Why Blogging Regularly Will Increase Conversions

Blogging For ConversionsI say it to each one of my clients. “Blog more.” Or, “Start blogging.” It’s tough for a growing entity to find the time required to blog and blog consistently. But despite how difficult it is to make the time and stay consistent, having a blog and adding to it regularly will pay dividends for your business or organization.

How?

That’s actually simple to answer. Your blog can help your website deliver more value to the business by doing two things: generating incremental traffic to your site, and increasing the conversion rate of your site. Increasing either will add value (bring in more revenue, create more leads, etc.). So how does this happen?

Good Blog Content Drives More Traffic

For most websites, the bread & butter of traffic generation is referrals from other sites. Most of the time, those other sites are search engines. But referrals from non-search engines are important sources of traffic for most sites as well, or at least should be. A blog with good thoughtful content, that is added to at regular intervals, provides much more content for search engines to index, for searchers to find, and for other sites to find useful and link to. All of this results in more traffic to your site for each quality post.

But it’s not just about quantity. Throwing out a bunch of poor quality posts, or writing about the same topic over and over will be ineffective. A little bit of quality keyword research will help you determine different and fresh subjects for your post that will do a superior job of creating more and more search engine traffic. Here is an excellent article for ideas on what to blog about by Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media. (And see how that quality blog post also got him a referral link?)

Quality blog posts also can deliver great traffic from social media. Once your post is written, a little bit of self-promotion can go a long way to getting your fans to share your information with their own networks. A blog post does not have to come close to “going viral” to generate good qualified traffic to your website. After you write your post, tweet about it. Post it to Facebook and LinkedIn. If there are industry-specific social networks that are relevant, talk about it there. Your shares and resulting re-shares can bring visitors directly to your site, and also result in other sites linking to yours.

And the really-super news is that while most good posts will certainly have a spike of traffic the first few days after they are posted, many of your posts will continue to generate consistent, qualified traffic in perpetuity. For example, in any given month, about 80% of the inbound traffic to the Web Site Optimizers website originates with blog posts that were NOT written in that or the previous month.

Quality posts will generally see an initial spike in traffic due to your own promotion, but will also provide consistent traffic to your site in the months to come.

Your blog is a great way to generate more traffic to your site.

A Quality Blog Will Help Convert More Traffic

WSO is in the business of helping clients increase conversions. So it often puzzles clients when we stress building a quality blog. They equate that to driving traffic, as described above, and that’s not the business we are in. But what they don’t get (at first) is how a solid blog will actually aid in boosting your conversion rate. It does this in a number of ways.

A good blog will build your organization’s authority in the area in which you compete. Perhaps you sell ties online. Or maybe you’re an architectural firm. Or say you are a chain of coffee shops. These industries will all have big-name players such as Nordstrom, Gensler, and Starbucks, with huge brand values. Any industry will. And if someone comes across the website of your small chain of coffee shops and just sees the typical Locations, Menu, About Us pages, etc., they’ll think you’re just another small chain.

But if they also see a blog full of posts on different recipes, reviews of home coffee making equipment, health comparisons between different kinds of teas, etc., your company will start to look a lot more authoritative. Your brand will gain value. And those visitors will be more likely to convert over to customers.

A quality blog with a lot of helpful information that doesn’t just focus on selling your product or service will also go a long way toward building trust with your site’s visitors. A site that sells ties can have a blog, but if all your blog posts are about each new design you come out with, that blog is really nothing more than a What’s New page. There’s marginal value to your readers for that, but not much. However, if most of your blogs are about fashion trends, how your readers can achieve various looks, how to select not just ties but complimentary items, then you start to add a lot of value to your readers. And in turn, they start to trust you more. Trust plays a huge role in the conversion process.

You can also write & design your blog to include relevant calls to action throughout the page to entice visitors to give you their email address and enter the funnel. Maybe you offer a more detailed white paper on the subject of the blog post. Perhaps there is a related contest they can enter. It could be a recorded webinar to give them the fine details of a particular concept. Or it could simply be signing up to receive notices of future blog posts.

Heidi Cohen blog

On this sample page from Content Marketing Expert Heidi Cohen’s blog, there is a Call To Action to download a marketing resource in the middle of the post (circled in red). Clicking this link takes you to a page to provide some contact info, and the checklist is emailed to you. This can be the beginning of entering the sales funnel.

In any of these instances, you can put the desired resource behind a very simple form that might be no more than the visitor’s email, or possibly name, email, and phone number, that when filled out gives up the desired prize. Now your readers have another resource that can deepen your relationship, and you have their email to start them down the funnel process.

Quality Blogs Work

You’ll note that throughout this article I use terms like “quality blog”, or “good blog content”, etc. And that’s where people start to give up. And that’s where they start to leave value on the table. All of this works only if you discipline yourself to prioritize your blog.

By that I mean set a schedule and stick to it. Whether you decide you will post each week, each day, twice a month, or whatever, stick to it. Make it a priority. And don’t just throw content out there for the sake of meeting your commitment. Make your blog posts quality. A quality post is not written in an hour. It typically takes a little thought and research to publish something that is of value to your readers.

But your investment will start to pay large dividends over time. And that’s what your blog is – an investment. Set a realistic schedule. Prioritize it. Commit yourself to making your posts count. Give it time to grow. Stick with it even when you don’t see great results after six months. Given time, it will pay off both in terms of increased traffic and more conversions.

Posted in Conversion, Marketing Decisions | Leave a comment

Fine-Tuning Your Google Universal Analytics Implementation

Fine Tuning your Universal Analytics ImplemenationHopefully by now, everyone reading this has either converted their “classic” Google Analytics implementation to the new Universal Analytics from Google, or at least you’ve decided to.  If you haven’t decided to do that soon, read these reasons why it’s wise to upgrade to Universal Analytics now rather than later.

If you followed my post for how to actually go about upgrading to Universal Analytics, that’s great.  But that post dealt only with the changes to the code on your pages.  It got you up and running with Universal Analytics, but didn’t take you through any steps on the Admin side to fine-tune your Universal Analytics implementation.  This post will take you through those final steps.  Basically, it shows you how to take full advantage of your new UA implementation.

And if you haven’t upgraded yet, these two posts can be used together to start and complete your conversion.

Read More

Posted in Analytics | Leave a comment

Follow These 12 Women For Great Conversion Optimization Expertise

With the recent growth in Conversion Rate Optimization, it’s a simple matter to find lists of the most influential CRO experts, or lists of people to follow.  Those are great, but in most cases, they are dominated by men.  And there are many, many male authorities on the subject.  But there are also a great many women leading the way as well.

Follow each of the women on the list below.  Follow them on Twitter, read their articles, hear them speak.  I think if you do that, regardless of which men you also follow, you’ll gain a tremendous amount of insight to improve your website over the coming months.

Some of these you have probably heard of, and might be following already.  Some you might not be familiar with.  But in all cases, the information they will share with you will be valuable.

Read More

Posted in Conversion, Resources & Reviews | 6 Comments

This Should Be Your Site’s Top New Year’s Resolution

Start 2015 by addressing your Analytics implementationTis the season for New Year’s Resolutions (and for Resolution Blog Posts), and I’m adding to the fray!  Seriously, if you haven’t yet, now is an excellent time to spend a little time thinking about your top strategies for the coming year with regard to promoting your website(s) and increasing conversions.  We’re actually putting the finishing touches on such plans right now at WSO for our current clients.

As you’re doing that, regardless of what the current status of your site is and how well it is performing, one thing you must be sure to do right away is readdress your analytics implementation and make sure it measures everything that is important, and measures it accurately.

Read More

Posted in Analytics, Conversion | Leave a comment

4 Methods to Utilize Social Proof to Build Trust on Your Website

Build trust with social proofIt bears repeating:  one of the biggest reasons over 95% of website visits do not result in a conversion is a lack of trust.  The World Wide Web is famous for “leveling the playing field”, allowing mom & pop shops to compete right alongside established brands.  And because there are so many options so readily available to a shopper, trust becomes a huge differentiator.  If you are on a site that you don’t feel entirely comfortable with, there are a dozen more sites offering similar products you can explore instead.

So how do you build that trust with your visitors such that they will stay on your site, explore what you have to offer, and hopefully end up converting?  I think one of the most effective strategies is to utilize Social Proof to the fullest.  Strategies like building brand value, utilizing trust seals, and PR campaigns can be successful but also are very expensive.  Displaying Social Proof can have a bigger effect on your site’s visitors at a fraction of the cost.

Read More

Posted in Conversion, Usability | Leave a comment