One of the things every website owner strives for every single minute is traffic – targeted traffic. Once we have visitors on our site, the next thing we want is engagement. What is engagement by the way?
I hear bloggers talk about engagement on blogs so often but a few of us can venture into its meaning. If we have an accurate understanding of the meaning of the word in our industry, we shall be able apply it with wisdom.
Blog engagement is simply an action taken by the visitor on your blog in favor of the blog. It can also be considered as action that keeps the visitor stuck to your blog.
An engaged visitor is not just the visitor who keeps coming back to your blog. It begins with the visitor who spends time reading your blog and carrying out actions that add more value to the blog.
NB: Try BlogEngage for an explosive traffic and engagement experience on your blog
Remember the first thing that attracts a visitor to your blog is the title of your post. Sometimes, it’s a piece of advert – banner, text, email, etc. The visitor who clicks a link to your blog has the curiosity to discover the content. Now when he lands on our blog, what next?
There are 5 main things we expect every visitor to our blogs to do in order to engage. These are what I call blog engagement factors (Actions). Now there are different reasons why visitors to your blog do one or more of these actions. These reasons are what I call blog engagement triggers.
In order to make it simple for understanding, I will bring out each engagement factor (action taken by visitors) and a couple of triggers (Things that can motivate them to take the action).
5 blog engagement factors and triggers
1 – Action-> Reading the post: Not every reader that clicks to your article actually takes the time to read through. For different reasons, some close the page as soon as it’s loading. Others spend some seconds reading the introduction. Some may just scroll down glancing through the various headings. Another category is made up of those who actually take their time to read through the article word after word. That’s the first level of engagement. Once this level is reached, there is a greater chance of having the visitor engage more.
Trigger s-> There are couple of things you need to do to encourage visitors to read through your article. These are:
- Proper introduction,
- Airy formatting of your article,
- Proper language,
- Well phrased sentences,
- Value in the content,
- Less advertising,
- No popup,
- Having an appealing design,
- Use good quality images,
- Writing in a conversational style,
- Speeding up your blog,
If you do this and give your content space, you will surely keep your visitors engaged
2 – Action -> Commenting the article: That’s the most common level of engagement most of us focus on. We want engagement through blog commenting. Generally, the more the comments and replies, the more the engagement power of our blog
Triggers-> Here are a few things you need to do to encourage comments on your blog
- Ask questions in the article
- Ask readers to comment
- Get commentLuv Premium – this plugin is a huge comment booster
- Reply to comments left by visitors
- Comment on other blogs – yes! This will encourage others to comment on yours
- Avoid complex Captchas
- Linking to blog posts on other blogs – they often come to your post and leave a comment
3 –Action -> Sharing on social media: Social media sharing is a strong blog engagement factor. If your visitors don’t read through your articles, the probability of sharing is almost not there. It will only take a loyal reader who trusts the quality of your article to just go ahead and share without reading through. Yes! There are bloggers I don’t need to read their articles before sharing. I know each time they come up with a new article, it’s worth sharing. We need to get to that level where our readers trust us almost blindly
Triggers -> In order to encourage visitors to share your articles on social media, I propose you do the following:
- Write a sharable article
- Ask readers to share
- Provide accessible sharing buttons
- Share other bloggers’ articles too
- Be active on social media
- Reply to the shares that are made – simply saying ‘thanks for sharing…’ can encourage visitors to share more
4 – Action -> Signing up to your list: That’s one of the most sought engagements on blogs today. The more people you get on your list, the bigger your community expands.
Triggers -> You need to get visitors to sign up to your list. There are a few things you can do to encourage this action:
- Offer a free gift
- Ask visitors to sign up to your list in order not to miss a thing
- Keep to your words – don’t burn your list with promotions
- Make the signup form conspicuous
5 – Action -> Clicking to another post on the same blog: Remember engagement is an action that keeps your visitors on your blog. So visiting more than 1 page or article on your blog is an important engagement factor. This of course reduces your bounce rate, which is a crucial marketing factor.
Triggers -> Here are a few things to do that may cause the visitors to click to other articles on the same blog
- Properly link to other articles on the same blog
- Add a related post widget just below the content area
- Use banners to advertise some important articles or pages on the same blog
- Use the ‘Most Popular Posts’ widget
- Use the ‘Most Recent Posts’ Widget
- Have a well laid out menu
- Use commentLuv to link to other posts in comments
6 – Get the visitors coming back: Most engaged visitors will certainly come back to your blog if one or two things take place. For the most part, if they sign up to your feed and receive a new post alert, that will surely bring them back. On the other hand, sharing your new post on social media will also serve as a point of attraction.
Here are some of my ideas to help you get more repeat visits:
- Get first timers to sign up to your feed/list
- Get them to follow you on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+,etc)
- Install CommentLuv premium’s ReplyMe module.
Why is blog engagement important?
Why do we have to worry this much about the engagement on our blogs? Well, that sounds like a stupid question but it serves a purpose.
1 – Blog engagement helps on SEO: Yes! What Google and other search engines what is to serve searchers with the most useful results on the search result page. These engagement factors – social shares, likes, tweets, bounce rate, time on site, etc send ranking signals to search engines. The more positive these signals, the more your article could be considered to rank for a certain search term.
2 – Blog Engagement helps promote your brand: When you land on a blog for the first time, an impression is made instantly. It’s either you are like “WOW” what a blog or you just simply close the page 😉
The beauty of the blog, the comments, and the number of shares, likes, tweets, and the general looks of the blog drags your attention to the brand. The next thing is you find yourself recommending the blog, bookmarking it, etc.
3 – Engagement helps you make money: If you do sell banner space or accept sponsored posts, it’s important to note that advertisers are interested in how active and engaged your blog is. When they see a large social media exposure (through those tweets, shares, Google+, likes, etc) and real comments from real readers, they are easily influenced to do business with you.
Let me hear from you
Are you getting enough engagement on your blog? What are some other things to improvement blog engagement? Please share your points in the comment box