How can I encourage readers to spend more time on my site?

High-quality, highly-engaged readers are a major factor in your site’s ad earning potential. Readers who spend time on your site absorbing your content earn you significantly more than readers who leave quickly!

Engaged readers are good for earnings because more ads have a chance to get on the screen and be viewable, as well as stay on the screen longer, allowing them to refresh. Ads have the chance to refresh every 30 seconds and, when readers are engaged and stay on your page long enough, those additional ad impressions earn more for you. The sticky sidebar ad, sticky footer ad, and recipe ad all earn extremely well the longer readers stay engaged on the page.

That’s why “Time on Page” is such an important ingredient to consider in your site’s unique RPM.

Let's dive a little deeper into what you can do to engage your readers!

Identify 10 highly-engaging pages by “Time on Page”

To start things out, let’s take a look at some of the most useful data in Google Analytics: info on your highly-engaging pages.

To do that, in Google Analytics, go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages, as seen in the screenshot below:


Next, choose the fourth “Comparison” option (see the circled icon in the screenshot below). Then set the first dropdown to “Pageviews” and the second one to “Avg. Time on Page” as seen in this example:


Now you’ll see a list of your pages in descending order of pageviews for whatever date range you choose. You’ll also see how those pages compare to your sitewide average for time on page.

In the screenshot above, you can see the homepage of the site (the forward slash) is in the top 10 pages in terms of pageviews, but the time spent on that page is 76% lower than the site average.

On the other hand, readers spend over double the sitewide average on the page in spot 3 — so it’s getting a good amount of traffic AND engaging readers well.

Using this report, make a list of the top 10 pages that are receiving a strong number of pageviews AND have a greater-than-average time on page — this is your most-engaging content, where readers are spending the most time.

Analyze your 10 highly-engaging pages & gather insights

Once you’ve created your list of engaging pages, it’s time to do a little detective work! 

Visit these 10 pages and start making observations:

  • What (if anything) do these pages have in common?
  • How are they different?
  • How much content is on each page?
  • How is each page structured? 
  • What topics do you cover in these pages?
  • Which (if any) pages have video content?
  • Why do YOU think readers are spending more time on these particular pages?
  • Extra credit: Do some additional digging in Google Analytics. Do these pages have main traffic sources in common?

The insights you draw from analyzing these pages can be super helpful when planning future content and strategizing the best ways to keep your readers engaged!

Tips for maximizing reader engagement & earnings

As you’re gathering observations on what readers find most engaging in your content, here are some general tips on things that tend to get readers to spend more time on each page.

1. Valuable information keeps readers on the page

  • Check the introduction: Do you have a strong introduction that hooks readers to continue scrolling? Does it tell them the topic of the page and why they should keep reading?
  • Updates and new information: Readers love content that is fresh and up-to-date. For example, if readers have shared tips in the comments, or you’ve answered new questions in the comments, consider adding that valuable information into the body of the page.
  • Address common questions: Think like your reader — what else would they want to know about this topic? What questions might they need answered? Try searching your topic in Google to see what related questions people are asking and then answer them in your post!
  • Break up images with relevant text: Generally, text is more valuable than photos in terms of reader engagement. If your posts are typically image-heavy, break up the images with text, so your reader pauses. This also helps with viewability for your content ads.

2. Video content keeps readers on the page

Video content is a great way to get readers to spend more time on your page! A reader who stays on page watching a video can be several times more valuable than a reader who just scrolls their way through the post.

Ensuring that video content is engaging and will keep your site visitors watching is crucial! A few tips for engaging readers with video:

  • Length: For videos you embed in your posts, longer videos are great for keeping readers engaged on the page. As they sit in one place watching the video, nearby ads have the opportunity to refresh every 30 seconds!
  • Video title: Using an eye-catching title can entice the reader to watch a video they may normally just scroll by! 
  • Upload videos readers can view on most connections: If your video file has trouble loading, your reader may not stick around to wait! Keep your files under 50mb per minute, with a maximum file size of 800mb. This ensures that your readers can watch your videos wherever they are, on any device.

3. Invite further engagement

You want to keep readers on your site consuming your content, so strategize ways to keep them around after they’ve finished reading the post they came for!

  • Check your conclusion: Does your post end with a strong conclusion with a call to action?
  • Offer further reading: Where should your reader go next? Does each page include links to related posts to entice readers to consume more content?

4. Check to make sure that ads are running on pages with great engagement

So you know you have some seriously-engaged readers enjoying your content! Is that content earning ad revenue for you?

Having ads turned off for ANY page can have a serious impact on your overall RPM. RPM is total ad earnings per 1,000 pageviews for the same time period, so when non-monetized pageviews go into that calculation, it can make your RPM lower. 

If you do need to disable ads for sponsored posts, re-enable them once the contract period has passed. And make sure any sponsorship amount thoroughly compensates you for the impact to your ad earnings!

Wordpress users: If you scroll down below your post editor, you’ll see a section called “AdThrive Ads” where there are checkboxes to disable different types of ads. Make sure none of those boxes are checked on your most popular pages!

Other platforms: Take a look at the page on your site on desktop and mobile to make sure your different ad types are appearing. If you find a page that doesn’t have ads that should, submit a ticket so we can help you get those re-enabled!

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