How to Use Conversion Optimization to Improve Your Blog
Assuming you’re able to attract a decent number of regular visitors, blogging can be a valuable way to make money. You can use advertising or affiliate links to generate passive income, or more popularly, you could use your blog as a vehicle to sell something else—you could sell merchandise or premium content related to your blog content, or you could point people to your online store.
If this is the case, you’ll need some kind of conversion optimization strategy to improve your results.
What Is Conversion Optimization?
Let’s start by defining conversion optimization. A “conversion” is any desired action taken by a visitor on your website. For example, common conversions include purchasing a product, filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter, and watching a video. Oftentimes, the point of conversion can be a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your blog post, a form that pops up during the visit, or a specific landing page for your readers.
Your conversion rate is the number of visitors who convert, often expressed as a percentage; for example, a conversion rate of 2 percent means that 2 percent of people who visit a page of your site ultimately “convert,” taking your desired action. Conversion optimization is a set of strategies intended to increase your conversion rate, increasing the total number of conversions you receive.
Landing Pages and Sales Funnels
According to ClickFunnels, two of the most valuable assets in your arsenal will be your sales funnel and your landing pages.
Your sales funnel is a construct that hypothesizes and plans the “ideal” journey your visitors take on their path from being merely aware of your brand to becoming full-fledged customers. For example, you might win your visitors over with a compelling blog post, guide them to a landing page with a specific CTA, push them to a sales page, then finalize the deal.
Your landing pages are specific pages designed and written to achieve a conversion—or possibly, to push a visitor to the next stage on the path to conversion. These are valuable opportunities for conversion optimization, since you can tweak many variables related to their design, writing, layout, accessibility, and functionality.
Strategies to Increase Conversions
There are countless viable ways to increase conversions on your blog, including:
Make your CTA obvious. First, make your call to action (CTA) obvious. If you have a button that users can click, make it stand out with a bright color and clear font. Otherwise, use powerful action words to drive users to the next phase of conversion.
Add a pop-up. Pop-up ads can be obnoxious, but a small, noninvasive pop-up requesting a signup can help you earn a higher conversion rate.
Make it easy to convert. People will abandon forms and shopping carts if it’s too hard or if it takes too long to convert. Keep your forms simple and use as few fields as possible.
Make it more rewarding to convert. Conversions are typically a form of exchange. For example, you might give your users a piece of premium content in exchange for signing up for your newsletter, or more simply, you might give them a product in exchange for money. You can encourage more conversions by increasing the rewards; consider throwing in an additional bonus or offering a discount.
Add elements of social trust. People will be more likely to convert if they trust you, so consider adding things like trust badges, user reviews, testimonials, and brands you’ve worked with in the past. Any form of social trust can boost your conversion rates.
Strengthen your headlines. Your headlines and bullet points need to be compelling and concise if they’re going to succeed. Tweak them to capture the essence of your message and appeal to specific people.
Increase urgency. Many conversion opportunities fail because a user procrastinates; they decide to complete their purchase at some point indefinitely in the future, rather than right now. Combat this by creating a sense of urgency with limited-time offers and/or countdown timers.
The Importance of Experimentation
There are some strategies that seem to work well in increasing conversions for a wide variety of websites, but some audiences may not respond well to them—and every situation is unique. For this reason, conversion optimization is both a science and an art.
It’s essential that you commit to ongoing experimentation to learn which strategies work best for your blog and your target audience. With the help of AB tests, you can create multiple versions of your conversion optimization strategy, and study the variables that are most likely to lead to your success. Over time, you can throw out the tactics that don’t work and invest more heavily in the tactics that do work, polishing your strategy to perfection.