Imagine this: you spend hours creating, nay, crafting a perfect blog post or article for your site. It is a pinnacle of excellence; it provides assistance, guidance and help to your readers. It reads beautifully and your choice of images accent the post perfectly.
Your readers come along and devour your article, they write amazing comments, share it on social media and then… they leave.
Well that’s no good is it?
Keeping visitors on your site has many benefits to you as a site owner:
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- More chance to take actions
OK, so only one main benefit but it can lead to many things such as email subscribing, affiliate commissions and so on.
Keeping visitors on your site for an extended period should be one of your main focuses.
How can you do it?
If you have had a WordPress blog for a while then you may have come across plugins that allow related posts, whereby it will show a post that is in the same category as the one the reader is on.
This is great but it has a huge flaw: the content it shows is related but often only in a broad sense. For example if your category is about marketing and your article is about email marketing, the related posts might be about email marketing but they also might be about PPC.
A better approach would be to hand-pick the content you refer your visitors to, and to make sure that that content is directly related.
Why should you do it?
Let’s say you have an article about generating more email subscribers which lists different methods for generating those sign ups.
Instead of a random article, this particular piece links to a follow up article about ten little known ways to use AWeber’s tools. This of course could be a money article, with a link to AWeber. Or perhaps it could link to a further short article which explains email funnels and links to your e-book on the subject.
By linking your existing content to other content which is directly related rather than generally related, you can improve your visitor retention time dramatically.
When should you do it?
The best way to achieve this is through manually interlinking in the post just like with any other link you would put in. You could also use a plugin that allows for call to action boxes to be added after the content.
In my opinion there are 3 broad ways to achieve this type of interlinking.
1. Internal Content
As briefly discussed earlier, this is making use your own site and content to provide a better user experience.
Handpicking content and tailor making content beats any related posts plugin or automated software out there.
You could easily use this type of system to make internal mini funnels, leading visitors through a few articles before landing on a relevant sales pitch.
2. Guest Blogs
I see it all the time where someone writes a guest blog and then in their author bio or reciprocal links section they link back to the main page of their site.
This is pretty useless because you are not directing the visitor anywhere but leaving them to wander aimlessly around your site.
The visitor read your specific article wanting specific content so build upon this desire for information instead of squandering it.
The point of a guest posts is to not only improve the guest blogs stats, but to get people interested in your own site.
While sending a guest post visitor to a sales page is a big no-no, sending them to a follow up article is a big yes!
Consider the benefits:
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- You can perhaps increase CTR (click through rate) by advising it is a follow up or companion piece.
- The visitor gets more information
- The visitor gets to see the value of your site
- You can lead the visitor deeper into your site with further follow up pieces
As an example, take a look at this guest post. It links back to the authors site where he has added a post that directly reflects the initial guest post. He was unable in this instance to link directly to the article, so having it as your most freshest article helps when the guest post goes live.
3. Social Media
First off, forget Twitter! It doesn’t give you enough breathing room at all. The idea is that your social media post will basically be a blog post all of its own – treat it just like a guest post.
The reality then is that Google Plus and Facebook will be the main two, though personally I would favor Google plus out of the two as long form content is not unusual there.
You could also use so called web 2.0 sites like Blogger to create the content on as well.
Remember you are not trying to give an excerpt or a shout out to a post there, the content must be full and valuable in its own right.
The Bottom Line
The “too long; didn’t read” of it is that you should be using your content smartly. Don’t just give your visitors some extra content to read but instead direct them to specific content that builds upon the previous content.