As a blogger, you want your content to reach a wide audience. You want traffic, conversions, and satisfied subscribers. Checking your daily stats for progress can be just as enjoyable as sipping down a freshly brewed cup of coffee.
What if you’ve discovered the majority of your traffic bounces after a few minutes, or even a couple of seconds? If you’re wondering what you’re doing wrong, you’re not alone. You could be attracting the wrong readers, or your readers might be skimming your content.
If you’re certain your marketing campaign is targeting the correct readership, they’re probably skimming your content. Here are some of the most common reasons people skim, and how you can turn those skimmers into readers:
1. They found you by accident
Sometimes people click on links without knowing where they will lead because there’s no context or the anchor text isn’t descriptive enough. If a popular blog links to one of your posts as a reference, you’ll get clicks out of curiosity, but their attention will remain focused on the other blog.
Take inventory of your backlinks by using automated software to find them. If your links are spread out among websites unrelated to your blog’s message, those links could be the source of traffic that skims and bounces.
If you’re getting heavy traffic from blogs using your website as a reference, look closely at how those blogs are presenting your content. Then beef up the content on that page to be stronger and clearer. Give people a reason to either stay longer, or bookmark your page to read later.
2. They checked their email in the restroom
The Marketing Scope uncovered some interesting statistics about people’s smartphone habits. More than 38% of people admit to reading and sending emails in the restroom. When asked to provide a reason, 29% of people said it’s out of boredom.
If you’ve got an email marketing campaign, some of your readers could be clicking on your link from the bathroom out of boredom. That means they’re not in the frame of mind to consume your amazing content, and chances are they’ll forget to come back to it later.
While there isn’t much you can do to stop people from reading your emails in the bathroom, you can summarize former posts in new emails to your subscribers. Most bloggers do this as a quick recap that showcases the juiciest parts of their post.
If a subscriber read your email about your recent trip to Africa while in the bathroom and forgot all about it, they’ll probably read your next email with a more present frame of mind. Including a brief recap of your latest posts in every email will make your content visible to anyone who missed it.
3. Your blog post didn’t answer their question
People are looking for answers when they use search engines. Your content should immediately tell people they’re in the right place. Your content won’t always be relevant to everyone’s search, but don’t make people struggle to figure it out.
If your content answers a big question, make that clear in the title and the first paragraph. This dental website sets a beautiful example of what that looks like. The title tells readers the article is going to answer their question and the first paragraph gets right to it. The title isn’t watered down for SEO – anyone looking for answers about the safety of whitening their teeth will know they’re in the right place.
People are used to having to scroll endlessly to find relevance, so grab their attention at the top and give them the most useful information first.
4. You’re publishing content on a rigorous schedule
Schedules are great for keeping appointments, but when it comes to blogging, it’s a mixed bag. Consistency is said to be the best approach for blogging, but content always matters most.
If you’re pumping out articles on a schedule for the sake of publishing articles on a schedule, your quality is probably suffering. If your content isn’t top-notch every time you post, your subscribers will start skimming your posts.
Subscribers appreciate unique, useful, powerful content, even if it’s delivered once every couple of weeks. What you blog about matters more than how often you blog.
There will always be people who skim blog content, especially when they find you unintentionally. You can’t control the way people find you, but you can always control how you capture the attention of people who are interested in your content.