This is a guest post by Steven Papas.
High bounce rate will get you frustrated as a blogger. Yours is more like a blog without traffic if you generate thousands of visitors a day that leave your blog the next second. When you must have gone through the design and customization of your blog to suit your taste, making money with depends, solely, on one factor, and its engagement stats.
- How sticky is the blog?
- How long do readers spend before closing your blog page for a more promising page somewhere else?
- What determines this behavior and how can you turn the table around in your favor if it has been against you?
Unfortunately, finding answers to these questions sometime is a matter of running some experiment on your blog to discover and stabilize what works and get rid of those that don’t.
Photo Credit: Kristi Hines on Photostry
From experience however, I have come to discover that one of the most effective ways of increasing the stickiness of a blog is to use images. Yes, just every image won’t work, hence I will take time to show you how I do it myself.
Use Relevant Images
Before images can be effective on your blog, it needs to be relevant and blend with the niche and content of your blog post. Common sense will tell you that a dog training post don’t need a cat image and you need also, extra effort to ensure that the image you have chosen is not just there to occupy space but to explain and lay more emphasis on the post. Recently, I started doing bullet points with images instead of the normal fancy dots, but carefully choosing corresponding images that blends with the information presented at each point. This led to more readers spending up to 30 minutes and more at a visit. You can use Flickr to source creative commons but if you can’t find one that completely works with your blog post, create one or purchase a license for one.
Use Big Images
Thumbnails and medium sized images don’t work very well for me and I am yet to completely understand why. Readers tend to appreciate more and get glued by large enticing images. Hence if you can, use the highest possible sized image that can go with your blog layout and ensure that it is of high quality for perfect display and understanding.
Use Clickable Images
I have learnt that most site visitors will bring their mouse over an image, even when they can still see it clearly. And surprisingly, if they liked the image and perhaps the message it conveys, they are likely to click it when the mouse forms a tiny hand to show it’s a link. I use this linking pattern to link to other relevant pages on my blog or elsewhere where visitors will get access to relevant information on the topic. Additionally, though I optimize all the descriptive texts around all the images on the blog, but I ensure to use my keyword as the alt tag of the linking image to gain some love from the search engines. This has helped me in optimizing by software blog where I share tips on, and coupons of the tops digital product creation services like Mixbook and Pinnacle Studio.
Compress Your Images
If you are like me, you probably hate waiting minutes for a blog page to load, and if so, so are your visitors. Among other common tips to implement on your blog is to ensure that your blog loads as fast as possible. And this can’t be possible when you have images whose size runs in megabytes on a blog page. This is one of the factors that tend to skyrocket bounce rates as it wastes users time and irritates them. If you can, compress and keep all your images within a few bytes/kilobytes without sacrificing their quality.
People Love Humor
Don’t ever forget this. We all know that life isn’t fair to anybody, yet people rush to any place with promise of giving them extra minutes off such horrible, demanding personal and professional commitments. Yes, your blog posts are suppose to educative readers, but some humor â€˜handles’ will not only make the content more interesting but caressingly persuade them to read ahead. How does this relate to the use of images? It is simple! While your images should be related to the content, make them appealing to the sense also, while they educate let them put a smile on the faces of viewers, while they attract and entice, let them be worthwhile.
An image can do more than decorate your blog. It is an ample item in increasing a blog’s stickiness and thus profitability. If you haven’t started using images, you may be losing more visitors than you think!