Your course website should be one of your main lead generation sources. However, more often than not, visitors don’t spend enough time to get a good idea of what you are selling and how it might benefit them.
You should not take it personally. Even established organizations with lots of money to invest in digital marketing sometimes struggle with this issue. You shouldn’t ignore this aspect either, as your visitors’ behaviors and impressions of your course landing pages significantly impact sales.
Several things are recommended when it comes to boosting website engagement – some may not fit in your budget (such as AI bots or live assistance), but there are things you can do to make sure your course is seen by the right people, with excellent results.
1. Make sure your navigation is intuitive
User experience is exceptionally important when it comes to websites. It’s not that people are digitally challenged and can’t figure it out. Quite the contrary, most of them are seasoned internet users who know the difference between a state-of-the-art site and one that is just OK.
Keep in mind that navigation is not about how it looks but about how it works.
Think of an amusement park. If it’s hard to find your way around it, there are large queues and no assistance, your experience won’t be so great regardless of how nice it is overall.
Ensure that there is a logical flow on your page and the customer journey makes sense.
2. Have a clear brand message
The purpose of your course website is to introduce visitors to your brand and your vision. However, these details may be very complex and you need to simplify them enough so that they can be easily understood by anyone.
When you’re designing an About page for your course website, you should:
- Have your customer persona in mind; you need to speak directly to your visitors, show that you know them, and that what you’re selling is tailored to their needs.
- Clearly state what your brand does and why.
- Include a value proposition – show how the course will positively impact their lives.
3. Showcase social proof
We live in the age of peer recommendation. If you want to book a vacation, you’re going to first look at the location’s reviews. In fact, if you want to buy anything these days, you’ll most likely check out what other people think first.
Website visitors are the same.
They are there because they’re interested in your online courses, but they need to read other opinions as well. This study shows that “when asked ‘Are you more likely to purchase a product or service if you have been able to read a trusted review about it?’ 92.4% of respondents answered ‘Yes,’ with 5.5% answering ‘Don’t know/Not sure,’ and only 2.1% answering ‘No.’”
Make sure you encourage (and ask for) customer testimonials and showcase the best ones on your course website. It’s important to keep them genuine – if they are over the top, you’ll lose credibility instead of gaining more of it.
4. Adapt your website for mobile devices
Mobile accounts for approximately half of web traffic worldwide. In the third quarter of 2020, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 50.81 percent of global website traffic, consistently hovering around the 50 percent mark since the beginning of 2017.
That’s why, if you want to keep visitors interested, you need to accommodate a mobile experience — and make it flawless.
This means you have to make sure that the information is easy to find, that it fits on a smaller screen and the font size increases its readability on any device. It’s also good to offer the option of shifting to desktop view if the visitors want to do that. The button size and locations also impact the navigation experience.
5. Use contests and giveaways as lead magnets
It’s no secret that people like to win. The prizes you offer don’t even have to be very expensive. Items like personalized stickers, signed books, or even digital badges or other types of digital recognition on your site can help you attract potential learners.
The sky is the limit when it comes to competitions or giveaways, although you have to establish clear rules and a fair selection process.
Asking visitors to share the challenge on their social media as part of the game will significantly increase visibility, and you’ll see a growth in traffic as more people will want a chance to win.
You must constantly promote these events and be consistent in your messages. If you promised to announce a winner on a specific date, keep your word!
6. Constantly monitor your website engagement
You’re only going to know you are doing good or need improvements if you keep an eye on relevant KPIs and their evolution. Depending on where you are on your business journey, some of the indicators that could be relevant to you are:
- Pageviews – so you get an idea of how visible you are online;
- Time spent on page – if it’s very short, you need to look at the ease of navigation and clarity of your marketing message;
- Number of leads – will show you how many page visitors have converted to customers (or at least have answered one of your calls to action to subscribe, to enroll in a free session, or whatever else you were asking them to do);
- New vs. returning visitors – will give you an idea of how engaged and loyal your base is and how your other marketing tactics are working.
A website is more than a pretty calling card or a digital poster for your online course business. If wielded properly, it can become a dynamic tool with tremendous marketing power. Increasing visitor engagement is a sure way of gaining visibility, credibility and expanding your customer base.
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.