5 Ways to Increase Reader Engagement on Your Business Blog

The online landscape for viewing and sharing content is constantly changing; it’s something that everyone involved in Internet marketing – a blog owner, influencer, freelancer, SEO agency, and PR specialist to name a few – need to respond whether he/she likes it or not.

If you own and/or run a business blog, and you’re committed to getting the most visits you can to your business blog using the tried-and-true tactics and strategies, there is no better way than engaging your readers.

Business blog reader engagement

Here are 5 current tactics you can use on your business blog to get more engagement from your visitors:

1. Be first with the news – Google news…

Getting into the Google News’ rankings isn’t as easy as registering your site with them. However, the SEO value that comes to those who make the top of the list (ie., the first and second page) just keeps on giving once they’re algo picks up on the fact that you’re a worthy source of business and business topic related news. This, provided you can meet their fairly laid back standards for the type of content and onpage standards they prefer to offer their users.

So, what’s the key to being successful here and opening the door to more engagement from your blog viewers?

  • Clear expertise shown in the writing and supporting materials.
  • Timely news content that people will be interested in.
  • Attribution (ie., backlinks) to trusted sources.
  • Impeccable grammatical standards.
  • Everything else mentioned further on down this page.

Once you become a trusted source for business and related news, people will sign up for your RSS, newsletters and news feeds, while also commenting onsite and on their social networks about your brand and topic choices. It might seem like an impossible task, considering all the big news corporations operating online currently, but its not really.

Niche down and really focus on finding interesting news people want to see.

2. Post lots of visual content…

Visual content boosts engagement more than practically anything else you can do. More engagement equals lots of extra social love. What business blog owner is going to complain about that?

Purrformance review - business cat meme
via Know Your Meme

If you’re a pet store owner, post adorable gifs of dogs, cats and other animals that your viewers won’t be able to resist sharing. Tradespeople can post SEO friendly video content on their site, sharing tips and advice so customers can get to know them on a more personal level before hiring them. There are numerous ways to engage visitors with visuals of all kinds.

3. Post first thing in the morning, last thing in the evening…

Doesn’t sound like much of an SEO tip, does it? Consider when people are online the most (outside of regular work hours for most). It’s imperative to release new posts so that the most eyes possible see (and share or comment on it) while it’s fresh:

“For virtually every social media platform, it’s a best practice to increase engagement by publishing when your buyer personas are online. This typically means creating Facebook posts for outside work hours. Studies by Buddy Media have found that early morning and evening posts have, on average, 20% higher engagement than between the hours of 9am and 5pm (see original article).”

Rather than focusing on on-page tactics to increase engagement, work first on just getting people “on the page” you want them to view. The hours of 9 – 5 (ie., busienss hours) have shown to be the worst possible for getting high traffic and optimal engagement.

4. Kill the incessant, tricky ad popups…

Ads are necessary for most publishers to justify the costs of creating and distributing content to their readers and/or customer-base. The trouble with many of the business blogs out there is that somewhere along the line it became the norm to include autoplay videos, multiple list signup offers, giveaway deals, surveys, and those disgusting prepop offers that direct your reader off your site and on to a lander of some sort.

Shibuya Crossing billboards
Is your business blog looking like Shibuya Crossing?

There has to be a sharp limit to the amount of ads and offers you force on a customer before letting them settle in to enjoy your content. And another thing: make the close option on any popups easy to find and click; leave the trickster stuff to illegal streaming and downloading sites. Customers will NOT engage with you, your onsite comments, or share you on their social networks if you make enjoying your content impossible!

Over-aggressive on-page ads are what SEOHacker, Sean Patrick Si of Moz calls “Obscuring content”. Worse, a poorly structured ad scheme will make content load super slow, which does nothing to help engagement or SEO.

5. Zero in on your audience’s preferred comment system…

The best advice here is to spend some real quality time analyzing the top brands operating in your space. Look at what they’re using for a comment system and, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, it’s really best to go with what’s working best for others when it comes to how you try to engage your reader onsite via a commenting system.

Social commenting plugins like those offered by Facebook or Twitter are becoming more the norm on the big content-heavy sites. Negative comments can be harder to moderate than if you were running a regular WordPress comment feed, but the addition of a recognizable social brand makes for much broader long term engagement, and the shares you’ll get (if your content’s good) will definitely help boost traffic numbers and SEO scores.

Don’t discount the importance of reader engagement!

It’s now a well known fact that more onsite and offsite social engagement leads to better brand awareness and increased sales. Engagement can also offer a significant savings in the marketing department, as you’ll spend fewer dollars on average to acquire new customers.