There is one question that I ask everyone who works with me on a website project – whether they are a new or existing client, starting from nothing or upgrading an existing website.
“What do you want your website to achieve for you? What do you want visitors to get from the website?”
OK, that’s technically two questions. The bottom line is that I’m asking about conversions.
This post is going to help you understand:
- What exactly a “conversion” is,
- How you can use your blog to get more conversions.
What counts as a “conversion”?
Generally speaking, a website visitor “converts” anytime that visitor takes the next measurable action you want to see occur.
Here are some examples of conversion points:
- The visitor clicks on a certain link
- The visitor registers for your newsletter
- The visitor opens an email you sent
- The visitor participates in a survey you designed
- The visitor makes a purchase from your store
Notice that buying something is certainly a conversion, but it’s not the only conversion. In reality, your prospects will make any number of “micro-conversions” before converting from prospect to customer. The list above could be read like a progression of these micro-conversions from the first visit to becoming a valuable customer.
Since every page on your website should be positioned to help move the visitor from one step to the next along the buying journey, you get to choose the specific conversions you want to see happen on any given page.
You may not want to sell directly from your blog, opting instead to build interest in our products or services and get visitors to identify themselves as prospects by giving you their contact information.
Usually, that is accomplished by offering something of value in exchange for their agreement to receive emails from you. You have plenty of latitude for creativity here. I advise clients to constantly test messages, call to action (CTA), and offer to seek an ever-increasing conversion rate (CR).
How to get more conversions from your blog page
Okay, here’s the gold nugget: some of the things I’ve found that can help grow conversions.
1. Try moving your CTA to within or to either end of your blog post. Testing shows the sidebar is not always the best place to present your offer, thanks to banner ad blindness.
2. Cut back on friction. Make it easier for your visitors to take the next indicated step along your sales journey. You don’t have to hop from “Hello” to “Buy now!” Take it one step at a time. Just keep moving forward.
3. Use one CTA per page. You can repeat that CTA more than once, but don’t use multiple CTAs or multiple offers. Keep it simple.
4. Make use of progressive profiling and personalization. This is a train you want to board as soon as you can. By serving different content to visitors, based on what you already know about them, you can shorten the time it takes for a prospect to become a buyer.
5. Stay on topic. Give your visitors actionable and relative information that will enrich their lives. Never use flamboyant headlines with weak content to draw people in. Under-promise and over-deliver – not the other way around.
6. Format you content to accommodate the skim-read style many people adopt on the internet. One should be able to move from your headline to subheads to bullet points and lists to get the gist of your message. Don’t make visitors read a novel or even a short story. Cut to the chase.
7. Pull from the tool bag of proven copywriting techniques when and where appropriate. Change up those techniques and test the results. Consider things like creating a sense of urgency, providing social proof, putting time and thought into headlines that sizzle, and building anticipation and desire. Always know what you’re trying to accomplish, then make sure your content pulls visitors in that direction.
8. Make text and design work together towards the same end. They should never compete with one another. If your copywriter and designer are constantly fighting over whose work is more important, help them both see the customer is most important. That’s where their salaries come from.
9. Do the work to find and use pertinent keywords. Don’t let anyone convince you keywords no longer count. Some will argue the search engines care about context now. That’s true, but don’t forget that keywords are part of that context. The more you use the same phrases your prospects will use to search for the kinds of products and services you provide, the more traffic you’ll generate.
10. When your CTA leads to another page, make sure that page is properly optimized to accept the transfer. You want your sales journey to be smooth, simple, and obvious. Never leave the visitor wondering “Where am I, and why am I here?” Your job is to lead them by the hand safely to the checkout page.
11. Use heatmaps and tracking technology to get a customer’s-eye view of your website. Where are the hot spots? Which spots are ignored? How can you leverage that information to boost conversions?
12. Always be testing. Develop a hypothesis. Create a test. Run the test. Analyse the results, and formulate another hypothesis. Repeat. Never. Stop. Testing.
The tactics you use will depend on the conversion mechanism you choose. The starting point is to consider exactly what purpose your blog plays along the sales journey.
Choose the conversion mechanism that best suits our situation. Try and test several. You’re sure to find one that provides a suitable ROI.
Once you fully grasp the significance of looking at your blog as another tool to drive conversions, you’ll never see it in the same way again.
Keep your blog traffic coming back!
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