagement sweet spot.
3. Increased Website Engagement Happens Most During Business Hours
Don’t tell your bosses, but people engage with content 20% more during business hours. If you have a newsletter or an RSS feed, try to get your content in front of people between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If possible, use a tool that allows you to stagger newsletter sends by time zone, like MailChimp, or publish new content in the early afternoon, where it will fall within business hours for all U.S. time zones.
Keep in mind, social media is the exception to this rule…
4. Social Media Engagement is Higher in the Afternoons/Evenings
People tend to engage with social content more after work hours. This is where scheduling apps like Hootsuite come in handy. If you know there’s a media event happening that’s important for your industry during off-hours, you can schedule relevant social content to publish during that time.
When scheduling social media posts ahead of time, it’s important to make sure you’re aware of the news cycle. When national tragedies happen—hurricanes, attacks, etc.—make sure your scheduled posts are still appropriate. Brands have gotten backlash from users over scheduled posts that seem insensitive during times of crisis.
5. Search Referrals Get More Engagement
Our data shows that website visitors who come through Google search referrals are 10% more likely to continue browsing and go beyond one site page. However, social referrals see a 65% bounce rate after one page.
So, while it’s beneficial for you to get your content shared on social networks, it’s also important to optimize your web pages with the right search keywords and phrases. You can use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner for help, or if you’re a total SEO newbie, here’s a comprehensive beginner’s guide to SEO.
Remember, with SEO you don’t see results overnight, but if you remain diligent, you will see results over the course of a few months. Be mindful that search engines also update their algorithms periodically. This is to encourage websites to update their content.
Use these insights in your content creation and marketing efforts but note that the only way to know what will work—and what won’t work—with your audience is to test out new ideas and tactics. Maybe your audience is most active on a Sunday night. Maybe it’s worth it to hire someone to live-Tweet an evening event because it fits your brand and drives engagement.
The more you know about your audience, the better your chances to increase website engagement.
Last modified: September 24th, 2019