Strategies to Keep Readers
Linking to other articles
Make your website an interconnected whole
We’re on the Highway to Hale
Think of your website as a road network. You want each page and article to connect to another page. It is kind of like having lots of interconnecting roads to other pages and articles on your website and blog.
Why? Because when a person comes to your website, attracted by one blog article, you don’t want them to read it and then quickly disappear. You want… nay, need them to hang around a little longer and get to know you.
First impressions are not always accurate. People may come to your website looking for a therapist, browse through your home page and then quickly disappear to the next website and then they may decide to contact that person instead.
When a person comes to your website, you want them to hold on a little longer. You do this by creating links to other pages.
For example, you may write a blog article on 7 ways to heal migraine attacks. In it, you give lots of great examples of what to do, eat, and provide other general advice. The reader takes the information, thinks to himself that was really useful and then buggers off. In this case, it means you haven’t maximised the full potential of your site.
Wait, Don’t Go
If instead at the end of that blog article or throughout it, you adding in-links to other pages, you may be able to keep them longer. Perhaps one of your 7 suggestions to relieve migraine attacks is done with the use of an essential oil. At that point, you may want to add a link to another page of your website where you talk about essential oils.
You may even specifically name an oil that could really help. In fact create a mini-sense of urgency around it and definitely create a link to a different page or even a sales page where you sell the product yourself.
Or perhaps you may want to discuss the role of stress in triggering migraines and so you want to have a page link to another article, where you have written about ways to relieve stress.
Perhaps at the end of the article, you may want to add a few sentences on how you treated this problem personally and if the reader wants to contact you, or ask a question, then you can direct them to visit your contact page and link to it.
All these links are the equivalent of creating lots of different roads and side roads to other parts of your website. By doing this, you may be able to prevent readers from departing from your site too early and at best may be able to convert a potential sale or a client booking from them.
You can certainly link externally to other websites, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to lose people going to other websites and getting lost there.
For example, you could link to an Amazon page where you recommend a specific product. If you enrol in the Amazon affiliate programme, you will receive a special code and if someone clicks on that link through your website and then buys the product, you can get a few pennies.
It’s not a lot, but it can get you easily started with learning about monetisation. I will discuss this a bit more later on.
Call to action
Stop and ask yourself these questions:
- What is the purpose of your website?
- Secondly, how do you gauge if you’ve achieved the purpose of your website?
You really need to think about this.
Whether you have consciously thought about it or not, your website does have a purpose. It very easy to lose sight of your purpose or perhaps not even be aware of it.
Do you want to advertise your services? Do you want people to find you and contact you to book a session with you? Do you want to sell products?
Write down your objectives and refer to them often as you build your website. You need to remind yourself, because it is so easy to forget your initial purpose as you get sucked into all the other intricacies of website building and daily life.
Also how do you gauge if you are achieving your purpose? If you are explicitly advertising your services as a complementary therapy practitioner, then your gauge is whether people are actually booking you after finding you through your website.
You should routinely ask your clients how they found you. If this is not happening, then your website is not fulfilling its purpose and you should rethink changing it.
If the purpose of your website is to attract bookings – what this means, is that of all the traffic that comes to your website, you want at least a percentage of them to ring, text or email you for a booking or at least for further information.
The blog’s purpose
Ask yourself the same question in relation to your blog: What is the purpose of your blog? Is it to attract patient bookings? Is it to aim to sell your own products or attract general traffic so you can monetise with ads. Is it to build a community?
By constantly reminding yourself, it will encourage you to focus on creating content that is relevant to your target audience and will attract them.
For example, if your blog’s purpose is to promote your expertise in the field of gynaecology and to attract clients with problems like endometriosis or polycystic ovary disease, your blog should have articles on these topics.
In this instance, you may write a post like ‘5 ways to help endometriosis with aromatherapy’. In that article you may also include links to other related articles, such as on stress or on natural ways to relieve pain.
You may even include a ‘how to guide’ for making your own sniffy sticks so a person can make their own aromatherapy health-care kit. Even better is to make a YouTube video of this and post it on your website to accompany this article.
By doing this, you will be building up a mini-rapport with the reader, even without physically meeting or speaking to them. At the end of that article, you can then put a little bio about yourself – how you treat and create tailored solutions to the problem.
Then you can put a link to your contact form and encourage them to contact you if they want more information or to book with you.
And you don’t just need to think locally. Some people take clients worldwide by doing Skype consultations. Of course this depends on what kind of service you offer. Counselling or nutritional advice can be done this way. With massage and acupuncture, it is not so straightforward.
Perhaps you want to sell a product. Well it’s the same thing, You write a blog about how a particular product is really helpful for a specific condition. Then at the end of that article, you make a link or a free PDF. For example if you are a reflexologist specialising in fertility, you may want to write a series of articles in this area – including self-care tips, diet and other book recommendations. You might have your own downloadable diet sheets or self-acupressure help-guides.
Remind yourself of this question: What is the Purpose of your Website?
So whatever you do or write, this has to be in the back of your mind.
Now it may be that you can’t achieve your purpose immediately, when someone comes to your website. You may need to build their trust a little more.
Ideally you want at least 5-10% of the people coming to your website (i.e. your traffic) to result in a contact, booking or sale. Realistically, expect about 1-2% of your traffic to result in a contact. If you are getting zero contacts, then re-evaluate your website. Most website platforms will give you an indication of how many clicks a month you are getting.
Or if you are able to install google analytics, you may get more detailed information about your traffic.
Alternatively, find an honest, yet sensitive friend who can look at your website and give their impressions of it. Does it attract them? Does it make them want to hang around? Does it make them want to contact you for a booking? It may be that you have to rethink your content or even your website provider if you feel your return is not good enough and you are not achieving your purpose.
You want your real visitors to hang around a little longer, perhaps even to bookmark your site. You will probably get lots of visitors from sales companies. These don’t count so much. You want real visitors.
Writing interesting blog content is one way to keep people coming back. So write blog articles and provide an incentive for readers to follow you or sign up to your mailing list. There are several ways to do this. A common method is by providing a free eBook or PDF help-sheet.
Mailing lists can be set up by using the free Mailchimp plug-in (if it is compatible with your website) or other providers like Aweber. Having a mailing list, means that you can potentially keep in contact with perspective clients and further build a relationship with them. However, I won’t go into this in this guide.
It’s not personal, its business
I know this sounds horribly manipulative. After all you are going into complementary therapies, because you want a break from all that marketing and selling and consume, consume, consume mentality.
But think of it this way: A complementary therapy business is another form of business like any other business. There is a lot of competition out there, so it helps to have some kind of strategy, particularly if you are starting out and trying to find your own niche in a world, where frankly it is harder to make a living.
For example, there are hundreds of acupuncturists in London. Many are better than me and more established. I have to also make a place for myself to practice among them in any way I can. One of the ways I can do this is by considering areas where they do not focus on. For example such as blogging and using a website.
Sure people can pay for a decent website to be made, but they cannot pay for a decent blog unless they want to hire some dodgy company in India to write them a load of articles.
So if you have a talent with writing or telling stories, then utilise it and work on a blog.
- Think of your blog and website like a connecting road network.
- Add links to other articles, pages and resources to keep viewers on your site.
- Think of the purpose of your website and apply it.
- Give away free content, like a free guide to encourage people to sign up to a mailing list so you can stay in contact and build an audience.
- Every page must serve a purpose – whether that is to promote your service, sell a product, build a mailing list or simply to keep your readers on your site.
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