You’ve checked your analytics.
You’re getting good traffic.
But you notice that people are simply arriving at your blog then immediately surfing away. They’re not staying to read and peruse. They’re not clicking your links or buying from your affiliates. What’s to blame?
Understanding why people stay and why they leave is key to avoiding the common mistakes that make people immediately leave your blog.
Your Headline Either Over or Under Delivers
Your headline is making a promise. It’s telling your readers that if they continue reading, they will get some content worth reading. The headline entices them and draws them in.
If the article is not as compelling as the headline, your reader will get frustrated and move on. Your content should be strong throughout. You should follow up a strong headline with a strong article.
On the other hand, a weak headline will make the reader less likely to read any of your content. Suppose you have a handy post, packed with information on how you can buy a home, with no money down payment that takes advantage of a government homeownership program.
This article could be insanely helpful to your reader. You write the headline “Information on Home Buying.” They’re probably not going to read it. The headline doesn’t tease what the content is and how valuable it will be to the reader.
They Have Hit a Wall
Your readers have short attention spans. That’s simply the reality of the Internet. They want to get in, read what they have to read and get out. If you create a long post filled with lines and lines of text, they’re not even going to read the first line. They’re going to run away from your blog, never to return. Break up your text with bullet points, numbered lists and compelling images.
Avoid walls of text that are hard on the reader and make it difficult for them to digest your content. Keep paragraphs short—three to five lines, max.
You’re Not Being Friendly
Mobile friendly that is. A sizable portion of your blog’s readers are going to access your content by mobile phone. If your content doesn’t translate well on small screens, your readers will surf away to another site. The problem with this is that they are not likely to return to your site in hopes that the issue will be fixed later. Test your blog on a number of devices to ensure that your readers will be able to view it.
Your Ad Strategy is Turning Them Off
While most blogs depend on advertising revenue to stay afloat, the way you use ads on your site may be sending your readers running for the hills. If you have pop-ups that appear as soon as your reader visits your site or ads that overtake your content, you’re going to drive them away. While it’s okay to include ads on your blog, they have to be relevant to your reader’s interests.
You’re Using Pop-Ups
Studies have shown that pop-ups generate income. They increase subscription rates by capturing email addresses that you can use to market to your readers. The thing is that readers hate pop-ups. They especially hate pop-ups that appear while they are in the middle of reading your article. If you have more than one pop-up, many readers will become so annoyed that they stop reading your blog altogether and stop following your posts.
If you want to take advantage of pop-ups that will help you capture email addresses, set them, so they only pop up after your reader has had a chance to peruse your blog. You can also set the pop-ups so that they only appear after your reader has scrolled down to a certain point on the page or if they are about to leave your page.
Your Links are Great…A Little Too Great
Many bloggers create posts that are heavy on content, chock full of helpful resources and links to relevant content. What they don’t realise, however, is that many of their readers are leaving to chase that valuable content through their links. When you include inline links, realise that they may drive your reader away from your page. The reader might return to complete the article, but the more likely scenario is that they will get distracted and forget about your blog.
To counteract this phenomenon, many bloggers list their sources at the end of the article or create a special section that showcases their affiliate products.
Been There, Done That
When you’re posting the same content that everyone else is, your readers are going to leave to find more interesting pastures. While there is truly nothing new under the sun, you will have to repackage your content in a way that it doesn’t look like what everyone else is posting. It has to have a new angle that makes people want to read what you are writing. Avoid using the same language, photos and formats that other bloggers are using to share their content.
An even worse offence is to copy someone else’s content. Readers who are interested in certain topics usually follow various bloggers in the industry. They can spot copied content a mile away. They will punish you for copying content, so don’t do it.
You’re an Expert…Or Not
If you position yourself as an expert in your field, yet get crucial information wrong, your readers are going to hate you. Most people who follow blogs are intensely invested in the topic and know the right jargon and lingo. If you can’t answer basic questions, or you give information that is incorrect, you will alienate your audience.
If there is a topic that you are not entirely sure about, ask for guest posters who are subject matter experts. Your readers will appreciate you for it.
Your Top Post is Outdated
When readers visit your blog, they expect to see new content. If your last post was from four years ago, you have just lost your audience. While it can be challenging to keep your blog updated with new content, your readers are not going to be forgiving if you don’t stay on top of your blog. Many blog owners hire ghost writers to ensure that they always have up to date content. Others offer opportunities for guest posters to add their content. The key is to make sure you always have fresh, new content.
Keeping your readers on your blog is essential for good traffic. By understanding what makes them stay, and what makes them leave, you will be better able to make the most from your blog. If you are getting traffic but not seeing conversions, or you notice that visitors aren’t staying long, consider examining your blog and comparing it to other top blogs in your niche. Learning from others is often a great way to figure out where you might be going wrong.
With all that in mind we would love to hear from you about this topic. How do you write better headlines for your blog posts?