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11 Techniques to Increase Page Views on Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 7th of December 2005 Blog Promotion 0 Comments

Yesterday my brief study into page view statistics revealed that the average blog reader views around 1.7 pages every time they visit a blog.

I finished the post by indicating that I’d post more on how to increase your blog’s page views.

Of course more page views may or may not be what you want from your blog. At least one commenter on the previous post noted that they are happy with a low page view count because it could mean people are leaving their blog by clicking on an advertisement and thereby earning them money. While there could be some truth in this observation and I’m not adverse to this happening on my blogs – I’m also interested in building blogs that people find interesting and useful and one of the many measures of this can be page views. Of course to get back to the money thing again – those of you running impression based ads will be interested in increased page views also.

Having said that – IF you’re interested in increasing the number of pages that your average reader reads, here are a few suggestions that might help:

1. Highlight Related Posts – one of the more common practices of bloggers to encourage readers to read multiple pages on their blogs is to to highlight related posts at the end of your article. You’ll notice that i presently have a list of 5 posts at the end of each individual page that suggests other posts that readers might find useful This list is generated by a WordPress PlugIn. Those of you using other blog platforms might find similar plugins for your own system or might like to manually suggest related articles at the end of your posts.

2. Interlink within Posts – a similar but perhaps more effective technique is to highlight relevant posts within the content of your posts. If you’re writing a post that mentions something similar to what you’ve written before simply link to your previous post from within your article. For example I’ve written about this technique previously in a post on increasing the longevity of key posts.

3. Highlight Key Posts and Categories in your Blog’s Hotspots – I’ve often mentioned that the hottest posts on this blog are those highlighted in my top three menus. Specifically it is those in the top left hand box at the top of this page that are always at the top of my most read post statistics. Depending upon the goals of your blog – you may wish to fill your blog’s hotspots with ads or affiliate programs – or you may want to highlight key posts that are central to your blog and which will hook readers into what your blog is about (thereby increasing page views). Highlighting your category pages is also another similarly useful technique to encourage your readers to find more posts on the same topic. To explicitly name what your category is can also be useful. ie rather than just having the category name at the end of the post – try something like ‘read more posts like this in our ((insert category name)) category’ or ‘filed under ((insert category name))’ etc.

4. Compilation Pages – Extending the previous idea about highlighting key posts you may wish to use posts in these positions that sneeze readers not just to one post on your blog but many. The best example of this on ProBlogger is my Top 20 Posts at ProBlogger post which is in my top left hand menu. This post, as the name suggests, suggests 20 posts on my blog that readers might like to read. I know that this is a post with immense power on this blog and that many first time readers use it to bounce into all corners of my blog. One or two new readers have fed back to me that this page and the pages that it linked to was the reason that they became hooked on ProBlogger. Every post they read added to the chances that they would become loyal readers.

5. Series – While you need to be a bit careful with writing series of posts over periods of time, they are a great way to keep readers coming back and once they are complete to have them surf through multiple pages on your blog. The most popular series on this blog is my Adsense for Bloggers series which leads readers through 8 posts. I know many readers progress through this series because I occasionally get a series of comments from a reader who is obviously progressing through it – 8 comments over 30 minutes or so as they comment on each post. Don’t just do a series for the sake of increasing page views of course – this can really frustrate readers but use them on longer posts or when you’re genuinely wanting to interact with a larger topic over time.

6. Excerpts on Front Pages – I know there are a segment of ProBlogger readers that detest seeing excerpts (extended entry feature) on blog front pages and are very cynical that it’s just a ploy to get more page views. While I personally like using excerpts on front pages it is not about page views for me (although I guess it is a side benefit of it). Personally using excerpts in this way is more about keeping my front page manageable and highlighting multiple posts on the front page. ie if a reader can come to my blog and see not only the last post but the title of the second and maybe even the third post then they are more likely to explore more than just the last thing you’ve written. I tend to only use the extended entry feature on longer articles and allow shorter ones of a paragraph or two go up on the main page – unless I either forget or see the post as an important one.

7. Excerpts in RSS – Once again there is always debate over this topic of full or partial RSS feeds. I know some bloggers main purpose in partial feeds is to get bloggers directly onto their blog – thereby increasing their impression/page view count. While this is certainly a benefit of partial feeds it is not my own reason for using them. Rather I use them for copyright protection and to stop people scraping my full content onto their site’s via RSS. Whatever reason you choose to use partial/excerpt feeds – you should also realize that doing so will cause some readers to unsubscribe to your blog completely. I know in going only with partial feeds that there are some other bloggers who refuse to visit my blog – this is a cost/benefit scenario that individual bloggers need to weigh up.

8. Enable links in RSS Feeds – Another way that I know a couple of bloggers use to get RSS readers to actually surf to their blogs is to enable the ability to post html/links in their RSS and then using links to previous posts in their blog, especially in the first paragraph or two of their posts. This is not a technique I’ve tried but I know of one blogger who swears by it and says it significantly impacted the number of visitors to his blog from RSS as well as the number of pages that they viewed.

9. Search Function – most blog blog platforms have the ability to use a search feature on your blog which enables users to search your blog for keywords. This feature obviously helps your readers to locate other posts on your site and as a result increases the potential for a multiple page view visit.

10. Build an Interactive Blog – one way to get readers coming back to your blog many times over a day is to have a blog that people want to interact with. I know some ProBlogger readers visit this site at least 10 times per day just so that they can engage in the conversation that happens in comments. Since I added the ‘subscribe to comments’ feature on this blog I’ve noticed some readers coming even more than normal – this can only be increasing page view levels as people return throughout the day. I’ve written (some time ago now) a few ideas on interactive blogging here and here.

11. Quality Content -This should go without saying but needs to be reinforced. Obviously if you write quality content your readers will want more of the same. Useful, original and interesting content should leave your readers hungering for more. Work on the quality of your blog and you’ll find that things like traffic levels and the numbers of pages being read should look after themselves and be on the rise.

There are no doubt other techniques for increasing page views. I’ve heard bloggers who swear by writing loads of posts per day to encourage readers to come back numerous times per day as one such technique – but I’d love to hear your experiences in comments below.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Which WordPress Related Post plugin do you use?

  • The guys at no.oneslistening.com have a good plugin for wordpress that helps highlight certain posts called “the feature”.

    You can’t select which posts are related with the article you’re writing but you can help bring visitors to past posts that you find relevant or great, therefore achieving more page visits.

    The address is: http://no.oneslistening.com/?p=160

  • Unfair! I did it first! (and here as well). Hours earlier, but first. :)

    Darren’s entry is more detailed, though. In Star Wars-speak, that’s why he is the master. :)

    Jason: the plugin you seek is at http://www.w-a-s-a-b-i.com/archives/2004/05/26/wordpress-related-entries-plugin/ .

  • Thanks Darren! I’ve already implemented at least several of those ideas, although the “related links” I’ll have to work on (as the code isn’t manuel in blogger that I know of). Perhaps a suggestion to the Google team? ;)

    PS-If anyone else knows how to something similiar inside of Blogger, let me know.

  • Having comments on another page is another trick some blogs use to create more page views.

    Rob.

  • Darren,

    Great post! I learned a lot!

  • it should be noted that page view aren’t necessary to be a good blog- Gizmodo gets 1.1 page view per visitor, but they do pretty darn well

  • absolutely Jesse – page views can be more or less important depending upon the goals and topic of your blog.

  • Nice post. I got sidetracked by the Adsense for Bloggers series mentioned in number 5. I got through the first four posts in it, but there are no links to posts 5,6 & 7! And the suspense is killing me!

  • Stu

    Thanks Darren, another perler.

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  • I use Taggerati http://www.i-marco.nl/wp/wordpress/ for creating links to related posts.

    E.g. If I wrote a post on getting better organized, I might tag it among other things as “time management”. Then at the foot of the post, all posts tagged with “time management” would be listed.

    Have a look at this post on my blog about Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) for an example: http://www.qwertyrash.com/archives/humor-scott-adams-dilbert-humor-formula/

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  • Good tips i get from this problogger. I appreciate it. I’m still searching for how to increase my blog traffic, still doing the reseach on it. Any suggestion from problogger i’m appreciate.

  • Tero

    I’m one of those against only having excerpts in RSS feeds. I read quite a large number of blogs daily, and that means I’ll scan over the feeds briefly. Excerpts-only just means I’m much more likely to miss interesting content in your feed and never visit your page in the first place. Also, I have a good search function in my RSS reader, which indexes the feeds and lets me do the search that most often gives me the results I want: I can search just the content I’ve read lately. The search most often matches pages from full feeds, so when you only have excerpts, you’re much less likely to be revisited later as a result of a search.

  • No. 7 – yeah we all know who that is (well one of the most vocal anyway).

    One thing I have started to do on a couple of blogs is to write an excerpt that is distinct from the article. In WP at least, if you don’t do this, the excerpt is just the first x characters/words from you post, which is not always the most helpful or enticing.

    Though it takes longer to do this, an excerpt which summarises or highlights the main points in a post – almost a mini-post in itself – should entice readers to visit the whole post. I guess the ‘full-feed-fanatics’ will still ignore the post, but hey, who needs ’em? That’s their loss.

    It is a discipline, as you have to write an extra paragraph for each post you write, but I believe it’s worth the effort. I think I saw this tip on the Performancing website, and it clicked with me. I had got very lazy with excerpts.

  • The page view statistic does vary from blog to blog. I think it does depend on the techniques Darren highlights and also the audience. If you get a steady stream of new visitors, they are more likely to view multiple pages, wheras regulars have seen the bulk of the content previously.

    I have just started doing a few of these things with some success, namely highlighting related posts.

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  • Deleted Comment

    Comment Edited by Darren.

  • You might want to move “Quality content” to the top of the list, Darren.

  • great post Darren.

    what about having (in your case) a list of your popular series of blog topics i.e., the bloggers block series,etc in a separate category. Listing a few then getting people to click on a link to get the full list?

    Also what’s the name of the wordpress plugin you used? The other ones mentioned here look a bit different

    thanks

    Pete

  • Pete – I use Related Entries

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  • Thanks for the tips..how about formatting (bullet, bigger font)? I learn that from Corel Rudl

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  • Darren I am so glad I subscribe to your blog! I am desperately trying to increase page views and adsense clicks. Although, the only thing that seems to be increasing is spam into my inbox!

    I’m wondering, how do you create a left hand box? My blog template only has a right hand side.

    Thank you!

  • LotionBarBunny,

    Nice name :) Try using Joomla CMS and you can create templates with many blocks anywhere you define them using simple tags inside the HTML. It also has a related content items module, Google AdSense module, and many others. The Joomla description of the related items is here:

    http://help.joomla.org/content/view/292/152/

    HTH,

    – Tyler

  • Wow Tyler, thanks so much! I am very html disabled, but I am learning. I appreciate you giving me the link on Joomla.

    Thank you!!

  • Thanks Darren For These Great Tips. Can You Visit My Blog And Leave A Comment And Tell Me What You Think. I Would Like Some Suggestions.
    Thank You, For Your Time And Consideration!

  • I have used a small trick to increase page views. Since I write photoshop tutorials which are longer than the average blog post I have splitted them in two pages. That way people reading my tutorials stay longer, I get more page views (and adsense impressions) and they get more familiar with my blog.

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  • i cant believe there are comments in basque, its great to see the joint cultures. I just started my blog, so its very useful to see these tips for reference

  • So what is the page limit so I won’t have to overload the Blog, guys?
    ……..

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  • Anyone knows any good site for blogger templates?

    Thanks.

  • jus_another_blogger, if you are looking for a 3 column template, I went to a blog called Thur’s Templates. I just had to click on the sample 3 column template I wanted, clicked View Source and copied it into my blog’s template (be sure you save your old template just in case you mess up–like I did the first few times!) Here is the link to his blog: http://thrbrtemplates.blogspot.com/
    I hope that helps!

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  • Dear Darren – Wow! What an interesting reading! I would like to put everything, all points mentioned into practice from now on. I am currently functioning as a nonprofit food blogger and am so curious to know if my blog is ready enough to take on few blog ads, adsense, etc. Could you find some time for me and explain how increased pageviews would benefit people like me.

    Here are a few stats for your ready reference and perusal:
    My Dhaba started active on – 23 october 2005
    Total visits so far – 18507
    Average visits per day – 370
    Total page views – 64081
    Average page views per day – 1374
    Average page views per visit – 3.7

    All your inputs are highly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.

    VK Narayanan
    Chef de cuisine
    My Dhaba – http://mydhaba.blogspot.com

  • i find the best thing to do is read other blogs, post comments where appropriate and trust others to click on to your site, if they like what they read. i’m not looking for a huge readership, but common-minded people will tend to congregate in the blogosphere. writing about film, i also post my reviews on imdb.com, which is a rich source of clickthroughs from, again, an already primed and interested readership. but the best advice here is the last note – quality content – to which I would add, legible design!

  • Emperor_T

    I have a blog that saw its popularity climb because of a post that I published a few days ago. I published other posts that relate to it but I can’t find any information on how to link post. How did you do the “related post” thing? Other tools for linking posts, most popular post, post statistics anything in this area will also help.
    You can see my blog http://www.portugalalive.blogspot.com

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