As many of you know, when submitting a story to social news or bookmarking site, you risk having a lot of traffic to that page alone and having people leave your site immediately after reading the post in questions. There are several things you can do to keep readers engaged and direct them to different articles: really great content, related posts, links in your sidebar and many more.
But the purpose of this article is not to teach you how to go about getting legitimate traffic; it is to show you how not to act to get the same, yet temporary result. There’s a new practice: something mixing the multiple page posts with the well know “read full post link” used on blog homepages. It translates into going to the post page, reading one or two paragraphs and seeing a “read more” link.
It’s annoying! And it will work once, twice, three times, but after having the nice reader click and see the entire article, you are back to square one: how do you keep them from moving to a different site?
Besides, readers, like a lot of other people, are lazy sometimes. They like to get what they were promised and what they expect when following a link. All of us social media users expect a full article when we hit that link, so it’d better be there! Let’s say the content is OK and we move past our urge to close the tab and we actually read. What do you think will happen at your next submission? Will we click again or simply click away?
Is your content worth “spending” an extra-click?
And here comes the ugly part. After the initial page intro, when actually clicking the artificial “more” link, the content is crappy. This is the worst scenario. It might increase the number of page views and add an extra second to the time spent on site, but it still would make readers run away at speed of light afterward.
Are multiple pages any different? I for one prefer having the content placed in a few pages to endlessly scrolling down to reach the end of a post. But if you add a new page after every two paragraphs, it’s not better than what I’ve described above. So when deciding how to present your content to social media readers, leave the petty metric goals for later, and think of how to better welcome your guests.