As a food blogger, I can almost guarantee one of your goals is to increase your traffic. Often we think about getting NEW users to your site. But what about the ones that are already visiting? How do we get them to click around more and increase pages per visit? With a few small tweaks to your blog post process, you may find you are able to increase your pageviews by getting your readers to click around more.
We know that getting our readers to click around more is a worthy goal that we should have. This is important because A) if you increase your page views, you are likely to increase your revenue from running ads and B) this will signal to Google that overall, this is a good site because readers are staying on it longer.
Having your readers access more pages on your website is also beneficial when it comes to the “big picture.” If it is all set up in a way where a reader can quickly tell whether this blog is what they are looking for or not, this ultimately benefits your reader.
Think of it as a way to weed out those readers who are not “your people.” Those who are not will quickly be able to move along and those who are, can become your loyal readers because they will quickly be able to see that you are offering EXACTLY what they need.
This is especially true for those blogs that have years of amazing content, but it is buried pages and pages deep. If you strategically organize your content, your readers will naturally click around more and be able to find the content they are looking for.
Get into the head of your reader
First things first, you need to get into the head of your reader. This means going a step beyond thinking that they landed on your page just because they Googled something.
There is a deeper reason for them landing on your page than needing a recipe.
As I always say, there is no shortage of recipes online. The reason your reader landed on your page is because they have a specific reason for searching what they did and are looking for specific keywords.
It could be somebody trying to make a gluten free version of something. Or it could be a person who is seriously short on time at the end of the day after their kids’ sports practice and they need a quick recipe to get the kids fed and off to bed. The more you can get in the head of your reader, the more you will be able to suggest additional content for them to explore.
Make it easy to see related posts and/or links
Once you have established WHY your reader landed on your page and have anticipated their initial needs, you can construct the full experience they will have on your site. Think about what other recipes they may need to complete a meal or what other recipe may be the perfect finishing touch (dessert, anyone?).
A key element that is often overlooked, is highlighting what to do with leftover ingredients, especially when it comes to specialty ingredients or things like produce, which will go bad quickly.
Can you make your reader’s life easier by suggesting a lunch recipe for the next day, with leftover ingredients from the recipe they are making for dinner? We live in a busy world and people are in a hurry. Something as seemingly small as helping them figure out an additional meal will go a long way.
As you supply your reader with not just one thing they may need, but several, you begin to create trust. The best way to provide these additional recipes or content is to put them as close to the original recipe card as possible. Link them within the recipe even. By linking two posts, or more, close to the recipe card, you increase the chances of these other links being seen and there being additional exploration of more recipes.
Having options that make sense and are helpful is what will, again, make you a trusted resource and this is something you most definitely want. If you are successful at “painting a picture” about what your site is about, you will be able to build that group of readers who become cheerleaders down the road and who will ultimately buy a digital product or refer their friends and family to your blog.
Visuals are obviously very important when it comes to painting this picture and one of the newest WordPress editors, called Gutenberg, is just the tool to use when it comes to creating content that will get people to click around more.
Gutenberg facilitates using different color or font sizes or background color in order to highlight content.
Learn how to use Gutenberg to streamline your blog post process!
If you are not familiar with this but would like to learn more, you can visit graceanvinestudios.com/simplify and check out a course I offer specifically on Gutenberg. I teach you all about creating different sections of content and how to make them stand out.
The last piece of information on the subject of organizing your links so they make sense, is to do so manually. Yes there are plugins you can use for “related posts” but the algorithm cannot “get in the head of your reader,” like you will be able to. Doing this process manually will take a little more time but it will definitely be worth it because it will make your references stronger for your reader.
Make sure the structure of your website is set up properly
The final way to increase clicking around on your website, is to make sure the structure of it is set up properly. Breadcrumbs are an excellent way to do this. Have you seen that thing at the top of most websites where it shows you the natural path of how you got the page or post you are on? Those are breadcrumbs and it helps the reader (and Google!) understand the hierarchy of your website.
For example, I could be on a site looking at a recipe for chicken pot pie but I can see that I got there from Home > Easy Chicken Recipes > Chicken Pot Pie.
That helps me understand the context of the recipe but it also gives me other places to click. Maybe I decide I don’t want to make Chicken Pot Pie that day, but I have, at my fingertips, a whole other list of “Easy Chicken Recipes,” to check out. Or maybe I make the Chicken Pot Pie recipe and love it so much that I want to come back and see what other great recipes are under the Easy Chicken Recipes category. Tell me you wouldn’t also be excited to see a thorough list of “easy” recipes to explore!
Another way to ensure proper set up is to use your recipe index and make sure to promote it. Showcase it within your blog posts, on your sidebar, in your navigation. Make it visible and show it to your reader! This is an amazing resource that should not be hidden or overlooked. Often I have seen food bloggers create a recipe index and then not share it or talk about it, but this is key for a great user experience.
Now you can take this information and get to work on getting those increased pages per visit!