An interactive website keeps visitors on your site – – it allows them to play, explore, and learn – – adding these elements, such as point systems, voting, and live chat, all offer a new level of community building because it encourages your visitors to participate within the community and gives them a “status”.

An extra benefit gained from interactive elements is the boost you will find in your website traffic and page views. People will stay on your site longer which increases that chance of them finding their way to your affiliate offers. Likewise, your site will have a low bounce rate which is beneficial for search placement and online advertising (particularly Google Adwords).

The best part of it all is that adding many of these interactive elements is merely an injection of code or plugins! The following are some of those interactive elements you may want to add on your site to increase visitor engagement.

Toolbars (Wibiya)

Wibiya is an interesting choice for adding interactive elements; it’s a relatively simple (sleek) toolbar which has many flexible options to engage visitors including the ability to display coupons, social media links, translation services, recommended articles, and other custom messages. The toolbar takes two steps to setup and has many rich features for setting parameters depending on your website needs. Consider giving it a try.

Forums (vBulletin)

Forums are excellent for keeping visitors on your site for as long as possible; there’s really no need for explanation since forums have been around since the very early days of the Web but it’s worth noting that vBulletin is, perhaps, the best option if you decide to go this route. Setup is slightly difficult but adding vBulletin to your site will definitely keep people around because it creates a social layer for your community and many individuals will do their part with promotion of the forum if it provides excellent value because they have a vested interest in seeing it succeed.

Points, Badges, and Rewards (PunchTab)

PunchTab is a very cool interactive layer which creates a point system for your website which includes the options to offer rewards for participation – – in an essence it adds a layer of ‘gamification’ which basically turns a visitors activity into a game. The service is free with paid options to expand what you can offer but the basics includes the mentioned reward system, giveaways, user badges, and incentivized social sharing. Overall, it’s a great way to quickly add engaging elements to your site to increase page views and encouragement of deep exploration of your site.

A final note about interactivity

There is, of course, a trade off if you decide to install interactive plugins, scripts, or code, and that is that it may slow down your website which may affect the user experience. Take site load speed into consideration before you go gun-ho with adding the interactive elements; give them a test, track the results, and make a decision if they’re adding value to your site.

What gets you interactive with a website? Does yours have some of these options? Share a comment!