Don’t focus on traffic but on conversions
One of the major goals for a blogger, entrepreneur or company is to drive more traffic to their website. Having a steady stream of new visitors means growing our chance to convert a lead into a client.
But is the number of visitors so important? Yes, but primarily the most important thing are conversions. A conversion is a goal or an action your visitors complete on your website. It can be for example subscribing to your newsletter, download a white-paper or follow your social accounts.
Between 70 to 96% of visitors will never return to your blog or website and approximately 98% of visitors will never take an action. That’s why it’s so important to retain them the best way possible. So the first goal is not getting traffic, but attract in order to convert.
How can you improve conversions?
Let’s say you have 1,000 visitors a day, but the 98% of these visitors are not taking any action on your blog and they won’t come back anymore. Thus you are losing new readers. Your goal should be to lower that percentage as much you can.
Just a small part of them subscribe to the newsletter (let’s say 5%, which is an incredible conversion rate) but today, since we are overwhelmed by online content we need to adopt new techniques to retain our readers.
Content are essentials in this process. We usually spend hours creating long, creative and high quality content and when we hit “publish” we expect an incredible flood of visitors. But most of the time the reality in quite different: a desolate plain.
That’s not exactly what we expect. But this is not a post about how to gain more traffic (even if it will), it’s about keeping your readers with you and build a loyal public. So how can we optimize our content and grow an audience?
Here are some tips and tools you can start using. No matter if you have a blog, a corporate website or an ecommerce. These techniques helped me to grow my audience and get new subscribers by over 40%
1. Optimize your website layout
Since your visitors decide if your website deserves to spend some time on in less than a second, you must be sure it is the cleaner and simpler as possible. Both the design and layout should facilitate the content consumption.
Try to limit as much as you can the usage of banners and ads. Everything distracting from the core content might cause your website abandonment. Medium, the blogging platform, is an example of essential design. User experience should be your focus. When a user is landing on your website should feel like the center of your world.
Is your website design encouraging people to stay or to leave forever?
2. Use sticky sidebars
Sidebars are the best place where to place effective calls to action. Most blogs use sidebars to show social accounts, newsletter forms and content giveaways. And it’s even better when a sticky sidebar is used. A sticky sidebar follows the readers even when they are scrolling down the page, keeping the same position. It’s like having always an eye on a reminder. Neil Patel, on QuickSprout, use the sticky bar in a very strategic way, inviting his readers to “stick” to his website
3. Consider popups
Popups are considered boring and annoying. That’s because the “old-fashioned” banners were random ads banners asking to take an action in the wrong moment. It’s like when you are reading a book and someone is interrupting you putting a hand on your page. That’s annoying!
But if a smart popup appears just in the moment you are about to leave a page or a website, that’s another story. In my blog I use a plugin called OptinMonster. It automatically knows when you are moving to the very top of the page and understand you are leaving (probably forever) the website. This is the last chance for you to engage with him in order to start a long-term relationship.
A well designed popup with a strong call to action (Join the Newsletter and get a free or bonus content) will improve your chance to have a new long-term reader.
4. Use social media engagement plugins
Most of the time you are giving valuable content for free. Today, it’s important to share great content and sometimes you can ask your readers to reward your time and commitment. You can just ask them to share your content or you can use plugin as Social Locker to invite your readers to share your post to access a specific content or to continue reading. Is it something bad forcing someone to share? I don’t think so. If you are sharing something really valuable for free, as a white paper, a report or an ebook, your readers will be happy to do it. An example?
Just like this one![sociallocker id=”5738″]
Here we are! Another social engagement plugin is the Click To Tweet. It’s a very simple plugin you can use to highlight particular phrases inside your content and make them easy to tweet.
5. Offer freebies and bonus content
As mentioned above, free content are one of the best way to retain your readers and grow your audience. White-papers, ebooks, videos, infographics, reports or free consultancy, you have many possibilities and the more you give the more are your chances to grow your opt-in conversions.
Jeff Bullas, for example, offers a free ebook to his readers.
Right now, videos are very popular. Have you ever thought about a brief video intro where you personally introduce yourself? Videos are engaging and the best content to start a virtual, yet personal relationship with your followers.
6. Ask your readers to share your content
It might seem obvious but it’s not. When you explicitly ask someone to take an action you raise almost by 50% the chances it happens. So, don’t be shy, ask your readers to share your content with people who might find it interesting.
By the way, this is a good moment for you to share this content if you liked it 🙂
As I wrote at the beginning of this post, traffic is important but even more important are the actions your audience takes while they are on your page.
Are you using other tips or calls to action to better engage with your audience?
Let me know in the comments and share this post with your friends and collegues!