interactive website featuresSome months ago I added a poll to my web site, and I was blown away by the increase in activity to the site as well as the number of people who were taking the poll in comparison to doing other activities on the site.

I suppose I shouldn’t have been so surprised because polls are hugely popular all around the web. Entire sites are dedicated to building and displaying polls, and numerous freeware, shareware, and low-cost technologies are available to implement them on your site.

Typically, you’ll want your polls to be relevant to the nature of the site. If you’re building a financial site, for example, you might create polls that focus on the way users might be saving (or not saving) money, investment habits, and concerns about financial news. Polls can also help you create a better relationship with your users by asking them direct questions about what they’d like to see on the web site or which features they like or dislike.

Why people are so fascinated with polls is a bit of a mystery, but it may have something to do with the ability to interact anonymously with a site and still see where you fit into the greater picture. What’s more, voting in a poll only takes a few clicks at most, whereas comments must be composed.

I compared comments on my site to a poll on the same subject, and the poll had been answered a total of 124 times, whereas only 20 comments were entered.

The style and frequency of your polls are important considerations. Here are some tips to help you write great polls:

  • Be sure your question is written in a clear way.
  • Avoid using incomplete sentences.
  • Avoid jargon and local sayings if you have a widespread, international, multilingual audience.
  • Answer choices should be approximately the same length.
  • Have at least 3 answers and at most 7.

From past experience, i know that by adding interactive features to your website such as a poll, this will increase user interaction, and as a result, you’ll also receive more traffic; When you end your poll, be sure to create another one within a week or so, to start the process all over again. Never stand still in an online environment because other websites will whiz past you, taking with them your potential visitors.

For a few ideas on features you might want to include on your website, 10 Must-Have Features for Your Website is a good place to start. So in your own opinions, which features do you think is necessary to increase user interaction on a website? and which do you think work better than others?