With the increasing amount of time consumers spend online, it is important to engage your guest to encourage them to stay longer and visit your website more often. The more they visit and look around your website, the more likely they will share your content on social media, which will encourage their friends to visit. While there are several ways to bolster the amount of time visitors stay on your website, gamification is one of the premier ways. Continue reading to learn more about using games to increase the amount of time visitors stay on your website.
Is This a Game or Not?
Gamification is the idea of applying game design techniques and game mechanics to motivate and engage guests to complete a task. It taps into the innate human desire and needs that revolve around achievement and status. According to research by Gartner, gamified marketing services are expected to become as important as Amazon, eBay, and Facebook in 2015; and more than 70% of the Global 2000 organizations are projected to have a minimum of one gamification application. While this term may be relatively new, the premise has been around for a while in the form of Frequent Flyer Programs used by airlines.
Understanding the Rules of Engagement
The entire reason people play games is because of the reward. The reward can be external, like a trophy, or intrinsic, which is a sense of accomplishment. In either case, the reward warrants a flood of dopamine into the pleasure center of brain, which is why games are so powerful. When used properly, gamified applications can be a staggering tool to persuade visitors to stay longer and perform certain actions.
Different Gamification Reward Structures
Progress bars are highly useful for websites that want users to follow a series of steps. The progress bar demonstrates how far and where users are in their journey. When users reaches 100%, they earn personal satisfaction and/or a reward for completing the task.
Badges are probably the most popular type of gamification platform. When you use the badge or point system, you can engage casual readers by awarding them badges that show off rank for activities, such as:
- Sharing posts
- Reading articles
- Commenting on articles
- Visiting different pages on the website
Since humans are naturally competitive, competitions are excellent ways to urge guests to stay longer, complete tasks, and earn higher scores. With this type of game, it’s important to keep a leaderboard and always display the standings.
Loyalty programs have been around for a long time and work just like any other strategy. With loyalty programs, you must reward users with monetary items, such as redeemable points, or discounts. Loyalty programs hinge on your ability to find the ideal reward size.
Getting the Most Out of Gamified Applications
The purpose of gamification is to morph those inactive visitors into a thriving community of people engaging and sharing ideas. Gamification works best with sites that already have visitors, but are struggling to manage high bounce rates and high exit rates. Best of all, gamification isn’t a highly complex or difficult process to implement. All you have to do is make your readers or visitors feel good and reap the reward for doing simple things. A few tips for making the most of gamification are:
- Give visitors points for each piece of engagement
- Provide badges to highly active community members or visitors
- Allow access to special sections of the website to members who earn a particular level of points
- Allow your visitors to convert the points into some type of physical gift