5 Top-Notch Engagement Strategies For Publishers

March 2024


Getting users to engage with your content can be tricky at first — but with these 5 rock-solid methods for improving the numbers, you’ll have audiences actively engaged in no time.

Engaging websites are profitable websites, for a whole lot of reasons. Engaging websites tend to have lower bounce rates and longer time on-site, which leads to better performance on search-engine results pages. Engaging content creates repeat users, who return to your site again and again for more of the same. And engaged users are more likely to see your ads, as well as click on them.

If it were as easy as flipping a gigantic switch that says “engagement” on it, everybody would have mastered it by now, so obviously there’s a little more to it than that. That being said, there are several surprisingly-simple strategies to boost engagement on your site.

In this blog post, we’re covering 5 tried-and-true methods of boosting engagement for publishers, so follow along:

Table of Contents

Case Study: find out how Insticator was able to boost Brit + Co’s engagement numbers by 50% – read it here.

Optimize Your Site

This is something of a catch-all category, but there’s a lot of site hygiene you can straighten up that will have a solid effect on your engagement numbers. Things like:

  • Working on updating your Core Web Vitals will have a measurable impact on many different metrics — but they also serve as a measure of how welcoming and easy-to-navigate your site is. There’s basically no downside to cleaning up things like load times and page layout here.
  • Making sure your site is also optimized for mobile users is increasingly important. Devices like phones and tablets have taken on extra utility as a “second screen,” so that users can read, browse social media, and shop all while watching shows and movies on TV. If your site isn’t adequately viewable on one of those mobile devices, you’re leaving engagement (and money) on the table.
  • Making sure you’re practicing good Search Engine Optimization on the content itself is also crucial. What’s the use of creating engaging content if it’s not getting in front of people? Following SEO best practices helps ensure your content is being seen, which is the first step towards engagement.

Leverage Social Media

If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody posts about it on social media, did it make a sound? Building and maintaining a social media following is a great way to ensure that your content is making its way out into the world. Plus, people on social media tend to cluster together with people who like the same things that they like, helping to funnel your content towards receptive audiences.

So make sure you’re sharing your content on all your social media channels, as well as experimenting with different methods of presentation to see what drives the most engagement. Many of the lessons you learn (like which images catch attention, which headlines drive clicks) are lessons you can subsequently take back and apply to the content itself.

Build Community

We’ve gone on at length about online communities and the benefits they help drive — it’s one of the core offerings we provide with our Commenting 2.0 platform. But the reason we talk up community-building as a method of driving engagement and revenue is because it’s incredibly effective. In a way, you’re getting free labor out of your users: those conversations that arise organically underneath your posts and videos are creating a feedback loop of additional engagement with spirited discussions, questions, and good-natured ribbing.

Of course, there are several things you can do to help nurture and encourage this organic engagement. Gamified features help motivate users to post more-frequently, and email updates when someone replies to a comment can pull a user back to your page after they’ve left. And, of course, a well-defined moderation policy can help keep the trolls at bay and ensure the conversations happening on your site remain civil and productive.

Think of your comment sections like public parks: if you pick up the trash and keep the grass clipped, then people will show up to play. Additionally, by doing so you’ll help gather more first-party data, which will help your site weather the disappearance of third-party cookies in the future.

Content Recirculation

One of the more-productive tools in a publisher’s engagement arsenal is the content recirculation tool. Essentially, it’s a widget on your site, alongside or below your content, that suggests additional posts from around your site that may appeal to the user. You can do this in different ways: suggesting your most-popular posts to everyone, suggesting posts that are similar to the one they were just reading, or suggesting posts that you’d like to see get a little more love.

This keeps users in your site ecosystem for longer, improves your metrics for time on site and bounce rate, which in turn will improve your performance on search engines. And the longer a user stays on your site, the more likely it is that they’ll share your content on social media, respond to a post in the comments, or interact with one of your ads. It’s a numbers game, and content recirculation helps move the numbers in your favor.

Make Good Content

To save what is hopefully the most-obvious point for last, while all these other tools will help ensure that engaging with your content is easy, the central point of your content strategy has to be the content itself. This includes:

  • Drafting relevant content for your audience, and presenting it in a web-friendly format. Breaking your content down into easy-to-read lists (like this one) makes it less-intimidating and more likely to be read all the way through.
  • Including high-quality images, to make the content grab attention as well as break up that “wall of text” monotony.
  • Drafting attention-grabbing headlines that propel your audience into the rest of the article.

If you’ve got good content, the other strategies on this list will help it spread like wildfire. If your content needs help, the rest of these strategies won’t help as much as they should.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these simple methods make it easier for your users to engage with your content in a variety of ways: making your site more accessible, making the sharing of content easier, giving your best content greater visibility, and giving your users more reasons to keep coming back. It’s no giant switch that says “Engagement” on it, but once you’ve mastered these tricks it’ll start to feel like it.

If you're a Publisher looking to boost your engagement, Insticator is the company for you. We’ve got a full suite of engagement solutions, from community-building platforms to content-recirculation tools and more. You can get started today by reaching out to our team.

With a focus on driving publisher revenue, Insticator is a leading solution in the ever-shifting world of adtech.

Written by
Sean Kelly, Senior Content Writer

Sean Kelly is a Senior Content Specialist, St. Louis-based engagement expert with 20 years of experience in content writing, and 8 years in adtech.

komalchand gaidhane

Written by

komalchand gaidhane