As a content marketing strategist, I have managed blogs in seemingly every industry imaginable – all of which had different designs, goals and varying degrees of success. Though there is no such thing as the perfect formula for a blog, there are certainly a number of reasons why your audience is not engaging with your written content.
1. You talk about yourself too much
Have you ever had a bad first date? Like the kind where the person across from you only talks about themselves and how great they are? Well, when new visitors enter your site through your blog (which if you post regularly, is probably pretty likely), it’s kind of like talking to them on a first date.
Your blog should be the place where you showcase your industry knowledge, share your opinion, give insights, etc. It should not be the place where you try to sell your products. Save that for your landing pages.
If you only talk about your products and services, your audience will interpret your blog articles as advertorials.
If you only talk about your products and services, your audience will interpret your blog articles as advertorials. This will come off as deceptive and your audience will lose trust in your brand and credibility. If that wasn’t evidence enough, it’s also frowned upon by Google and its guidelines for good content.
2. You don’t use social media
Social media should generate conversation and get your audience to interact with your brand. It works toward the same goals as your blog.
Despite the fact that people spend more time on social media today than they do on the web or email, I hear a lot of marketing and C-level officers say, “Social media is not for us.” This is true 5 percent of to the time. But the other 95 percent, they avoid it because they don’t know how to use social media as a marketing tool.
It can be difficult to find or start conversations within your space, but this should not be seen as a deterrent. This should be seen as an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition. Aside from giving you another avenue to promote your blog, the conversations on social media can give you valuable insight into what matters to your target audience. A successful blog is not about what you want to say, but about what your audience wants to hear. This can help ensure that the articles you post are going to be aligned with the needs of your consumer.
3. You don’t give readers a reason to stay
One of the worst mistakes you can make when blogging is choosing a design that does little to facilitate clickthrough. When someone enters your site through a blog post, it usually means that you wrote a good headline.
In order to maximize clickthrough, add things like related articles, categories and calls to action to give them the opportunity to keep clicking. Sometimes a specific article may not be particularly helpful to a visitor, but showcasing related headlines could mean the difference between a bounce and a conversion. This is how sites like Buzzfeed and YouTube get people to stay engaged for hours at a time. They provide the right number of relevant options at the right place, at the right time.
Sites like Buzzfeed and YouTube get people to stay engaged for hours at a time by providing the right number of relevant options at the right place and time.
4. You overload the page
Clickthrough is important, but that doesn’t mean you should fill every empty space on your blog with an ad, button or link. In fact, reports show too many choices can be demotivating.
The more choices you give someone, the higher the probability that they will become overwhelmed and abandon the process altogether. This translates into a high bounce rate because too many options can cause your content and brand message to appear muddled, and your content less credible. The key is simplicity.
Rather than bombarding you audience with information and possibilities, go with effective communication and an easy-to-navigate decision-making path. You’ll have a much higher rate of success in getting people to interact with your content.
How to tell if your blog is back on track
These four reasons are some of the most common causes of low blog engagement, but they aren’t the only contributing factors. Making changes to your approach, design and social strategy should have a significant impact on your engagement and be a great step in the right direction. However, it’s not something that will happen overnight.
You need some time to generate meaningful data about what’s working and what’s not. Eventually, you should see clickthrough rates increase and bounce rates drop. These are indicators that visitors are more interested in your content, as the audience is making a conscious decision to click to the next pages and read more.
However, this is just the start of a stronger strategy. Once you have successfully written more engaging content, you can start using things like A/B testing to hone your calls to action and get the most clickthroughs possible.