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Authority Hacks To Increase Website Engagement

You’ve probably already created an easy to navigate and informative website with awesome content.

Now, you want to ensure your readers become engaged.

In other words, you want to get those conversion numbers and shares up.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to go about this.

Primarily, it involves acknowledging that your readers are in fact human.

There are people on the other side of the screen.

They aren’t data points.

When you understand this completely, you can begin using psychological tricks to increase website engagement. Read below to learn more:

1.) Use Peer Pressure Positively To Increase Website Engagement

social-proof

You likely remember your childhood school counselors preaching to you the dangers of peer pressure.

Admittedly, when it comes to drugs and alcohol, peer pressure is for sure a negative thing. However, you can use it positively when you show people your site or brand is popular.

Simply this, by showing proof that your site is popular through either a visit or share counter, you can incite the herd mentality, the idea that we tend to go along with the general masses.

This in turn will lead your readers to share your site with their friends as well. Big brands use this method frequently.

For example, McDonalds has“over 99 billion served” written on their signage. This tells you, hey McDonalds is popular with a lot of people, and therefore, it must be good.

We also promote using what is known as “Trust Triggers”.

When people visit a website, they often look for a trust trigger. Something that makes them say to themselves “Okay, this site is the real deal… I won’t flee.”

Logos are one of those trust triggers.

Why?

People like knowing that other companies trust you and your website. It’s social proof at work.

So, feature logos on your blog.

We already mentioned the share counter, but it’s so important, it’s worth going over again. Add a share icon and a counter to your site.

This will show how many times a particular article was shared on various platforms.

It also allows readers to share it themselves. Ensure this share icon is prominent.

Advanced Micro Devices increased their shares by 3,6000% simply by making their share icon easy to find. The best share plugins for WordPress are:

Share This
Flare
Digg Digg
WP Socializer
Sharebar

2.) Connect Emotionally to Your Audience

connect-emotionally

Your audience is human, and is a being with emotions. As such, they connect with other humans on an emotional level.

Therefore, on your site, you want to create an emotional element to engage readers.

One of the Pillars of Authority Marketing is being the “Educator and Advocate for the success of your prospects and customers”.  The “advocate” is where you show you care, and can connect emotionally to your audience.

Authors of the New York Times bestseller “Made to Stick”Dan and Chip Heath explain that research shows people are more likely to donate money to a cause when they hear an individual’s personal story.

In other words, reading data showcasing the problem doesn’t do the trick. Only hearing a personal account tugs at the heart strings.

In the same way, you want to appeal to your readers through emotions, instead of data.

Yes, sometimes data is helpful.

In fact, graphs and tables can be a great way to showcase your product. Just make sure you are also sharing relatable content through personal stories as well.

A good example of this would be to explain the personal story behind the creation of your business. This is especially helpful if you have a rag to riches type of story.

In general, people love to read how someone has pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and made something out of nothing.

The idea is to showcase your passion through your site, and grab your reader’s emotionally. This in turn will lead to an increase website engagement. After all, research has shown people will share content that sparks positive emotion more than other types of content.

3.) Treat Audience Like Friends To Increase Website Engagement

treat-site-visitors-like-friends

You need to engage your audience if you want to increase website engagement and be trusted as an authority.

It seems simple, something you would do already. But, it needs to be said just in case.

How do you do this?

Well, the easiest way is to create a sense of connectedness.

Everyone craves acceptance.

Therefore, reach out to your audience. Accept them.

Don’t be afraid to engage them in the comment section.

Tell them you value their opinions.

Perhaps create a free club they can join (like Marketing Insiders).

Design a poll to involve your audience.

Take their suggestions on occasion.

Build relationships.

How you do it isn’t as important as that you do it. Make your readers feel valued through personal engagement, and they will in turn interact more with you.

4.) Blend Authority Figures Into Your Content

authority-figures

Whether or not we should, we tend to give authority status to celebrities.

These are people who fascinate us and whose lives we would like to emulate. For that reason, using a celebrity to endorse your brand is wise.

This one act will improve the perception of your brand.

It makes your brand instantly recognizable and trustworthy.

A great example of this at work is Tennis star Maria Sharapova’s endorsement of Tiffany & Co.

She uses her social media account to promote various products, which of course has been a lucrative relationship for Tiffany & Co.

Robert Cialdini, author of the bestselling book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” explains why celebrity endorsements work.

He says people look towards those they consider an authority when they aren’t sure how to act in a situation or what to think about a product.

In other words, we tend to believe an authority or celebrity when they tell us a brand is good.

Therefore, if you can get an authority within your field to endorse your brand, this will help your brand instantly become more respected.

This in turn will likely increase your brand’s reach.

But…even if you can’t get an endorsement, you can quote them, or just reference their books and blogs.

Most professional speakers have “Media Kits” with their pictures that you can download from their site.  These pictures are great for adding that authority figure into your content.  Just make sure you follow proper procedures for using them.

5.) Use The Natural Fear of Missing Out

fear-of-missing-out

Fear of missing out simply means someone is fearful they are missing out on something interesting, fun or exciting.

This positions you as the authority with the “map to a better life”.

You can use this natural fear to engage readers by showing them what they are missing out on by not using your product or service.

Be careful with this tip though. You can go too far.

Don’t offer examples of anything you can’t deliver, of course.

Also, don’t create articles with click bait titles that are untruthful or excessively exaggerated.

For example, “You Will Die if You Don’t Use This Product” exemplifies a typical click bait title.

Unless that is in fact true, don’t use this as a title.

You don’t want to make people actually fearful or mad at you for manipulating them.

Instead, you simply want to show them the positive things your brand provides and how it can enrich their lives. This makes them want to not miss out on your product one more second.

6.) Leave Them Hanging To Increase Website Engagement

cliffhanger

Don’t we all love a perfectly written cliffhanger?

Sure we do.

We’re human and are naturally curious beings.

We want to know what is going to happen. We also want to know all the dirty little secrets that might be out there.

That’s what makes us come back for more.

In the same way, you can use this human tendency to promote return readers and increased engagement.

Write a piece of content that communicates one secret of your industry readers won’t know.

Then, promise more next week.

Make sure you follow through if you do promise some inside info.

Also, make sure that your “secrets” or inside info is factual and isn’t something that is well known. It makes people mad to expect a secret only to get information they already knew.

They feel lied to, and you most certainly don’t want to do that.

As you can see from the list above, there are several ways to increase website engagement.

Perhaps not all the tips will work for you or are applicable.

However, if you use even a few, you are sure to increase the activity on your site and see a positive spike in engagement from your customers/audience.

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Brian Horn

Brian Ainsley Horn is considered to be the "pioneer of authority marketing", which has exploded in popularity recently. His unique methods have been talked about and covered on The Howard Stern Show, Wall Street Journal, ABC, Perez Hilton, CBS News , Forbes, Advertising Age and dozens of other media outlets. Brian is the co-founder of the consulting firm, Authority Alchemy, and also writes for Huffington Post and Entrepreneur Magazine about authority marketing and personal branding.
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