Once you’ve attracted your ideal prospects to visit your website, you must keep them engaged with an exceptional experience. One of the most powerful ways to do that is to add interactive features to it.
Leading consumer websites like Amazon.com have raised the bar for everyone. Even B2B prospects now expect highly personalized, interactive website experiences that help them find what they’re looking for faster, anticipate their needs, entertain them and build trust.
According to a recent Salesforce survey, 64% of people said they want personalized brand experiences, and 73% say they want businesses to use the data they collect to create a more personalized experience.
The opportunity for B2B companies is enormous: If you can convert a greater percentage of passive website visitors into active participants, you win. If you can deliver a brand experience that’s head and shoulders above anything your competitors have to offer, you win. If you can persuade visitors to spend more time on your website, you win. If you get visitors to subscribe to your mailing list, you win BIG!
What’s working today?
Today’s interactive websites incorporate a variety of tools and technology to create a more personalized and relevant experience for their target audiences. Here’s a round-up of those that promise to deliver the greatest engagement, trust and conversions.
Animations are some of the simplest and most eye-catching improvements you can make to your website. Examples include:
- Buttons that change color when you hover over them to show that they’re clickable,
- Menus that automatically expand as you hover over them,
- Paragraphs of text and images that glide into position as you scroll down the page,
- Expandable/contractible sections of content that provide additional detail to visitors who may be interested in it, but stay out of the way for page skimmers,
- Scroll-triggered recommendations for additional content visitors may find to be of interest,
- Infographics with interactive data visualizations that spring to life as you hover over them,
- Images that zoom in as you mouse over them, and
- Calls to action that incorporate moving elements, which draw visitor attention to them.
Everyone is drawn to videos. They’re a great platform to tell highly engaging stories in ways that words and pictures cannot. Here are some of the innovative ways they can be used to command your prospects’ attention:
- An eye-catching video that plays in the background of your website’s home page can immediately give visitors a sense of what your company does or who it serves,
- An animated “explainer” video that simply and visually explains how your product or service works and what problems it solves for customers,
- Videos that include captions, for those visitors who prefer to navigate the web with their speakers off while they’re at work,
- Videos divided into chapters so visitors can zero in on the segments that are most relevant to their needs, and
- E-commerce product videos that contain buttons so visitors can easily add those items to their shopping cart
Interactive data-based tools
This type of content enables visitors to type data or answer questions and receive customized recommendations, advice or product recommendations in return. These interactive tools build trust and engagement – and make it more likely that visitors will share their email address with you. They can also be fun and entertaining. Examples include:
- Quizzes, and
- Solution finders.
These simple web page add-ons can help you to present special offers and opt-ins to download eGuides, white papers and other resources.
Pop-ups are ideal for offering your visitors “content upgrades.” Here’s how they work: Let’s say you’ve already hooked readers with an information-packed, longer-form article. While they’re reading, a pop-up appears that offers an additional resource about that same topic in exchange for their email address. Because the visitor is already invested in your ideas and expertise, they’re more likely to sign-up for your content upgrade.
Pop-ups can also be programmed to appear when a visitor’s cursor movement hints that they’re getting ready to leave your web page. When this happens, an “exit pop-up” can appear with a simple message that says “Before you leave…” or “Check this out…”
Other embeddable elements
Many types of content can be embedded in your web pages to make them more engaging. From YouTube videos and interactive infographics to expandable lightboxes and SlideShare presentations, the sky’s the limit.
What’s relevant to the needs of your target audience that you could add to make your content more interesting, entertaining and engaging?
Chatbots make it easy for visitors to ask questions and get help in finding what they need, without human intervention. They can be used to assist visitors with website navigation, handle customer service functions and respond to basic sales support inquiries. Thanks to continually advancing AI capabilities, many chatbots are getting remarkably “smart” at anticipating and reacting to visitor needs!
The easier you make it for visitors to share your content with others, the more likely they are to do so. Each article on your blog should contain buttons that help them share your content with the social networks of their choice.
An even smarter strategy is to create tweetable text snippets of your article and embed them at intervals within it. That saves the reader time – all they need to do is click on a link next to the snippet, and it will be loaded into their social media platform, ready to share with their followers.
One of our favorites is the social sign-in. This allows visitors to subscribe or login to a page using their identity from social networks such as Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.
How to incorporate these elements into your website
You’ve worked hard to create and optimize content that attracts the right people to your website. Once they get there, give them reasons to stay, engage and self-identify so that you can proactively reach out to them.
If you can create a truly unique experience for your target audience, it will attract more inbound links and visitors. They’ll spend more time-on-page. The result? Higher rankings in Google and other search engines, as well as remarketing opportunities.
But how do you decide what types of interactive elements to add to your web pages? As always, focus on the deepest needs of your customers and prospects – their pain points, their needs and their aspirations. If you aren’t sure, do some research to identify website features that have helped you to have a positive experience when searching for information. Also, check out which interactive tools your competitors employ on their websites. As always, reach out to us for guidance.
Make sure that the interaction style you choose enhances the experience for visitors. Less is more. Remember, you want to create a guided experience that will nurture them toward a sale, not confuse them with distracting or irrelevant page elements.
If you haven’t audited your website recently, we’re happy to offer recommendations. A good first step is a back-to-basics approach to measure how well your website attracts the right people for the right reasons. Check out our SEO Audit Scorecard. It focuses on four key areas that you must be aware of to improve your website’s visibility to your ideal prospects.
After you’ve completed this assessment, please contact us for a free 20-minute consultation.
For more articles in this Fast Forward series, please click on the links below. Each article contains a free, downloadable worksheet, which can help you get started implementing the approaches you’ve read about: