Did you know that an average reader spends less than 2 seconds on your blog ?
Pretty shocking, but it is true !
As a blogger, you must be spending more than one hour in compiling a post ( or may be more ). If you do so, this might turn you a bit off.
In the initial phase of this blog, I was spending way too much time in compiling up a post. However the average time spend by a reader was less than 1 second.
In this post, I’ll discuss some key points you can use to hold your visitors for long . I’ve been using these strategies myself on this blog as well. These key strategies are meant to bring long time benefits. However they might not bring you instant results.
How to Hold Visitors for Long
1. Know where to begin
Before acting, you need to know where you should start from. What I mean is you should first know how long visitors go on your blog.
For this you can use Hotjar ( Free tool ). Hotjar provides you with flexible options to measure how long visitors scroll in your posts. To begin, login to Hotjar and head to the Heatmaps section.
-> Create a new heatmap, In monitoring section, enter the URL of the page you wish to monitor. Once you create a heatmap, give it some time. Once it gets some clicks, Click on “View Heatmap” to check analytics.
In the heatmap, you need to switch to the Scroll section. This will tell you how long readers scroll in your blog posts.
Once you have the analytics, you’ll know where to begin. With the analytics in one hand, you can begin improving your blog posts to hold readers for long.
2. Content is the key to Engagement
Among the things that matter the most for holding readers comes content. If you are writing posts about something like cracked softwares and games ( Just an example ), you can’t expect your readers to remain on your page for long. Write engaging content. In one of my previous posts “How to reduce bounce rate and engage readers” I’ve shared some tips on how you engage readers.
Content is the first thing that has a major impact on how long your readers are going to be with you. Try compiling engaging and long quality stuffed posts. The average length of a blog post on this blog is 1200 words, and it is increasing with time as well. Also, an average reader spends more than 15 seconds on my blog.
Note : I am not saying that long posts will help you retain visitors for long.
3. Avoid long picture breaks
A text only article is not only boring but it sometimes also breaks the concentration of readers. This was kind of a mistake I was making in the initial phase of blogging. Articles with no pictures or pictures placed far apart are likely to make your reader close the page. Place the pictures often. Break large sentences into short ones.
You should be cautious while using pictures in your posts. Don’t use any photo you found out from google searches. Copyrighted images can easily get you in trouble and create a whole lot of mess.
Use your own screenshots in your posts. You can create your own illustrations. If this sounds too hard, you can always use images from pixabay and similar websites which are actually “free” to use.
4. Embed Videos And Podcasts
Ever wondered why websites like Youtube have such a low bounce rate ?
This is probably because the video content. Once you start a video, you’ll be on that page for seconds, minutes or may be hours depending on what video you are watching.
You can use this little hack in your blog as well.
If you find a video related to your topic, you can embed it in your post.
A video can be easily embedded in a blog post. Once you come across the right video, scroll down to share, and copy the embed the code.
The code then can be copied in as html in your blog post.
This’ll surely work and will grab your readers for long time. This is because once your reader starts watching the embedded video, he’ll be on your blog for long ( depending upon the video ).
However, don’t place sponsored videos or non-related content.
5. Break Down Your posts into Lists
As I said above, avoid long texts at a place. One effective hack you can use is breaking posts into lists. Lists are one of the most popular elements on the web. There are websites devoted to publishing list posts.
You might have read a lot of list posts too.
List posts have catchy titles most of the times. If you need an example of what a list post is, you can read some of my list posts : 1. 5 Secrets Bloggers Won’t tell you 2. Top 10 Things to Plan Before Making a Blog 3. Top 10 Blogging Tips for Beginners 4. 10 Blogging Mistakes to avoid. 5. 101 Inspirational quotes by entrepreneurs.
These posts have worked for my blog. I’ve been able to reduce my bounce rate to a great extent.
6. Decorate Elements
There is a compilation of little hacks you can use to hold reader’s attention for long. These include : using lists within posts, changing font colors, decorating h2,h3 headings and much more.
A long text-only paragraph can be hard to read. However if you aren’t able to embed any image, you can try changing font colors.
You can also change font styles to make the text not look boring. You can try various font-styling elements such as Bold, CAPITALIZE, underline, italic,
Conclusion – I’ve been working on this topic from a long time. I’d also like to add that your theme and layout too matters. Use a theme that promotes content not advertisements.
Additionally don’t over load your page with advertisements. Widgets are easy to add and I’ve seen many bloggers burden their pages with useless widgets and advertisements.
Your post should be easy to read and comfortable to eyes as well. You can try different themes and combinations to see which one works perfectly.
Let me know your feedback and opinions in the comments below.