Want To Keep Visitors On Your Blog?

Do you know that most blog visitors don’t come to your site through the home page?

Sure, if they’re referred by a direct link to the home page, that’s where they’ll arrive. That isn’t how we get most of our traffic though.  Many arrive from search engines to an internal page, landing on a single post on your blog.

We want these visitors to click around and investigate other content on our site and decide they like us, right?

If they like us, hopefully they subscribe to our mailing list, follow us on social media or click on one of our products, services, affiliate links or ads.  It’s why we blog after all. (Well, most of us.)

How to keep a visitor clicking around?

Here are some ideas for holding on to your visitors, presented in no particular order of importance.

Make sure your blog header graphic links to your home page. 

There are a few blog themes that aren’t set up that way so check for it.  Also see that you have a ‘Home’ link in your navigation.

Check that your navigation includes your  ‘About’ page link. 

I know this is obvious – but I have had to search for it before and we don’t want that.  It should be be easy.  (This is a good time to remind you to check your about page for necessary updates.)

Format your blog posts in an attractive way.

Don’t write for a post for your blog the same way you’d write an essay for college.  A post made up of paragraph after paragraph is dull to look at visually.

Use sub-headlines within your content to break it up and make the main points pop out.  See these two examples:

Can you see how the content on the right is going to be easier to read online?

If you’re not sure how to do it, I made a video a few years back that demonstrates how you can use the WordPress visual editor to format your posts attractively.  (Check it out here – be patient, it takes a minute to load.)

Display your popular blog posts.

Most Popular Posts – This plugin displays posts by popularity as based on the number of comments it has received.

Google Analytics Popular Posts – This one displays posts that have received the most traffic according to your Google Analytics account.  (You do have one, right?)  You’ll have to put our Analytics log info into the plugin so that it can access your data.

Use a related post plugin.

Related post plugins are designed to display a set of links to posts related to the content being read.   There are dozens of options, here are just a few:

Link Within – A popular related post plugin that displays a post picture thumbnail and link to related posts.  You can choose how many related posts you want to display.   I don’t recommend Link Within it because it redirects the visitor through the Link Within website.  That means these links aren’t helping you with your internal linking strategy for search engine optimization.

Related Post Thumbnails – This is very much like Link Within, it will display post picture thumbnails with a link to the related post.  The links are not redirected so they will create nice internal links.  It’s a simple plugin, it chooses related posts based on your choice of categories, tags or both.  (It doesn’t ‘read’ the content and choose related content based on that.)

Yet Another Related Post Plugin – This plugin will display links only, no pictures.  (At least not at this time.)  This plugin ‘thinks’ more about the related content it displays.  According to the plugin info: “Using a customizable algorithm considering post titles, content, tags, and categories, YARPP calculates a “match score” for each pair of posts on your blog. ”

Cross link within your content. 

Even though you use a plugin to display related posts, you should link to other relevant content on your blog within your post when it’s possible and seems helpful to your readers.

Use a recent post plugin in your sidebar.

If your blog theme uses widgets, there is a simple recent posts widget that comes default with current installations of WordPress.  You can just click and drag it in to use it where you’d like.

If you’d like to do something more eye catching, try the Special Recent Posts plugin.  This will display recent posts with post picture thumbnails, the title and content excerpt.  I’ve used this plugin on a couple of different sites now and it looks attractive.  (See the pic above and see it in action in our sidebar here on Mom Blogger Pro.)

Create a list of your favorite posts.

There’s no plugin for this one, you’ll have to create it manually.  What content on your blog are you most proud of?  Publish this list on your sidebar or footer.  You may also want to publish it as a supplement on your about page.

Do these things and I know you’ll keep your visitors on your site longer.

What’s your advice?

I bet there are more great tips for keeping readers interested – if you have one, please share it below :)

Comments

  1. Your advice is awesome. The only thing I might add is write for the people, for your audience, and not search engines. Sure, you have to put your keywords in there, but if the articles and blogs are boring, and useless and full of nonsense no one is going to stay to read much less click around and join the list.

  2. Crystal Stannard says:

    I absolutely love this post. I recently started a blog and will use your info. Stephanie I agree about content worthwhile. I write what i feel people want to read, but I do also follow a rule where there is a keyword in the title and a minimum of four in the content. The that way i dont overload or annoy anyone.

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