The Value of Reader Retention

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  1. Marisa Wright profile image96
    Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago

    Norah made an interesting post on another thread.  Rather than post a link and lose people, I'm reposting it here in its entirety:

    Consumers of content on UGC sites that have a pleasurable experience are more likely to consume other pieces of content on that same site (and/or subdomain). This isn't a radical or controversial idea, it is a fundamental part of developing any website. If this weren't the case, there would be few if any social features on HubPages.

    "You say that "nobody coming from outside is going to keep coming back on the strength of having pushed a button. They came in to get information, found it (with luck) and left. "

    Websites often run experiments by modifying visual and interactive elements to see what increases user retention. In one example from the last startup I worked for, slightly changing the shade of gray in the header increased retention by 7%. The sample size was about 5,000 unique visitors, and that number held up after it was released onto the main website. My point is that pushing the right button will keep someone coming back. Our challenge is finding that button and presenting it well.

    Many studies have been done on the value of retention. Andrew Chen, an angel investor in Palo Alto, has written several blog posts with plenty of data for you to review."

    This is very interesting, but I'm wondering if it is really relevant to HubPages. 

    A blog or website is usually about one topic.  A reader arrives at the site, finds one article of interest and keeps coming back for more on the same subject. 

    A HubPages sub-domain is usually an eclectic mix of topics.  So even if a reader likes my Hub about mature age make-up, if they click around they'll soon find my other articles are of no interest to them, no matter how interesting I make them.

    I'm also reminded of the Nerdy Nomad, who used to have a great travel blog.  She put a lot of effort into building a loyal following - but I recall her post when she said she was giving up on that effort, because her loyal followers never clicked on ads!  All her income was coming from outside visitors.

    I had a look at Andrew Chen, and unless I'm looking at the wrong posts, he seems to be talking about websites that belong to businesses. It's well known that a business with real products needs to build a customer base that will keep them coming back for more.   Like my pointe shoe website, where I want my customers to buy their first, fifth and fiftieth pair of pointe shoes from me.   But I don't see people coming back to my Hubs to buy stuff again and again, it's just not going to happen.

    1. WryLilt profile image90
      WryLiltposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Makes sense. From memory, dark blue is a good color to get people to click adverts.

      There is also a proven wordpress website color setup that will increase chances of clicks... it involves greens and greys.

    2. janderson99 profile image57
      janderson99posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Satiated readers won't click the ads nor click your 'related links' to generate more 'impressions'. The reader will be fully satisfied and they may post a comment, but you may not make money.

      You need the readers to feed, but remain hungry for more. The ads need to tempt them. The links need to have them searching for more.

      see … se-Revenue  bit controversial but makes the point.

  2. Greekgeek profile image90
    Greekgeekposted 7 years ago

    I think it can apply even on a user generated content site with multiple authors. It just depends on what your readers have come to find.

    I stop by SearchEngineLand fairly often. It has multiple authors. I'll still click the recommended links at the bottom which may point to other authors' articles.

    Likewise, when browsing a news site, I'll click related articles.

    Obviously, if a reader has arrived based on a very narrow search, they're more likely to consume-and-leave. Even then, if you have well-chosen tags, the hubs featured in the sidebar may pique their interest enough to attract clicks. Think how often people go into a store to buy one thing and wind up buying ten (sometimes not even remembering to buy the original item). You might as well do what you can to encourage that kind of behavior.

  3. PaulGoodman67 profile image97
    PaulGoodman67posted 7 years ago

    I think with the changes post-panda, reader retention is even more important.  People who stay on your page longer help you to get into Google's good books.  The ones who click on ads provide income but might drag you down if Google deems your page is just a "doorway".

  4. Marisa Wright profile image96
    Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago

    I should say, the context of the discussion was that the Voting buttons and "interesting" "awesome" buttons were provided to encourage reader retention

    Some of us felt they didn't serve a useful purpose, but rather diverted readers' attention away from the Share buttons, which would do us more good.


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