Just because you run a blog and not an e-commerce store does not mean that you should not be concerned with conversion rates. A conversion is simply the action you want your visitor to take, like subscribing to RSS or an email list or even linking back to your blog.
#1 Decreasing bounce rates with headlines
In order for a visitor to convert into a regular reader, they have to stick around longer than 8 seconds. There are many ways to grab the user’s attention, but none as effective as writing a headline that will speak directly to their need.
There have been thousands of posts dedicated to writing the best headlines, and more than likely you have been honing this skill for quite a while.
If the headline blends in with the rest of the page, the visitor may make a rash judgment that the page is useless to them and quickly click the back button. The best way to make sure this does not happen is to make the headline one of the larger elements in the top left of the blog.
However, if you make the headline to large, a phenomenon referred to as “banner blindness” may occur where the user tunes out the large headline. Sticking between 26px and 34px is usually safe.
Using a different color than the text of the blog may also help improve bounce rates. Try to use colors that are not too harsh or in your face. Visitors do not like feeling as if you are yelling at them.
#2 Make content more readable with line height
Which is easier to read?
Example with regular line height:
According to the chief commanding the Indian Forces upon his visit to Washington 15 years later “I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.” The chief discussed in detail how his warrior’s rifles never missed, until they targeted Colonel George Washington. He felt as if he was fighting a power much greater than his own, one that could not be defeated.
Example with increased line height:
According to the chief commanding the Indian Forces upon his visit to Washington 15 years later “I am come to pay homeage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.” The chief discussed in detail how his warriors rifles never missed, until they targeted Colonel George Washington. He felt as if he was fighting a power much greater than his own, one that could not be defeated.
Setting line height around 140% or 150% can improve the readability of your content. It makes it easier to scan. Bold and italics text stands out more as well, helping to grab your reader’s attention.
#3 Use images halfway below the fold
The term “fold” is an old newspaper term referring to the spot where the reader had to unfold the newspaper to see the content. In terms of the web, it is where the user has to scroll to see the rest of the content.
Placing a picture below the headline that will not be fully viewable without scrolling will cause most visitors to engage with your page enough to scroll down and see the full picture. Pictures of people are extremely effective when using this technique.
Just be careful that your headline or content is not overshadowed by the picture. You may have to experiment to find the perfect balance between headlines and images.
#4 Keep interrupt marketing to a minimum
Much marketing is designed to “interrupt” the target and get them thinking about a product or service. T.V. commercials, newspaper ads, and magazine ads are all examples of interrupt marketing.
Banner ads are the internet’s version of interrupt marketing. However, they can cause anxiety and alienate visitors. It can make your blog feel like a marketing page and does not necessarily establish trust with the visitor.
Sometimes you have to use banner ads to monetize your blog and that is understandable, just try to keep it to a minimum. It is best to treat your blog visitors as guests. Slowly nudge them towards your conversion goals without getting in their face. If they are at your blog, chances are they are interested in the subject and do not need a shock to their color palette to peak their interest.
#5 If you want something…Just ask
Having an RSS button or an email list sign up form may cause some people to enroll. However, we want to target those who are not necessarily looking for sign up forms.
Asking the reader to do something after they have read your post, is a great way to get conversions. The user may want to express gratitude for you solving a problem they have. Or they may just want to tell you how bad your content is. Asking them to do something may be all the motivation the need to convert.
This concept of reciprocity can be a very powerful motivator. Asking a reader to do something in return for the information you provided tends to yield great results.
Asking for comments
Questions like “What do you think?” or “Please help me with this by commenting your suggestion” can motivate readers to comment.
Asking to sign up for RSS
Please sign up for my RSS feed if you found this post useful
Don’t forget to sign up for our RSS feed so you don’t miss anything
Asking for email addresses
Sign up for our newsletter, everyone else is
I hardly every (almost never) sign up for newsletters, but they got my email address (source):
The verbiage at the bottom says: “We’ll treat your email address with the utmost respect and won’t sell it, rent it or let it stay up past its bedtime watching horror movies.”
Asking for social media hits
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Good friends share good content (social media buttons)
If you have any pointers on conversion rate optimization for blogs or asking for conversions please share in the comments. Thanks.
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