Developing a Website for User Interaction
One effective method for creating a successful website is to develop in a way that encourages interaction from visitors. If visitors are involved with the site there is a greater chance of repeat visits as well as improved loyalty. Think about some of the websites that you visit on a regular basis. Many of them get you involved in one way or another.
On the internet today there are a number of relatively simple things you can add to your website to encourage interaction from readers. Here are a few possibilities.
Blogs are constantly increasing in popularity. Part of the reason people enjoy them so much is because of the community atmosphere that exists between a blog and its readers. By allowing readers to leave comments and questions a blog makes communication between writer and reader extremely simple and convenient. This helps readers to get more out of the articles and it helps bloggers by building strong relationships with readers.
Blogs can be extremely easy to set up and manage. Many web hosting companies offer one-click installations of several different blogging platforms, most commonly WordPress. In this situation a new blog can be added to your website in 5 minutes or less.
Web forums have been popular for years. Some of the leading forums are on websites that are strictly dedicated to forums, but many websites also use forums as part of a larger, overall strategy. If you’re not interesting in spending a lot of time and effort coding, there are plenty of choices for quickly and easily adding a forum to your website. Some of the options include vBulletin, phpBB, Community Server, minibb, and Gossamer Forum.
By hosting a forum on your website you can add another way for your visitors to benefit from your site. Additionally, the content of the forums can help you to draw search engine traffic, and the forum threads can be very valuable to searchers when other people have already discussed the information that they are looking for. Every good forum has a number of regular visitors that participate in the forums consistently. This is s great way to build repeat traffic to your site.
Many visitors also like to get involved by participating in polls, surveys or quizzes hosted at your site. Visitors enjoy this because it allows them to get involved, and it’s different than the average website. Polls and surveys give visitors the opportunity to voice their opinion, and many of them like to see the results.
A few months ago Daniel released the Pro Blogger Test on Daily Blog Tips, which was a fun activity for readers and drew plenty of attention from other blogs.
You may think that adding a poll, survey or quiz to your website would be pretty difficult, but that’s not the case. There are several resources that can make the process simple, including PollDaddy, WP Polls Plugin, QuickQuizCreator, GoToQuiz, and Quiz-o-Matic ’76.
As high-speed internet connections continue to become more and more common, the amount of video on websites is steadily increasing. Video can be used for any number of reasons, including testimonials, product demonstrations, fun and humor, education, etc. Video hosting services such as YouTube allow you to add video to your website without even using your own disc space or bandwidth. Video can make a site more interesting for visitors and with an increasing number of social media websites adding categories for video, the chances of creating viral content is increasing.
Another way to add a useful resource to your site that encourages interaction from readers is to provide a job board. You may think that a job board on your website would generate very little interest due to the huge job sites like Monster and Career Builder, but this is not always the case. Many websites that target a specific type of visitor have been successful with adding a niche job board that caters to the specific audience of the site. An example is the blogging job board at ProBlogger.
If you are interested in adding a job board on your site, your options include SimplyHired, JobCoin, Intellogy, and job a matic. Each of these options is a little bit different, so be sure to look at the specifics. As a bonus, adding a job board can even help by creating some revenue for you.
What other elements have you added to a website to encourage interaction from visitors? What results have you had?