WordPress is one of the best CMS platforms in terms of flexibility. It is a platform that allows web designers and developers more than enough room to be creative. In fact, some of the best-designed websites today are actually powered by WordPress. The CMS platform can be used to construct anything from a personal blog to a complex community portal.
However, good design alone is not enough. While it is important for a website to be visually pleasing, the real king of the site is its content. The content must be displayed in a way that allows visitors to garner the most value from it, and do so in a pleasant way.
Traffic is only the beginning. The real metric to optimize for is user engagement. Users who find value and a pleasant user experience are more likely to engage with your content. So, how can you optimize your WordPress site for user engagement? There are a few tips you can use right out of the box, and we are going to review them in this article.
Know Your Audience
The biggest challenge, and the most important first step, is getting to know the audience. What works for a particular audience group may not work for the others. You can define your target audience depending on the content you want to convey. Once you have a target audience, spend some time getting to know them on a deeper level.
You now have plenty of tools to use when it comes to getting to know your audience. You can analyze your existing traffic with the help of Google Analytics. You can use tools like Brand24 to see conversations around your website or your brand. You can also utilize tools like Moz to help you figure out what users are searching for the most.
The more you know the audience, the better you will be at fine-tuning both your content and the user experience of your site. As mentioned before, different target users expect different things from a WordPress site, and the only way you can give users what they want is by getting to know them really well.
Make It Personal
Everyone can write good content, but only a few can write in a personalized way. That personalization – the extra elements you add to your content to make it really yours – is what will separate your site from the rest. It is also the element that ignites user engagement the most; visitors will feel more personally connected when you treat them in a personalized way.
Telling personal stories, producing content from a personalized point of view, and adding other touches to the content makes all the difference. For example, you can connect with users who are looking for information on online universities and pursuing a degree online by speaking from experience.
In fact, your whole journey of completing an online engineering management program from a reputable university like Kettering University Online can become a series of content that really engages the audience. They will look forward to the next part of your journey as you pursue a master’s degree in engineering management online.
Aim for Performance
User experience is an equally important part of boosting user engagement, and the first task you need to tackle when trying to improve your site’s UX is improving its performance. You want the site to load quickly and prioritize content that is seen as valuable from a user’s standpoint.
Aiming for performance is a necessity rather than an option. Users are more likely to switch to another website if yours isn’t loading quickly enough. Fortunately, you now have more resources to help you optimize your site. Google PageSpeed, for example, can help analyze your website and recommend new ways to improve it.
Site performance is also about finding balance between loading time and visual elements. Thanks to tools like JPEGOptim, you now have the option to create a truly stunning site visually, all while keeping your site’s performance top notch. You can even use CSS and CSS-based animations to substitute visual files and scripts.
Use Internal Linking
It is also worth noting that UX can be reviewed from the time users spend on your site. The longer they browse your site, the higher your user engagement will be. Using internal linking, you can help users navigate your site and get to the content they value the most quickly.
A good example is the Related Posts that WordPress normally display at the bottom of the page. By fine-tuning the way related posts are displayed, you can increase the user’s interest to browse more articles. Rather than relying on WordPress’s search for tags and categories, for instance, you can program the related posts section to display posts based on a user’s interests.
Another great way to utilize internal linking is recommending other articles inside a post that users read. This is now seen as the better way to go – compared to waiting until users finish the entire article before displaying related posts – because user attention span is relatively shorter nowadays.
How well visitors interact with your site depends on how quickly they can get to the content they want. Using conventional search tools that only search for specific keywords rather than relevant information is also a thing of the past. Today, you can use plugins like Better Search or Search by Algolia to further optimize your search tool.
When users can find the content that they are looking for quickly, they are more likely to share that content. At the same time, users are more compelled to leave comments and interact with the content further when the entire user experience, up to the point where they consume the content, has been pleasant.
Now that you have the tips and tricks we covered in this article in mind, optimizing your site for better user engagement will not be difficult. Start making tweaks and review your analytics after each one. Evaluate the results to see how your users react to the changes you make, and continue making adjustments accordingly.