How to Increase Engagement and Quality Traffic on Your Blog
The average blogger tends to have an obsession with traffic, and more specifically, getting more of it. Quantity is the key, right? Perhaps, but I often prefer to shoot for the low-hanging fruit by improving the quality of traffic to my sites. This can be done in two ways: attracting more relevant traffic and doing a better job of “selling” your blog to new visitors.
In this post, we will focus on the second method, which involves optimizing what you already have. Improving upon what you already have is often wildly unappreciated in a world obsessed with quantity.
Sections of Your Site That Increase Engagement
The blueprint for increasing engagement is split into four sections that most WordPress blogs are made up of: the header and navigation bar, content, sidebar, and footer. Each section plays a role in keeping visitors on your site or converting them into subscribers or purchasers.
1. Header and Navigation Bar
The first step is to ensure that your site passes the header removal test. Imagine that the header and tagline are removed from your home page and ask yourself if a new visitor can still figure out what your site is about. If not, make it more obvious. Consider adding a feature box below your header and navigation or at the top of your content box. This feature box should provide a direct link to a full explanation of your site.
Optimize your navigation bar by limiting the links to high-traffic pages that help people get to know your site better or convert them into subscribers or customers. Anything else is superfluous and may reduce engagement.
Focus on keeping visitors engaged on each page or post of your site. Provide plenty of content options by linking between posts and pages regularly. Ensure that every link is relevant to avoid irritating the visitor. Use plugins like Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) to provide a selection of related content at the bottom of each post. Finish each post with a Call to Action (CTA) that gives the visitor an option to subscribe or become a customer.
Optimize your sidebar by keeping it sparsely populated. The less choice a visitor has, the greater the chance they’ll complete a CTA. Include a combination of widgets such as a subscription form, links to products or money pages, a list of categories or tags, social media buttons, a search box, and a mini bio box. Each widget should offer the user an opportunity to explore the blog further, subscribe, or purchase.
While the footer may not have as much potential for engagement and conversion, you can still populate it with widgets to provide visitors with more opportunities to explore your site. Consider adding widgets similar to those in the sidebar or linking to other sections of your site.
Increasing Blog Engagement Summary
The key to increasing engagement is to always present users with plenty of contextually relevant opportunities to explore the site further or subscribe. Keep this in mind when optimizing your header and navigation bar, content, sidebar, and footer. Experiment with different strategies and find what works best for your blog.
What strategies do you employ to maximize engagement and conversions on your blog? Let us know in the comments section below!