Your Home Builder Blog: How to Keep Readers Coming Back For More
Keeping a blog on your site can be one of the most effective marketing tools in your toolbox, but it only truly works if you can keep your readers engaged and returning to read it on a regular basis. A blog takes some time and effort to produce, and without interesting or informative content, you could end up wasting time and money producing something no-one reads.
So how do you keep your readers engaged and wanting to come back to your site repeatedly? Here are a few tips on how to get your audience to keep coming back for more.
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There are many ways to keep your readers interested, but a good general rule to keep in mind when it comes to creating content is to try and follow the three E’s — Educate, Entertain and Engage.
Educating your readers is a strategy that can pay off in both the short and long term. In the short term, educational content will capture your reader’s interest and provide them with value, which is a strong incentive for them to return. In the longer term, you’ll find that when your readers eventually become customers, they’ll be far more educated and familiar with your home builder brand and home styles.
Blogging isn’t only about text — you have all sorts of options when it comes to delivering information on your blog. From video to imagery and infographics, make sure you use every trick available to you to keep your readers engaged. This means making your blog visually entertaining as well as entertaining to read.
There’s another crucial element of publishing online that you can use to your advantage, and that’s interactivity! Engage your readers by offering interactive polls, asking for comments, or incorporating a chatbot to answer simple questions. Not only does this engage your readers and make them feel like they’re part of the conversation, but it also has the added benefit of providing you with valuable analytics and customer information.
In recent years it’s become increasingly clear that the future of internet engagement is going to be more and more geared towards mobile. For example, as of 2016 the internet has been used by more tablets and mobile devices than desktop PC’s, and in 2017 Android overtook Microsoft Windows as the world’s most commonly used operating system.
Making your blog appealing to mobile users doesn’t mean just making your site responsive so that it will display on mobile devices — there are all sorts of other things you can do such as making sure the text and layout are easily legible for the mobile format. You can make sure the search bar is prominent and the controls are intuitive to use, but one of the most important factors when it comes to keeping your readers engaged is speed.
Keep Your Loading Times Down
With the wealth of content available online, your readers won’t hesitate to move on if your content keeps them waiting. All the work you put into making your blog engaging, entertaining and educational could be for nothing if your potential customers leave before they even see it.
Even a seemingly tiny delay can have a significant impact - surveys have shown that 47% of readers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% will leave altogether if a site takes more than 3 seconds to load. A slower page can also affect your ability to be found at all. Facebook and Google have both recently announced that page loading times will be a factor in their newsfeed and search rankings respectively.
So what can you do to make sure your page loads quickly? It’s a complicated question with many potential solutions, but as a general rule of thumb you can improve loading times by making sure you do the following:
- Keep an eye on your use of images. Images are one of the biggest factors in page loading times, so if your site is too slow, consider using fewer images, or compressed the image size of your existing ones.
- Cut back on your use of custom fonts. Some custom fonts can use more code than is really necessary, meaning longer loading times for your readers.
- Use a benchmarking tool to measure your site’s effectiveness. There are free tools available such as Google’s Test My Site which will not only evaluate your site’s mobile speed but can also prepare a customized report with recommendations that are specific to your blog.
Respond to Your Readers and Have a Personality
As we mentioned above, readers love to feel like they’re part of the conversation. Nobody likes getting a canned response, and getting no response at all can sometimes be even worse, so it’s important to respond to any feedback or questions as quickly as possible, in a manner that comes across as human and not like an automated message. If you’ve researched your market well, you should already have a pretty good idea of who your customers are and have some buyer personas established. These should be a great tool when it comes to crafting the perfect response to a potential customer.
Be a Useful Resource That Your Readers Can Come Back to
We’ve discussed the value of educating your readers, but there are a number of other ways you can use your educational content to keep your readers coming back for more. Try providing your readers with helpful resources where they can find more information about a subject, (i.e. a moving checklist or a community guide), and give them the option of a downloadable PDF version that they can take away in exchange for providing their email address. However, be sure to come back to your content and update it as necessary. People can be creatures of habit, and keeping this “Evergreen” content as a resource they can come back to for new information is a great way to retain readers.
One thing that all home builders should have is an active monthly newsletter, with clear CTAs throughout your blog encouraging visitors to subscribe. This is the best way to continually bring people back to read your newest content and download more offers as they move through your marketing funnel.
Attracting and retaining readers can be difficult, especially at the start when you’re vying for people’s attention among some pretty strong competition. However, it’s a worthwhile investment for your home builder marketing plan. If you use these tips to get a good start attracting readers and keeping them happy, you’ll soon find that the effect begins to snowball as they return and recommend you to others. Then when they’re ready to contact you, not only will you find yourself with more leads, they'll be leads that are already happy, comfortable with your brand and well-informed.
Originally published April 23, 2019