We all want to increase our web traffic. The more visitors we get on our site, the broader our reach becomes. But simply collecting pageviews is not the end-all-be-all.
What you should be aiming for is a combination of a) unique page visitors and b) time spent on the site. In lay terms, that means keeping people interested. Get them to hang around for a while, read your content, check your links.
Easier said than done, no? There are lots of people on the web who, for whatever reason, will exit out of your website as soon as they enter. This is inevitable.
What can help, however, is a little technique called Bucket Brigades. What is a Bucket Brigade?
A short bit of easily readable text!
That’s nothing new, as you may have noticed by reading any website, social media platform or e-publication. But there’s more to a Bucket Brigade than that. Its other purpose is to keep the reader scrolling, even after they intended to stop.
Why is this important?
Well, there are a few reasons. For one, you want to reduce bounce rates. This occurs when your page visitor hits the “back” button rather than continuing to other links on your site.
Additionally, you want to increase session duration (i.e. time spent on your page). Doing so improves your sites “stickiness” and therefore your search engine rankings.
* Fun fact: the combination of these two factors is called “dwell time”,
an integral aspect of SEO & analysis.
Bucket Brigades are an optimal & compelling way to improve user engagement.
Imagine it as leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for your readers to follow. You are not baiting them, just guiding them through subtle tactics.
(That’s right, subtle- if someone can easily sense what you’re doing, the plan will likely backfire. No one wants to feel that they are being baited or pressured by taglines and exaggerations.)
A good Bucket Brigade is catchy and conversational.
It might lead in with a question (Is your web presence where you want it to be?) or a hypothetical statement (Imagine doubling your business in just months!)
A Bucket Brigade might also answer it’s own question, like we did above. (Do you know why? Let me tell you!) If readers are curious, they will follow the line of questioning to learn the answer.
But before you get started, consider this:
Bucket Brigades do not only apply to written subject matter. That’s right, images are a valid way to keep readers engrossed. Not only will they attract more people in the first place, but can also increase share rates.
Like brief bits of text, images are a great way to break up content to make it more palatable.
If someone wanted to read a novel, they would go to the library. They are online to consume short, easily digestible pieces of information (cue the Bucket Brigades).
But one cannot subsist on Bucket Brigades alone.
If you’re going to use them, make sure you have some high-quality material to back them up. What you want to avoid is an article with a whole lot of fluff and little substance. Bucket Brigades are the fluff.
Another mistake is overloading your article with Bucket Brigades. Work them in naturally (in transitions or introductions, for instance) and avoid using them solely or excessively.