Use these simple and easy to implement steps to boost blog engagement.  Building a bigger audience, increasing conversions and maximizing visibility are important.

 

Engagement isn’t just something twenty-five year old men are scared of.

 

Engagement cartoon

 

It’s an important metric when looking at your blog and how well you connect with your audience.  Here are a couple of important rules to follow in order to help boost blog engagement and grow an appreciative audience.

 

 

SEO ranking is partially based upon perceived user engagement. 

 

The only primary metric Google uses for this is page time per visit.  This can be skewed greatly if people look at something and then walk away from the desk top to bake some cookies.  Suddenly you have a ten minute page time visit logged.  So, this metric is marginally useful.

 

So, page time matters but doesn’t.  Helpful right?

 

There are programs and code out there to measure true user engagement.  They deal in mouse movement, clicks and scrolling.  It’ll give you a true idea of how engaged your readers are and whether or not you should make some big changes to your content.

 

If you’re an Author, read this next thing… Otherwise, skip to the next bold title.

 

As a writer, you have an opportunity to help other people by providing useful content while also using your voice within the posts.  Just because what you write is technical art (like plot construction) doesn’t mean it can’t come from YOU. Of course, you can just write from your heart and stick with that.

 

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Okay, back to the non-author types. (In some countries this is considered a huge compliment – Like belching after a meal)

 

Starting out, your blog and writing should be focused on user engagement and receiving good conversions. And, as you continue to grow nothing should change.  Keep an eye on the prize and remember that building a committed audience takes commitment on your part.  So, here are those helpful tips.

 

EAT CHEESE ON SUNDAYS

 

Just kidding.  I wanted to make sure you were paying attention there.  So, now I’ll give you the helpful tips.

 

1. HAVE A SNAZZY HEADLINE

 

Strong headline cartoon

 

Something interesting and eye catching is the way to go.  Just think about it, nowadays people don’t even read the news articles they share on social media.  A little while back, there was a headline titled “Why the universe will end in thirty days.”  I posted it and the comments confirmed my suspicions.

 

Nobody read it. They all reacted to the headline.

 

The article was about how nobody reads articles.  Pretty funny and eye opening.  Take a hint from the article and make sure your headline is super snazzy.  You can’t boost blog engagement if nobody clicks on your stuff right?

 

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BuzzFeed is somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 – 200 million views a month.  One of the things they do is split test headlines. They go for the gusto on the catchiest and most provocative one.  While this is a great practice, the human part of me feels like this is part of the reason society has become so divisive.

 

Philosophically speaking, the internet, social media and the news are geared towards illiciting an emotional response in order for you to pay attention to their message.  Perhaps you can see the dark side of the coin on this one.

 

Philosophy aside, it’s important for you to have something interesting out there. 

 

A company that does marketing research found that blog titles built around the basic formula of X ways to do Y, or X reason Y doesn’t work. The gist is that these kinds of titles give the user an idea that information is easily accessible, and they can skim through the H2 lines to quickly gather information.

 

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So, while they may boost your initial click rate, they may not increase engagement if you leave them flat on their face with useless information.  Be sure to deliver on the back end too.

 

2. WRITE A REALLY GOOD INTRO

 

There are of course other rules that apply to this too.  Metadata and SEO understanding will also help you craft appropriate paragraphs to boost ranking.  That aside, your first paragraph should be a sales pitch to the rest of the article.

 

People don’t really read the full article anyways. So, your sales pitch should be the best possible opportunity to get them to read as much of it as possible.  Just like writing a book, there needs to be a great hook beyond the headline (title) and cover (featured image) of what you want them to read.

 

3. HAVE COOL PICTURES AND STUFF

 

So, do they really help?  I don’t know, but I can tell you that my silly cartoons that I make and slide into my blog posts are just as popular as the post itself.  I saw a spike in traffic and huge return in traffic as soon as I started doing it.  Market research says people enjoy seeing images because it enhances the user experience.

 

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Just consider your personal web based experience. Videos are fun, pictures are great and information is useful.  People like to be entertained while they gather information.  It’s the brains way of multitasking and goofing off at the same time.

 

Men can't multitask cartoon

 

As a man, this is the only way I can multitask.  Just ask my wife…

 

4. FORMAT FOR THE GODS – HAVE AN EASILY READABLE POST

 

People generally read about 20 percent of what you write. Internet reading is primarily based off a mobile platform and skim-reading is what they (and probably you right now) do often.

 

Like I’ve covered elsewhere.  Utilize H2 headings and an outline style of writing.  This will facilitate the reader who skims and offer them the ability to dive directly into the points that interest them the most.  Nothing we do should force the reader through content they aren’t interested in.

 

Also, write short paragraphs.  Generally 150 words with around two or three sentences is best.  This will further break things up into chunks and increase the ability to quickly scan information while only reading what is important to the user.

 

 

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This is about their experience more than anything. 

 

 

Formatting is a powerful tool.  Not only are you optimizing experience, you are making SEO for your site better.  It’s the last tip, but the first thing you should focus on when editing.

 

 

Final thoughts…

 

 

Doing all of these things are important.  It’s also important to look at other parts of SEO to help you optimize your site too. But, if your content is low quality and you don’t offer great information.  Well, don’t expect return customers or someday seeing your site visits shoot through the roof.

 

In order to boost user engagement, you have to take the time to build a site that will allow them to do it.

 

Dumb website cartoon

 

I said that BOOKS ARE KING when it comes to making money.  I’ll tell you that QUALITY IS KING when it comes to building an audience and increasing blog traffic.  Take the time to make your stuff look good.  And remember, there is lots of help out there for writing and blogging.

 

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