It is all about website conversion right now. Your blog traffic numbers don’t matter if the traffic doesn’t convert. Converting your blog readers should be your ultimate goal.
So what is conversion? And how do you measure one? That’s really out of scope of this post, but I can tell you briefly.
Scenario A: If you get 1000 hits to your site per day and if 100 people (out of that 1000) sign up to your email list, you have a 10% conversion rate. Signing up for your email list is just an example. It could also be “buying your product” or “contacting you to get a quote for your service”.
Scenario B: If you get 500 hits to your site per day and if 100 people take action, then you have a 20% conversion rate.
So which scenario is better? People mostly go after increasing website traffic (Scenario A has more blog traffic compared to Scenario B). But if you manage to get your conversions up, you can do well with whatever traffic you are getting.
On a side note, I am NOT telling you to settle for 500 hits per day and work on increasing your conversions to 100%. You should work on both – increasing traffic and conversions.
I’ve explained what the term “conversion” (in the context of blogging) means. How do you measure your conversion rate? That really depends on what YOU define as your goal.
Some bloggers want their readers to join their email list; for some conversion is all about product sales; or affiliate purchases! You can only measure your conversions if you define your goal.
Now let’s get on to the seven step process to converting your blog readers. Here’s the summary:
#1 Understand your readers well
It all starts with a good understanding. And, you need to know someone first if you want to understand them.
That means, you should clearly know your target audience. Be precise.
Ask yourself this question: Who are you creating content for? Answers like “Bloggers”, “Women”, “Children” are NOT accepted.
Why? Because they are TOO vague. Too broad.
You have to narrow down. Get precise. Once you clearly know to whom you are writing, you should take efforts to understand your readers.
Where does your ideal reader hang out? What is his/her pressing problem? What is his/her fear? What makes him/her happy?
You get the idea.
A good understanding about your target audience will help you deliver what EXACTLY he/she wants and BINGO!
#2 Empathise with your readers
Now, most bloggers tend to misuse the information they get from step #1. Of course they take pain to understand their readers well.
But they use that information so they can benefit from their readers’ pressing problems or fears.
Writing blog posts or sales letters that take advantage of readers’ problems is what I mean here.
There is a fine line between being a great marketer and being a salesman/woman.
Great marketers don’t market features; they market values. To market values your product or your content should have them, right?
Always think from the point of view of the reader. Think what value will my reader get by reading this blog post, or buying this product of mine.
That’s how you empathise. People can smell this (great) attitude of yours a mile away and your website conversions will skyrocket.
#3 Stop acting like a business man/woman
This step is quite close to step #2, yet quite different. Apart from misusing readers’ vulnerabilities, acting like a business man is being too salesy.
If there’s sales pitch in everything you produce, you will drive people away from your website. That’s exactly the antonym of conversion.
Stop publishing content that always asks people to buy your product or sign up for your service. I am not advising you against call to actions – in fact having call to actions is a crucial step in this process.
Yet, you have to set the limit right.
Take a good look at your website’s sidebar, your blog posts, your newsletter and your social media updates. If it is all about “BUY”, “BUY NOW” – you are being a business man. No doubt.
Sounding like a sales man means you are “me” focused. You only care about making that sale or making that commission; you don’t care about your readers.
And yes, your readers can smell this (bad) attitude of yours a mile away! And you won’t have any scope to think about conversions.
#4 Provide information/help generously
Don’t hold back. Being generous with providing the necessary help counts a lot. It helps build the bond between you and your readers.
You can earn loyal readers and repeat customers if you are a generous giver.
And being generous will earn you lots of fans. And people will spread the word via word of mouth marketing.
How cool is that?
You can help/share generously both inside and outside your blog.
• Be generous with the content you publish – over deliver.
• Jump into social media conversations where people seek advice/answers.
• Join Q/A sites like Quora and help people out with their problems.
• Respond to queries you get from your readers and subscribers via email.
The possibilities are endless.
#5 Be thorough and consistent in publishing content
Thorough content is what wins in the current era. A 500 word casual post on a given topic won’t work anymore. You can only scratch the surface on any topic with a casual 500 word blog post.
To discuss anything thorough you need to go far beyond 500 words. Make no mistake – I am not asking you to measure the quality or thoroughness of your content by the number of words in it.
But I hope you get my point.
Your readers will respond nicely to your call to actions if your content is thorough – it shows you care!
Next comes consistency. You need to get into an agreement with yourself to publish consistently. No excuses.
Be prepared for times when you cannot stick to the schedule.
And be prepared for the worst. Life can come in the way. You could get sick. Emergencies, funerals – you name it.
Have a few blog posts written, ready to be published well in advance. Even if you get into a crisis, you can still stick to your publishing schedule without panicking.
Consistent publishing helps people to remember you. And it also shows you care.
#6 Have prominent, strong call to actions
So I told you earlier that you should not sound like a business man. Call to actions are essential for conversions. You have to find the sweet spot – between having strong call to actions and being too annoying.
Call to actions help people who are in a hurry, and those who are confused.
Many readers who land on your blog don’t clearly know what to do next, after they have read a blog post, for instance. Telling them explicitly what to do is call to action. Like the sign up form at the end of this post.
Call to actions need not be essentially at the end of the post. You can include them anywhere – just make sure you don’t get annoying to your readers.
#7 Be nice to them after your goal is accomplished >> Key to consistent website conversion
Now comes the crucial step. Now that you have succeeded in converting your reader, why should you have step #7? It is indeed an important step.
Getting a sign up or getting people to buy your product is not all. You don’t win them forever unless you continue to be nice to them (and follow steps #1-#6 religiously).
As you know, your subscriber can unsubscribe at any time if they don’t like what your emails/content/your approach whatever!
The customer who just purchased your product could return it and ask for a refund!
In order to win loyal readers, repeat customers and fans, you have to continue to be nice all the time.
Don’t empathise, understand, help and over-deliver only to close the deal and then stop caring.
Not just for blogging, it is in general not a good practice.
How good is your website conversion rate?
Do you measure your website conversion rate? For that you need to know your goal first.
Clearly define your goals and then measure your progress. Follow the 7-step process outlined above. It works.
Let me know if you have any other tips to help increasing website conversion rates. After all converting your blog readers should be your ultimate goal!