Do you know that there are 9 things that you can do to engage the visitors to your blog so that they stay longer?
Remember blog bounce rate has an impact on search rankings. Keeping the visitor engaged will keep them longer on the blog.
We’ve all struggled to keep the visitor to our sites engaged, and every blogger would love to know the secret to a reduced bounce rate.
This article will focus on the strategy to retain customers and keep them engaged on your blog. Each section would focus on tools required to achieve the desired result.
I’d strongly suggest that you experiment with these strategies and stick to what best works for you. Sometimes you might even find a combo working well for you.
Let me give you a heads-up that this is a 2495 word article, one of the longest ones I’ve written in my 8 years of blogging.
Create a Dedicated Quiz Section
It was about a week back that I was brainstorming to figure out ways to keep the customers longer on the site. There are many times visitors are drawn to the blog expecting something else and leave very quickly when they realize its not what they are looking for.
This does not mean that you are not offering good content, its just that they are not the targeted audience. So to balance out this situation, I decided to create a dedicated page and set up an SEO Quiz – “Test Your SEO Knowledge Level”. This is still a Work in Process and will be published soon.
What this quiz does is very simple, it asks you a set of questions with multiple options. All you have to do is pick the right choice. At the end of the quiz you will the results informing you what level you are at.
When I promote this page everyone who comes to this page are going to be only Interested in SEO or testing their SEO knowledge. Therefore, I’m sure that they will stay longer and compensate and balance out the bounce rate.
Slick Quiz WordPress Plugin
This is a neat WordPress plugin that allows blogs that are powered by WordPress to manage a quiz on their blogs. I use this plugin and it does the job and I highly recommend that you use it as well.
Its a free plugin and there is no cost involved.
Once you install the plugin, take some time to think about what is the best quiz that you can conduct on your blog. Don’t conduct a quiz that someone already has on their sites.
If you do so, then the user again is going to drop off increasing your blog bounce rate.
Create Interactive Flash Games
Setting up games on a WordPress blog is not uncommon. But, this strategy depends entirely on what type of blog you have and what sort of audience your trying to engage.
If you have the right audience and the right type of blog. These fun games will both make the visitor happy and engaged at the same time.
Its important that you make sure that you only publish games that are relevant to your niche. You don’t want to come off amateurish setting a lower standard as a blogger.
Flash Games for WordPress Sites
To be honest with you, I’ve not tried any of these plugins yet. But, I do have plans for an upcoming project and I will be in a much better position to tell you how well these plugins work out.
May be I will have my own set of Flash games built for my targeted audience.
The dreaded word “Surveys” that every one hates. But as a marketer and a blogger we have the opportunity to ensure that our readers love Surreys. Its all about the marketing and the selling.
Inform the visitor that these surveys would offer them early access to industry reports when you publish the study from the survey your conducting. If they are in the same niche as the survey, they would take the survey and you there is a win – win + win situation here.
The visitor wins because they get access to a very interesting study. You win + win because, you made them stay longer on your site and also got a good study done.
WordPress Simple Survey Plugin
I recommend that you give WordPress Simple Survey Plugin a try. I tested it out on one of my sites and it looked great. While this is not the only option available. There are ton’s of apps, other WordPress plugins and even sites like Survey Monkey do a good job with a few restrictions.
Think out a well laid out research study that you can conduct based on your readers. Prepare the questions carefully that both qualifies and gets the information you need.
Try to address a customer problem or offer a consensus on a topic, this way the visitors also wont get bored taking your surveys,
Build a List With Sign-ups Forms
As bloggers and marketers we all know and love to generate list. What better way to do it than to set up a nice fancy looking web form so that visitors can subscribe to your content. May be even download your free goodies.
Again this section has a win = win + win situation. That is the visitor gets the free stuff, and you get them to stay a wee bit longer and also you get them on your list.
This is not going to be an easy task and requires a lot of effort from you in terms of creating high quality free stuff and creating high quality blog posts. The higher you optin rate the better are your results, this shows that your visitors are signing up therefore staying a bit longer and also they are going to be returning visitors.
There are so many email auto-responders out there that everyone has their own choice. If you are an affiliate marketer you will prefer AWeber (aff link), some bloggers like MailChimp.
It does not matter what you use, its all about user experience the platform offers you and how comfortable you are with using the system. AWeber is the favorite of thousands of bloggers worldwide as they continue to recommend it to their clients and readers.
Almost every blog today has a social share plugin installed or a social comment form enabled. This is something almost everyone does today. But every now and then I come across some blogs that do not have a social share option, which makes it very frustrating.
This made me add this section so if you are one of those bloggers who does not have a social share option, please add on.
Social comments on the other hand is a great way to boost social engagement while still on your blog. You are having a social conversation right from your WordPress blog.
All comments that visitors leave on your blog is translated into social comments. Which is a good social signal and contributes to SEO.
Facebook/Google Comments & Digg Digg Social Share
These two plugins Facebook comments, Google Plus comments and the Digg Digg social share plugins are some of the mot commonly used bloggers. I’m not big on comments, but when it comes to social engagement I think its vital to build a successful blog.
I will leave the decision to you, you can use the native comment section to engage with your audience and I will cover that in a later section. Or you can use these social platform options that will contribute to social signals.
All these WordPress Plugins are FREE.
Integrate Web Chat
Works great if you are a consultant or a Services Business. This is the small chat window that pops up at the bottom right hand corner of the website offering help to the visitor.
This visitors can use to contact the company or the service provider requesting information about certain services or offers.
This works very well for anyone in the services businesses because you can quality the visitor in real-time and generate a lead or even make a sale.
This system in addition to keeping the visitors longer on the site and you being able to generate a lead, you can also use the web chat option to conduct surveys.
Web Engage is considered to be the simplest marketing tool to optimize conversion rate, measure voice of the customer and increase user engagement via real time push messaging.
This is available as a WordPress plugin however unlike the other plugins I’ve mentioned so far, its a paid service and they are one of the best product that you can get your hands on when it comes to on-site user engagement.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you should give it a try now. There is a 14-day free trial offer (aff link).
Giveaways, need I say more. Everyone and anyone loves giveaways. Free products, just for sharing a post on social networks.
Giveaways are a great way to engage the visitors to your blog. Try to make the giveaway as interesting as possbile yet not asking too much from the visitors. Most commonly giveaways have the following requirements:
- Social sharing & Follow on top platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +
- Comment on the post as to why they would like to Win.
- Sharing the giveaway with others in their community to get extra entries.
These simple requests from your readers should be more than enough to get your site and business enough attention and worth the effort. Once you get the ball rolling, everything should be smooth sailing from there.
Rafflecopter makes it simple to launch and manage a giveaway on any blog with no I.T. help required. At the same time, it makes it easy for your users to join a giveaway with just a few clicks. If you have never run a giveaway in the past using Rafflecopter then check out this article.
Alternatively you can check this free WordPress Plugin called “Give It Away Now!” The are both excellent options offering good user experience.
Contests are a tad bit different from giveaways and like them better. One main reason, its challenging and you actually have to work to win. And winning is something that excites me. I’ve been part of several such contents and its simply great to participate in such events.
Article writing contests, logo design contests and almost anything that you can think off. Make sure that you have something that the readers might want to win and at the same time make sure that you are getting something out of the contest.
One of the best ways to host a contest is to partner with companies who are willing to offer their product for publicity in exchange.
Enable Blog Comments
Some of the big blogs today are closing the comments on their blogs because management is becoming a hassle for them. This is mostly because they are moving away from blogging and more towards a product or a service based business.
But as blogs comments are essential. Even though you might not be a big fan of comments, its always nice to have your visitors say something nice or even offer some feedback about your article.
Use Comment Reply Notification
One of the best ways to get your commenter to get back to your site is to use comment reply notification WordPress plugins.
What this plugin does is to simply notify the commenter that there was a reply to their comment on your blog.
This would increase your blog page views and also get the commenter engaged on your article.
The point we are trying to achieve here is to keep your readers or commenters informed and get them to visit your blog again and engage in a conversation.
Simply set up this simple Free WordPress Plugin and your good to go.
Reply To Reader Comments A.S.A.P
Another great way to keep your commenter and readers interested is to do your best to respond to their comments.
Not just respond, but respond to them as soon as you can.
The sooner you respond the better, as they are most likely to be at their laptops or computers and can respond to your follow up comment.
Often bloggers tend to ignore comments and some take weeks to respond to many comments, by this time the commenter has not only lost interest in your article, but has read so many other articles that has forgotten about the comment.
This makes it very hard for the commenter to look back on what he or she said on your blog.
Ask An Open Ended Question
Now that you know that you need to respond to comment and respond quick.
You also need to keep another point in mind, to ask an open ended question at the end of your blog post and also at the end of your comment reply.
This will make the commenter and the reader to get back to your site and leave a reply.
Ask for their opinion, intrigue them, be honest and strike a conversation.
Open ended questions allow the commenter to bring more to the conversation.
Include Commenter Advice To The Article With Credit
From time to time commenters share some good tips and offer some interesting advice and insights.
It would be motivating if you can include the commenters suggestions and tips to your blog post and give them due credit.
This will build trust and also encourage the commenter and readers to leave more meaningful and engaging comments.
This is a great way to encourage other commenters as well. Highlight the tip in your article and tell your readers where the tip came from.
Before you know it you will find tons of comments of your blog posts.
Now who would not want a free backlink, right?
Comment Redirect Plugin Can Encourage New Readers
Another interesting way to encourage and motivate readers and commenters is to give them something free for commenting on your blog post.
What I do is to use a simple redirect plugin that would redirect every first time commenter to a page where they can download a free guide/report.
This is a way to say thank you to the commenter for engaging and reading my article.
From time to time, you can change the goodies you gave away and also let your commenters know that there is something new in store for them, when they comment.
Check out the comment redirect plugin by Yoast.
Have you tried any of these strategies? What works best for you? Share your strategies in the comments below.