A Simple Blueprint for Increasing Engagement on Your WordPress Blog

The typical blogger tends to have an obsession with visitors, and extra particularly, getting extra of it. Amount is the important thing, proper? Maybe, however I usually choose to shoot for the low-hanging fruit by enhancing the high quality of visitors to my websites. This may be finished in two methods:

  1. Appeal to extra related visitors (i.e. individuals which are extra prone to have interaction together with your content material)
  2. Do a greater job of “promoting” your weblog to new guests

On this put up I need to deal with the second methodology of the 2, the great thing about which is that you simply do not need to work to draw any extra visitors — you simply must optimize what you have already got. In a world that’s obsessive about amount, the idea of enhancing upon what you have already got is commonly wildly unappreciated.

I just lately coated find out how to create hyperlinks in your WordPress weblog for elevated engagement (i.e. the probability of any given customer sticking round) and on this put up I’m primarily going to take that technique one step additional by providing you a blueprint with which you’ll be able to enhance the “stickiness” of your weblog. This could have a straight useful impression in your subscribe charges and worth per customer (in case your weblog is monetized).

Let’s get began!

Sections of Your Website That Improve Engagement

The blueprint is cut up up into the 4 sections that the majority WordPress blogs are made up of:

  1. Header and navigation bar
  2. Content material
  3. Sidebar
  4. Footer

Every part has a component to play by way of both holding a customer in your website or changing them right into a subscriber or purchaser and I’m going to elucidate how you need to optimize each for the utmost useful impression.

Step one is to learn my earlier put up on creating hyperlinks and make sure that your website is correctly set as much as maximize reader retention. Put merely, no hyperlink ought to take individuals away from the web page they’re studying (no matter whether or not a hyperlink that they click on on is inside or exterior) except you may make certain that they’re finished with that web page.

With that mentioned, let’s crack on!

1. Header and Navigation Bar

The primary query you could ask is, “Does my website move the header elimination take a look at?” This take a look at (courtesy of Derek Halpern) is straightforward — simply think about that the header and tagline are faraway from your own home web page and ask your self if a brand new customer can nonetheless determine what your website is about.

If the reply isn’t any then you need to most likely attempt to make it extra apparent. Whereas it’s apparent to you, new guests usually must have the message rammed dwelling. Top-of-the-line methods to do that is to have a characteristic field — both straight beneath your header and navigation or on the very high of your content material field. Right here’s an incredible instance of a characteristic field courtesy of Good Passive Revenue:

Screenshot of the Smart Passive Income homepage.

Though the characteristic field itself doesn’t really clarify what the positioning is about, it does present a direct hyperlink to a full rationalization. It stands out on the web page and instantly encourages new guests to dig additional into the positioning.

I like to recommend that every one blogs have a characteristic field — both just like the one above (constructed into the principle content material field) or a full-width model like this one from Social Triggers:

A screenshot of the Social Triggers homepage.

When you’ve found out the way you’re going to implement a characteristic field in your website you need to flip your consideration to your navigation bar. Typically talking, your hyperlinks needs to be restricted to not more than the next:

  • House
  • About
  • Begin Right here
  • Contact
  • Subscribe splash web page (if applicable)
  • Product web page (if applicable)
  • Rent Me (if applicable)

Clearly your mileage could range however the overriding precept is that the hyperlinks in your navigation bar ought to level both to high-traffic pages that assist individuals get to know your website higher or convert them right into a subscriber or buyer. The rest is superfluous and is extra prone to scale back engagement than have a useful impression.

2. Content material

In the case of any specific web page or put up in your website, your focus have to be on what you are able to do to maintain the customer engaged. I like to recommend that you simply do that by overwhelming them with content material choices (however in a great way). In an ideal world your customer can’t assist however have a number of tabs open as they flick through your content material and click on on associated hyperlinks and related content material.

The important thing to creating this impact is to have loads of content material in your website and hyperlink between posts and pages commonly. Nonetheless, it’s vitally essential that each hyperlink is related, in any other case you run the chance of irritating the customer. In case your weblog’s focus is comparatively tight (and it needs to be) and you’re producing content material on a constant foundation, you shouldn’t have any downside with creating loads of contextual hyperlinks inside your new weblog posts.

However you shouldn’t simply cease at interlinking. I additionally like to supply a collection of associated content material on the backside of every put up (utilizing the wonderful But One other Associated Posts plugin (YARPP)) together with associated tags.

The Yet Another Related Posts Plugin logo.

YARPP is a mainstay of most WordPress websites that I work on.

Lastly, every put up ought to end with a Name to Motion (CTA) that offers the customer an choice to both subscribe or turn out to be a buyer. Don’t make the error of assuming that your guests will at all times discover the CTA in your sidebar or elsewhere — the underside of a put up is a superb place to seize their consideration. In spite of everything, in the event that they’ve learn all the way in which to the underside of a put up they’re most likely in way of thinking to take motion.

3. Sidebar

A screenshot of the Leaving Work Behind sidebar.

My weblog’s sidebar.

The sidebar is maybe probably the most abused part of most WordPress blogs. It will get horribly overpopulated with an enormous variety of low-impact widgets that supply little to the consumer and contribute even much less to the first intention of your aim (i.e. to draw subscribers and/or clients).

The important thing to high sidebar efficiency is for it to be as sparsely populated as doable. Put merely, the much less alternative a customer has, the better the prospect that they’ll do the fitting factor (i.e. full a CTA). Nonetheless, you do additionally need to make sure that the sidebar presents a possibility for guests to study extra about your weblog and discover additional. With that in thoughts I like to recommend that you simply embrace a mixture of the next widgets (listed in no specific order):

  • Subscription kind
  • Hyperlink to product (ideally graphical)
  • Hyperlink to cash web page(s) (i.e. these pages that generate probably the most direct revenue)
  • An inventory of classes/tags or hyperlinks to useful resource pages
  • Social media buttons
  • A search field
  • A mini bio field

To the left of this part you’ll see a screenshot of the sidebar on my weblog, which contains the entire above parts. Every one presents the consumer a possibility to discover the weblog additional, subscribe or buy. All of these actions profit you.

4. Footer

To be sincere, I embrace the footer extra as a result of it’s a component of the positioning you can’t actually ignore versus a possible hotbed of engagement and conversion potential. The very fact of the matter is that most individuals gained’t pay a lot consideration to your footer and it has restricted potential.

Loads of footers restrict themselves to easily a copyright discover and to be sincere I see no downside with that. If nevertheless you need to add a bit extra oomph to your website then you may populate your footer with a mixture of the above talked about widgets and much more.

WPSaviour’s footer is definitely instance of what you are able to do with a footer — if a customer does get to the very backside of the web page then it presents a pleasant alternative for them to maneuver onto one other part of the positioning:

A screenshot of the WPExplorer footer.

The footer ought to your be your final precedence however if in case you have the time then you could contemplate populating it with some engagement-increasing widgets.

Growing Weblog Engagement Abstract

I’ve included loads of actionable recommendation above however an important factor is to know the basic reasoning behind my recommendation — that the consumer ought to at all times be offered with loads of contextually related alternatives to discover the positioning additional or subscribe. That’s the key — as long as you retain that in thoughts you’re unlikely to go far unsuitable, even in case you take a special strategy to the one I’ve beneficial.

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