One of the things most new bloggers ask me is "How Can I Increase Pageviews?" There are several ways you can do this, but one of the absolute best ways is to improve your blog's navigation.
In this blog post, I'm going to discuss different methods you can try to make it easier for your audience to find the posts they like. The good news is that many of them are effective and fast, so you can reap the benefits immediately.
*This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase after you click the link. I only recommend products or services that I use personally. You can read my full disclosure here.
Why Pageviews Are Important
Pageviews are a huge contributing factor to the success of your blog. Many affiliate programs and brands won't even consider you for a program if you don't hit a minimum number of pageviews per day or month.
One of the reasons is that brands want to work with credible bloggers to protect their brand and reputation. Can you really blame them? Your brand is everything. Tarnishing your reputation because of a bad partnership is brand suicide.
The more pageviews that you have, the more credible you are perceived as a blogger. Another reason brands require a certain number of pageviews is that brands want to get the biggest bang for their buck.
Think about it from a brand's marketing perspective. Would you rather offer products to and pay for reviews from a blogger that gets 10,000 pageviews per month or 100,000? The cost for you is the same, so why not use the blogger that has a larger audience?
It makes sense to you now, right? This is a major reason why a blogger would want to increase pageviews.
The point is, once you get a new reader to your blog, you want to keep them there. Acquisition is only a small part of the battle. You want your audience to engage with your blog and spend more time reading your content.
Pageviews represent your ability to write great content that people want to read.
A common mistake newbie bloggers make is that they don't think about navigation when they set up their blog and theme.
They set up an "About Me" page, a contact page, and often a home page. However, on that home page, you only see a few blog posts and the categories are all over the place. There is no rhyme or reason for the content your audience sees.
It benefits bloggers to link to similar content within his or her posts. For instance, if you are reading a post about Facebook marketing, you would likely want to view other marketing topics. You would also be less likely to read a post about choosing a domain since you likely already have a domain.
It is important that bloggers consider their audience's interests when setting up their blog's navigation. The following are some great ways to make it easier for your audience to find posts they are interested in.
If you read my recent blog post "How to Use WordPress Categories and Tags to Increase Your Blog's Engagement," you know how important it is to properly categorize and tag your posts. This practice really helps with your blog's navigation and will greatly increase pageviews.
In the sidebar, consider using a widget with your blog's categories to help readers find the content they are interested in. I use a drop-down menu in my blog's sidebar to do this. That way if a reader likes the post or wants to see what other topics I blog about, they can browse those topics.
I also use an extended categories plugin to insert another widget at the end of blog posts. At the end of a post, my widget lists 3 of the most popular posts in the same category as the current blog post. This allows the reader to browse those titles quickly and without effort on their part.
Using tags is another great way to easily increase pageviews. When you write each blog post, you have to choose a category for the post. Many people don't realize that tags are just as important.
Tags essentially index your posts. This improves search results and allows your reader to click on a tag to view similar content with the same tag. Tags are much more narrow than categories but are no less important to your blog's navigation.
Including tags in your posts helps your readers find posts about specific topics they are interested in. As a result, this will increase your blog's pageviews.
Link to Other Content Within Older Posts
It's a great idea to go back to older posts from time-to-time and insert links to new posts strategically within the text.
For instance, if you have an old post where you mention keyword research, but you have since written a post about that topic, insert a link to the new post. This is pretty quick and easy to do in WordPress.
All you have to do is click the location where you want to insert th link, then click the link button in the text editing bar. Once you have done that, click on the little gear to the right of the text box to access the link's settings.
Check the box that says "open in new window" and click on the article you want to link to and write the text you wish to appear as the link's text.
You don't have to find that post manually, then copy and paste the link. The link button will do it all for you in a couple seconds. How awesome (and easy) is that?
Include Recent Posts or Popular Posts in the Sidebar
A simple way to display posts is to add a widget to the sidebar that lists your most recent or popular posts. These posts are great to display on your blog from any page. I recommend displaying a thumbnail image with these as well.
To do this, you may have to download an extended categories plugin. I really enjoy these plugins because they allow me to customize the posts within the widget; I have the option to display the most recent or most popular posts within a category, for example.
It really is worth the time and effort to include these posts in your sidebar and will boost your blog's pageviews on every page.
Add a Search Bar
A search bar is never a bad idea. If your audience can't find a category that seems to match their interests, they can easily search for it.
I recently used my own blog's search bar to quickly find a blog post to refer to someone. I knew the name, but couldn't remember the category it was listed in.
As another note, I noticed that my theme includes a search box at the top of each page, but it doesn't appear on mobile devices. Responsive web design is important, but when one element doesn't show up, you can add it manually.
When you make changes to your blog, ensure that you are checking mobile devices to see how they are affected by the change. Sidebar widgets will typically appear at the bottom of the post, but that isn't always the case.
The majority of my audience view my blog from a mobile device these days, so it is a big deal when a part of your theme doesn't translate to mobile. A responsive theme and blog layout are important to your blog's navigation.
Break Up Long Posts
Have you ever read one of those viral posts or slideshows on Facebook? The ones where every couple paragraphs you have to click "Next" and view 20 ads on each page?
The reason why they do this is to cheat the pageviews and display more ads for money. Each page you click on is a new pageview for them. In my opinion, this is kind of slimy. You are just dragging your audience along to make a few pennies.
As a result, I haven't broken up any of my posts, although I have a couple larger posts that may could use it. It's perfectly acceptable to break up posts and link to the second page at the end of the first. However, the practice has become tainted by these viral websites.
It's one of those things that I'm hesitant to include in this post, but at the same time, used correctly (and sparingly) it helps pageviews. It's completely up to you. It's your blog, do what you feel comfortable about.
Small Changes, Big Impact
These small, yet simple changes can make all of the difference in the number of pageviews your blog receives. The most important thing I want you to take away from this post is that small differences in your navigation can have a huge impact on your pageviews.
It's important to give your readers options that require little effort on their part. In general, your audience wants value and the faster they find it, the better.
Do you have any tricks to increase pageviews on your blog? If so, let us know in the comments below. Before you leave, please sign up for my newsletter to receive updates of new posts.