Monday, February 15, 2010

Do This One Thing And Increase Pageviews Immediately

Photo by ALopez
A few days ago, I made a very minor change to my blog. It may be so small that many will never even know it was done.

After reviewing the web analytics, I have seen an immediate return on how visitors use my site. Not sure what the official name is, but we'll call it "Related Articles."

You probably see it on the bottom of many blog posts. It is a bulleted list of articles you may find interesting. Do you know what I'm talking about?

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you may be familiar with the rating system I had in place. Thanks to Outbrain, I was able to provide recommendations along side the stars. Unfortunately, I saw very few people explore the site past the one article they came to read. The most popular action, outside of leaving, was a quick check of my "About Me" page.

How might I entice readers to increase the depth of pageviews? The answer became clear after a hand full of e-mails and comments were left about an article I wrote on CampusEAI. I recognize that there is very little out there on the subject, so I welcome the questions. However, there are many answers in another blog post. To date, I've written about CampusEAI three times, but most users wouldn't know that.

Even with Outbrain, users were unaware that I wrote more on the subject. So, it was then that I decided to add a "Related Articles" link to the bottom of each story. This way, I can manually decide which entries are in fact related to one another.

Making this minor change helped to increase pageviews while also decreasing bounce rates. Each time a user reads an article on the site or within their RSS reader, they will have an option to read both newer updates or receive historical context. Either way, articles are not limited by what search engines decide to show. If readers like the content, I will always have more to show.

Action Plan
With over a hundred posts, how will I execute the roll out of Related Articles? My first step will be to connect the most obvious stories together. In this case, I will take all three stories on CampusEAI and connect them.

Another option is to use Google Analytics. Reviewing the popularity of my old stories, I can continue the campaign by updating pages with a lot of eyes.

Finally, once the obvious posts are in sync, I will then start to connect newly created articles with older stories. In time, I will have all posts connected into a cohesive web of interrelated information.

Discussion
What do you think? Does this make sense? Are you already practicing this? If so, have you found a better tool to make this more dynamic? Maybe include a mixture of hand picked stories along side computer generated ones? What other ways might I increase pageviews and cohesion between older stories. Let's talk about the story in the comment section below.

Related Articles


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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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