Sure, it’s amazing to boost your website traffic and get a ton of people on your blog… but what’s the point if they click away right after?
You gotta get these hot peeps to stick around, learn from you, hear your story, and check out how you can help them (a.k.a. see what you do).
That is how they’ll eventually get to the point where they’ll yell at you to shut up and take their freakin’ money already (ahhh, the dream of every business owner: to have a beautiful soul yell at you and throw money in your face — lovingly, I hope).
So what is “engagement”?
For the purposes of this blog post, I am defining it as any of the following:
- Leaving a comment
- Clicking around to learn more about you and what you offer (instead of clicking away once they’re done reading the page or blog post they landed on)
- Signing up to your list via one of the (hopefully many) opt-in forms on your website
- Reaching out to you via your contact form
- Booking a call
- Hiring you
- Buying from you
Because as you may already know, the best way to build a business? Is to build relationships.
There are many techniques, and many require that you know how to increase engagement on your blog to get the conversation started, the flow going, the boat rocking (huh?). I’m gonna show you 12 ways to do your part.
How to increase engagement on your blog
1. Add a popular or most recent posts widget to your sidebar
WordPress lets you add either of these via your Widgets section in the dashboard or a plugin. Its purpose? To entice your readers with more yummy content they can sink their teeth into (in my head your readers look like vampire puppies with pointy, long teeth right now, no idea why).
2. Write a blog post consisting of a roundup of existing posts
You can even consider doing this monthly. Want an example? Check out this post with Superhero advice on website basics for beginners. This one has actually done really well traffic-wise and in getting people to click around my website (how do I know? Google Analytics! Shout-out to analytics expert Cinthia Pacheco and her excellent Take Action Report for giving me a lot of insight into my blog traffic and ideas for next steps. Get on that waiting list!)
3. Use a related posts plugin
This is a big one, because it suggests related posts to your readers so they can easily find more content they’ll probably be interested in. You’ll see 3 suggested posts below this one, with thumbnails.
4. Deep linking
This is what I’m doing alllll over this shiznit (I mean, this blog post). That is, linking to other posts and pages within your website from the blog post. Simple and Google gets totally turned on.
5. Use your sidebar!
Take advantage of the space and use it to highlight fantabulous services, products, and/or freebies. I like to stick to just about 3 so as to not give too many options and send people into analysis paralysis.
If you check out my sidebar you’ll see I link to my super custom website packages (2 spots left until I’m booked for the year!), my DIY Website Maintenance (a.k.a. Be Your Own WordPress Superhero) Course, and the 5-day “Superclean Your Website” Challenge.
6. Social media sharing buttons
Not to your social media profiles, but buttons so that people can share your post via social media. Check out the little puppies at the bottom of this post for an example.
7. User-friendly formatting
Use white space, sub headings, and short paragraphs to break up your copy for better readability.
These tactics encourage people to at least skim your content, meaning they’re more likely to consume the information instead of seeing overwhelming blocks of text and deciding they’d rather go the kitchen and make a smoothie or click over to Buzzfeed where they can scroll through gifs instead of reading (even though they’re more likely to get substance outta your blog than Buzzfeed, amirite?).
8. Include an image with every blog post
This serves to make it more attractive (on your blog itself and when sharing on social media). If you’re hoping for free stock photos, you’re in luck! Head over here for the Website Superhero Guide to Free Stock Photos.
9. Feature guest experts
Interview a bunch of bloggers/”influencers”/etc. for advice on a topic you’re blogging about and tag them in social media when sharing your post containing their brain nuggets (a.k.a. advice, but doesn’t “brain nuggets” sound tastier?). Chances are, they’ll share too out of gratitude! They’ll also be more likely to comment on the post themselves if you’ve featured them or discussed their work in your post, and more comments always rocks.
This post on the only two things you need to grow your business with your website is an example of what I mean.
10. Write directly to your ideal client
Be yourself, be bold, and have fun. This shines through. Take some copywriting advice from the badass panel of experts over here for inspiration so blogging becomes fun instead of drab and omg-I-wanna-slam-my-face-into-my-keyboard-instead-cuz-wouldn’t-that-be-more-exciting-like.
11. End every post with a call to action (CTA)
Meaning, don’t just talk and then say goodbye — give a next step. Examples:
- Ask a specific question and encourage readers to answer it in the comments
- Link to a squeeze page to sign up for a freebie (like this one)
- Tell people to sign up for your updates or a freebie via an opt-in placed right underneath the post
- Use a content upgrade as part of the post, juuust like I’m doing by offering you a checklist below (check out this tutorial from Tiffdotcom on how to do this using the opt-in lock method)
- Encourage your readers to book a discovery call with you.
The trick here is to pick just one CTA to make it a relative no-brainer for your peeps instead of leaving them wondering which option to choose (because then they’ll likely choose nothing. *Womp womp*).
12. Make your website easy to use
This means easy to read (using legible fonts — leave those swirly scripts for graphics), with an intuitive flow (pro tip: your navigation should have 7 items in it, tops), and an easy way to contact you. If people have to figure shiz out, well… they won’t. They’ll leave. Make it easy peasy with good design (pretty alone won’t cut it) and putting user-friendliness first, yo.
Now you know how to increase engagement on your blog like a champ. *High five*!
Download the free checklist below for easy access — post it on your wall and quickly boost engagement every time!