We all want to drive traffic to our blogs but what are you doing to keep readers on your blog once they get there? If your strategy is to provide them with high quality, relevant, actionable content, you’ve got the right idea, but you also need to create ‘pathways’ around your blog, to keep readers digging deeper and consuming more content.
Remember, readers need to know, like, and trust you before they take the actions you’d really like them to take (like signing up for your list, investing in your products, or joining your Facebook community). Leading them around your blog, to more content they can use, builds that relationship.
Here are six super simple ways you can keep readers on your blog
Interlink to other posts within your content
If you’re running a tightly focused niche blog there should be plenty of opportunities to link from one post to another. Many of us remember to do link back to older posts when we put up a new post, but don’t always remember to go back and link forward to newer posts from our older ones.
This is important, especially when you consider how SEO works (if you don’t know, I recommend this ebook). Your older posts should start to attract search traffic as they mature and hopefully attract incoming links. So new readers are likely to land there via the search engines, and click through onto other, newer posts, if the pathways are there.
Tags & Categories
When it comes to categories in particular, some people get it all wrong and write a lot of posts that end up in all their categories. Super user unfriendly! Here at The Savvy Solopreneur I’ve made a decision to cover just five broad areas and they all have a separate category. There’s a tiny bit of crossover but not much. Most posts fit neatly into one category and one category only.
List your categories somewhere obvious. I put mine over there in the sidebar.
A simple plugin or widget can automatically pull around three related posts and add them to the end of every blog post. Three is about right. You don’t want to overwhelm your readers. You can always add a related post manually if it’s a logical next step or if it’s part of a series. (Series are awesome – see below.)
Again there are a range of plugins and widgets that might work for you, depending on your blogging platform and theme. I put popular posts in the sidebar as well, and my widget automatically refreshes and pulls up whatever’s popular that week. Just be aware that popular posts become self-fulfilling because the more readers click on them, the more your blogging software registers them as ‘popular’.
I get around this by making little graphics for some of the posts that I think readers will find super helpful and adding those to the sidebar as well.
Tip: If you work mainly on a laptop (I do) just keep in mind that many of your readers (perhaps most) are accessing your site on mobile devices, where sidebar content typically shows up below your main content. Always check your site looks neat and user-friendly on mobile.
Series of posts
I love series on a specific topic that’s just way too big for one post. I’ve created a six-part series on affiliate marketing for example, and it gets great traffic. Use a series to go deep on a topic that you know a lot about and just couldn’t cover in one post. You can even use your series content to create an ebook or opt-in gift.
A strategic footer
Remember that on mobile, anyone who is enjoying your content may potentially scroll all the way down to your footer, AND they’ll end up there if they click a broken link. So you want to keep them on your site if they do that. Here’s what it looks like if you click a broken link here at The Savvy Solopreneur.
Broken links are never good, but this gives people logical options. My default error page suggests readers go to the homepage or search for what they were looking for, but straight below that is the footer to allow readers to go back to recent posts, browse the archives or sign up for their free gifts.
Talking of free gifts, do you have yours yet? Want to grab a FREE printable workbook and other goodies for solopreneurs? Just let us know where to send it. You’ll also get my monthly newsletter with tips, freebies, special offers and links to free tools and resources.