AddThis Academy

An ever-growing library of resources to help you become a better online marketer.

5 Tips to Increase Website Engagement with Your Audience

Why should you put time and money into creating content for your web site or social media channels? In order to increase website engagement from your content creation strategy, the content you publish online has to resonate with and attract your target customers.

At AddThis, we recently conducted a study on trends in content sharing and engagement, and uncovered five facts that can help you increase website engagement with your target audience:

1. Apple Users Are More Likely to Engage with Long-Form Content

Using a web analytics software like Google Analytics you can find out a lot about the individuals visiting your site—including what operating system they use. It’s probably not a data set you’ve spent much time looking over, but it’s important, especially if you’re producing long-form content.

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 to a call to action. Or, structure your content in a way to make it desirable enough to encourage scrolling.

2. Tuesdays and Wednesdays Get More Website Engagement

Generally speaking, you can expect higher engagement—55% higher—on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. If you have limited resources for production and distribution, start by focusing your efforts on those days of the week.

That being said, days of higher engagement can sometimes vary by business or industry. Don’t be afraid to test for your day or days of maximum engagement. One way you can do this is by promoting the same piece of 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 the bosses, but people are engaging 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 9:00am and 5:00pm. If you have the capability, 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 in all U.S. time zones.

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 during the commute home and during popular TV shows. Anyone who was on Twitter when Syfy first aired “Sharknado” will understand the connection between television and social media.

Not every business has the resources to live-Tweet at night while users are watching TV, and it doesn’t make sense for every industry. 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 post 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, terrorist 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 Google search referrals are 10% more likely to continue browsing and see beyond one page on a website. Social referrals see a 65% bounce rate after one page. So, even though it’s great for you to get your content shared on social networks, it’s also a good idea to optimize your 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 keep at it you will see results in the medium-to-long-term. It’s important to note that search engines update their algorithms over time, so you’ll have to keep up with the latest news to make the most of your optimization efforts.

Try to utilize these insights in your content creation and marketing efforts, but remember: 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 The Bachelor because it fits your brand and it drives engagement.

The more you know about your audience, the better your chances to increase website engagement.

Last modified:  May 24th, 2016