There can’t be many website owners who haven’t heard of the most overused buzzword of our search and social age – engagement! The focus of all social media content is to replace push marketing with the imperative to interact. If you’re not participating - you’re not in the game!

But is this really true? On the one hand we see more and more sites jumping into the world of social content while on the other, so many sites still appear to lack a basic user-friendly contact experience.

While it’s certainly true that eCommerce sites survive on their online marketing ability to drive inbound pre-qualified link traffic to clearly laid out pages with the right products at the right prices and onto sales conversion, this ‘standard’ model is being superseded by a social interface.

But simply adding Facebook and Twitter buttons and posting a blog once a month – with the link hidden away at the foot of a page (not even the home page) – and asking visitors to follow for no other reason other than “it’s what every website now has” does not mean you are part of social engagement!  To be social is to be seamlessly integrated with adjacent marketing strategies not attempting to replace!

It’s often why so many site owners become either disillusioned after a few months or think they can do it themselves. However, this is not the only scenario that flies in the face of vital necessity when trying to succeed at visibility, ranking, traffic and lead generation.

According to recent studies of data collected by ‘analysis engines’ from SME sites in over a dozen countries, a staggering three quarters fail to provide an email contact link on their home page, two thirds lack any kind of enquiry form and nine out of ten are not optimised for mobile access.

While it may be argued that some of the above functionality is already mostly irrelevant and no longer what the adept smartphone and tablet user expects to see when arriving at site, the studies also reveal that less than one in five sites link to their Facebook page ( if they have one) and even fewer link to Twitter or LinkedIn.

But once again, site authority, credibility and trust are built around transparency. Consumers are keen to find and actively seek out  all relevant contact details, and the presence of customer landline numbers, email addresses and site location is still as crucial to the principle of engagement as being found on the social networks.

Today’s timelines to and from a website weave across the multichannel from offline to online, TV to tablet, mobile to social site and back again. Being ‘discovered’ is one thing, keeping the faith with an audience is another. Engagement may expedite the journey to a sales funnel but there’s nothing like a telephone number to encourage conversion.