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Every blog has one main goal – to turn readers into loyal followers and buyers of your brand. For the most part, site owners (either professional bloggers or business site owners that work in conjunction with a blog) rely on one main statistic to measure their site’s success: the all-powerful unique visitor tally.

But is that really the best measure of the quality of your visitors?

Your number of unique visitors doesn’t tell you anything about whether you’re turning one-time visitors into loyal followers.

There are two better indicators for this: page views and time spent on the page (or dwell time). Each of those metrics is a fantastic indicator of how invested a reader is in your site. By working to increase page views and dwell time you’ll increase the likelihood of your reader turning into a rabid fan and repeat buyer.

Increase Quality of Visits

Have you ever read a blog post with so many juicy links that you kept “control-clicking” to open new tabs?

When I visit a truly great blog with lots of practical information, I’ll easily open 6 or 7 tabs of related info and spend an hour or so barreling through them. What wouldn’t you give to have your readers spending that much time on your site?

I think a great term for this is “content web.” Your blog is set up in such a way that your readers become entangled in your web of fantastic content. They start out reading one post, and before they know it, they’ve read about 10 others.

Here are my 2 favorite ways to create a fantastic content web:

1. Place links to other relevant posts in the sidebar

The ability to write compelling headlines will be the catalyst behind this strategy working. Simply take some of your best articles (or at least the ones with the best headlines) and create links in the sidebar for your readers to see and enjoy.

I think the best example of this anywhere is eHow.com. Next time you read a post, take notice of their “Related Articles” section that shows up next to the post. They are always super-relevant and the headlines seem to give you exactly what you’re looking for.

2. Post In-Content Links

I mentioned this briefly above with the “control-clicking,” but let me explain how I do it:

Spending a few extra minutes per post to organically link to other articles on your site can pay back huge dividends by increasing the quality of each visit. However, sticking links in without much thought can appear like clunky product placement.

Visit Copyblogger.com to see how an author places links to other relevant content in such a way that it actually enhances the quality of a post. The main key is to determine where a reader would benefit from more info, not just where the easiest place to put a link is for you.

What other strategies do you use to keep visitors on your site?