The higher the number of page-views-per-visit, the more engaged your readers are.
And the more engaged they are the more easily you'll be able to sell stuff from your site.
But you know that already.
The question is: how can you increase the number of page-views-per-visit?
Here's what I did recently:
A while ago I wrote an article setting out 4 things you should consider before you attempt to migrate a static website to WordPress.
It was never intended as a step-by-step, 'how to' article, but it gets a lot of search traffic from people who are searching for exactly that. So I wrote a step-by-step process.
But the people searching for the step-by-step process were still being directed to the '4 things to consider' article, because that one was doing better in the search results.
It was frustrating to look at the search terms that were bringing people into my site, to see them going to an article that was not exactly what they were looking for and, therefore, leaving again.
It covered the same subject matter, but it wasn't what they needed.
The solution was simple: I updated the '4 things to consider' article with an opening paragraph that simply says: 'If you're looking for the step-by-step process click here', and added a link to the newer article.
And immediately my stats showed people, whose search term indicated they were looking for the process, landing on the original article and clicking through to the newer one.
I did a similar thing with another article: I was getting a lot of search traffic from people searching for how to install widgets in WordPress, but it was going to an old article that referred to widgets in WordPress versions prior to 2.8.
People new to WordPress sometimes confuse widgets and plugins and, since I have articles on installing both on this site, and for both pre and post version 2.8, I added a similar update to the beginning of the old widgets article.
This time I mentioned the articles on installing both widgets and plugins, in versions prior to and post 2.8, again with the appropriate links.
And now I see people coming in to the old 'how to install widgets' article and then going off to the article that's relevant to what they're actually looking for (and a lot of them end up on the plugins article!).
In both cases, I've increased the page-views-per-visit for both of those search terms simply by watching my analytics, seeing what people were looking for, where they were landing and giving them a route to a more relevant article based on the search term they used.