Marketers are always looking for ways to increase engagement, especially when it comes to prospects visiting your website or blog. We all know that a lower bounce rate is a sign that people are wanting to stick around longer to get the most out of what you have to offer, but how do you get there? There are several tips and tricks for making this happen, and your blog can actually be a gateway to help you accomplish this goal. Below are 7 ways to increase engagement per visit to your blog:
1. Make your Links Valuable to Your Readers
Linking is a practice most commonly associated with good SEO (assuming you’re dealing with a reputable company). However, links are not and should not be just for SEO. They are also a way to give your readers more information, the opportunity to learn about a keyword in more depth, and the chance to easily check out similar content. Linking to other parts of your website — besides being effective for SEO — also keeps your readers engaged with your site longer and can demonstrate how valuable your site is for finding information on the topic they are interested in. Links can:
- Answer user questions
- Take readers to the next step, or the next place you want them to land on your site
- Build authority and trust
The key here is always linking to the most valuable site or article possible. Hopefully this leads to a lot of internal links on your own site, but it is also important to provide external links on topics you might not write about but that your readers would value. This builds trust and is important in the long run. Use the most credible, interesting, and valuable links possible in your writing!
2. Consistency and Branding
One of the factors that really makes a site and a brand look cohesive is consistency. That not only means posting consistently and making sure that you can offer new information and insights on a regular basis, but making sure that your content aesthetically and stylistically looks consistent across your site. People recognize consistency and branding on a website and it is important that you aren’t turning people away based on appearance alone. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Make sure your logo clearly appears on each page
- Color schemes, fonts, and other details should be consistent
- Call to action (CTA) buttons should appear where relevant to drive visitors to the pages where you want them to land. A consistent location for CTA buttons can also work wonders.
- Writing tone should be consistent across the blog and all other webpages
It may sound obvious, but this is something that many blogs miss because it seems too easy. If you have more than one person managing your blog and/or more than one write for your blog (which is OK, it’s common!), your branding for that blog may suffer slightly. Oftentimes you won’t notice until you’re deep into publishing blog content, so try to be careful at the outset.
3. Make Important Features Pronounced
If you really want visitors to take a specific action on your site, then you need to make sure that important features are pronounced in some way. Whether that is a call to action, side panel of recommended articles, or a video pop up that you think will interest them—make sure to be loud and clear so that you can lead visitors to take the actions you want them to take.
4. Video and Visual Content
Video has really changed the marketing landscape. Not only is it an easy and awesome way to deliver a ton of information in a visually appealing way, but it is a great way to keep people on your website even longer. People are inclined to stay on for at least the 3-5 minute video clip. According to Vidyard, CTA’s are key— once users are engaged they are more likely to follow a CTA at the end of your video, or click on another relevant site link.
5. Be Memorable with a Solid Blog Design
You don’t just want to have an aesthetically appealing site; you want to be memorable. The goal is to get those who land on your site to want to stick around as long as possible and return as a visitor because you made such an impression. While it may be tempting to create your site with a basic template, you want to make sure you make yours different and unique enough to stand out. Always consider your unique brand and what impression you want to give your audience. Again, this may sound obvious, but it is easier said than done. You don’t necessarily need to hire a designer or install a fancy theme right at the get-go, but if you’re really ramping up your blog then you’ll want to step up your aesthetics that highlight the features discussed above.
6. Navigation and Load Times
Nothing will get someone to leave your site quicker than slow load times on either desktop or mobile. If your site takes more than a couple of seconds to load then you can most certainly bet that people will leave without any hesitation (not to mention, slow load times also impact your SEO). Check out this awesome infographic on how page load time affects your bottom line, courtesy of KISSmetrics.
You also want to make sure that your site is really easy to navigate. Sites that are easy to navigate let people easily cruise through your blog, products, and other content with ease and most importantly, stay on your site longer! This is a big topic, so you can learn more about how to improve the navigation of your blog here.
7. Focus on the Art of Storytelling, Not SEO
You might be able to post crumbly content more frequently, but the thing that is going to keep people on your site, returning, and wanting to read on is good content—really good content. In terms of increasing engagement, it is always a matter of quality over quantity. As you develop your content make sure you are always keeping your audience in mind and that you are developing pieces that they will care about and want to stick around for. Ultimately, this comes down to really understanding the craft of writing. You can understand all of the aspects of blogging and website management discussed above, but being able to develop thoughts in an engaging yet educational and practical way is the key. Learn more about this topic here.
You don’t want people to just land on your homepage—or any page on your website—and leave. The key to increasing engagement and getting your visitors to take more actions is creating each page with user experience in mind. That means providing valuable links, being consistent, branding effectively, and using other visual strategy that make your site easy to navigate.
Keep in mind that it is a lot easier to get someone who is already on your site to visit another page than it is to get someone entirely new to visit your site, so focusing on on-page optimization is crucial. With that said, you also need to have a strategy in place for getting return visits. We recommend getting started with an RSS email tool, or using the paid plugin from FeedOtter that integrates directly with Pardot to send RSS blog emails.
What makes you stay on a website longer? As a user what enhances your experience on a website or blog? Let us know in the comments section below!