Every blogger dreams to keep the visitors on their site as much time as possible, which means the readers find your blog interesting and useful. Often a blog does not reach more than 1-1.5 pages per visit; in fact, users come in, read the post, and then run away (one pageview is a “bounce”). This is pretty normal for a blog, but there are some techniques that can help decrease the bounce rate and increase the pageviews in a single session.
Build Many High Quality Articles
This is always the same suggestion that you find all over the web, but it is still the first factor to consider when you create new content for your blog. And the more posts you write, the more information is available to both your visitors and the search engines. Be original, unique and supply interesting topics for your readers.
Important: Write for the reader, not the search engines.
If you can produce new quality content with regularity, your audience will stay longer in your blog, increasing pageviews and decreasing the bounce rate.
Use A Related Posts Plugin
WordPress offers a large number of plugins that can display a list of related, most viewed or most commented on blog posts.
I recommend a related post plugin and depending on your needs, you might consider a most viewed or most commented plugin. Keep in mind, however, a most viewed or most commented-on plugin will cause the same posts to continue to receive visits, thus remaining the most read. This will make new posts harder to grow due to guiding traffic to the same few articles all of the time.
This technique is often overlooked but it is extremely effective! It consists in simply linking your posts to each other when they meet the same topics or share the same tags.
Internal linking may be more effective than using only a “Related Posts” plugin alone, as the link is immediately immersed within the article and not a separate area below the content or in the sidebar. It may also be more effective in SEO terms, as you can choose how many and which posts interlink, along with itâs anchor text.
While you write new articles, keep the interlinking manual and do not use automatic plugins (such SEO Smart Links, for instance) as this drastically decreases the loading time of your blog and can have an adverse effect when it comes to Google.
Divide The Posts In Your Homepage
If you display your posts in their entirety on your blogâs homepage you increase the risk of higher bounce rates. As the visitor comes to your blog, they can see and read your latest articles and may be leave right away, without visiting any other page of your site.
I recommend you publish a preview of several of your posts on your homepage, so the visitors must click on the “read more” link, visiting more pages of your blog in order to see the entire article.
Finally, an interesting technique is to break up a long post into more articles with different publication dates. If you wrote an article of 5000 words, it’s probably better to split it into 2 or 3 posts (Part one, part two, part three, etc.), in order to avoid boring your users with a too long reading.
Each post will be linked to one another accordingly, helping increase your pageviews and decreasing the bounce rate. This will also create suspense among your readers, which will wait for the next part of your post to be published.
Add A Search Box To Your Blog
A search form is included in most blog themes, but if not you can use the free service offered by Google Custom Search. The Tag Cloud is of little use nowadays, and in some ways even Matt Cutts does not recommend it.
Remember to put the user at the center of your attention. Forcing them to jump too many hoops on your site just for the sake of more pageviews is a dangerous practice but gently guiding traffic helps everyone. In the long run it is perhaps better to receive less pageviews, but more satisfied readers!
What Do You Think?
How important are pageviews and bounce rates to you? Are there other methods you use to improve your numbers?
Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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