There are a lot of factors you have to consider when you want your blog to be successful. It’s not just about writing good quality articles. One of which would be user engagement for your posts. So if you have a blog, but feel that your visitor’s engagement with your blog is minimal at best, then this post is for you. In this post, we’re going to look at the 8 ways you can increase blog engagement for more comments, social shares, and links.
Avoid Intrusive and Distracting Ads
Do you have ads on your blog? Do you have email opt-in popups? If you have something that is getting in the way of your visitors finding and consuming your content, then you have to ask yourself if blog engagement is truly your goal. If it is, you need to remove them or restructure them to not interfere with your content.
This site, for example, has about eight ad blocks in this small section of the screen, all of which have to reload when you move to the next slide.
If your blog looks a lot like this, not only are you obscuring your content, you are also killing your page load time due to the number of ad servers that the site needs to connect with. This means more visitors are abandoning your page than engaging with your content.
The SEO Hacker Blog also has ads in place for our partners but we don’t make them intrusive or distracting. We make sure that the ads can still be seen in the page but will not, in any way, interfere with how our content is viewed – our content stays as the focus of the page.
Write about your Target Audience’s Main Interests
You have to remember that your blog isn’t just about you. It’s about your audience. Whether they are your readers or your customers, you want to create content that is catered to your target audience’s interests. If you don’t know what those interests are, find out using simple survey tools like Qeryz.
You can ask them about specific categories, as shown on the blog above, or ask what topics readers would like you to cover next. This tactic will help you increase engagement because readers will be excited that you are in tune with their interests.
Include Unique Content
Let’s say that you want to write about a topic that has been written about many times before, like creating Facebook pages. Your goal is to look at the top posts on creating a Facebook page to see what is missing. There has to be something that you know or you can share that others have not.
Maybe you notice, for example, that no one has included a screenshot (as shown above) of the helpful charts Facebook provides to help you choose which page category to choose or what administrator role to give to your employees. Or maybe you notice that no one tells people that they can have local business pages without turning on reviews.
Once you’ve figured out some unique tidbits, include it in your post. This tactic will ensure that you get comments, social shares, and links because people will be impressed that you were able to shed new light onto a topic.
Include Visuals – Images, Graphs, etc.
If you are writing about something that you can include specific visuals for, such as screenshots or images, include them. Anyone can write a post on Google Analytics and say that there is a great feature that allows you to compare your traffic to the previous period, but the person that shows a beginner where that option is (as shown below) will provide the most useful content.
This tactic will ensure that you get comments, social shares, and links because people will be exited about content that is extremely helpful.
Use Data from Reputable Sources
People are not going to want to share content that they don’t trust. So you don’t want to sound like you are just making things up. Put some data behind your claims. For example, don’t just say that WordPress is the most used CMS. Back it up with a little data from BuiltWith.
This tactic will give your readers confidence that your advice is sound, making them more likely to share it on social media and link to it. For additional links, find some new data to share through your own research and become the site that everyone links to when quoting sources in their own posts which would help with your site’s link profile.
Choose a Great Content System
Take a look at the top blogs in your niche, especially the ones that get a lot of comments. What you want to look for is the comment system they use. If you notice that most blogs in your niche are using Disqus, Facebook, or a similar system, you may want to consider that comment system for your blog.
Why? Because it is what your audience is used to. If you have a strong community like Moz does, you can get away with a proprietary, login-only comment system. If not, you need to go with what readers are most likely to use.
Alternatively, if you see a popular blog in your niche that doesn’t get a lot of comments using a particular system, avoid that one at all costs. The fewer barriers to entry you give your readers to comment, the more likely they are to do so.
As for the SEO Hacker blog, we’ve used Disqus for a long time now and it has served us excellently. So, if you’re unsure on which comment system you should use, Disqus is a good option.
Don’t just hope that people will know what to do after they read a great blog post. Ask for the engagement you want, preferably at the end of each blog post you write.
One great way to encourage engagement is to ask what your readers’ thoughts are or what their experiences are with the topic at hand. Ask them what their burning questions are – which we do on all blog posts we publish.
Ask them to engage. And once they do, be sure to return that engagement. This is the key.
When you start engaging with your audience on a frequent basis, they will be more likely to return to engage on future blog posts. If you have guest authors or freelance writers creating content for you, be sure that they engage with the comments on their post to keep your blog community alive and active. As can be seen in the earlier screenshot, I reply with posts to improve engagement, so you should too.
Promote Your Content
Once you have content that will engage your readers, you need to get your content out there to make sure you get the engagement you seek.
While you may end up with engagement offsite, like in the comments on your Facebook page or replies on your twitter thread, you will most likely get it on your blog since people will need to read the post first before they can engage.
With that said, what you should do is brainstorm some questions you can ask your audience in relation to your post. Each of these questions can be used when you promote your posts on social media networks. For those that promote their content multiple times to social media, each question can be used to create unique status updates.
Using hashtags, as I used in the screenshot, can also help you reach a wider audience as well. So, don’t forget to use hashtags in your social media promotions.
You can also promote your blog posts through email lists as well. We use a tool for this to automatically send an email to all our subscribers to, at the very least, lessen the load of manually sending the blog post as an email. This helps on increasing engagements to your posts since people that subscribe to your email list are already interested in your content. So, one of your priorities would be to grow your email list to have a loyal following.
So not only does promoting your blog posts through your email list help improve engagements with your blog content, but they also help you promote your content in ways that are sure to get you more traffic. It’s a win-win scenario!
Improving engagements to your blog content is a definite challenge that all bloggers have to go through. Of course, there are more well-known ones but these are a few additional tips that I hope will also help you increase blog engagement, regardless of whether you are out networking with other bloggers or not.
So now, it’s your turn. How do you increase engagement for your blog posts? Let’s us know in the comments below!