How’s Your Strategy? is a video series where we take a look at the websites of creative small business owners. In each video, I study a person’s goals and how those goals are being reflected on their website and make suggestions for improvement.
Today we’re looking at the website of Doña from Nurtured Mama. Her mission is to help moms learn to find space for themselves and their dreams while raising children.
A goal that Dona is currently working towards is increased audience engagement. Social media, along with other factors, is making engagement harder and harder for everyone so in today’s video we’re looking at simple changes that can be made to push past those struggles.
Remember to follow along and take notes on how you can apply the tips I give to your own website. Scroll past the video for a written version of what is covered. Enjoy!
Build trust through your sidebar
For your audience to interact with you, they need to feel comfortable and have at least a little bit of trust built up. If you have a sidebar, include your headshot, bio, and social media links at the top. That way they’ll know a little bit about you before they’re asked to sign up for your email list or comment on a blog post.
Encourage engagement through your blog posts
Your blog posts are a great way to build trust, prove your expertise, and encourage thoughts that will lead people to comment on your post or reply to you on social media. Through providing value, you’re automatically increasing the likelihood that someone will engage with you in some way.
Rather than listing quick tips within your posts, break bullet points out into small sections. Whether it’s 3 sentences or 3 paragraphs, you’ll have room to provide more actionable advice than you would in a simple bullet point format. Remember, something that seems simple to you may not seem so simple to your audience.
If you’re looking for comments, be sure to ask thought-provoking questions that allow others to share their opinions or talk about their own experience. I know I’m guilty of asking simple questions like “what do you think?”, but the more thought you put into your questions, the better results you’ll see.
Study your audience – comments, social shares, and opt-ins
Studying your audience is a great way to see what types of content gets the best engagement. You can study your audience by looking at the number of comments you’ve received on each post, how many times each post has been shared on social media, and the number of people who have opted in for a content upgrade for each post.
My best performing posts are personal stories with actionable lessons and advice in long-form how-to or list style formats.
- How I Grew My Business While Juggling A Full-Time Job
- Is Your Blog’s Footer Working For You?
- How To Make The Most Of Your Blog Posts
Go through your posts and take note of which ones received the most interaction. Experiment with writing more content like that!
Study your audience – heat maps
Did you know you can scroll through a blog post and see exactly which parts resonated with your audience?
Well, I didn’t until my wonderful coach pointed out Heat Maps, a tool built into the SumoMe plugin!
Heat maps allow you to see where people have clicked on your posts, usually meaning that they highlighted something. This is a great indicator of something that struck a chord.
Here’s an example:
You can see above that there were a few places that were clicked and likely highlighted. I could target those topics in future posts and be confident that my audience would be interested in and engaged with those things.
Speak to the right people on your About page
You’ve probably heard it a million times, but your About page isn’t just about you. Be sure to catch the attention of the right people by starting out with who your blog is for and how you can help those people.
After that is when you can include a personal story that will resonate with them and demonstrate your expertise.
Comment on other blogs
If you think about it, there’s a community of people who still leave comments on blogs regularly. Many people make it a habit to reach out and comment and everyone else just…doesn’t. Personally, I can be totally into a post and learn a ton of valuable information, but leaving a comment still won’t be a thought that enters my mind.
That’s why it can be great for you to get into that community of commenters. Leaving thoughtful responses on other people’s’ posts will encourage other commenters to visit and comment on yours!
Engagement isn’t all about comments
While receiving comments is a popular way to judge engagement, it isn’t the only way to go about it. If that’s the only metric you’re looking at, you’re likely doing yourself a disservice and maybe even feeling a bit discouraged.
You can also look at things like social shares, bounce rates, heat maps, and email opt-ins to judge the engagement you’re getting. Everyone shows support in their own ways and comments are outside of a lot of people’s comfort zones.
How can you increase your engagement?
If you haven’t yet, watch through the above video and take notes on how the tips can be applied to your own website. Also, consider studying what type of content your audience enjoys and try writing more of that to see how your engagement changes.
And I’ll say it one more time – just because people aren’t commenting, doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in what you have to say.