Improve Reader’s Experience at Your WordPress Blog With 5 Impactful Strategies
Blogosphere gets dense as it competes with others online for readers’ attention and patronage.
Starting a blog today is a piece of cake.
The question is, where does the challenge begin for newbies online?
Challenge starts where you need to make sure that it doesn’t die like others and sustains the ever-increasing competition.
However, that’s only going to happen when you work towards improving reader engagement.
There are successful bloggers in every conceivable niche, trying their best to earn a living from their blogging efforts. Some succeed overcoming the competition with the right set of strategies in place, while some are lost under the burden of endless domain names. Sounds scary, but trust me when I say this – you can succeed too.
And, the first important step in that direction is finding the ideal content management system to build your blog. WordPress today is synonymous with blogging as 29% of all the websites are built on it. The fact that their closest competitor accounts for just 3 percent of the market share speak volumes as to why WordPress should be the obvious choice for setting up a blog.
The next crucial aspect is to extract optimal performance with minimal hassles without losing sight of the end goal of creating a great user experience for your readers.
Five Impactful Strategies to Improve Reader’s Experience
With the strategies below, you can build a seamless reading experience for all your readers.
1. Uniformity in URL Structure
The default URL or permalink structure, used by WordPress, is neither optimal for SEO nor the readers. Typically, a default permalink looks something like this – http://xyz.com/?p=N. Fortunately, the option to change this structure is readily available in your WordPress dashboard.
How Does Uniformity in URL Structure Improve Reaser’s Experience?
A) Promotes Website Consistency
Website consistency is really important when it comes to reader’s experience. And, one of the best ways to ensure this is to have uniform URL structure.
Let us take an example of this:
In the first URL, it is easy to identify what exactly it is talking about and where the webpage exists.
But, the second URL seems all over the place. This not only gives a negative outlook to the reader but also confuses them in terms of whether the website is secure or not.
B) Caters to Multilingual Readers
When owning a website, it is essential to know that you cater to the entire world! That means, even if you aren’t targeting a different continent, a reader from another location might be interested in reading your WordPress blog. So, it is essential to cater to these readers too, especially if they understand a different language.
Uniformity in URLs also makes your readers understand that your website is available in the language they understand. Here are a few examples:
One of the cleanest and most user-friendly URL structures you can opt for is http://xyz.com/post-title. How do you do that?
- Go to ‘Settings’ in the WordPress options
- Select ‘Post name’ as an option in ‘Permalink Settings.’
Firstly, this one small change will help you automatically optimize the URLs for all the posts you publish. Secondly, a small change can go a long way in improving reader engagement. That’s because it gives users a clear and concise idea of the topic of your blog post in a single glance.
Alternatively, you can also choose to customize URLs for individual posts by modifying the slug. How?
- Scroll down to the ‘Slug’ field in the post creation page
- Add your target keyword there.
This way, the target keyword reflects in the URL, giving you some additional SEO power. In the case of are working with long-tail keywords, this approach does not hamper the user experience in any manner.
2. Generate an XML Sitemap
XML (eXtensible Markup Language) sitemaps may not be a prerequisite for getting Google to index and navigate all your posts and pages. However, these do make the process a lot more efficient and streamlined. XML Sitemaps play a huge role in ensuring all your new content is found as soon as it is published.
Some great WordPress plugins help in generating an XML sitemap for your website automatically. Of these, XML Sitemaps and Google XML Sitemaps are the most popular and proficient. But:
How Does Generating an XML Sitemap Improve Reader’s Experience?
It is an unsaid rule of thumb that, ‘if you don’t exist for Google, you don’t exist at all.’ So, adding XML sitemaps can play a crucial role in giving your WordPress blog the visibility it deserves. When your target audience sees your posts regularly, it helps in building up your brand recall value. But, what about the reader’s experience?
A) Improves Website Navigation
An XML Sitemap helps you to pinpoint the web pages that are “most important” and are “crawled” often by readers. Now, with this information, it becomes really easy to make connections between these webpages.
For example, if a person looking for Nike shoes clicks on a link that opens to a specific shoe, they will be open to more options. So, they can be redirected to another webpage by providing a link on the Nike show page – so that they get multiple choices to choose from.
Therefore, an XML sitemap helps you in gaining insight into your reader’s navigation and make the entire process easy – so as to give your readers the information they need quickly.
B) Ensures Accurate Results
XML sitemaps only consider relevant, important web pages in a website. It will not include:
- Duplicate pages
- Site search result pages
- Archive pages
- Noindex pages
- White paper PDFs
So, only web pages that are relevant are included in an XML sitemap.
This, in the long haul, impacts the reader’s experience. A reader looking for some information will search on the web in anticipation to get it instantly. Now, if a website keeps redirecting the reader to an irrelevant webpage or the results are irrelevant, they wouldn’t even come to your website. Forget about reader retention.
So, it is essential to create an XML sitemap and ensure only relevant webpages are included in it.
3. Add Live Chat to WordPress
A lot of people see live chat as a customer service tool. However, it is very much useful to boost website engagement. And, that’s one of the reasons why you should think about adding a live chat to your WordPress blog.
But, as the norm goes – why would you add a live chat option to a blog that focuses only on educating readers on different aspects? Well, it’s because you actually can improve the reader’s experience on your WordPress blog.
How Does WordPress Live Chat Plugin Improve Reader’s Experience?
A) Answering Technical Questions
If you own a technical blog, people may come up with questions or doubts regarding your blog post. There could be a specific article they came across and your insight attracted them to talk about the article in detail with you.
As you wrote the blog, and it grabbed their attention, they will be driven to talk to you about the whys and hows of it all.
Some technical questions, however, can also be in the lines of something that didn’t make sense to them or they have a doubt.
So, adding a live chat to your WordPress blog will help you answer any questions your readers have easily.
B) Giving Undivided Attention to Blog Readers
It is one thing to write a blog post and publish it, but a totally different story if you wish to connect with your readers.
Let’s say you post a blog and a reader wishes to interact with you. He might just drop a comment, but there is no way he would come back to see if there was a reply from you.
Did you know that 55% of readers spend 15 seconds in going through an article.? In these 15 seconds, how many readers can you engage?
Adding live chat for WordPress will help you not only reach out to your readers, but also interact with them. This gives your readers the idea that you are devoted to them and wish to give them your undivided attention.
You have the reader’s best interest in mind. So, they will definitely gain respect and attach themselves emotionally to your blog, Who knows, your readers might just form a community in your support? It’s a great feeling to keep your readers first. That’s by it is essential to add live chat to WordPress blogs.
C) Providing Online Counselling
There are many blogs catering to helping people online. Although you run only a blog with no software that provides solutions to people’s problems, you can always add a live chat to WordPress website. Be the solution to your reader’s problem.
With a robust WordPress live chat plugin, you can:
- Reach out to people in need
- Give people a platform to contact and share their problems
- Give support to readers 24×7
- Ensure your readers don’t feel alone at any point in time
D) Get Insight Into Reader’s Demographic
Live Chat for WordPress can be a valuable tool for logging visitor activity and interactions. It helps you:
- Monitor site traffic,
- Gain insight into your readers’ demographic profile
- Analyze their web activities, including keyword and search engine usage patterns.
Together, these parameters can yield a gold mine of data and insights that can be used for improving reader engagement.
4. Get an SSL Certificate for Your Site
With data theft, privacy violations, and online scams, web users today are wary of accessing websites that may send out a signal of compromised security in any manner. Google now displays ‘not secure’ warning next to the URL of sites without an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certification. So, not switching over to ‘https’ may seriously affect your blog’s credibility.
How Does an SSL Certificate Help Boost Reader’s Experience?
A) Promotes Data Security
The main reason to add an SSL certification to your WordPress blog is to promote data security.
Nowadays, when you sign up to any blog, there are multiple ways given to you. Either you can sign up via third-party applications, such as Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter, or you can make a new ID with a unique username and password.
Some blogs also have the option for you to use your phone number as a user ID.
Now, with so many options, people tend to take the easy way out and signup to blogs via Facebook, Gmail, or any other third-party application.
If you use such methods, wouldn’t you want this information to be secure? This is exactly what an SSL certification promotes. Websites that are safe and secure are rewarded with this certification, ensuring readers know their information is safe.
B) Builds Reader’s Trust
When it comes to having your WordPress blog, ensuring your readers know and trust you with their data is essential. A WordPress blog with an SSL certification gives readers the impression and builds trust that any data shared on the blog is secure and safe.
Not having an SSL certification also affects your SEO ranking. So the bottom line is: you must make the switch from ‘http’ to ‘https’ sooner than later.
5. Optimize Your Site Speed
Your WordPress blog’s speed is not only a crucial ranking factor, but it is also extremely vital for providing great user experience to your readers. Internet users today want things now, not in 30 seconds, not even in 10, but instantaneously, and if your site or any aspect of it is not delivering on that expectation, it is going to lead to problems such as page abandonment and high bounce rate. Then, it won’t matter how good, in-depth, or unique your content is.
How Does Optimizing Site Speed Help Boost Reader’s Experience?
A) Breezy Website Navigation
Website engagement and conversions are two of the most important and difficult things to achieve when you own a WordPress blog.
Plus, if a website that takes ages to load or redirect to new webpages, readers will get irritated and abandon the site.
According to Niel Patel, “A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.”
So, optimizing the site speed ensures breezy website navigation not only provides a great user experience for your readers but also helps in improving reader engagement.
B) Reduced Page Load Time
Did you know that 40% of readers abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load?
What’s the solution? How do you ensure page load time is reduced?
You can rely on Google’s PageSpeed Insight tool to analyze how your site is performing on this count and implement the recommended fixes to improve your speed score. In addition to this, plugins like WP-Optimize, WP Super Cache, and Smush Image Compression and Optimization can also come in handy to keep your site speed optimal.
Deploy These 5 Impactful Strategies & Improve Reader’s Experience by 50% on Your WordPress Website!
If you look closely, all the parameters that affect the SEO and ranking of a site are directly linked to user experience. If you continually work toward giving your readers a valuable experience that goes beyond the quality of content, it will reflect in your WordPress blog growth charts.
So, what are you waiting for? Adopt the five strategies discussed in this blog post and see the difference!
David is a customer support and project management expert who specializes in writing WordPress content. He does immense research and, as a result, writes in-depth blogs regarding any field. His works are regularly published in various papers and top-notch portals, and can be seen on ProProfs.