This is a guest post by Grace Nasri.
Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
With billions of web pages indexed today, it’s becoming harder and harder to differentiate your site or blog from the masses of other blogs floating around the Internet. The 8 tips below will increase engagement and help make your blog stand out from the rest.
1. Interactive Widgets
Adding interactive widgets to your blog post is one of the best ways to drive user engagement and increase time spent on your site. A great place to get hundreds of product and service widgets to enhance posts and reviews is FindTheBest. The comparison engine’s interactive and customizable widgets have an added bonus of being monetizable.
Slideshows are a great way to keep readers engaged and on your site for extended periods of time; it’s hard to resist things like slideshows of top 10 lists. Business Insider is an example of a site that uses slideshows effectively, contributing to its 11 million unique visitors per month—according to DoubleClick Ad Planner.
3. Engaging Infographics
Infographics have grown in popularity over the past year, largely because it’s easier for most people to consume and retain information presented in the form of an image or graphic rather that pure data or text. Sites like Stat Planet, Tableau, ManyEyes and Visual.ly are starting to pop up that make it quick and easy to create customized and unique infographics.
Posts with photos, graphics or other illustrations not only look more robust and aesthetically pleasing, but they can lead to increased traffic as a result of image searches. Make sure to save your photos with relevant file names so that your images will show up in an image search. Flickr and Google image search are great sites to find relevant images and graphics, but be sure that the licensing allows for republishing.
Blinkx, Vimeo, UStream and YouTube are great places to find engaging videos relevant to your blog post. Search engines can’t access the keywords and text within a video, so remember to add a detailed meta description to your video. There are also video transcription sites that specialize in transcribing the content on your video, which helps search engines index your content.
Enable comments on your blog so that you can both receive and respond to comments and feedback from your readers. When readers feel that their voice is being heard or that they have a say in the content on your blog, they’re more likely to feel as though they are part of your site and will be more willing to share and recommend your blog with friends and peers.
Make it very easy for your readers to share your posts across their social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other blogs like WordPress and Tumblr by including easily accessible social media icons at the top of each post. The more that content on your site is shared across different sites, the more traffic will be generated to your site. Remember that people are more likely to share content that makes them look smart—write quality content that makes people want to share your post.
8. Watch Trends
Monitor trends and popular topics occurring in the industry you cover on sites like Twitter or Google Trends to ensure you’re staying current and covering topics that are getting a lot of attention.
Finally, be sure to track which types of posts and what type of content does best with your audience. Google Analytics is a great, easy-to-use tool to track analytics—like traffic, page views and social shares—to your site.
Share your tips and tricks. What do you do to increase engagement on your blog or site?
About the author
Grace Nasri is the managing editor at FindTheBest, a data-driven comparison engine. Her articles have been published in The Huffington Post, Reuters, VentureBeat, The Street, Technorati, Asia Times and more. You can see a full list of her articles at GraceNasri.com.