By Jeff Gelski, ASBPE Kansas City board member
An abundance of ways exists to accelerate the number of clicks on web site pages. Slide shows, infographics, social media and related links within copy may serve as tools. Monica Watrous and Pam Kufahl have the percentages to prove their strategies.
Watrous, a web editor for Food Business News, joined Kansas City-based Sosland Publishing in January of 2013. Page views for the Food Business News web site have more than tripled in the past two years, she said. Web site pages views were up 84% in September 2014 when compared to September 2013.
Pam Kufahl is director of content engagement for Club Industry, the media source for fitness business professionals. Club Industry, a brand owned by Penton and based in Overland Park, Kan., went digital-only in January of this year. In March of 2014 pages views were up 38% when compared to March of 2013. They were up 37% in April.
Watrous and Kufahl gave tips on increasing page views in a boot camp put on by the Kansas City chapter of the American Society of Business Publication Editors Nov. 7 at the Google Fiber event space in Kansas City.
Slide show clicks
Among her various duties, Watrous creates slide shows. Often she incorporates new food product launches, one for each page, since Food Business News covers the processed foods and beverage industry.
“Every single click of a slide show is another page view,” she said.
She said web site visitors will tend to prefer a picture book over an encyclopedia.
Kufahl said she often repurposes how-to stories into galleries, which are similar to slide shows. She turned the top 100 list of health clubs into a photo gallery with 100 pages, one for each health club.
Social media sharing
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all may serve as ways to notify your readers of web site copy. Determine which social media sites your followers like the most and focus mostly on them while maintaining other social media sites, Kufahl said.
Watrous tags sources and subjects and makes frequent use of hash tags when placing URLs on tweets. She gave this example: How @KettleBrands, @PopSecret, @EmeraldNuts are leveraging #protein, #NonGMO, @glutenfree in product development.
Kufahl advised scheduling Facebook posts for evenings and weekends.
“Make sure that you are catching them at those times as well,” she said of possible readers/clickers.
On LinkedIn, avoid sharing only your content, Kufahl said.
“Because then you look like someone who’s just selling their web site,” she said. “You want to engage with other people. You want to comment on their posts. You want to be an active participant where it’s not always pushing your content or your web site.”
Once readers have opened a web site page, design, along with well-written copy, may keep them there. Watrous advised creating “chunky” copy on the web.
“Web readers are a little less patient,” she said. “They don’t want to read essays on the web.”
She gave an example of a Q-and-A story on Justin’s Nut Butter.
Bulleted lists and infographics break up copy. Don’t make readers do the math, Watrous said. Give them an infographic that does the math for them. She gave an example of an infographic that featured candy sales for Halloween.
Links within copy
Links to related articles break up copy and provide more opportunities for page views. Club Industry likes to place links to related articles several places within copy, Kufahl said. The links may appear in the middle of a story and at the end.
“People may like to click within a story,” she said. “They may like a little call-out. You just don’t know what is going to grab somebody’s attention. So the more opportunities you have for them to click on additional links, the better off you are.”
Both Kufahl and Watrous said page view numbers increased after e-mailed newsletters went out. Club Industry sends out an e-mailed newsletter every Wednesday.
“Those are our biggest page view days,” Kufahl said.
Food Business News sends out a morning brief and then an afternoon newsletter. Watrous said she sees spikes in page view hits after the items are sent out. She added Food Business News sends out special edition e-mailed newsletters such as those covering a specific topic of those providing exclusive coverage on trade shows.
Tracking the hits
Club Industry uses the Omniture data system to track page view hits, Kufahl said. Omniture also tracks such areas as how long people stay on web site pages, whether they are unique visitors and where the page view hits come from, with Google, Facebook and Twitter being examples.
Watrous said she notices what subject to do well in page view numbers. Natural and organic are two examples in the food industry.