This article has been updated from a previous post.
Back in May 2016, I read an article outlining three (3) reasons why your content may not be getting enough, or any, shares. Sharing content is extremely valuable to the growth of your blog and business; shares not only heighten awareness of your thought leadership (and, indirectly, your products/services), shares also get to those 2nd- and 3rd-generation networks that ultimately make a buying decision.
The article I read discussed these three reasons why visitors leave your website:
- not having social sharing buttons or links for each article;
- not having enough value (while subjective, strive to solve a problem);
- content lives in a “poor experience” (basically, website stinks either visually or not well organized).
Here are three more reasons visitors are leaving your website:
- Too promotional. Having a strong call-to-action (CTA) and/or offer on every blog article is a good way to reinforce what type of product or service you’re selling. Having said that, if every article you write is “all about you”, entirely self-promoting, adding the CTA only reinforces every visitor is simply a transaction, a number to you. Balance is key. I still believe and educate my clients in writing 80% of their articles to solve their customers’ problems, 20% self-promotion. Why? Visitors don’t want to hear how great you and your company are all the time; they want to know you care about solving their problem, even if they don’t realize they have one!
- Optimize. The article I read did touch on this with regards to shares, but articles should be optimized by what your prospects are searching for as well. That doesn’t mean using a keyword or phrase throughout your post! Lead with the phrase (not keyword) in the first or second sentence. For the title, look to re-wording into a question or a numbered response to the problem (i.e., “3 Ways To Get More _____”, etc.). There are a number of tools you can use to research keywords or keyword phrases and adopt them conversationally into your posts. Also, remember to optimize your images! If your images cause your site to load too slowly (i.e., it takes longer than 2 seconds to load your webpage), your audience may get bored and leave without ever reading your article, leaving you with a high bounce rate and no conversions. Here’s a good article that speaks to load times for both your website and mobile devices.
- Too political. I can’t stress this enough, and there are times I catch myself doing this on social media as well: if your business is not that of an activist or lobbyist, leave politics out of it. You may not agree with “the other side”, but, doesn’t their money spend as well as anyone else’s? If you truly don’t want to to business with “the other side”, that’s fine, but then be more deliberate about to whom you are marketing. If you’re marketing for all businesses within your niche, keep political opinions out of your website or your revenue and profits may pay the price.
- It’s uncategorized. While this doesn’t mean the content isn’t fabulous, leaving your post uncategorized does make it more difficult to find – especially if your website doesn’t have search functionality built in. Think of organizing your content by category the same way your favorite restaurant menu organizes its delicious foods. You wouldn’t expect to find pasta in the appetizer section, would you? Neither would your viewers expect content about “x” to be found under category “b”. Make sense?
One last tip: Check your spelling and grammar. I can’t stress this enough. Nothing is more frustrating to a viewer than trying to read through an article that has typos, wrong word use (i.e., your vs. you’re), or wrong/missing punctuation. Hire a skilled proofreader/editor to help you spot these and other possible sentence slip-ups, and make sure they use more than just Microsoft Word’s spell-checker. Try using Grammarly’s online proofreading tool until you find a good proofreader/editor. There’s a Google Chrome browser extension you can install, and it works wonderfully well – even in Google Gmail! There is a freebie and paid version of this tool, but, I have found the freebie version works very well.
Getting more content shares is a solid step toward being recognized as a thought leader in your industry. Make sure your articles solve problems and you will shine above the rest.
Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.