So you have a blog, its in the search engines and fully optimised – heck you’re even getting traffic to it! But how long are visitors staying on your site? How many pages are they reading? Are they coming back and revisiting the blog on a regular basis?
To often visitors come to read your blog and bounce, that is they only read the page they landed on. You want them to do more, to read additional posts, leave comments and revisit the site time and time again. I guess the question is how do we engage readers so that they get to see a little more of your hard work.
If you can hold the readers interest by encouraging them to read more then you stand a better chance of showcasing your skills, services and authority in your chosen subject. The more a reader gets involved and comments on your posts the more likely they will return to the site and engage further in conversation.
Here are a few tip for keeping readers reading…
1. Make sure you link to related posts
Simple really, if a user has found your site via search engine then the chances are that they are interested in the topic of your post. It stands to reason that they may also be interested in any similar posts you have in your archive. Rather than expecting them to search your site for related content (witch, thanks to advances in search engines most users will not do) why not put a link to any related articles your have already published, just pop a link in the post.
2. Show off your popular posts
If you have an old post that went down well then don’t be afraid to showcase it. Compilation posts can be a great way of holding a user’s interest and get them looking around your blog. Often webmaster will take the post of the month from a year ago, sometimes they will take the most discussed posts – it’s up to you.
3. Concise and descriptive introduction
When writing the intro to your post make sure you clearly portray the topic of your post as well as descriptively summing up what the post covers. It is often a good move to add some sort of hook or question to get the reader intrigued about your post, remember controversy is king here. Remember often the introduction is displayed as a snippet to entice the reader to view the post.
4. Write a series of blog posts
Often we like to keep posts short, more often than not posts are less than 800 words long which is good as it does not over load the user and scare them off. This can mean that complex topics are either avoided or not covered in full, to get around this consider writing a series of posts on your topic. As long as you make it clear to the user that the post they are reading is part of a series then you can expect return visits each week as the reader digests each post in your series. A user that has read part 1 of your series is very likely to want to read parts 2, 3 and 4.
An added bonus is that you will have more pages all linked together, that are indexed in the search engines and therefore stand to get more traffic from the search engines for your given topic.
5. Design a blog that presents additional posts effectively
Experienced Telesales Supervisor / Manager required to look after small Telesales team, for a medium sized Internet Services Company
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The person we are looking for, must possess all of the following attributes:-
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Minimum of 2 years experience of supervising / managing a Telephone Sales team
Desire to help an expanding medium sized Company continue its exciting growth strategy
Happy to train other telephone sales personnel by example, whilst achieving a smaller personal target,
as well as using other motivational and management Telesales techniques.
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Apply in first instance with full CV, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Managing Director,eSterling Limited, 48 Floodgate Street, Birmingham. B5 5SL
And so we bid farewell to another search engine. Alas Cuil we hardly knew thee.
Launched with much fanfare by the press in late July 2008, Cuil boasted a larger index than any other search engine. It displayed it’s results with a nicely composed page of long descriptions and thumbnails, which at the time was a rather refreshing change to the stark Swiss-like simplicity of other engine . It seemed at the time a breath of fresh air but as is the fate of all search engines people collectively shrugged their shoulders and went back to Google. Leaving us once more to ponder it’s unstoppable monopoly.
A recent mock up for a new design had a couple of us musing on the avenues for adding interesting discoverable content to websites. By interesting I of course mean silliness that may not be appreciated by the clientèle and so the thought ended there. There are however websites that have audiences that are perhaps more appreciative of easter eggs. A growing subset of these use the Konami Code first seen back in the heady days of the NES. Enter the elusive code on such a site and all manner of wackiness occurs. Try it on Facebook for instance. Clearly it’s a bit onerous to try this on every website you visit just on the off chance they have something for you but thankfully wikipedia steps up with this handy list – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Konami_code_websites
Want to add it to your website ? Konami-js provides an easy drop in solution http://www.snaptortoise.com/konami-js/ and there’s a jQuery plug-in for fans of that library http://www.gethifi.com/blog/konami-code-jquery-plugin-pointlessly-easy
P.s. It’s Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A
SEO has its fair share of buzz words these days (we are marketers after all), one that is particularly common of late is “link baiting”. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of this term before or if you’re not sure what it actually means because it’s quite simple really…
The term “link baiting” refers to a simple strategy for naturally increasing the number of links to your website, and as we all know the more links you have coming in to your website the higher your page rank and the better your site will rank in the SERP’s. Link baiting is a completely natural approach to link building and will leave your site with genuine, organically built links; it does not involve buying links, endlessly commenting on blogs, using any automated posting software or anything wacky like that. With this system other people will build links to your website for you and best of all it is so simple that any website owner can do it.
So what is the catch and how does it work?
Ok, lets get down to brass tacks…link baiting…lets think about it. The clue is in the name – so we are laying bait to promote people to link to our sites. I guess the big question is, what is the bait?
The bait can be anything that engages people, something they like, use, need or enjoy – something so engaging and attention grabbing they just have to link to it. So what type of content can cause enough of a fuss that people, without being asked, decide to link to your website? Well the first question is probably what kind of people are you looking to attract and what will engage them? This is when market research and a good knowledge of your customers comes into play, the answer is very different depending on the type and role of your website.
Common types of “link bait” include Interviews with industry guru’s, useful industry tools, great articles, specialised reports, contests, reviews, controversial opinions, free resources and tools, “how to” articles and videos, and anything else that you think might appeal you your audience.
In short, what you are looking to do here is build a good website. If you build a high quality, well thought out, engaging website that is focused around the user then you should never need to build a single link to your website – given time they will come to you.
To go back to Google phrase from time gone by, “content is king”.