Here, we will talk about getting traffic without SEO or Social Media
How the same number of clicks from search engines, social media, same number of people on your website, how you could double your page views, conversions to an email list, clicks to affiliate links and purchases of info products by making your website more of a trap and keeping people on your website for longer.
I want to share with you five different ways that Google Analytics measures the stickiness of your website. Why some of them are really important to pay attention to and others really are not.
The first two are the bounce rate and the exit rate on your website. Most people focus on bounce rate and I would actually shift your focus a little bit more toward the exit rate. The bounce rate is simply the percentage of one page sessions on your website. Most people consider a bounce to be a bad thing but Google doesn’t necessarily.
If somebody Google “what’s the weather in Lincoln City Oregon” and come to your page, see exactly what they wanted and leave. Well, you fulfilled their need it was not a failure you did exactly what you wanted.
So, a higher bounce rate isn’t really a bad thing. In fact these are the bounce rates for several of our websites and you’ll see it’s common to see a bounce rate in 80% kind of numbers.
If your page views is under 30,000 per month or you have pretty low traffic you’re gonna see some wild numbers because of bot traffic or maybe your buddies are on there. You impacted a lot if Google Analytics is not set to ignore you on your website. Where you’ll spend two hours working on there just so you’re gonna see some wild numbers with low traffic. Once your website reaches some kind of volume it’s not weird at all to see that for a blog.
Next is the exit rate
Exit rate is different because it doesn’t matter how many pages somebody viewed. It’s from that page which percent of them like this was the last page they saw. This is the end page on your website.
So, to me the exit rate is more important than the bounce rate. The best way to improve it coincidentally is to then sort your pages by exit rate and then work on those pages that have a problem or have a higher exit rate.
The next one is “pages per session” and it’s really pretty self-explanatory again once you reach significant volume anything 1.2 and better you’re doing fine. If you get to 2 pages per session you’re doing a pretty darn good job. But this number is really easily gameable.
If you click one of those spammy articles like “21 most beautiful cities in America”.
Click to a new page for every single one of the best cities in America. It shows a huge pages per session but they had a cruddy experience while they were there.
The last two are time dependent “session duration” and “time on page”. We’re going to completely ignore session duration because the way that Google Analytics tracks this really stinks.
If you come to the website you may stay there for 15 minutes on the page. Then if you leave and you never click to another page. Google says that was 0 seconds that you were on the website! Because you never loaded the Google tracking code again. so it doesn’t know how long you were on that page. The time on page just tracks it differently by it only takes the people that did go to other pages. So, it may be a little artificially long but it gives you a much better view of how long people are spending on each page.
The session duration is counting so many zeros that were actually there a lot longer that it looks artificially low.
I’ve tried a lot a million things over the years to improve my numbers – the stickiness of my website. I have done so many things with trying to put a row of read more posts. At right after the post to try to get them to click there. All kinds of different things with the menu to try to interest people to stay longer.
These the three things made huge differences in those numbers
First, is probably the most important. That is when I learned to sell every link sell every link when somebody’s reading your article. They want to stay there, they’re happy where they are. They don’t necessarily want to click a link to another page. Just want to finish where they are and so they’re kind of incentivized to stay.
If you want them to click an affiliate link or sign up for your email list you gotta sell it. I found just a huge change in the numbers when I learned to sell my links. Something like when you’re writing a dirt bike it’s important to wear a safe dirt bike helmet.
Then, I would just go on with the blog post and like no one would click my affiliate link to Amazon or to my recommended gear page. Then I learned that I have to really convince the person to click on that page.
So, I may say something like “when I go dirt biking, I always wear a very safe helmet. to me it’s worth the investment. I learned that the dot specification on most helmets is not nearly as safe as the Snell certification. The problem is the Snell helmets cost a lot, but I found some inexpensive one on Amazon.”
It takes a little bit more time but it was more interesting content right there. At the end of it I’m really interested in clicking that link for two reasons. One, I sold it and two, I told them exactly what’s gonna happen when they click that link.
Now, that’s true for affiliate links. It’s also true for just an internal link in your website. If you are just writing about something just mention the keyword. Link it to another page, people are very unlikely to click it but if you say something like you’re interested in this topic you really should go back and read this:
know photography 101 post
I spent 45 hours over the course of a month working on this 10 page series of giving you the perfect introduction to photography. Well, people are pretty likely to click that.
Method number two, for making your website more sticky I’ve spent a lot of time thinking what are the best ways that I can contact somebody after they’ve already been on my website.
Email is one great option, a podcast could be another one. If you have a podcast for your website you can get them to subscribe. They may listen your podcast for 8-10 years!
Another one is a YouTube channel right now. YouTube is an incredible opportunity and I do feel comfortable sending traffic from my website to YouTube. If I can get them to subscribe that may change down the line and we want to watch that but right now it’s a great place to send people.
Another one, that’s a lot less talked about is browser notifications. Unimproved photography about 8% of the total traffic is coming from browser notifications. So, go to improve photography.com in the top left it’ll say allow this website to send you notifications. People usually click yes without thinking about it.
Every time we make a blog post it shows browser notification in your browser. We’re getting a ton of use from that I don’t know how long this gonna last. I feel like this is something chrome is going to shut down pretty soon. They’re gonna rise this was a huge mistake but it’s working really well right now.
So, if you have significant traffic on a website, browser notifications are a great way to be able to contact them.
the third way, that I’ve found to really increase the stickiness of the website. All those five numbers that we talked about in the introduction. That’s binge content. In our recipe for making the website we work on some smaller posts, medium and then larger posts. In those larger posts we want to create some content that’s just totally binge worthy.
Like if a guy who has like a million hobbies if I tell him ”dude crabbing is the coolest thing ever this is so much fun”. Well, what did I do when I learned that you can go crabbing here. I immediately googled it and I started reading websites and I found a couple transnational things
where two crab on the Oregon coast
how to catch a crab
where do you buy a crab
net all these different things that I googled but if one of those websites would have not just answered my question in that post said. So if you’re new to crabbing you’ve got to read my how to catch a crab for newbies post.
I put in all my best tips that I’ve learned in five years of crabbing on the Oregon coast. Everything’s in that one post. Well, I’d be so likely to click that but it didn’t happen as I read all those blog posts they just had my information and I left. Then I’d go Google something else and find one page and I’d leave. That is because the websites failed to give me binge content.
Something where I could just really sink my teeth in. Maybe a 10 post series on all the different ways to get into sturgeon fishing. Maybe a 10 post series on how to restore a hot rod. Whatever it is you’re in to create some binge content. Then go back to lots of your old pages that have good traffic and sell a great link to your binge content.
By the end of binge content when they’ve read five or six posts in a series and you’ve included pictures of some personal anecdotes. They kind of feel like they get to know you a little bit. Then there is extremely high chance that you’re gonna be able to sell them in an info product or get them on your email list.
For an example of some binge content, just search “photography basics” and look for the article from improve photography. I spend a lot of time optimizing that photography basics series and it’s brought in millions of page views to that website over time.
So, that is how I make my websites more sticky. Look at those five numbers on your website once you have significant traffic. Think of ways that you can trap people in and get more clicks on your website.