No matter how good your blog is, if you don’t have the right amount of traffic or the right amount of comments, you’re not getting anywhere. To most of us who blog, blogging is everything, so don’t let yourself fall victim to low user engagement. If you’re not getting enough views, comments, or other user interactions, you’re not going to survive the blogging game.
Here is a list of the best tricks of the trade that I’ve picked up over the past few years that are guaranteed to boost your user engagement.
Get Found with SEO
If you’re not making your blog posts search engine optimized, your article will not rank high in Google. For more information about SEO, check out this wonderful PDF guide from Google. To keep up with the latest happening in the SEO industry, check out Moz.com. Moz offers great services, guides, and their blog is packed with useful information.
The bottom line is to write content that’s generally useful, helpful, or informative. If you continue to put out high quality content, your website and reputation will grow overtime. Remember, write for humans not search engines. Google is constantly changing their algorithm, the best way not to worry about SEO is write the best content possible. If you do, Google will find you.
You must keep in mind that Google’s goal is to provide the best search results utterly possible. If they don’t, people will stop using their search engine.
Don’t Make Them Wait
Make sure you’re not over-loading your site with annoying advertisements, scripts, plugins, widgets, and too much media that’s going to take forever to load. No one wants to wait more than a few seconds for your site to load, and if you’re making them wait, you’re not getting the engagement you’re looking for.
People are very impatient when it comes to waiting. Do you know how quickly your website takes to load? If not, go do a quick test run on Pingdom.com. According to Pingdom’s website speed test, my website’s seed score is 66/100. I guess that’s pretty good, but it could always be improved.
If you’re looking to speed up your website, check out these articles:
This is something I’m trying to get better at myself. My memory of what I’ve written in the past can be blurry. So when I mention an important topic I’ve previously talked about, I forget to link to it.
You’ll get better at this the more you write. Linking internally is a great way to show new visitors that you have much more valuable information on your website.
Not only is internal linking helpful to the reader, but it’s also a plus for you. How? You get to increase your “time on site” metric and overall pageviews.
Add Social Media
You’re going to want people to talk about your blog, that’s why you created it, right? Make it easier for them to share the content you’ve made by giving them a way to share your content on Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, etc. This is mostly common sense, but some people still don’t take advantage of this.
Mini Rant: Also, for the love of God, please don’t overuse it. Check out the image above to see what I mean.That’s beyond annoying.
If people want to share your content they’ll find a way. You don’t need to spam them with share links all over the place. Whenever I land on websites like this, I automatically leave. Never treat your readers like little kids. Show them some respect.
While it’s easy to get carried away on a subject that you’re passionate about (I know, I’ve been there) it’s vital that you keep your audience in mind. If you’re writing about something that your audience doesn’t usually care too much about, you might have a really hard time attracting them, so make sure you’re keeping your content aimed at one specific target market to keep engagement high.
I can’t stress this enough, it’s your blog, don’t let it die on you by not posting enough. If you want users to be engaged, see to it that you’re posting often, and that you’re responding to every comment you get. The more active you are, the more active your viewers will be, and that is great news for you.
If you’re not getting enough comments on your blog, it might be failing terribly. You should really focus on asking readers for their opinions, and give them a reason to start a discussion around your content. If people have question or provide even more value about the topic at hand, be sure to respond to them and thank them for their input.
There is a downside to comments as well, you’ll get spammed like crazy. If you didn’t know, sketchy internet
marketers scammers use automated software that finds pre-approved blogs to leave their comments on. They usually have a pre-written comment that goes something like this:
“Wow, what an incredible article! My brother recommended this website to me and I’m so glad he did. Keep up the great work!”
Sounds nice doesn’t it? Well, that’s what I thought at first, but then I started receiving almost the same word for word comment from different people. To combat this, you can install a 3rd party commenting system like Disqus or Livefyre, but the problem with them is that people have to make an account to comment. People are not going to waste their time creating a profile.
This is why I’m not all in with comments.
Some blogs don’t even have a comment system on their websites. You might think it’s elitist to do that. But it’s really not. If people truly care about your content, they’ll find a way to tell you what they think (Tweet you, email you, Facebook message you, etc.). What most people are after is the link back to their website. Meaning they simply comment just to get some link juice and traffic back to their website.
I guess in the end it’s up to you to experiment and figure out what’s right for you website.
Make sure that you can make it possible for your users to subscribe to your posts, and they can get on a mailing list. This will ensure that they won’t just leave and never come back. If they are getting emails about things that are happening on your site, it will intrigue them into reading more about what you have to say. When you get emails from your mailing lists, don’t you want to check out what they are talking about?
Let Them Talk
If you give your users a place to chat about relevant things that are important to them, they will be on your blog much more. If you give them a place to connect and chat about ideas and topics you have brought to life, they will actually enjoy that. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to build a community based on things that you are coming up with.
Don’t Talk Too Much
While yes, you need to make sure you’re responding to questions and engaging your users in conversations, don’t make your posts too long. If you need to talk about something worth a million words (write an e-book), make sure your paragraphs are broken up into smaller chunks.
People have very short attention spans and actually do not enjoy taking too much time to read long/intricate ideas, no matter how well-developed or thought-provoking they happen to be.
Some people do save article to read them later, however most people will scan your article for the information they’re looking for. I’m guilty of doing this myself.