Bloggers love traffic. That's the world's worst kept secret!
We stress and strategize, worry about key words, submit photos to food galleries, comment on other blogs, post links to every social media outlet we can find - all in the name of getting more eyes on our blogs.
But how many of those visitors stick around?
The number of visits your site gets is an important metric, especially if you're looking to monetize by either working with brands, joining an ad network or selling your own ads. People want to know your stats.
But perhaps even more important is the number of page views you get. Every page view has the potential to add a little extra revenue into your pocket. And just as importantly, multiple page views per visit is a great sign that you're engaging your readers.
Let's look at a very basic example:
Say you get 20,000 visits to your blog/month and they each visit one page/visit. That's 20,000 page views. But, what if each of those people visited 2 pages per visit? You would have 40,000 page views per month or 2 pages/visist. And that's potentially double your revenue. All without increasing your actual traffic count!!
So now that you've put all that effort into getting people to your site, let's look at ways to keep them there and increase your earnings and secure some loyal readers.
Internal links are links within a post or page that link to other posts or pages within your site. These are a great way to lead your readers to complementary or related content as they read. Some ways you can implement these:
- on your about, contact or media pages - create a list of 4 or 5 posts that you think anyone browsing your site for the first time should read to get a feel for who you are. This is great for PR people who might not have time to go through your whole blog!
- within your posts - writing a recipe for strawberry shortcake for strawberry season? Remind your old readers and introduce your new readers with a link in the post intro to the strawberry pie you made last year
- create a recipe index showing all your recipes on one page or on category pages
- consider your home page layout - more and more blogs are going away from the traditional list of posts on the home page and are instead showcasing a variety of posts. We do this on the FBC home page with our "Spotlight" posts. We can choose what we want to appear here and all the posts we feature definitely see increased traffic. (did you catch the nifty little internal link I created in this point?)
Chances are good if a reader has just finished reading a post and they really liked it, they'll be in the right frame of mind to see what else you've got that's interesting. A list of related posts at the end of your article is a great way to encourage them to explore.
There are a few tools that will generate a list of related posts for you complete with image thumbnails.
- nRelate is a plug-in that works with self-hosted WordPress sites
- Link Within is a small widget that can be used on most blogs - WordPress, Blogger and Typepad.
- Some premium WordPress themes: some of these will generate a related posts list at the end of each post.
All of these methods are based on keywords, titles, tags or labels, and categories so the results can be a bit off sometimes. If you have specific posts in mind, it can sometimes be beneficial to create a list at the end of your post manually in addition to the plug-in's selections. I've done this at the end of this post.
Use Your Sidebars and Footers
Sidebars and footers are often wasted real estate on a site. Most of the time we use these for ads, social media icons, instagram photos, pinterest links - things that take people AWAY from our sites. What do you use to keep them browsing ON your site?
Some suggestions (all except the last one should be achievable on any blogging platform):
- popular post widgets
- category or archive widgets
- create graphics or text links that link to specific categories on your site that you want to highlight
- got a couple of really strong posts that you think people need to see? Maybe a resources post or a top 10 list you did? Create a graphic or text link directly to that post and highlight it above the fold. This is great for seasonal posts - you can swap them out depending on what's happening. An example of a site that does these last two points well is one of my favourite design blogs, DesignLoveFest. She does a great job of creating graphics to highlight specific categories or posts and mixing them with her revenue generating ads and sponsors.
- there are some WordPress plug-ins that will allow you to choose a series of posts based on categories or tags and even display a thumbnail. Or if you have a little extra in your design budget, a good WordPress developer can create something custom for you.
Create a Series of Related Posts
This can work really well in a number of ways. If you create a Canning 101 series that runs over a two week period it can encourage regular and new readers to come back for the next post in the series. But, it can also encourage readers who discover your site a few weeks/months down the road to browse through the whole series. Be sure to include the links to all the posts in the series in each post you create for it.
Ever notice how Huffington Post and other news sites creates "slide shows" within an article? Like 10 brownie recipes they love? To see the next recipe you have to click on an arrow or page number. Each new "slide" you view is, in fact, a new page. Right there... 10 page viewed in one post!
Here's an example a client of mine did with her favourite frosting posts that illustrates how this works. (She did this on Blogger first and we recreated it in WordPress!)
If you have a very long post, you can break it up in WordPress into multiple pages for a similar effect using a simple "shortcode" in your post. This little tutorial is a good example of how to implement this. This may not work with all themes but there are instructions on how you can add it to your child theme's code (you should never alter the parent theme's files themselves - if this makes no sense to you or you need help with this, you should contact a designer)
Implementing a few of these ideas can give you a nice boost in your page views/visit and your overall page views without increasing your traffic at all. Increase traffic and page views and you're golden!
Looking For More Blog Tips and Tricks?
Here are a few other posts written by Melissa that can help you maximize your blogging efforts:
- Blogging 101: 7 Tips to Instantly Make Your Blog More Reader Friendly
- SEO 101: Understanding How to Use H Tags in Your Food Blog
- SEO 101: Using Photos to Improve Your Food Blog's SEO
How to Increase Your Blog's Page Views Per Visit, was written by FBC co-founder Melissa Hartfiel. Melissa is a freelance web designer and photographer at Fine Lime Designs by day. She lives and breathes CSS and HTML. By night she writes Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach as well as being the all round FBC design & technology gopher.