Increasing user engagement on blogs

One of my 2021 goals is to grow Failory's organic traffic from 50k users/month to 150k.

And one of the ways I'll be achieving this is through posting content on our blog (read the "Programmatic SEO" section here).

In the last weeks, I've been re-designing Failory's website from scratch. One of the pages I've put more focus in has been the blog articles.

And I implemented 3 strategies that I think will led to huge increase in average time per session and user engagement from organic traffic, which is an important SEO factor. These were:

1) Sticky and dynamic table of content

For some reason, this is an uncommon practice.

Many blogs have a table of content at the top of the articles.

But few have one that stays next to the article as the user scrolls through it and indicates in which section of the article the user is.

Here's Failory's one:


As you can see, the section in which the user is, is shown in bold in the table of content.

The table of contents, on the side, has to be clickable and should smoothly scroll the user down or up to the section the user clicks on (instead of simply going to that section without any animation that shows the scrolling).

2) Progress bar at the bottom

A progress bar is a good indicator of the amount of time pending to finish the article.

If you put it at the bottom of the page, instead of at the top, the user look down and this will boost the scrolling. If it is at the top of the page, it doesn't generate this effect.

On the side, the progress bar should indicate not the progress of the scrolling through the whole page (including the footer and other sections you may have below the article), but just through the article.

Here's how it looks on Failory's blog:


3) Estimated reading time

I'll be implementing this in the future.

I think it's a great way of showing the user what they can expect from your article.

And I'm pretty sure it reduces bounce rates and increases average time on page. Though I'll have to test it.

Bonus: Keep reading from the point the user left it

I've seen some blogs that, when you enter back to an article you've read in the past but haven't finished, it automatically scrolls you down to that point.

Technically, I don't really know how to build that (I guess that through cookies?), but I think it's a clever way of increasing user engagement with your content.

Date: February 28