User Participation


The NZS.nz User Participation resource offers information about encouraging visitors to engage with your website and participate with your brand online in New Zealand.

Look at the numbers: are visitors to your website fully engaged, or swinging into reverse as soon as they hit the first landing page? Encourage participation and watch your sales conversions increase.

Often we think getting people to our websites is the hardest and most important task in selling products and services online. The reality is, getting those people to engage with your website, make a purchase and then decide to bookmark you and visit again is the truly important task.

After all, what’s the point of generating a bunch of traffic to your site if potential customers are only going to leave without so much as one click through?

So how can you get people to engage with your website for longer? How do you grab their attention and foster a sense of trust so they feel safe enough to click the all important Buy Now button?

Why Worry About Participation?

User participation is one of the key ingredients in building and maintaining a good customer relationship, and by providing your visitors with an engaging online experience you have the chance to build trust in your brand and desire for your products and services. What else can that mean from a business perspective? Conversion rate optimisation – the Holy Grail to any online business or service provider.

You want to encourage users to explore your website, because each step a visitor takes further into or around your site is a chance to build increase desire, build trust and increase brand loyalty.

The real trick is to ensure that your users get exactly what they expect when they click into a new page. Ideally you want to exceed their expectations so they’ll be encouraged to keep looking, browsing, and building trust in your brand.

Send a visitor to a dud page or return the wrong results and they’ll have no hesitation in leaving your website. Keep visitors happy and engaged and you’ll not only increase your brand awareness but also your chance of sales conversions.

Top Ideas To Encourage User Participation

  • Write For Your Audience.  Make your text clear and uncomplicated.
  • Encourage Their Curiosity.  If a user reads content on your website it’s because they are interested in the topic. Keep them engaged by linking to more relevant content or products and services.
  • Navigation.  Ensure that your navigation is user friendly and consistent to avoid potential clients becoming frustrated and giving up.
  • Search.  If you don’t already have a search box, consider having one built. Sometimes navigation isn’t enough, and it’s just another chance to ensure your users have a satisfactory experience.
  • Blog.  If you don’t have a business blog start one immediately. Keep it conversational so your users feel they are getting the chance to know you, and allow them to comment and ask questions.
  • Social Networking.  The importance of Twitter accounts and Facebook fan pages is fast becoming realised, so keep these up to date and engage with your fans and customers in a less formal forum.
  • Reviews.  Offer users the chance to post reviews, ratings and recommendations of your products and services on your website.
  • Polls.  Love ‘em or hate ‘em, online polls where users can vote on a question of the day are a quick an effective way to get them participating. Particularly if there’s a prize involved!

Measures such as average page views, time spent on site and repeat visits are all great indicators of how engaged visitors are when they visit your website. These also illustrate their online participation, so keep an eye on the numbers.