Sure 100,000 visitors to your blog would be awesome but what if they aren’t converting? Many marketers I know spend so much time trying to grow their lists, fans and followers but forget about the user engagement that can boost your brand lift by over 300%!
55% of readers are going to spend less than 15 seconds actively on a page so you need to give them something up front and right away to gain their attention and keep them active.
Here are some tips for you to keep in mind:
1. Interactive Content
This is one of the most exciting solutions for keeping users engaged and interested in your site.
With interactive content, site visitors feel a heightened sense of attachment to your pages, as they’ve essentially played a role in how your content takes shape. By spending time interacting with your site, they’re all the more likely to share their content experiences with their peers.
It’s super easy to create and embed interactive elements for your pages using tools like Playbuzz or many free plugins if you use WordPress. These allow you to create customizable content for your website in the form of quizzes, polls, flip cards and more. This is an excellent opportunity to increase attention minutes and social sharing and it also helps inject a sense of meaningful connection to the user experience.
You can also let your users interact with online chat. Although be careful, the mistake many companies make on the online-chat front is forcing visitors and customers to come to them through a confusing maze of email strings and on-site logins. Instead, make chat super easy by going to your audience through a native tool like Facebook Messenger.
2. Page Speed
Not only is the load time of your website important to users, it’s also something that your website can be ranked for. Google’s latest research shows that the chance of a bounce increases 32% when the page load time goes from 1s to 3s. 1s to 5s increases the chance to 90% and if your site take up to 10s to load, the chance of a bounce increases to 123%. That’s incredible. For search engines, better results and performance is a sign of a healthy site that pleases customers and therefore should be rewarded with higher ranking.
So here are some ways to speed up your site:
Google’s AMP Project
This project is meant to give the web a necessary speed boost. It’s not too hard to implement, and it will give your mobile site a life in the fast-lane. According to Google, AMP is not a ranking factor, but it’s not hard to predict it has a decent chance to become one. Read Google’s documentation on how to implement AMP.
HTTP, the protocol your browser uses to connect to your site, has a new version: HTTP/2. Basically one very important factor you should know about the new HTTP/2 is that it no longer requires a new request for each file. This is the modification that makes our performance optimization guidelines change so drastically. Now in the HTTP/2 world you don’t need to combine JS & CSS files and even images, this type of optimization is no longer needed and can even become counterproductive.
Many of us bloggers use WordPress and getting everyone to use PHP7 is a big deal. It would be nice to get everyone to move from the unsupported and unsafe versions, like PHP5.2 and PHP5.3. Moving to PHP7 will give your WordPress site a speed bost, keep it secure and make it future proof.
If you are still having issue with your load time you might need to look into a Content Deliver Network (CDN), which is essentially a network of servers that host your site’s media assets in different locations around the world, for faster access.
3. Be Consistent and Reliable
Once you’ve got your audience’s attention, it is now crucial that you are consistent.
Seriously, nothing is worse than getting hooked on a weekly blog only for the author to go on an unexplained hiatus for 3 weeks. Just remember, everything is a click away on the internet and if you leave your audience hanging they will find some other blog to read.
If you’re consistent in your delivery of valuable and insightful content, your readers will consistently return to consume it. Similarly to knowing what time you should be posting content, it is crucial that you know how often your audience would be willing to engage with you and be eager for new material.
Timeliness is a bonus, but the most important factor is reliability. If you provide quality, insightful content every Wednesday – your audience will return on a Wednesday to read it. So before starting a blog, create a content calendar which maps out ideas, topics or milestones you’d like to cover for at least 6-12 months.
I hear a lot about not monetizing your site for at least the first 6-12 months. It really depends on your site’s activity. You should monetize at your own discretion. It’s hard to actually turn a profit on the web, trust me. The online advertising ecosystem is in a state of disarray, with a lack of viable solutions for making money from mobile users.
Although, there is a pretty awesome way to advertise and make some money by integrating contextual ads into your content. Imonomy’s technology scans your web pages and automatically pairs your site’s images with relevant, engaging banner ads! Since the in-image ads are displayed together with and selected to match, your site’s images, this platform delivers high viewability rates and improved engagement with your site’s visitors. This, of course, translates to higher revenues in ways that don’t compromise on content engagement.
5. Strong First Impression
Every single day a potential customer is seeing your site for the very first time. This can be forgotten when you are trying to bust out content after content. The first screen your users see has 3 important jobs:
Explain how your product works.
Motivate your users to get started.
Let your users know how to get help, if and when they need it.
If your website doesn’t offer those, the user will log out and most likely never return.
There are plenty of way to welcome a new signup to your site and show them around. Personally, I like to send a welcome letter personally to each person who signs up for my site. This works great for starting conversations, which in turn increases conversations.
It truly is essential to have a dynamic, thorough engagement strategy that maximizes interactions and time on site. If your company is unable to grab the attention of its target audience and keep them meaningfully engaged on your website, sustainable revenues will be hard to come by – if they ever do.