Website interactivity must be stepped up to seize on social media trends
Interactivity is become an increasingly influential factor in holding an audience’s attention online. While content is important in terms of informing your target market and making an impression on search engines, cramming sites with repetitive content is now considered old school SEO.
Content needs to be short and sweet. Direct, to-the-point, relevant and fresh. White space is far more visually appealing to the average audience than a cluttered page filled with content. Internet searchers make exceptions for informative articles or technical instructions, but otherwise searchers just scan quickly for what they want to know, and if they don’t get it, they move on. FAST.
The value of interactivity in a new web design comes from how regularly your target market thinks about you, if they find a blog article, a Facebook post or a Tweet interesting, then they are more likely to revisit your social media or website. Proactively interacting with your target market is the basis for regular interaction and it can be extremely effective.
Before considering interactivity, evaluate existing interactivity and capacity to interact
There’s no point creating an interactive website if most of your audience comes from slow internet connections. Screen resolutions and browser functionality also have an impact on the effectiveness of interactive elements of your website.
Get into your Google Analytics account and examine visitor behaviour – average time on site, visitor loyalty and visitor trending. Profiling your audience is an important part of factoring interactivity into web design. Ask yourself would visitors benefit from informative videos, an embedded map to your business location?
Social Media is the key to interactivity in modern web design
Capitalising on the growth of social media is the greatest opportunity for online businesses in Australia in 2011 and beyond. Australia is at the forefront of online social media use – we interact online through Facebook, Twitter, industry forums and blogs like virtually no other country (to view the stats read our blog entry on How Australians use the internet).
Being interactive doesn’t require cutting edge technology – you just need to adapt to existing trends. Using Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn and creating a YouTube channel and allowing discussions and comments on your site is the kind of interaction that can be extremely positive for business. Your website and social media can become a place where like-minded people interact and producing regular, relevant content – whether thought-provoking or informative –it can be a great way of keeping your brand foremost in customer’s minds.
Factor Social Media into your web design for greater interactivity
Browser capabilities and technical issues will become less of an issue in Australia, especially with the increase in broadband internet connections and huge growth in mobile internet use (50% of online Australians do so via mobile). With the increase in use of smart phones and tablets such as the iPad, interacting with your target market is easier than ever before – consider the train commuters alone who spend half an hour to an hour every morning and evening browsing online. Getting your business into that advertising space becomes a lot easier if you are engaged in popular social media.
If you are designing or redesigning a website, consult your web designer about including an interactive blog that allows user comments and including links to relevant accounts in Facebook and other social media sites to get the best possible return from your online marketing investment.