Let’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.
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.
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:
You’ll notice that each area of my content is related to one of the three specific desired actions:
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.
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:
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.
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.
#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.
#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.
Once that’s done you’re good to go! Simply hit Publish and you have a blog conversion MWR page!
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:
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:
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:
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%:
On September 15th, I changed the ad to the one you see now:
Has it worked? A little bit. I had 276 conversions with a conversion ratio of 3.40%:
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!
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.