Just after you publish the first post on your new blog, you will eagerly wait for a first visit. Article after article, you will keep on building the audience, and you will want to get more traffic to your site.
Whether you have attracted visitors through advertising, social media or they found your blog by searching for a specific term, they will stay active only for as long as they feel there’s something interesting on your site. Once you have directed a person to your website, you mustn’t stop here. Now you need to do everything in your power to keep that visitor on your site.
Keeping a visitor on your site isn’t an easy job. You will have to take care of many aspects of your website in order to provide a pleasant environment for a visitor. Your site will have to be fast enough, it will have to look nice, you will need to provide compelling and quality content, engage users, leave links, and do much more.
Without any particular order, let’s see what can you do to keep a visitor on your WordPress site.
Have a fast site
It’s obvious that a fast site is much more appealing to any visitor. You might have something interesting and new to show to your audience, but if you have a slow site, you will quickly lose many of the visitors who have landed on the site.
There is so much you can do to speed up your site. You should be careful when choosing a hosting plan, selecting a theme or using plugins. You should use caching plugins to improve the speed of your site, optimize images and your homepage, and so much more. We already showed you ten quick ways to speed up your site so make sure that you check them out.
Make it visually appealing
If you have a fast site with quality content, it might not be that important how good does your site look in the browser. Well, that’s wrong. First impression matters and visual design is actually more important than you might think.
So, instead of repelling visitors from your site just because the theme is ugly, take an effort and design a visually attractive site. Blending in the colors and creating a nice layout can help you keep visitors on the site for a longer time.
Take care of navigation
It is crucial that you have a user-friendly navigation. This is something users will look for when they decide to browse through your site. As it is important that your menu looks nice, it is also an imperative that it is organized well.
Chek out these twenty-two principles of good website navigation.
Since smartphones and tablets are everywhere, you must have a mobile navigation prepared for visitors who load your site on smaller screen sizes. If you are using a responsive theme (which you should), you are already covered. Still, you can do more and improve your website navigation with some of the best navigation plugins for WordPress.
Link to your other articles
When writing a new article, it is relatively easy to forget about the old ones. Try to think more about the stuff you already published and link to them from the new articles.
Don’t be lazy; try to include links in a natural way by integrating them into your story. Link to words and phrases which are describing something you’re linking to instead of simply leaving the link just anywhere on the site. See the attached video for more about internal linking and SEO.
By linking to your own stuff, you can engage readers into opening your other articles which will make them stay for longer period of time.
Open external links in new windows
Linking to outside sources is as important as linking internally. But that doesn’t mean that you should take it for granted. If you rush and add an external link, it will open on the same page. That means that if a visitor clicks on the link, your website will be quickly replaced with the one you linked to. And that’s something you don’t want.
Instead, keep an eye on that little checkbox which allows you to open a link in a new tab. By doing so, you will get to connect a person to an external source without shutting off your site. In our opinion, you should always open external links in new tabs/windows.
If you want to make sure that a link will open in a new tab, take a look at the text editor and the HTML code behind it. To open a link in a new tab, make sure it has the
target="_blank" attribute. For example, an external link which opens in a new tab should look like this:
Embed exciting videos
Videos can take up a different role on your site. Depending on what you want to achieve, a video can keep a visitor interested in your site, or it can provide an alternative to the text.
There are different kinds of people. Ones like to read articles, while other ones like to watch a brief video about it. By embedding a video, you will keep the audience which would otherwise leave. On the other hand, a video can complement and expand your article. Instead of just giving the same information in different media, you can choose to show some extra information with it. If you have already earned the trust of your regular visitors, they will be happy to click on the play button to see what’s the video about and thus keep them on your site longer.
Learn how to write better
It doesn’t matter how fast your site is or how visually appealing it is, if you can’t write interesting and quality articles, you can forget about keeping visitors.
The Internet is flooded with professionally designed websites and personal blogs. No matter the topic you’re interested in, there are already thousands of people who have already written articles on it. So, if you can’t write, there are sites where other people can.
If you want to keep visitors on your site, do whatever you can to produce high-quality articles. Even if you’re writing in your native language, make sure to spell-check everything. You can use plugins or extensions like Grammarly which will help you with spelling and grammar.
Learn how to organize an article. Write an introduction and engage visitors into reading. Develop subheadings, use line breaks and images, create flow and interest people into the topic so that they always want to read the next sentence. Don’t forget to include a conclusion and ask people for they opinions. There is so much you can do to improve your writing skills. Learn more about crafting a great article from Dawn Copeman.
Engage your visitors
It has been a long time since websites were used just to provide information. For years, the Internet is an interactive place, and you should do everything you can to make your website interactive as well.
When writing an article, always have in mind that you need to engage visitors. Ask them questions and point them toward commenting, and make sure that they can leave a comment quickly. Create polls and surveys, provide a newsletter subscription form and don’t forget to include a contact page. Don’t you hate when you find something interesting, decide to contact the author or a webmaster and you end up finding there is no contact page?
Since social media is popular, you have to allow your visitor to easily follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or any other network. We already showed you some great social media plugins so don’t leave your blog without one.
Also, you might want to think about creating a tweetable link for your site. By creating one, you are also breaking the text for easier reading.
Add related posts
Related posts are one of the most popular ways of trying to keep visitors on the site. Usually, related posts can be found embedded at the bottom of every post, and they are, well, related to the original post.
This is a great example why you want to keep your tags and categories in order because related posts will mostly organize the posts according to the taxonomies. Depending on the plugin you use, you get to customize related posts in details, and you can actually embed them anywhere on the site. We suggest that you check a free Similar Posts – Powerful Related Posts Plugin which can do a great job for you.
Offer the site search
When you’re just starting with a blog, search function might seem unimportant. But as you fill your WordPress database with new articles, searching through the site gets more significant. That’s why you need to think ahead and implement a nice and functional site search options.
Luckily, WordPress already provides one. Unluckily, the default search feature isn’t as great as it might look on the first try. That’s why we suggest that you install one of the best search plugins for WordPress or that you use Google Custom Search for your personal blog
With any of the plugins, you will automatically get a chance to create a search feature ready for smartphones and tablets.
Optimize the site for smartphones and tablets
Although most of the themes for WordPress are responsive and ready both for desktop computers and portable devices, you shouldn’t take this for granted. Once you choose a theme, make sure that you test it in several modern browsers as well as on several devices. If you don’t have access to some smartphones and tablets, you can always use browsers and online tools to help you test the responsiveness of your site.
Still, having a responsive website isn’t enough. You will have to take care of all the plugins and functions you have added additionaly since they may not look their best on some portable devices. Do everything in your power to keep things in a reach of hand for your mobile visitors since they are very likely to leave the site if it’s not going their way.
Yes, blogging and website management can be hard. It is certainly hard to get visitors to your site, but it’s even harder to keep a visitor engaged. We suggest that you that you go through the list carefully and that you do everything you can to make your visitor stay on your pages.
Everything we listed in this article is just a beginning. There is much more you can do and you should go into detailed analysis of your site so that you learn what your users like. What do you do to keep visitors on your site?