Yesterday I had an email from Jim Logan that contains a tip that I’m sure some will find helpful. Jim has kindly given me permission to publish it here:
I discovered something on my site that your readers may find of interest. Recently I changed the template of my blog, nothing exciting there, but in the change I added a module that put the name and link to my five most recent posts at the top of every page. Here is an example.
What are interesting are that almost overnight my page views per visitor and number of ad impressions increased by nearly 50%. Likewise, my Yahoo! ad revenue doubled. My site supports my consulting work and as such I don’t post for ad revenue, but I can’t deny seeing the Yahoo! ad revenue double – even as small as it is – is exciting.
What I believe I unwittingly did is offer readers something to click to after they read whatever they came to the site to see. The module with the five latest posts has clearly increased my page views and appears to have increased my ad revenue as well.
Jim went on in his next email to me to write:
Looking back, the whole thing makes sense though. I am now giving readers that hit individual posts something to click to next, something specific. Without going to my main page or clicking to an archive, they can now directly click on a post title and read another post. In a world where we can can only hold a person’s interest for a brief moment, it makes sense that having the next post readily available increases the odds of it being read.
My average pages per visitor have increased from 1.6 to 2.4, some days average higher. I’ve seen a similar percentage gain in ad impressions and ad revenue. Right at 50% increase for pages read, ! ad impressions almost doubled. My ad revenue increased the greatest, but the level is low to begin with. I started noticing the increases within 3-4 days of adding the five latest posts to each page.
Jim uses Mambo to run his site but those of you using other blog platforms can do similar things using plugins. I know WordPress has a variety of them.
I use the Related Posts plugin here at ProBlogger at the end of each post to suggest to readers other posts within this site that relate to the post that they’ve just read and have a similar feature to Jim’s in my sidebar with my last 5 posts run by a plugin called Fuzzy Related Posts. Both give options for readers to read more and in the process stay on this site a little longer.
I haven’t noticed quite the increases that Jim has had as a result of using these plugins – but have not positioned them quite as prominently as Jim has (his positioning is excellent in my opinion – although there are only so many things you can put in such an optimal position).