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Pagination can be bad for blogs

Pagination can be bad for blogs

Every now and then I’ll throw in a blogging tip. It’s still in the working online domain and since I’m blogging I thought I’d share some of my experience here too. Today and want to talk about something slightly different. It is to do with excessive pagination within a blog post. Although I find this really annoying I was duped into thinking that it could help me increase revenue.

So what is pagination. Simply put, it is when a blogger or any other website for that matter splits up an article into multiple pages so that the user has to flip through pages through to read the entire post. I am a quick wins kind of person and that little extra ‘Next Page’ click is annoying enough for me to leave a site. Saying that, making a bit more money got the better of me at some point when I was working on StrongWhispers.com. I had read on some other unmentionable blogging tips website that you can increase revenue by using pagination. This is because every time the user clicks ‘Next Page’ you have the opportunity to load another set of adverts – if you are monetising your site that way; more impressions is what you want. The theory is that the user will see more adverts as they stream through the article and hence a greater possibility of a relevant advert showing and them clicking on it.

Sounds great right. In theory it does. In practice quite the contrary. Let me tell you why – and this information is based purely on analytics gathered using Google Analytics and I looked at two things. Exit Percentage and Page Views.

What I had found is that only about 50% of the audience would click next page. Some would argue that the articles were not interesting or relevant and they left. Some of those articles were really good and attracted a lot of sharing – but still, that is my subjective opinion. But I also noticed that those first pages became stronger exit points to the site. Which is really not good. In an ideal world you really want the reader to stay on and read another article or look at something else on your site. So I concluded that like me they found it annoying or probably didn’t even notice the next page links (which were both at the start and end of the post). This means that we lost an opportunity to share an entire article to a reader in the hope that we obtain more advert impressions.

I took a step back and said to myself, this really should not be the case. I should stick to my guns and go with my gut, which was telling me that it is annoying. So I removed all the paging from as many articles as I could find and then monitored the stats again. Over a few weeks I noticed a dramatic decrease in exit percentage for those previously paginated posts. This means that the user was more inclined to read something else as opposed to leaving the site – which is exactly what I wanted. This resulted in more page views hence more ad impressions but it was done the right way, the least annoying way!

So I think that you really need to take into account the user experience and ease in which the user can obtain VALUE from your website. They should not have to click through various pages and fill in various forms to get access to something that could only possibly be useful. I think as human beings we love the concept of quick wins. We are all born with the ability to find the shortest distance between two points. No one has to teach you that. If you implement the same strategy with your website/blog/service or anything else that you are offering to the public then I think you are gaining yourself a happy user that you can more easily convert (into revenue).

One other thing to take away from this article is the use of analytics on your website. It is so important to understand and monitor traffic trends on your site. You can do it for free with Google Analytics. I am addicted to this tool as it gives you realtime monitoring of your website traffic/activity. An indispensable tool in my arsenal.

Happy blogging and thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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