Last updated on May 13th, 2022
In today’s day and age, marketers and site owners do everything in their capacity to keep their site visitors entertained and keep on scrolling for more. Every microsecond spent on the website can result in a potential lead, a purchase, a new subscription, and it may even mean the birth of a new brand ambassador.
As visitors, we have less and less patience to explore a site. As a matter of fact, research shows that the average time we spend on one is no longer than 45 seconds.
In order to keep people engaged for longer, web designers and marketers need to employ the latest tactics and features. On that end, an interactive website can be a great way to create more space to communicate with the users.
The interactive experience can not only keep the guests longer on a platform, but it can also enable them to actively participate in the “life” of a site.
Interactivity – Why is it necessary?
As trends are constantly changing in the digital age, user behavior is also on the path of continuous shifting. What this means is that the content that might have been enough to garner interest yesterday might be dismissed today.
However, when you embrace an interactive design, the content can be technically up-to-date and attractive enough to reach out to users more, enabling them to engage with your content, products, and services better as well.
Interactivity can transform a static and generic digital solution into something that will hold the attention of your audience.
Apart from improving UX in terms of functionality, such platforms can also be exceptional options for other purposes, like personalization, apart from adding often unmeasurable value to a website.
What is an Interactive Website?
Which platforms can we define as interactive sites? All in all, an interactive platform can just about be any virtual address that gives visitors more options than simply just reading content and scrolling through a few (or a myriad of) images.
Even then, there are a handful of distinctive features that will enable websites to create more profound opportunities for building interactive relationships.
Animated elements, interactive feedback tools, internal links, advanced navigation menus, videos, buttons, and other gadgets can all add up to improve user experience.
However, you should know that features that work for one website might not do justice to another. Different niches and different brands will always require individual approaches, so it’s always important to do the research necessary and to only then consider the best interactive options.
Interactivity by The Numbers
For the untrained eye, interactive site gadgets might seem like simple tools. However, experts know that they are much more than that. For starters, as the title explains, they are outstanding methods of boosting user engagement,
According to research, 45% of marketers ranked interactive content among the most effective aids for boosting engagement.
On the other hand, surveys found that personalization efforts in web design provided a measurable lift in 87% of cases.
And as you know, engagement is crucial when it comes to online marketing.
As mentioned earlier, an uplift in engagement means more time spent on a website. However, it isn’t just about reducing bounce rates.
A bump in engagement can also translate into a more straightforward sales funnel, improved sales – all that will translate into an increase in profit.
So, to help you get an even better understanding of the importance of these elements and to see which ones could fit into your overall digital strategy, let us introduce some of the most popular interactive solutions.
Virtual Product Testing
This functionality can be a true game-changer for eCommerce sources who want to take their online presence to the next level.
Even before the pandemic, online shopping managed to gather momentum swiftly. And even though COVID-19 managed to accelerate online shopping trends, even more, one obvious drawback still remained: the inability to actually try the product before committing to it and buying it.
This feature aims to change that paradigm as it enables users to try the products out before they make the decision to open their wallets.
Fortunately, these testing tools have already made it to the digital realm, and users can already try a few different online products virtually, from haircare and makeup goods to interior design products.
A couple of online makeup stores are already using gadgets that can show their potential customers how their products might look on their skin before physically applying them.
The software is pretty straightforward: users just need to upload a photo which will serve as that basis for product testing.
The idea behind this technology is to engage the user immediately and encourage them to make a purchase by dramatically shortening the research period. Also, this way, users will spend much more time on the website to test other products as well.
With the competition in the digital realm being stiffer than ever, companies need to use every trick in the book to stand out and make a difference.
On that end, making the first impression is incredibly important, and websites, in general, have only a few seconds to impress incoming traffic. As a matter of fact, some sources reported that the average user forms an opinion about a site in about 50 milliseconds.
With such a short window, a few features, like animations, can really help to improve the outcome of that first impression.
These interactive animations can immediately signal to the user that the site they are visiting offers much more than just plain images and text.
Sometimes, a simple interactive animation can make a huge difference in terms of engagement and can help a great deal in decreasing bounce rates.
Animations don’t have to be cartoony. Even more sophisticated brands can experiment with different animation options. Making an attention-grabbing yet stylish first impression in a way that does justice to the brand, good animations definitely have their place in web design.
These elements have been reliable staples of web design for a long time, but with an interactive twist, they can elevate any website to new heights.
This way, the information you display becomes more engaging, exciting, and interesting. There are different options you can use, meaning that your infographics can either be rather simple or more intricate. Simply put, you have a myriad of different ways of bringing them to life and conveying the information to your audiences.
Furthermore, there’s no right or wrong way to display the info on infographics, meaning that you can really get creative and come up with truly unique things. However, you should always focus on keeping the interactivity functional and not sacrificing “style over function”.
On that end, even a few interactive tweaks will be able to make a difference and draw more attention to a website. A few cool transitions on infographics can engage and encourage users to spend more time and look for more info.
Based on the website, your products, services, and brand, you can also opt for customized infographics which can generate personal data to meet the user’s requirements. This can be a great option if your website uses functionality where you input data like location, age, financial status, and more.
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Calculators & Quizzes
These gadgets can also help in boosting user engagement dramatically, especially when your users are looking for ways to let off some steam for a couple of minutes.
As a matter of fact, these tools aren’t exactly new and have generated a solid amount of popularity, and as time passed, these gadgets have become more personalized and more advanced with better engaging elements.
On the one hand, quizzes can be valuable because they can capture extremely useful data both on new prospects and existing customers. And turning the gathered data into valuable strategies into further improved engagement could lead to a tangible boost in overall business as well.
What’s great about these quizzes is that they can be calibrated for any brand and audience. They can be great educational tools but also make invaluable entertainment tools.
Understanding Interactivity In Marketing and Business
More or less, every website has at least a few building blocks that focus on driving engagement. Interactive features take these building blocks to a new level supporting your sales and marketing efforts even more.
Audiences today demand high-quality website content, and that translates into interactive features as well. That being said, how can you make your website more interactive in ways that align with your content strategy?
Know The Features You Can Use
Buttons, forms, and tooltips are common interactive features, but there’s a lot more to incorporate if you really want to boost engagement on your platforms.
The first thing you should do is thoroughly research the interactive features at your disposal. Animations, infographics, and calculators come with different functionalities and may affect the overall performance of your website.
As such, always consult your designers and developers to know which interactive features could be implemented to your site with the least sacrifice and hassle.
Also, calibrate the interactive design elements to do justice to your brand. For example, if you are from a serious industry, chances are, you won’t be using a light-hearted quiz just for entertaining purposes. Sit down with your brand development managers and marketing experts to find the best fit.
If Applicable, Use Several Forms of Interactive Content
The most successful interactive platforms usually incorporate severy interactive features, showcasing different widgets, infographics, and interactive calculators, all aligning with the purpose of the given page.
When developing a new site, page, or blog post, always identify the main goal and determine your target audience. Then, from there, find out what type of interactivity would be the most suitable and engaging.
Don’t Shy Away From Infographics
We’ve already talked about these above, but they are arguably one of the most powerful tools for creating annual reports and similar digital documents.
They can be engaging and invaluably helpful in a handful of niches. They can be great for delivering said annual reports, showcasing marketing campaigns, marketing strategies, and more.
The illustrations, clickable graphs, hover effects, and even embedded media can truly create a more immersive and dynamic experience which can be a great asset in the B2B sphere as well.
Conclusion: Incorporate Interactivity Into Your Design
Every marketing expert and site owner knows that good website design is a critical part of any marketing strategy. Improving engagement features on a platform can greatly boost conversions, and that’s why it’s imperative that you discuss these options with your digital marketing experts.
A set of the right interactive features can help you decrease your bounce rate, increase the average time spent on your website, and can even help you boost conversions and sales.