The name of the game for web publishers is engagement. It’s not enough to optimize for search and drive traffic to your website. The real trick is convincing visitors to stay once they get there.
There’s a long list of tactics web publishers can use to improve engagement metrics such as time on site and pages per visit. Here are three under-the-radar tools that give editors more options for promoting editorial content and encouraging audience interaction.
The ReadrBoard widget lets readers post “reactions” to an article or individual paragraphs and images within a post. A drop-down box, which appears when a reader rolls over the ReadrBoard icon, prompts the reader with a simple question: What do you think? Readers can choose from a set of predefined reactions, such as “love it!”, “great idea,” or “for real” – which are customizable by the publisher – or write in their own response.
The goal is to make it easier for visitors to quickly comment on a post as they’re reading it. “It’s very hard to get people to form a complete thought in order to add a comment at the bottom of a story,” ReadrBoard co-founder Porter Bayne said in a Skype interview. “Our goal is making it easier for people to engage.”
Publishers benefit from instant feedback and a dashboard that summarizes the reactions for each post and how many views each reaction receives. About 10-15% of readers across the 50 or so sites currently using the widget view the reactions, and about 0.5-1% post a reaction. Of those, 65% click on a predefined choice and 35% type in one of their own.
Bayne said publishers using the widget have seen, on average, an increase of about 10% in time spent on their sites.