How to keep readers engaged [11 Simple Methods]

In this post, I’ll show you how to increase the engagement of your blog post.

Having a good engagement rate is something you can benefit from a lot. Obviously, by working on optimizing your blog for engagement you’ll end up getting people to read more of your content but it also benefits you when it comes to marketing.

Websites that have a low bounce rate and a high session time get ranked higher on Google. The higher you are ranked in Google, the more visitors will come to your website to read your content and you can do all of that without spending a dime.

Do this on a consistent basis over a period with all the content on your website and you’ll have an advantage over everybody that’s paying money to get visitors to their website because when they stop paying search engines stop advertising while your rankings will be up 24/7 no matter what.

To help you with that I’ve summed up a few ways increase reader engagement.

11 ways to increase reader engagement

Use Benefit-driven Headlines

In copywriting we have a saying when it comes to writing sales letters which goes like this.

“…What’s the purpose of the first sentence of your sales letter? To get people to read the second sentence…”
“…And what is the purpose of the second sentence? To get people to read the third sentence…”

It all starts with the first sentence which is the headline.

I’ve said this a million times on this blog but I’ll say it again. People value their time and most of the time they are looking for something specific to gain. If your content can give them that promise that they’ll get that if they read your content.

If reading your content can give them multiple benefits don’t go overboard just put the main benefit in the headline.

The rule I go by is to use every element in your content as a way to either make it easy for people to get through the content or make them curious about what comes next.

Internal Linking keeps people on your website

Ideally, you want people to stay as long as possible on your website. This shows search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing that you have valuable content. By linking to other pages in all your content you can get people to read more content on your website which results in a longer session time.

It could be as easy as adding to a sentence if your interested in learning more “click here” and turning those into words in a link that directs you to another page.

Avoid Overwhelming Your Readers By Making Content Reader Friendly

Ever wondered why people sometimes get discouraged from reading when they see how thick the book is. It’s because they can imagine how much effort is going to take because of this it’s important to make your content reader-friendly.

Which one of these texts would you rather read?

Text 1

Text 2 ( Same text is broken up into multiple paragraphs )

I think it obvious which one is easier to read. If you overwhelm people they’ll leave your website within a second.

Bold Important Sentences To Give An Easy Overview

Regardless of how much you break up your text, there will always be people that won’t read everything on the page. This why you should make it easier for them to get the gist of what you’re saying by making certain important sentences bold. This makes them more noticeable.

List Content Made A Huge Difference For Buzzfeed

The Buzzfeed YouTube channel became wildly popular really quick after they started using lists for all their videos.

They’re simple and you know exactly what you’re getting beforehand.

Also, make your best and most original tips the first few on the list this way you make sure people are engaged and keep reading.

Subheads Changes Long Seemingly Boring Text Into Multiple Short Informational Snippets

One way of breaking a long piece of text is by using subheads. They can give hints about what they about read which can cause people to read further. Just like the headline, they’ll work better if you make them benefit-driven to motivate people to read what comes next.

Add To The Experience By Using Pictures As A Visual Aid

Pictures can also be used as a tool to break up long text plus it’s an extremely powerful to used to create a picture in the reader’s mind. Every piece of content has a different goal but the better you can communicate your message the easier it is to convert readers.

Video Adds A New Dimension To Your Content That Text Can’t

Videos can do a lot of things at the same time to keep visitors engaged that text just can’t. You can use visuals, pattern interruptions, music in unique ways and because so much can be communicated in a short time it makes it easier to “hook” your website visitors.

The Social Proof Quotes Can Give Shouldn’t Be Underestimated

Just like pictures and sub-headlines, it can be used as a tool to break up long pieces of text but there are many more things possible with quotes if you know how to use them correctly. An example can be using them as social proof and validate the promise of a benefit you made to the reader.

If for example you wrote an article about different ways to build backlinks for your website and you add a quote from some high executive from Google that says they’re going to put more focus on ranking website with a lot of backlinks you can bet people are going to be more interested in your content, because what they can gain from it is clear.

Include Your Readers In Your Content By Asking Questions

There’s a big difference between passively reading some text and creating pieces of content that really make you think about what you just took in. Asking questions within your content does that plus it also works as a pattern interrupt that can shake you awake and keep you engaged while looking at the content instead of getting bored and possibly going the next website to find the next stimulus.

Use Storytelling To Create Emotion

People remember stories better than they do dry facts. Stories can create emotions and can motivate you to take action because of this they are often used by salespeople to sell products. Why not use stories in your own content to stimulate emotions and increase engagement. Check out this article I wrote about using storytelling to sell products. It might come in handy.

Open loops

Content that has open loops in it take advantage of the fact that people crave for closure. You probably have experienced it before someone you know comes running enthusiastically towards you and says “… You never believe what happened to me!…”

Your first reaction will be to ask what happened because an informational “vacuum” was created. It’s like cliffhangers at the end of episodes that have you craving for the next episode. You can create these same informational vacuums in your content to keep people engaged while going through your content.

It could be as simple as giving a preview at the beginning of your content with proof of how you benefited from using what your content is about and saying if you keep on reading you’ll know exactly how you can benefit from it too.

“… As you can see the number of visitors I had after I used these methods increased drastically. Keep reading and I’ll show you with this simple step-by-step approach how you can do this too…”

There are so any more methods you can use to keep your website visitors engaged but I think this is enough to use as a starting point. You don’t have to go overboard and use all these ways at once just use three of them and experiment with it.

I hope this was of value to you and to see you at the next post!

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