How to Keep Readers on Your Blog Longer
So you want to keep readers on your blog longer… that makes two of us and it’s why I have been doing as much research as possible to try and make this happen.
Why do we want to keep readers on our blog for longer? Well for starters, if they stay longer, the chances of them reading more than 1 piece of content is higher. It also increases the chances that they might start to like you and actually sign up to your email list. That’s a big one!
(PS. If you are looking for great Opt-in Freebie Ideas to grow your list, check out this post!)
Even if they don’t sign up for your list this time around, if they found 2 or more pieces of content that they found valuable, they will probably be on the lookout for more of your content down the road. This makes it easier for them to keep coming back for more!
After all, the whole point of a blog post is to provide VALUE right…. RIGHT!
I’ve read probably 20 different blog posts from other bloggers on this topic and I’m working on some changes to see how effective they are. Some posts had a top 4 ways to keep readers longer and some had all the way up to 15.
I don’t think 4 is enough and I think 15 kind of makes your head hurt and makes it a lot less digestible to try and take action, so I’m sticking with lucky number 6. These are the top 6 that I think are MOST IMPORTANT and that you really shouldn’t ignore!
Well, let’s hop to it huh!
#1 Interlinking to Your Own Content
This is the EASIEST one and probably the most guaranteed to keep readers on your blog longer. Fill your blog posts with links to your other related content. Like literally at the beginning, middle and end. If you mention a topic and you know you have a post that is related, mention it!!!
Now there is some debate here. Some bloggers will tell you to “NOT” select to open the content in a new tab but I disagree. For one, I don’t want to have to scroll back through the post looking for that link that caught my eye and for two, I don’t want a reader to click on the link and then miss out on the rest of the post they were in the middle of reading.
If I mention a related post in the middle of a current post, I always select to “Open in a New Tab” so they can tab right over to it once they are done the current article. I’ll leave this up to you though!
*Pro-Tip: You can see where you are really sucking at this by taking a peek at your Google Analytics Pages info.
First, find the “Pages Report” from your Main Dashboard:
Once you are in the actual pages report, look specifically at the Bounce Rate. I almost crapped my pants, my top three referring pages were in the 90’s.
I clearly needed to spend some time creating better links within these posts and doing a better job at pointing people in the right direction at the end of my posts!
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#2 Re-Purpose Your Old Content
I’ve talked about this a lot and I even have an entire post dedicate to it – What Your Blog Needs right Now to Increase Traffic! (See how I did that….)
Once you have developed some loyal readers, they may see links and assume they have already read that post. Update the posts with new content and re-publish it. Then you can also mention that the post your linking to has been recently updated!
That’s a sure fire way to get them to take a look at it again. Just make sure you actually did add new content or value or they might be disappointed you wasted their time!!
#3 Write Longer Blog Posts
You might say blah… over this one, but this has such an impact on your blog overall!
The good people over at Google will like you that much better and rank your posts better in searches if they include more content. It also takes a reader a longer amount of time to read through a longer post… duh.
It also gives you more opportunities to link to your other content.
#4 Break Down Your Content
If people get to your site to read a post and it looks like 3000 words all crammed together in giant paragraphs, chances are they are out before they even start reading. Make sure to break up your content into small 1-2 sentence paragraphs.
Think of it like you are speaking with someone. If you start rambling on and on without taking a breath, chances are the person listening will tune out pretty fast. The same thing happens with reading.
Add your content in small doses so your reader enjoys the experience and so you can also inflict a little personality and fun!
#5 Include a Related Posts Plugin
There are a ton of Related posts plugins out there and I wouldn’t be surprised if your Theme can with a suggestion for one!
The plugin will usually automatically pull posts that have similar keywords or tags or some will even let you decide which posts you want to always include. This could be very beneficial for the posts that you want to market because they are monetized!
#6 Include Most Popular Area in Your Sidebar
This isn’t one that I had on my blog when I started this post but now if you look to your right and up a bit, BAM.. it’s there! This gives your readers a really good idea of what your blog or website is about overall and makes it easy for them to find new content and pages.
You can also use this as a chance to promote your monetized posts as well or your shop. These posts are clearly already popular so the chance that the reader on your blog is interested in that topic is pretty high!
Here is an example of a really well done “Most Popular Posts” Sidebar from a fellow bloggers site!
I would probably start off with 3-4 posts to keep things lite and you can easily create the buttons yourself!
Don’t forget to take full advantage of our Opt-in Freebie Templates to easily grow your list with all those readers sticking around for longer!
We have so many great collections to choose from, but here’s my fave!
Now go Keep Readers on Your Blog Longer!
This post should really help you to see the importance of keeping readers on your blog for longer and how to actually make that happen!