Interactive websites range in complexity from subtle weather forecast sites that ask for users' location to elaborate websites with user-generated content and interactive graphics. As Web technologies continue to develop, interactive Web pages are becoming more and more common. Not every website needs to have responsive 3-D graphics designed by a famous design studio, but small touches can add up and create a much more favorable environment for a business or blog.
As readers return again and again to a website that changes as they use it, they build trust and become much more likely to sign up for a membership or order a product. Not only do interactive Web pages greatly enhance the user experience, but they give site owners a chance to promote their brands through social media and other organic marketing channels.
As Web programming frameworks continue to improve and mobile devices become more powerful, emerging software technologies such as WebGL and HTML5 Canvas will allow site owners to provide a much more immersive experience for their visitors. While it's true that a static HTML website with two or three pages of information gets the point across, it doesn't grab readers' attention or encourage them to return. Of course, engaging content encourages them to keep reading, but not every website is a content provider.
For business websites and blogs that don't rely on frequent article posts, interactive content allows the users to create their own experiences. For example, the How a Car Works interactive web page puts the control in the hands of the user. Its visitors can control what they see on the car by simply scrolling on their mouse.
One strategy that website owners use to populate their sites with content is to allow users to post their own articles, photos and videos, along with stories and captions. Rather than spending several hours a day writing content for a site, hosting user-generated content automatically gives you authentic content that engages readers and provides real value. Of course, you still have to make the upfront investment of building a Web application that can handle these requirements, but startup costs are part of building any website.
When users start spending more and more time on your website, many of them will share their experience on other blogs and social media sites. If you add buttons for posting to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and other sites, you encourage your users to do your social media promotion for you.
This strategy is another trust builder because many people are quite passionate about sharing their activities on Twitter and Facebook. In other words, you won't come across as shady or deceptive by letting your users advertise your business on social media. Big Hero 6 is a good example of a marketing campaign taking advantage of social media.
By allowing your users to post content and re-blog about your website, you give them a chance to create natural backlinks to your site in addition to the authentic, highly targeted content that Google rewards. As you build trust with your current readers, you will be gaining new readers from many different avenues due to the number of backlinks and your rising Google ranking.
It helps to do your own SEO and backlinking to supplement what your users do, but by letting your interactive website do part of the work for you, your job becomes much easier. Case in point: Send a Message rose up the Google rankings with this technique.
The main point of building an interactive website is to encourage your visitors to spend more time on your site and get to trust you. When they trust you, they will feel more comfortable spending money on the products and services your site offers. You can certainly earn revenue by placing ads on your site, but if you sell products or services, you need to earn a special kind of trust to convince your site visitors that your product is better than your competitor's.