Online "Engagement" is a hot buzzword that's deployed by a number of web services industries to describe their value proposition. (Full disclosure: Yottaa is as guilty of this as anyone). Like most buzzwords, its popularity is due to the fact that it's a pithy and accurate description of what the target audience, website owners and online marketers, want to achieve. Engagement connotes attention, enjoyment, and -- most importantly -- interaction. No matter what your business does, if you have a website, you want visitors to engage with it.
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Let's assume that all services that promise to increase engagement are effective in doing so. With so many services doing different things to promote engagement, it would seem like the more the better -- why not do everything you can to improve engagement? But in the increasingly complex environment that is the Internet, adding services and products to a site always has consequences, intended or otherwise. In this post we'll cover some of the pros and cons of common engagement-inducing services like social media widgets, online advertising, gamification, and A/B testing. We also cover some hidden costs related to performance that may actually lead to neutral or reduced engagement.