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Blog Conversion Rates: How a Few Simple Tweaks can Increase your Blogging Revenue

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Increase Blog Conversion RatesLet’s be honest here.  The main reason most people blog is to make money.  Sure it’s fun to create content that’s really helpful to readers.  However our end goal should be to increase Internet income.

Unfortunately it’s easy to forget about the business aspect of blogging.  We all get sidetracked by the day-to-day activities to grow our readership.

That’s why today’s post focuses on how to increase blog conversion rates.

The purpose is to help you implement systems into your routine.  Ultimately this will increase blogging revenue.

The Importance of the Most Wanted Response (MWR)

I’m a firm believer in the concept of the Most Wanted Response (MWR.)  What is this?  MWR is identifying the action you want people to take and using blog design to achieve this goal.

In other words, it’s important to identify what you ultimately want people to do on your blog.  So if you want to build a list, then you’ll design a blog that focuses on list building.

I know this sounds pretty rudimentary.  However some bloggers who don’t take time to identify the actions they want people to take.  I think this is mistake – Especially if you’re really interested in learning fundamental lead conversion tips.

You can have more than one MWR.  But you should rank them in order of importance.

For instance, here is a ranking for the three responses I want:

1)      Readership: Increase the number of repeat blog readers

2)      List-Building: Get people to subscribe to my newsletter

3)      Income Generation: Make sales for my product: Affiliate Marketing without  the Bulls**t

I’ve thought carefully about how I rank each.  In my opinion, the best long-term goal is to focus on  increasing readership.  So the top-half of my site is dedicated to getting people to re-visit my site.

The first step to increasing your blog conversion rate is to identify your MWR.  So I recommend  figuring what you want readers to do once they’re on your site.

Increasing Conversion Rates for Blog Posts

People come to your site to read content.  Most won’t be initially interested in buying whatever you’re promoting.  That’s something you should never forget as a blogger.

Your job is to blend content with the MWR.  Each article should be chock-full of information.  But, there should also be a strong push to get readers to take that next step.

For instance, here’s a breakdown of my blog:

Increasing Blog Conversion Rates on Steve Scott Site

Click to Enlarge

You’ll notice that each area of my content is related to one of the three specific desired actions:

1)      Readership

2)      List-Building

3)      Income Generation

There’s a lot of content in every blog post.  There’s also a variety of destinations where readers can go after checking out the article.  The best part is each is directly related to what I want them to do.

Full Disclosure:  Right now, I’m testing a number of things on my site.  Specifically I’m measuring the conversion rate of direct response banner ads.  I really don’t know if having arrows and text pointing to links makes a difference.

My point?  I’m not sure if my two income-generating advertisements are effective.  So I can’t recommend using them right now.

Take a hard look at the structure of your blog post pages.  Examine each area and ask yourself a simple question: “Why do I have this?”  If you can’t find a reason; get rid of it!

Do this for the entire site and you’ll be one step closer to increasing blog conversion rates.

Why Create High-Converting Blog Pages?

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with blog pages.  I’m sure you have a few on your site.  These are the key areas like the About Me, Contact Us, Start Here, and Resources sections.

What you might not realize is these pages can become the highest-converting spots on your entire blog.

Blog pages should be created for evergreen content.  These are the timeless articles that add a lot of value to the reader.  Even better – They’re an incredible way to increase your MWR.

For instance, in the last week I’ve created/edited four blog pages.  Each has a different outcome that I desire:

#1- About Me:  In a recent case study with Pat Flynn, Derek Halpern talked about how to design an About Me page.

His point was to break it down in three areas:

1) How your site can help the reader. 2) What is your expertise or authority. 3) Who you are.

Then Derek recommended putting an opt-in box under each section.

From this interview, I’ve picked two MWRs for this page:

Readership -—> List-Building

#2- Start Here:  The purpose of this page is provide a best-of-the-best area for my content.  I’ve only included the most helpful posts and I’ve put them into a logical order.

My goal is to increase the amount of stickiness on the blog.  I want to keep people around.  That’s why I give readers lots of stuff to check out.

So like the other page, the two MWRs would be:

Readership -—> List-Building

#3- Affiliate Marketing Strategies:  I write a lot about affiliate marketing on this blog.  That’s why I put everything into a central location.  My goal is to turn this page into primary area of focus for anyone who wants to build an affiliate business.

In addition, I’ve added links to three income-generating offers.  I believe in the value of each product and think they provide very different affiliate income models.  So a reader can find something that fits their personal interests.

Now, the goal of this page isn’t to make money.  I’ve included a few offers; but mostly I want readers to check out the posts I’ve written about affiliate marketing.

So the two MWRs would be:

Readership —-> Income-Generation

#4- How to Start your First Website:  I made this page because I’m helping my buddy’s wife start her first site.  The goal is to give her (and other readers) a step-by-step tutorial.  Plus, I’ve monetized it by including affiliate links to two services that I’ve personally used.

So the two MWRs would be:

Readership —-> Income-Generation

Hopefully these four examples show what you can with a blog page.

My advice?  Create one for the best stuff on your blog.  These will become the focal point of your content.  In other words, these should be prominent spots where you send blog traffic.

How to Set Up a Blog Conversion Page

It’s really easy to create a blog page that converts.

Here’s a four-step breakdown:

#1. Create a New Page

Go to your admin panel in Word Press and select a Add New under the Pages tab.  This will bring up a page where you can add content.

Add Blog Conversion Page

#2. Create Content

This should be self-explanatory.  Just add content like you would with a blog post.

#3. Disable Comments and Trackbacks/Pingbacks

I love getting blog comments.  Sometimes it’s my favorite part of the okay.  (Wow; that’s kinda of sad to admit.)  However these pages are about blog conversions.  So sometimes it makes sense to turn off comments to your pages.  Ultimately this will increase the number of people taking your desired actions.

Disabling comments is easy to do.  Just scroll down to the bottom of your page and find the Discussion area.  Just un-select the check boxes that say: Allow comments and Allow trackbacks and pingbacks on this page.

Disable Blog Comments and Trackbacks

#4. Select the No Sidebars Template

Remember this page is designed for blog conversions.  That’s why your goal is to get rid of anything that distracts from the MWR.  To that end, I’ll often create a page that has no sidebar.  The idea here is to control where the reader goes on this page.

You can find this feature under the Page Attributes area of your page.  This should be right under the Publish button.  Go the Template area and select No Sidebars.

No Sidebar Option Word PressOnce that’s done you’re good to go!  Simply hit Publish and you have a blog conversion MWR page!


Using Google Analytics to Increase Blog Conversions

The best tool in your entire blog conversion arsenal is Google Analytics

Not only does this site provide excellent website metrics, it can also improve blog conversion rates.  My favorite feature is the Goals section.  These can be used to track conversions on your blog.

For instance, they can be used to:

  • Track conversions for people going to a specific page
  • Track conversions for the time spent on your site
  • Track conversions for the number of pages viewed by visitors

There’s a lot that’s involved with Goals.  My advice is to set up a few.  Then focus on increasing this number.

As an example, I’ve recently created two goals.  One that’s designed to increase the time people spend on this blog.  The other focuses on a footer advertisement for each blog post.

Let’s see how both work:

#1.  Time Spent on Website

The first thing I want to increase is the amount of time readers spend on this website.  So on August 31st, I set up a goal measuring the number of times someone is on the site for more than 80 seconds.  (The average for the month of August.)  I ran this test for a few weeks and got 1,712 total conversions with a 13.73% conversion ratio:

Google Analytics - Goal Conversion Rates 1

Then in the last week, I created a few lengthy pages and two in-depth blog posts.  My hope was these would increase the length of time on this site.  Did it work?  The truth is it didn’t.  In the last week, I had 517 total conversions with a 13.76% conversion:

Google Analytics - Goal Conversion Rates 2

That’s 13.73% vs. 13.76%. 

Not a real improvement.

However I think this number has been skewed because I got over 1,000 visitors on Sunday (the 25th) because of Stumble Upon.  This type of a traffic typically has a horrendous bounce rate.

Looking under the Goal Abandoned Funnel section, I see that 40.91% of my traffic fell short of this goal on the 25th. This is much higher than the normal percentages of 20 to 30%.  So the conversion ratio was reduced due to lots of low-quality Stumble Upon traffic:

Goal Abandoned Funnels - Google Analytics

Only time will tell if I achieve my goal of increasing time spent on the site.  For now, it doesn’t seem like it’s working.  But it’s something I’ll keep tracking in the weeks to come!

#2. Number of Clicks on the Footer Advertisement

Another thing I’m measuring is the number of clicks for the footer advertisement on each blog post.  On August 30th, I created a basic ad and ran it for two weeks.  It got 282 clicks, with a conversion rate of 2.97%:

Google Analytics Goals - 3

On September 15th, I changed the ad to the one you see now:

Blog Conversion Footer Advertisement

Has it worked?  A little bit.  I had 276 conversions with a conversion ratio of 3.40%:

Google Analytics Goals - 4

That’s 2.97% vs. 3.40%.

A slight improvement.  But nothing really significant.

What this tells me is I to have to rethink my advertisements.  Maybe I should create another?  Or I could try linking to another part of my site?  Perhaps I could make an advertisement for one of my MWR pages?

The important thing to note is that the Goals feature can help you figure this stuff out!  In my opinion, it’s the perfect tool for testing and tracking blog conversion rates!

Simply identify your MWR and track how many people take that action.  Then make adjustments to improve this number.

My advice is use Google Analytics with Goals for your blog.  These will show what’s really converting on your blog!

Announcing Traffic and Conversion Series

It’s incredibly important to track blog conversions.  That’s why you should identify the most wanted responses.  Then design your site around getting people to take those desired actions.

Frankly, I think conversion is an insanely important topic.  In fact, all of your blogging success depends on being able to convert the traffic you get.  So that’s why I’ve decided to create a regular series on this subject.

I’m calling it Traffic and Conversion.  This will be a monthly post where I show what’s actually working with my online business.  My goal is to have this as the first post of each month.

To start, this Tuesday I’ll show how I grow blog traffic by over 20% in the last month. I’m pretty excited about this series!  And I hope you’ll learn a lot from it.

Questions?  Concerns?  Comment Below…

Take Action. Get Results.




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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

Brankica@Improve your blog

I love the new ad, with the arrow and “beginners start here”. It is so visible but definitely not aggressive.

I am such a dummy when it comes to setting goals and calculating conversions in GA, that is the reason I use Clicky to be able to monitor them as easy as I can.

So here is an idea for the next post, either explain in details how you set goals and what all are you tracking or tell us where to learn about it :) Cause I really need some help figuring it out. I do know how to set some things in GA but there is so much more I am missing.

Reply

Steve Scott

Bran,

thanks. My “gut” feeling is to like the adds with the circles and arrows too. But the only way to know what works is to test and try to figure out how aberrations, like the heavy SU traffic day, might effect your bottom line.

(not that I am against heavy SU traffic. Traffic is traffic…bring it on!! :) )

As I mentioned on your site…I have recently gotten clicky and am still playing with it. Not sure how I will end up on it being better or worse than GA. But I do like the “real time” view it has.

Anyhow your idea sounds like a good one. A deep article on how to set up and use GA to the best advantage. I will add that to my list of ideas for the next few weeks.

Thanks for dropping by!

-Steve

Reply

Joe

It’s great to use Google Analytics to track goals but that really just let’s you post-mortem a campaign.

Another option is to do A/B testing with Google Website Optimizer or my favorite Optimizely. This lets you setup an experiment, split your audience and show the experiment to different portions of your audience.

You define a “goal” inside the A/B testing tool and it will show you which experiment yielded the best results.

Reply

Steve Scott

Yup Joe,

I agree! I do lot’s of A/B testing and have even written a couple of articles about it in the past. Using GA to help with that is awesome. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

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Amethyst Mahoney

Great information. Thanks for laying it all out there. It really helps to write down your goals and make sure everything you do is to that end. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and doing “busy” work.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Amethyst,

Goals in GA actually go a lot farther since it helps you really track your success with them on a daily,weekly, monthly basis.

I appreciate the comment, thanks for dropping by,

Steve

Reply

Donna Anderson@White Hat Writing

This is one of the blog posts I’m going to have to bookmark because there’s just too much great information to take it all in in one sitting. GREAT job and thank you very much for the effort this must have taken.

I particularly like the information about setting up evergreen blog pages. I’ve never really had a good About Me page – I just assume that no one really reads them anyway. But the reason they don’t read MINE is probably because it’s so crappy! :) Thanks for all the tips – great resource here.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Donna!

I appreciate you kind words. I really hope you DO find this post useful.

About pages are fairly essential. Mine has gone through about 5 changes. I am still not sure I have it “Perfect” yet, but heck… I am trying to make it.

I don’t think it is as much about having to make it exciting and action packed, but after reading a few articles it is natural to think, “what is this person all about”

..and as you pointed out with the linked article with rel=author it will be even more essential. (which I still have to work on getting done :( )

Reply

Eugene @ Internet Success

Awesome stuff here Steve. And looking forward to the series. I’ve known about the Google Goals feature for a while now but have never put it to use. Clearly that was a mistake. These stats are priceless.

Reply

Steve Scott

Haha. This is the second time in two days I have come directly from commenting on someones site, then refreshed comments here, to see they had commented here already. Freaky. Maybe I will do that every time I comment somewhere else rather than every couple of hours. ;)

Thanks for the comment man! Really the goals feature is super powerful. It is all about that 80/20 stuff. Figuring out what works and doing more of it.

Reply

Eddie Gear

Thanks for sharing your blog conversion tech nice Steve, Lovely blog you have here. I just might become a regular blogger here.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Eddie,

Glad you like it! I certainly hope to see you here again.

-Steve

Reply

Kate Brown Wilson

Hi there Steve, I really appreciate this article you have shared, because I’m kind of new to this kind of activity,and I am trying to research the best benefits of each blogger. for me to gain enough knowledge.

Reply

paul wolfe

Hey Steve

Some good stuff here…the idea of the ‘traffic and conversions’ strategy is a good one too.

I think that there’s a screencast video based info product somewhere on the topic of using Google Analytics to its fullest extent. Not sure what you’re working on…but maybe it’s something you should be thinking of! (Otherwise I might have to learn how to do this stuff and create the product!).

Have a good one.

paul

Reply

Steve Scott

Paul,

I have been reading pretty extensively on GA, and think I am getting pretty good at using it to its fullest. There may be a screencast video from me on it in the future. ;) I do need to get back in the habit of making more videos. I am not a “natural” video maker like you.

(haha see what I did there. A subtle dig at natural talent over Deliberate Practice. You know I am just teasing, though)

Reply

Fran the Online Writer

Good morning Steve:

Your email did the trick and made me come here. Your post and its contents line by line is a wakeup call to all bloggers. I am really intrigued, and your post is an outstanding reminder to bloggers that they are forgetting the ultimate goal.
# 4 made my change my perception, as I used to think that side bars bring in more readers, but then again as you say and makes sense now after reading your post, that it does not create conversion. Conversion is what is more important.
Thanks to your outstanding knowwledge and well planned expression that everyone learns from it.

Make it a super profitable day for yourself

Fran A

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Fran,

I wouldn’t necessarily say “forgetting the goal” though. I think it is more that every so often you need to take a step back and view the “big” picture. YOu have to sort of “not care” when you are writing articles IMO. But that doesn’t mean that you should just never “not care” when setting up your site the “MWR” way

Reply

Glenda Cottrell@internet marketing secrets finder

It never thought to use my pages that way, but it sure makes sense. Thank you for the helpful information.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks for dropping by and commenting Glenda, glad you found it useful.

Reply

Radu@webmaster forum

Hey Steve, is my first visit on your blog and already i like the way you are talking about seo. I like that you talk about SEO & Marketing in a different way, a personal way rather than a generic way with standard article and zero value.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Radu,

I put a lot of thought and time in my articles, so I really appreciate the positive comments!! I am glad you appreciate them. Hope to see you here again!

Steve

Reply

Adrienne

This is a fabulous post Steve… You never shy away from giving us your all.

I know exactly where I’m failing in this area. So I have the readership, I’m getting the subscribers but I’m not offering them anything. The reason for this is I have been racking my brain trying to decide what it is I want to offer them. I don’t want it to be something everyone else is sharing. Although I know my readers said they would purchase anything from me because I share with them in my own words what has worked for me and what hasn’t. My brain has been in information overload just trying to decide which direction to go. I just really don’t know what to do at this point.

I’m with Brankica though on understanding more of what all you are tracking. I check my stats and I see where my traffic is coming from and the percentage but I know there is probably much more to this that I admit, I just don’t know! Would love to learn more about this from you if you are willing to share.

So I probably have more editing to do on my site so now I have to find the time to implement all of this. Never enough hours in the day my friend.

Oh, and I also like the image at the bottom of your post. Great job and not too overbearing like some I’ve seen.

Thanks again Steve, you always crank out such awesome content.

~Adrienne

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Adrienne,

I certainly understand your issues with not wanting to have “any old” product out there. It shows a sign of your quality.

As much as I talk about “needing” a lead magnet (and boy, do I talk about that), it is possible you could be a bit of an exception to that too. You seem to have a very engaged and proactive fanbase who seem more than willing to sign onto your list without one.

Still I would say even in your case a Lead magnet or for sale ebook could go over like gangbusters.

I know the difficulty, though. While I knocked out a few “lead magnet” ebooks pretty quickly (I did have a lot of experience in this niche, from years of experience as an affiliate marketer) It took me over a year to come up with an idea and outline that i was comfortable with for my first “pay” product. Then about 4+ months to actually write the darn thing.

As you say…never enough time in the day.
—–

I am definitely going to be talking a lot more about tracking as the weeks (and months) progress. Trackcing, efficiency, conversion are the things that are on my mind a lot right now.. :)

Glad you like the add on the bottom. I like feedback. I want to make sure the “message” gets out there, but I really do not want to be overbearing.

(for about a day I had the arrow in the side bar doing an up/down flashing pointing at the “Click more to Learn” but my brother called and made fun of me for that..so i changed it. Even negative feedback can hep those changes for the positive)

Thanks for dropping by with another great comment!

Steve

Reply

Matthew Needham

Steve,

In the last 6 weeks I’ve spent so much time implementing different strategies and optimising things on the site. All I’m pleased to say have had a positive impact.

In fact I’ve spent so much time learning about things I’ve not had enough time to write that much content! However, my subscribers are about 20% higher than they were before I started my challenge to get more traffic.

I follow your MWR idea and I do agree with your approach. For my pages I’ve focused on one page one goal. i.e. what am I looking to achieve from each page.

I don’t know if I like the build your #1 website – title. (Maybe: start your online business?) – after all that’s more your target market surely?

I do like your banners through the text and the “hand drawn” adverts, I think they work really well. Have you thought about split testing (A/B) them?

Matthew

Reply

Steve Scott

Matthew,

Yeah I have been reorganizing here for about the same time. SInce I finished up my summer “vacations” and buckled down again. Like you it is starting to slowly show a nice effect.

as for #1 website. Well you make a good point. It is a little off target. But I sometimes get asked some pretty basic website building questions. This link is a simple “how to” put it together. So that “description” is better (maybe 1st change #1 to 1st) I will think about your point, though. (I had just put THAT up the day before.

I am certainly A/B testing those ads!

Thanks for dropping by!

-Steve

Reply

Ross@Alameda Internet Marketing

Steve, this is incredibly valuable information you’re giving here! Laying out the elements of your web design is a real eye opener for many beginning to work on their own blogs.

I also know of too many bloggers who set up GA then just walk away and never look at it again. It’s one of Google’s greatest gifts!

Reply

Lynn Van Noy

Love #4 !

Reply

Steve Scott

Howdy Lynn,

Long time no see. How have you been?

-Steve

Reply

Lynn Van Noy

Good GOOD! Life is sweet!

Looks like you’ve been rockin’ it. Good on you, Steve!!

Reply

Sahil Kotak

Google Analytics is really a great tool and also it is very much easy to use. I really like it and it also helps me in optimizing my blog for more.

Thanks,
Sahil

Reply

Cristina Ansbjerg

I love that you’re going to focus some of your content on conversion. I really love this topic. Learning and researching (experimenting as well, of course).

Reply

Steve Scott

Awesome Cristina!

Glad you are digging the idea of conversion. I do hope it resonates with people. Sometimes this stuff can seem a little dry. I know people like to read exciting blog ideas. But I like the idea of talking about something that matters, can help…and you really do not see (or at least I do not) many other people talking about.

Reply

Duy Nguyen

Yeah Steve, I agree with you on the MWR topic. Although I don’t have a blog yet but I think it can be applied to almost every webpage we have. For instance, a page about a “how to” article could be great for list building whereas a review page is best for income generation. Glad to hear that you’re planning on this great series. Looking forward for more information. Nice and comprehensive post as always man :)

Duy.

Reply

Steve Scott

Duy,

It is certainly a little harder to use MWR on WEB 2.0 sites like Squidoo. But you do it without thinking about it. Obviously there the MWR is to get people to leave and go to (amazon probably) with a second focus of maybe going to other lenses.

You use Big Arrow (I see you got that). Sidebar widgets (I see you don’t have that..at least on the site I looked at) and as many relevant tags as you can get to get -some- of MWR to for that click and I guess just Link List for “other webpages” (since Google is blind to “featured lenses” I understand)

It is far harder to sculpt an MWR, since you are playing in someone else’s playground, but you can still do a little bit of it if you think outside of the box and view your “big picture”

Reply

Duy Nguyen

Yeah Steve, that’s why I’m building my own house now ;) Although I’ve made some sales with the Squidoo lenses but I found out that it’s time to play big. Nice advices. I appreciate that man!

Duy.

Reply

Ming Jong Tey@Free Backlinks

Hey Steve,

You’ve just blown me away with this post! I don’t say this easily, in fact it is my first time to say this though i guess most of us have seen this some where in WSO, lol! To me, the best takeaway is to set up a blog conversion page.

This way, you fully tap on the power of blog and turn it to a truly list building machine :) Love the way you categorize readership, list building and income generation, which all bloggers should focus on. Your pages just provide me very clear demo on how to get the most wanted response.

Thanks mate!
Ming

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Ming! I appreciate the vote o’ confidence bro! :)

For sure, A lot of good MWR is somply making sure you have a “big” picture and that everything falls in line for this. I am sure many people -know- the what’s why’s and how to’s, sometimes it is just about taking that step back and viewing the big picture. It can be hard to see the “forest for the trees” sometimes.

Reply

Gerard

Great tips and very clearly explained! I am currently setting up my blog and will make use of some of your advice, thanks…

Reply

Steve Scott

Gerard,

Glad it was timely for you and hope that helps to get your set up right the first time! (I know I am in the 6th or 7th attempt in th past 2 years to get this site, “right” lookswise. ;)

Reply

Ana

I’m currently reconsidering some of my strategies and I really like what I’ve read here. I think it’s great that you shift from your own point of view to the reader’s point of view and back. This makes perfect sense, and the way you leave milestones while doing so it more than educational.
Risking to sound like a spammer – Truly a great post!

Reply

Steve Scott

Lol @ “:Truly a great post!”

I know how you feel. I try to leave involved comments, but usually often I stick a “great post” in there somewhere, because i don’t always know what else to say.

I always feel a little spammy when I do so. (even though i never “spam”) So I know how you feel.

Anyhow thanks for the nice comment and “great post” ;) . I hope it all does help ya’

-Steve

Reply

Ana

Now I really want to write “Thanks for commenting” :D

I hate how spammers ruined common decency for everybody else. Sure, you shouldn’t comment if you don’t have anything else to add, but sometimes I really like what I’ve read, and I want to let that person know that.

And then I don’t write it because I will cause a totally different effect than the one I was going for.

Reply

Johnny Optimo@web marketing

My conversion rates are all over the place.. it take me at least 5 or 6 months on each new blog to even figure out a statistically significant conversion rate. Usually after that I can increase it 1-2% by doing a bit of split testing. I’m pretty careful to make sure results are statistically significant though.

Reply

Oscar Tignach

Want to increase blog conversion rates? Need to generate more income from your blogging revenue? This post shows how a few changes can increase Internet Blog conversation rate. thanks for the information.

Reply

Richard

Awesome article. I love how you break down how you analyze your blog. It’s very methodical. Your blog really has the feeling of a roadmap for people to go.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Richard. Glad you see the usefulness of this! :)

Reply

Johnny at Triumph 5000

Thank you for posting such a high quality article that really helps! I also suggest to clearly over-think your design from the visitors view. If you want them to click on something, then FORCE them!
Besides, I was excited at your number 2 results (Clicks on the Footer Adcertisment). I should really try this on a few of my sites.

Reply

Steve Scott

Johhny,

Yup, it is all about sculpting that MWR (most wanted response)

Reply

Ralph

Steve,
Once again, you deliver way more value than expected- really too much to incorporate in one sitting. Still, I’ve been complacent about the functionality of my blog pages and I’m inspired but I’ve got another project to finish first. I think one of the reasons I don’t check you every day is that I get overwhelmed with how much there is to do. Don’t change, I’m just trying to cope here.

Reply

Steve Scott

Ralph,

I certainly understand the sheer “number” of things to do. It is crazy! Working on conversion is definitely worth adding to the list, though!

-Steve

Reply

Edward

Hi Steve,
I have tried so many things and the saying “move 1 step forward and 10 steps back” is pretty much what I experience all the time. I always work so hard and some days I just want to give up. I started using Google Analytics and I really hope to learn from my visitors. I am about to give my website a total new image and will get out my photo with a nice Bio. That way my Visitors will be able to relate with what I’m writing. I’m slacking in that area. As I ready your post I became more motivated once again. Your content is great and well put together. I realize that Content is definitely the lifeblood of the Blogger.

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Steve Scott

Glad you got a little bit motivated!
Content is something I AM big on. But havving the flowing and readable site that hopefully gets the desired actions is just as important (and of course content is part of that too)

Thanks for dropping by Edward!

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Oliver Tausend

Hi Steve,

that’s definitely a cool approach: MWR – most wanted response. In fact, too many choices distract people and unclear choices as well. I agree with you that the foundation of longterm success are readers who come back over and over again.

Thanks for sharing your insights.

Take care

Oliver

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Steve Scott

Oliver,

Thanks for dropping by! YES MWR is huge, and something many people only “sort of” think of. Like anything when you have a firm plan in mind to guide people and keep the signposts clear it helps with navigability and getting the response(s) you desire.

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Ryan Biddulph

SENsational Steve!

Definite food for thought in this post…actually, feast for thought.

Thanks for sharing :)

Ryan

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Sanjeev

Nice Article, Its a great practical breakdown to look at and see how we can utilize it for our use. I am building some sticky pages for my blog now, will keep this in mind.

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Steve Scott

Thanks Sanjeev,

I hope the concept of MWR is useful for your stickypages. (which are certainly often MWR themselves.

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Janet

Steve, aloha. Thanks so much for this post. Combined with your most recent one on Conversions, I have lots of food for thought. Your new graphics are terrific. That arrow for “Beginners Start Here” is so fun and non-threatening.

As it happens, I am in the process or redesigning my blog so will be incorporating some of your suggestions.

Like Adrienne, I have to work on something to give away.

In your other post, you talked about promoting your blog by mailing most of them out. Steve, I have a newsletter list already. Do you think I can start sending my blog posts to them or would that be bad etiquette?

Thanks so much for this comprehensive action list. Your clarity of communication goes a long way to making it seem doable. Until later, aloha. Janet

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Steve Scott

Janet,

Not going to belabor the point, but a good giveway helps a lot in m y opinion. Sure, you have a lot of loyal fans, they do not need a giveaway to visit/sign up. But those 1 time people need some enticement to hopefully get them to come around again.

As for you newsletter for sure, that is fine as a “for now”.

Obviously the BEST way to deal with email list is the whole “be personable” and almost give original blog posts. (sometimes link to other of your content and sometimes sales also)

But that is not always practical. SSS list for instance I do very little of what I know I could/should be doing. I just don’t have the time. I don’t bombard ads, but a lot of emils there is “check out this post” basically.

For my other list though, that gets a lot more people, I send out almost entirely original stuff.

But I get a lot more traffic through that email list to warrant that.

BY not doing it here I am leaving some money on the table…(since I would occasionally promote stuff…which I do little of) but just having “something” until you are ready is fine.

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Thomas

Absolutely everything I try to talk about and utilize on my website, you’ve included in one easy to ready, informative post.

This is just great. I’ve switched formats twice in the past month, from a landing page to a more open blog style format, and the difference in conversions was incredible. I do constantly preach “make it easy for your visitor to subscribe.”

Bookmarked for future reference!

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Steve Scott

Thanks Thomas!

Glad you liked it!

Sounds like you are on the right track. getting those converting setups are key. Just as important as traffic. Because when the traffic does roll in, you converting twice as well is just as good as doubling that traffic

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Mavis Nong

Hi Steve,

What an amazing post! Thanks for sharing your detailed roadmap to success – anyone can follow this to achieve similar results.

I appreciate you linking back to my post :)

All the best,
Mavis

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Steve Scott

Mavis,

Glad you liked it and thanks for the comment. Always glad to link your posts! :)

-Steve

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Thomas

Quality post, Steve. As thorough as you can possibly get, I think. Nicely done. I’d be interested in getting a general sense of what your experience with a ceiling for sales conversion is, even after conversion testing and implementing the changes that should convert best. Not asking your complete specifics but a ballpark conversion percentage if you’d care to reveal it. If not that’s okay too.

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Steve Scott

Thanks Thomas,

Glad you liked it! It is hard to give a hard “ceiling” for sales conversions. So much of it depends on how targeted the traffic is, and what the keywords are. For instance someone finding your article on “reasons to buy a Kindle” with the keywords “but a kindle” is probably around 5-6%. While someone finding it from the keywords “setup email on a kindle” is very low, since they probably have one and are looking for those specifics. Also the product is a variable. SOme things just sell better. If you were selling a new paperback with “buy stephen kings new book” as an amazon affiliate it could get as high as 30-40%.

But normally I would say 3-4% is really good. 1%+ is decent and any larger fraction of 1% is normal. Again, this is a very rough estimate with so many variables

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Thomas

Thanks for the reply, Steve. The numbers you estimate for normal conversion rates are about what I’m familiar with. I’d sure like to have that 30-40%, I will tell you. We can dream…

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Satrap

Wow Steve, this is simply genies. I love the idea of creating a conversion page and just breaking it down to bare essential so the visitors is more focused on the action you want them to take. Thank you for such a great idea Steve.

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Steve Scott

Thanks Satrap!

It is really very effecitve. You have to know what you actions you want people to take and guide them that way if you want to get results. Basically it is quite simple.

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AstroGremlin

This “guidance” approach is what IKEA does. Each store is more like a Disney attraction, with traffic guided through the wares on a clearly laid out track. The difference is that the purchases happen all along the funnel.

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John

Maintaining proper context with the content and offering some valuable suggestion about the product and services may covert a reader in to a buyer. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips.

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eUKhost

Indeed, laying out the elements of your web design is a key to generate guaranteed revenue. However, I believe that more than the layout thing that matter is the content (ie. information) you offer to your blog visitors. If a visitor is satisfied with the information you provide through your blog, it will help in gaining trust of your visitors. When trust is gained no matter what you offer they would definitely want to catch it.

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Ryan Squires

Interesting post about the main objectives about blogging.

I agree with your guide that it is about creating high valuable content and gaining readers to increasing sales and profit. This blog is a perfect example of this being achieved!

However, having talked about the MWF, do people write blogs with the priority of building links or trying to promote a product? Do these factors both work simultaneously?

Great guide to blogging.

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Greg

Great points there! What I like with your discussion is to turn off the comments. I really thought it would be better if you open a discussion with your readers. But, you’ve got a point there. Items that can be avoided to avoid any distractions to readers must is the best way to go to increase conversation rates.

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Steve Scott

Discussion with your readers is so dependant. for an authority site like this one. I would say it is essential!

But for a smaller niche site, chances are most of the comments you would get would be spam and just time wasters.

It all boils down to what you want/expect from the site.

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Greg

I see. That makes sense why a niche site owner needs to turn off his commenting buttons in order to avoid any spam problems. Actually, I saw few sites totally without any contents but kept on receiving comments from the default wp post! LOL

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Steve Scott

LOL, I never thought to trying to comment on the “welcome” article. That can actually be a good idea, lol!

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Lylah

I like a lot of the ideas here, but some of them are a lot more art than science. I know a lot of people who spend a lot of time trying to create “evergreen content” that converts and just find that their “killer” piece of work is just that….a piece of work.

To be honest, the only thing that has worked for me is building a whole site around “buying keyword” and then optimizing it for those target keywords. Google brings the traffic and I somehow earn income. Maybe I’m missing out on the social aspect of things, but people don’t usually come back to sites that are not “blog style” it seems.

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Steve Scott

I am actually working the other way. I have always had most of my success building “authority” sites. Only recently have I begun to experiment with the real niche sites based around ultra specific keywords (like your 24hr fitness and capiscum). Really in my mind these are, of course, related but two entirely different approaches. They both work, but they work in different ways. For your niche sites, little conversion tweaks may not be as important. It is all about putting those “buying” and “relevant” eyes onto your targeted articles.

Like you said, it may not 100% correlate to niche sites. But still MWR and having a clear purpose will be essential regardless of your main method of getting traffic.

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