You can be really frustrated when you spend a lot of your priceless time in creating your chef-d’oeuvre, but your visitors are hardly giving it a look before switching to another website.
Being sensitive to this is in general a very productive approach. Nevertheless, as a blogger or internet writer, there are better ways to avoid this problem.
Hence, this post will show how to keep readers on your website, and/or make them come back again and again …
Good design brings comfortable reading
We all want that exceptional and unique design that no one. But, a web design has to serve an objective: attract readers and keep them.
How to do that? You may ask. Well, that’s easy! Or, is it?
1 – Be simple
If your design taps on your readers’ visual nerves, they most certainly go somewhere else. A light background with plain colors makes your articles breathe and shine.
Just take a look at most of the successful blogs, you can see how they avoid using anything fancy with their blog backgrounds.
2 – Give your content some space to breathe
However, plain background is not enough to escape from bounce-rate raise, if the rest of your content looks like a group of clowns inside a room.
Knowing that, it is good to expand the margins and paddings around your content.
You can also optimise font size and line height, because space inside your content is just as important as around it, all in the name of legibility, of course.
The WordPress editor is a great example of great spacing between lines, making the text very pleasant to read. Its developers also didn’t skimp on the font size: A full 16px is the minimum size Smashing Magazine recommends, and this ensure that everyone (even a mole!) could read your posts.
3 – Use an easy-to-read font
Last but not least, the font you are using also influences how legible your content is. Keep in mind that the olfirst goal is always to enable people to read what you put out there. So go for simple, not fancy. The Social Triggers’ blog actually has an excellent article on this topic (including studies!).
Improve your content for better engagement
“Just go and write awesome content…”
Tips like this always remind me of this quote from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
Great content is the secret to keeping visitors on your blog (or getting them to there in the first place). But how about we move to practical tactics instead of evident advice? Yeah, I thought so, too.
4 – Dive into your analytics
To figure out where to start, you need to know what is good and working, and what’s bad about your site. For that, it’s very helpful to take a look at your analytics and stats.
Most of us use Google’s Analytics. If you haven’t done so yet, the Google Analytics plugin by Yoast is a great option.
Examine where your visitors spend the most and the least time and which posts and pages are most and least viewed. This is vital in order to make targeted enhancements to your blog.
Pay particular attention to content which is viewed a lot but doesn’t hold visitors for long. If you lead readers to your content but can’t keep them, maybe there are some tips to avoid that.
It’s also important to notice your audience favored content. By knowing the taste of people frequenting your website, you can provide more of what they like and keep them chained longer.
When you create new content, keep the following in mind.
5 – Provide help and support
The first goal of your content should always be to help others. If you can empower other people to improve their lives, career, business, health, or other things that truly matter to them, they will gladly spend time on your website.
6 – Use catching but truthful headlines
Headlines are arguably the most crucial piece of your content. They are the gatekeepers which decide whether or not someone will click a link to your site. Therefore, getting schooled in the creation of headlines is an essential step for marketers, bloggers, and website owners.
7 – Structure your content well for easy scanning
Most people are very visual. You can write the most insightful article the world has ever seen, something that will instantly transform the life of anyone who reads it, however, if it’s not displayed in a well-structured article, not many people will look at it, let aside read it.
The harsh truth is that lots of people won’t just jump your content anyway, even if they are interested! because of the excess of material online.
That’s why, it is important that you make your content scannable. Using paragraphs, headlines, and subheadings produces a welcoming structure and points your readers towards the elements that they are actually excited about.
Well, having someone read parts of your content is better than ignoring all of it, don’t you agree?
8 – Start a conversation to engage your readers
Have you noticed how I ask questions in this post? How I try to show off some of my very pleasant (and humble! ) character?
That’s just for you, silly! So you don’t get bored to tears reading through my stuff!
To keep your readers absorbed with you, abstain from sounding like a high school essay. Yes, As much as your audience wants to be informed, they want to be amused. Talk to them like you do with your friends.
This will definitely make your content lot more pleasant to read. Plus, it’s also much more fun to write! Trust me! I am feeling it.
10 – Use several visual media
Another thing that can seriously spice up any text: Less text.
Sure, particularly if you manage a blog, text will be your main way to communicate. Still, unless you are minimalist, you will probably boost your readability scattering some visual media into your articles, such as videos and images.
You blog visitors will love it! Who wouldn’t?
Keep visitors interested in more than a single post
Now that your website gets the attention it deserves, Here is how to guaranty your readers look for more.
11 – Collect emails to keep in touch
A website owner, blogger or marketer should be building his email list no matter what( this is a must! don’t ignore this one !). However, this is doubly important for your on-site time.
People who subscribe to your website are already interested in your content. Giving you direct access to their inbox is a serious sign of trust!
As a consequence, you are doing them a service letting them know about new stuff on your site, as they are more likely to come check it out and read more.
One good option to collect email addresses is the List Builder app by SumoMe but there are many more such as OptinMonster. Also, my favorite service for newsletter management is MailChimp (in case you care).
12 – Respond to comments and questions
If people comment on your posts or even email directly with questions and inquiries, the worst you can do is ignore them.
If you really care about your audience and want to forge a reputation as a problem solver, you can’t help but build a loyal fan base that will eat up your content and keep coming back hungry for more.
13 – Use internal link to show off your stuff
This is sort of a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating: If you have other post related to the current one on your site, let your readers know about it! Link to other posts (where it makes sense) and refer to other stuff you have created.
The genius thing about this is that WordPress makes linking internally incredibly easy. Just mark the text you want to add a link to, click on ‘insert/edit link’ (or Ctrl/Cmd+k for a shortcut) and then on the triangle at the bottom where it says ‘link to other content’.
Scroll down the list of existing content on your site or type in a search query. Upon click on one of the titles, WordPress will automatically populate both the link and title section. Click on ‘Add Link’ and you are done.
14 – Use a Related-posts plugin and Top posts and pages widget
Another way of letting your readers know about other interesting stuff on your site is to use a plugin. Related posts plugins automatically show content pieces that go well with what your visitors are already reading.
A community favorite is YARPP, which stands for ‘Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.’ However, some say that YARPP and similar plugins are heavy on the database and thereby increase page loading time.
I’m not qualified to judge this, however, if you find that that is the case for you, Jetpack offers a related posts module that outsources the heavy lifting to the WordPress.com servers, which might be worth a try.
Talking about showing off your other awesome content: I hope there is some place on your blog or website where you are displaying your most popular posts and pages?
No? Well, how are your readers supposed to know about them and click through?
Exactly! And there is tons of plugins that can easy do that, if you hate to install anything new, just the one with Jetpack.
Technical trickery to make your website stickier
Ok, so far so good for the front-end optimization. Now let’s take a quick peak at what you can do under the hood of your site to increase your chances of people sticking around.
15 – Optimize for mobile traffic
It’s no secret that the ubiquity of mobile devices has led to a sharp increase in online traffic from tablets, phones, phablets, and everything in between. It has gotten to the point where Google not only introduced a ‘mobile-friendly’ tag in its search results, but also stated that mobile capability is now part of their ranking algorithm.
For us website owners that means if we want to keep the people around who use their iPad or Android phone to surf the Internet (or even attract them in the first place), we better make sure our sites look good on their devices.
There are different ways to achieve this. Either you go with a responsive theme or use a plugin to make your website mobile-friendly.
16 – Fix 404 and other errors
The easiest way that increases bounce rate is landing on a page that doesn’t exist, thus ‘404 – not found.’ Your visitors might just leave and never come back again.
So, one thing you can do is create a custom 404 error page that keeps users engaged instead of repelling them.
However, a better idea might be to ensure this kind of things doesn’t happen in the first place. Use the tools below to find broken links on your website so you can fix them:
- Google Webmaster Tools– under ‘Crawl Errors’.
- W3C Link Checker – Free to check any website
- Broken Link Checker WordPress Plugin–Plugin to find and repair broken links in WordPress
17 – Reduce your page loading time
A slow-loading site is one of the easiest ways to bleed visitors. So much that, 75% of users would not revisit a website that takes longer than 4 seconds to load. How’s that for some 80/20 of keeping visitors on your site?
There are many steps you can take to reduce loading time, from image compression over working with a premium host to content delivery networks. Read this awesome article by Jonathan John on how to make your WordPress website lightning fast.
Keeping readers on your blog is one of the most important things for bloggers and online writers, marketers. Engaged visitors are more likely to buy your product, subscribe to your mailing list, or share your awesome articles.
Try these tricks and see the results!
Which tricks of the above do you already use on your site? Do you have other tricks you want to share? Comment below, Let us know.