5 Ways to Add Visitor Interactivity to Your Website

Is your website helping you to connect with customers? Or is it just talking for you?

The internet is awesome.  It allows us a super cheap way to get the word out to the world about what we do, what we care about, and whatever we want to share.

But it can help us do so much more!  By adding options to allow our visitors to interact with us, we can build connections (and tribes), get feedback, and so much more.

Here are 5 simple ways to add interactivity to your website.

1.  Allow Visitors to Share Their Thoughts

If you’re using blogging software, enabling comments gives visitors a way to share their thoughts with you. You can choose to moderate your comments and use a good spam filter plugin if you’re concerned about what may be posted.  You can also allow visitors to comment on some pages but not others, or only on your blog posts.

If you’re not using blogging software, check what options may be available.  You can embed Disqus or Facebook’s commenting system into almost any webpage.

2.  Make it Easy to Share Your Content

Allow visitors to share your content with their friends, colleagues and social networks by enabling one of the many social networking plugins:

These options will make it easier for your visitors to share your content and more likely that they will.

3.  Let Them Show Their Support

As you build a community around your website or blog, you’ll want to allow new visitors to see the community. Active commenters on your blog is part of showing that community. Here are some other great options:

  • NetworkedBlogs: This site can do more than just connect your blog to your Facebook fan page. You can also create a widget that shows who’s following your blog.
  • Facebook Fan Box: Add a fan box to your website to show your latest status updates as well as the avatars of your page’s fans.
  • Google Friend Connect: Allows you to add additional social features to your blog including rating, sharing, and comments.

Give your visitors easy ways to follow you social networks, including your Facebook fan page.

You might also create buttons or mini logos that your fans can add to their own blogs/websites or profiles.

4.  Give Them a Way to Share Their Own Content

Let your visitors share their content and promote themselves to keep them coming back. Make their visits valuable for both sides.

You can do this by enabling plugins like CommentLuv or Top Commentators that give them links back to their own site when they comment.

You can also offer options like link directories, member directories, and other opportunities for them to share their websites or businesses.

Source interviews, features, and other guest opportunities from the community you’re building.  Feature them and build loyalty.

5.  Provide an Easy Way to Stay Up-to-Date

Another way to encourage visitors to return to your website and continue reading, commenting, and sharing your content is to offer subscription options.

WordPress has an RSS (real simple syndication) feed built in that you can offer for visitors who use an RSS reader. Use FeedBlitz or FeedBurner to allow them to choose to subscribe by email.

You can also offer an ezine or newsletter subscription for visitors.

Which Option is Best?

It depends on your particular business and goals. Test out the strategies and see what works for you!

What’s Working For You?

Are you using some of these strategies or tools?  Which ones have you found worked well for you?

Got different tools you like for community building?  Share ’em in the comments!

Photo Credit: lubavnel/StockFresh

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  1. Definitely utilize many of these options myself. The Facebook like button and Tweetmeme are my favorites.
    Alyssa recently posted… When To Brand Your Business as a Work at Home EntrepreneurMy Profile

    1. Those are great. I switched out TweetMeme to test the 1-click like/share/retweet button bar I’ve got now because I wanted to offer the Facebook share option as well as like, but watching to see if I should put TweetMeme back.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… When Good Siggys Go Bad & Get You Tagged as SpamMy Profile

  2. Hey Michelle,

    Good stuff here! I’ll be sure to apply these as I just shifted webpages and starting from scratch. Yippy. lol
    Brock Blohm recently posted… How To SponsorMy Profile

    1. One nice thing about starting from scratch is being able to plan out features and get a great start. :)

  3. These are good tips but now that Google Panda is cleaning up the spam all over the internet, they will blacklist you if any of your blog posts have spam in them. So, inviting people to share and link stuff may not be the best thing anymore. I am changing my allowances on my website and approving everything from now on.

    1. Approving everything? Would that allow for more spam?
      Or did you mean to type ‘disapprove’ instead?
      Or am I missing something? (very possible lol)
      Brock Blohm recently posted… Learn How To Find DomainsMy Profile

  4. Lol, that for sure did not come out right. I meant that I will have to approve every comment and link before posting it. :)
    Joey recently posted… Many Other Steroid Cream SufferersMy Profile

  5. Ahhh – clarified! :)
    Brock Blohm recently posted… What Is Personal Development & Self-HelpMy Profile

    1. Clarification is good. :) Love the discussion here, Joey and Brock.

      What’s worked for me, is first a good spam filtering plugin. Then I have my comments set to moderate the initial comment from anyone new. After you get one approved, you can post without moderation — unless the comment contains multiple links or is otherwise spammy. So far I have had any problems because of this policy and it allows me to keep spammers away without moderating everything.

      You might like this site: http://www.bad-neighborhood.com/text-link-tool.htm It will scan your blog/site to see if you’ve linked to any “bad neighborhood” sites so you can get rid of them if so.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways to Add Visitor Interactivity to Your WebsiteMy Profile

  6. Hi Michelle,
    One thing i don’t like about the networked blogs gadget, is i that t shows how many friends you don’t have when you first start out with it. Also do you think google friend connect is worth adding now that google+ is here? I have thought about adding it to our blog in the past and am wondering if it is worth it.
    Danny recently posted… Apply 7 Books To Your Life In 7 Days ChallengeMy Profile

    1. I was just chatting with a blogger about that last week and about considering waiting to add it to their site until they’d gained some fans. For those who have fan pages on Facebook, or are part of blogging tribes, getting to 50 or so fans doesn’t take too long, so I’d recommend doing that, then adding it to a blog. :)

      I haven’t ventured into testing Google Friend Connect, have they hooked that into Google+?
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 50 Places to Find Inspiration for Your Next Blog Post IdeaMy Profile

  7. Hi Michelle,

    All are simple but such powerful tips.

    Bloggers miss out on many visitors by ignoring the simple. Make it easy for your readers to speak, to have their voices heard. Make it easy to share your blog.

    Always make it easier on your reader to do what they desire to do. Unless of course, it’s spamming ;)

    The more easy it is for someone to leave a comment, share your stuff, the more likely readers will advertise for you, via powerful word of mouth marketing. Best form of marketing we know.

    Thanks for sharing your spot on insight Michelle.

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted… Internet Marketing | 1 Part SEO 1 Part Trust BuildingMy Profile

    1. 100% agreed, Ryan. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Human Connection: Why I Love Social NetworkingMy Profile

  8. Hey great content. I’m gathering so much from your knowledge. I’ve printed out number #3 & #4 to implement. I hope you don’t mind. That info is something I haven’t done. In addition, interesting conversation about spam and approving comments on your thread. Question: I installed a plug in. Since then, I have been receiving “spam” promoting the plug in. I already bought the plug in. Does anyone else experience any thing like this. I immediately backed up my site, just in case, but nothing out of the ordinary is happening. Anyone else get this and is there a way to stop it. unapproving these comments is getting time intensive.

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