efficient-ways-to-get-instant-feedback-from-your-wordpress-site-visitorsFrom it roots as a simple blog platform, WordPress has truly evolved into a full-featured CMS. BuiltWith.com reports that 51% of websites are built with WordPress. This isn’t too surprising; considering the platform’s easy installation and massive library of themes and plug-ins, it’s almost a web developer’s dream.

Because it’s a blog platform at its core, WordPress’ commenting system is smooth and effective- for a simple blog. But if you’re using WordPress to power your business site, you’ll want more than just the built-in simple commenting system to supercharge communication with your visitors. If you’re doing business online, then you know that your visitors are the lifeblood of your website- it’s why search engine optimization and site promotion is so important. More importantly: once the visitors are on your site, you don’t want them to click away; you want them to engage with you.

Here are some effective ways to make that happen:

Make Clear Calls to Action

Calls to action (CTA) links and buttons exist for one very important reason: to get your visitor to do something. Examples of calls to action include download buttons, links to sign up for free trials, and “contact us” buttons. The emphasis should be on creating a clear call to action, and placing it somewhere that makes sense. For example, the default comment CTA on WordPress is “Leave a Reply”- but what might be more effective is replacing this with something clearer (and a little friendlier) like “Do you agree? Let us know; we’d love to hear from you!”.

Remember: when you want immediate feedback from your customer, giving them clear instructions on how to do so can mean the difference between a visitor clicking away or filling out your contact form. Which brings us to the second step in supercharging your website’s communication…

Create Effective Forms

Adding contact forms to websites, especially WordPress sites, has never been easier: the plug-in repository is filled with different form plug-ins, and for many it takes a couple of clicks at most. But if you want to truly supercharge your website, a bunch of generic contact forms won’t do.

Before you create your feedback form, decide how you’d like it to look and what you’d like it to do. What information do you want to receive from your visitors? How can you simplify your fields and questions, and tweak your layout, to be as easy as possible for your visitor to use?

Other than simple contact forms, there are registration forms (for membership type websites) and order forms (for e-commerce websites). Pay attention to these as well, and always put yourself in the shoes of your visitor. You might want to deploy a multi-step registration form, for example – which is user-friendlier than a long form on one page.

To do all of the above and more in WordPress, consider using a powerful form creation plugin like the CaptainForm: WordPress feedback form plugin, which simplifies form building and includes goodies like conditional logic, star rating fields, and built-in autoresponders.

Secure, Not Spammy

Online privacy is a concern for everyone now. If you’re asking someone to send you their name and email address (and possibly other, more sensitive data), it’s important to make sure your site is secure from hackers, and that you have a clear Privacy Policy in place; one that details exactly what you will and won’t do with your visitors’ submitted information, whether you use cookies, etc. Link to your Privacy Policy clearly from every page of your site.

If you’re worried about spam from your site, utilize captchas/recaptchas in your forms; most high-quality form building plugins include this as an easy option to switch on or off.

Include Other Feedback Options

Finally, don’t rely solely on your website contact forms or commenting system to engage your visitors; social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a wonderful way to get instant feedback from everyone from your visitors to your regular customers to your clients. Make sure you include clear links to your social media accounts on your site. If you run a service business, another idea would be to install a Live Chat plugin, such as WP Live Chat Support.

Respond Quickly

Built-in autoresponders are fine because they confirm to your visitor that you’ve received their message; but don’t wait too long before writing a personal response and/or acting on the feedback you’ve received. When you have a good track record of responding to questions and comments, people will feel more comfortable contacting you- and, ultimately, doing business with you.