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June 20, 2006

How to Increase a Blog’s Page Views

Posted in: Blog Promotion

There is often a lot of talk in ‘how to blog’ type articles on increasing visitors numbers to a blog there is another statistic that is important to some bloggers also - page views.

Most statistics packages measure both for you - ‘visitors’ (or unique visitors) measures the number of people, but ‘page views’ measures the number of pages on your blog that those visitors look at.

The number of page views per visitor varies quite significantly from blog to blog (based on many factors) but there are a number of reasons why bloggers might wish to increase this statistic including:

  • Stickiness - the more pages a reader views the increased chance of them coming back are.
  • Revenue - more and more of the ads that we are running on your blogs are impression based ads (ie the more times the ads are seen the more that is earned).

Whether you want to increase page views or not is something that different bloggers will place as a different priority, depending upon the goals of their blog, but if it is something you’d like to work on here are 14 tips on how to increase page views:

1. Interlink your Posts

Perhaps one of the simplest ways to increase the page views on your blog is to send yourself traffic by links between posts from within posts. While for some of us it might feel a little funny promoting your own writing in this way I find that my readers appreciate it if it’s done in a way that adds value to their experience of your blog by linking to other relevant things that you’ve written on the topics that you’re writing about. Most bloggers touch on the same topics numerous times in the life of a blog and to link to previous times you’ve mentioned something adds depth to what you write.

2. Highlight Related Posts

One way to interlink your posts that doesn’t happen from within a post is to have a ‘related posts’ section at the end of your entries. You’ll see an example of this if you scroll down this page to the yellow section just above my comments section. On enternetusers this is run by a WordPress plugin (called related posts) which automatically finds other posts I’ve written on similar topics (if it’s doing it’s job you’ll find that I’ve written on this very same topic before - hopefully my ideas have developed a little). Of course you can also manually run a ‘related posts’ section also by simply ending your article with other relevant things you’ve written that readers might like to check out.

3. Add a Newsletter or Post Notification Services

One thing that I’ve noticed on some of my blogs is the power of having an email newsletter to increase page views. Those of you that have signed up to my newsletter here at enternetusers will know that I generally have a section called ‘hot posts’ in which I recap the 5 most popular posts of the week on this blog. While regular readers of the blog who will have seen those posts already probably don’t visit those links quite a few people do. In doing so they often seem to visit more than one of them, thus increasing not only ‘visitor’ numbers but ‘page view’ numbers also. Other services automatically notify readers via email of new posts to your blog which you might also find useful (for example Zookoda and Feedburner both have ways of doing this).

4. Highlight Key Posts in Prominent Positions

I watched a friend surf through enternetusers recently on their first visit to the blog. One of the things I noticed that they did was surf through the posts that I have highlighted in my three menu boxes at the top of this site. I’ve written previously about why I have those boxes up there and how they are key posts from enternetusers that help with creating stickiness on the blog. My friend surfed through all of the links in the top left menu and some of those in the other boxes also - racking up page views along the way.

5. ‘Best of’ Pages

The other thing about the posts that my friend viewed from my top menus is that many of them are what I call ‘best of’ or ‘compilation’ pages that link to multiple other pages on this blog. For example the ‘Top 20 Posts at enternetusers‘ is a prime example and is a post that I know that many first time readers of enternetusers surf through from start to finish (I can tell because I can see them leaving comments along the way).

6. Write a Series of Posts

Writing a series of posts on a blog is an effective way of building page views on two fronts. For starters as you write the series you will find it draws people back to your blog over a number of days because they want to find out what you’ve got to say next. Secondly it’s also great once you’ve finished the series because if you’re smart about interlinking them you’ll find that people will read your series (with each post on a different page) from start to finish. Probably the best example that I can give you of this is my Blogging for Beginners series which I highlight in the prominent position on this blog and which I know new readers surf through from start to finish (and in doing so they end up reading 30-40 posts).

7. Use Extended Entires on your Front Page

If you’re writing long posts use the ‘more’ (or extended entry) feature to link people into your individual pages. I wouldn’t do it on all posts as it can be annoying, but for long posts it helps keep your main page more manageable but also has the side benefit of increases page views. I think some bloggers use this feature too much - but in moderation in longer posts it can be useful.

8. Run a Blog Project or Meme

One of the side benefits of my recent group writing projects (like the recent ‘goals‘ one) is that I found they not only brought new links and readers to enternetusers but they also drew people back multiple times in a week (and day) to see what updates there had been to it. While memes, contests or projects like these won’t appeal to all of your readers you’ll find that some really really get off on them and will keep coming back to participate. Again - it’s not my primary goal for doing them but is a nice side benefit.

9. Excerpts in RSS feeds

Longer term enternetusers readers will be aware that I switched from partial to full feeds in my RSS feeds a month or two back. While I did this for a number of reasons I knew in doing so that I would probably see a drop in actual visitor numbers and page views to the blog. This has been the case (although keep in my that RSS readership has increased significantly). Obviously if you do not give RSS readers your full posts in feeds you force them to either only read the first part of your articles or to actually come and visit your blog. This is obviously something I’ve had a change of heart on but is something worth knowing if you’re considering moving to full feeds.

10. Entice RSS Readers to Visit

Don’t tease or suck your RSS subscribers into visiting your blog but be smart about using techniques that might get them to visit. Using Polls, writing posts in a way that invites comments, interlinking posts etc will all draw your RSS readers (who don’t create any page views) to come and visit your actual blog (I wrote a little more on this here).

11. Build Interactivity into your Blog

The more your readers participate in your blog the more they’ll come back to it and they more pages they’ll view when they do. For starters people will come back to a blog if they’ve left their mark on it (via a comment, a vote in a poll etc) to see how others interact there but secondly the act of interacting often means a second page view. For example the very act of leaving a comment means two pages are viewed (once in viewing the post and a second time once the comment has been made). Of course this is not the primary reason you want people to comment but it’s a byproduct of it. Interactivity on blogs generally happens around the comments section (find out how to get more comments here) but is also increasingly common around polls and other blog tools.

12. Draw People Back to Comments

To build on this idea of interactivity, especially around comments, a couple of techniques that people use effectively is to highlight recent comments (there are a variety of plugins that will help you do this in a section on your sidebar - here’s one such plugin) but also to give people the opportunity to follow your comments either by having a RSS feed for comments on your blog or by allowing them to subscribe to comments via email (here’s a WP comment that does this).

13. Add a Search Feature

Allowing your readers to look for previous topics that you’ve written about by adding a search feature to your blog can also add further page views. There are a number of these available - most blog platforms have them built in and AdSense also offers one that lets your readers search either your site or the web as a whole (and where you can make a little money on the side if they search and then click on an ad - see the search bar in my sidebar for an example of the AdSense one).

14. Give Your Readers a Homework Assignment

Over the last week or so I’ve started giving readers on my digital photography school blog homework assignments. Because the blog is a ‘tips’ one it is a natural progression for me to suggest something that they could go away and do having learnt the tip. I find that in doing so readers keep coming back to a page for a number of reasons. Firtly they come back to refer to the tip you’ve written - especially if it is a step by step tip that they’ll use over and over a again. Secondly they come back to the page to tell you about or show you their assignment (if you allow them to submit their work). At present I get users to submit their homework to a Flickr group I’ve set up for that blog so in effect I’m not really increasing my own blog’s page views - but it does add to the page views of that Flickr group which has become quite Active in just a week.

Homework Assignment

You didn’t think I’d end this post without carrying out my own advice did you?

  • Which of the above techniques do you implement on your blog already?
  • Which will you go away an implement today?
  • Go and give one (or more than one) a go and let us know how it goes in the days ahead.

Return to: How to Increase a Blog’s Page Views


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