When you find yourself spending a lot of time at a website next time, stop and study what they are doing.
Chances are, everything on the site is structured to get you to explore. Dive deeper. Stay longer, and ultimately engage.
Wouldn’t it be great to create that type of environment on your own site? You can.
1. Start With A Pleasing Design
It doesn’t have to be snazzy. It just has to be pleasing to the eye and easy to read.
If your fonts are too small, too curly, too fancy. Change them. Not sure about you but have you noticed that fonts are getting bigger in modern web designs? There’s a reason for that.
As for fancy fonts. We all love them and it’s great. I even made a plugin that’ll add beautiful fonts to your content.
However, just because you can doesn’t mean it has to be everywhere. Fancy (or bold) fonts are meant to highlight and compliment portions of your content. Not for the content proper. Stick with simple, clean ones.
2. Put Out Great Content
You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Content is the currency of the Internet. Without it, why would anyone visit your site? If you don’t have this and a lot of it, then the rest just won’t work as well.
Each piece need not be a home runner, but if you aim for it, the result is usually a decent quality with some awesome ones in between.
3. Write Extraordinary Titles
A great article can suffer from few reads because its title failed. You might think of titles as part of your content and in some ways they are. However, titles need to be given special and extra attention of their own.
Take your time with this. Release yourself of the pressure to generate X amount of posts a week. One outstanding post with a strong title is worth many small posts.
Understandably, this might cause some anxiety for you. Especially if you don’t believe yourself to be a good writer let alone a copywriter. You know what? It can be learned with practice. My favorite place of this type of stuff is CopyBlogger. Also, learn from sites like Upworthy and study the headlines of magazines next time you’re in the checkout line.
4. Showcase Your Best Content
Instead of an unending list of banners on your sidebar, link to your best content. You don’t have to remove every product promo or monetization avenue you have. Just leave some room for plain links to your best stuff.
Before you ask me if there’s a plugin for that, the answer is yes. However, you can also do this manually. There’s a lot of benefit to doing it manually.
- It’s low tech and so, relatively fast and easy
- It gives you the most control over what shows up
- It give you the ability to feature the posts you want to, not what a computer algorithm thinks is best
5. Invite People To Read More
This is simple. Display related posts at the end of each post. Another neat way that gets attention is to display a small read more popup at the corner of the screen when the reader scrolls down. This one gets me all the time.
6. Link To Your Content
In each of your posts, look for ways to link to your older content. Sometimes these opportunities come up naturally. Don’t let that pass. I’m no SEO expert, but know enough to know that internal links count. Besides SEO brownie points, it’s also for the readers. If there’s a chance your reader will want to learn more about something, wouldn’t you rather they learn from you and not someone else or to consult Google? Readers will appreciate that convenience too.
Also, something interesting happens when you actively do this. It helps you write more content. Go back and look at some of your latest or highly trafficked posts. You’ll find as you read through, you can expand on one area more. Write a new post to address that and link to the new post from the old one.
7. Use Images
We’ve talked about using compelling images a number of times so I won’t get too much into this.
What I can share is, each time I find myself clicking through yet another article on a site, a lot of it has to do with the image. Sometimes it’s the headline but almost always, it’s the one-two punch of a great headline with a striking image that makes it so irresistible.