How To Create High Converting Core Website Pages
In previous posts, we've talked a lot about how to increase conversions on your blog. This post is about how you can double and even triple your conversions just by tweaking a few of the core pages on your site.
Or maybe you just based the design on the theme that you were using at the time, and your only thoughts about conversions came down to plastering a few CTAs in your sidebar in the hopes that some people would click on them...
If that's the case, now is the time to go back and tweak some of the most important pages on your site to make sure that your main pages aren't being overlooked anymore. After all, the whole point of getting people to come to your site is to convert them into either subscribers or customers, right?
This means that if you are not getting those visitors to do something when they get to your site, then you're building no assets, no leverage, and no value. You're basically just wasting your time.
But what 'conversions' are you looking for, exactly?
When we talk about conversions, we're typically referring to the process of getting a visitor to either purchase something or opt-in to your email list, but in actual fact, conversions can be anything at all that you want your visitor to do on that page.
This could be something like getting them to click on a link, post a comment, fill out a survey, and so on.
It's up to YOU what the conversion is for any particular page on your site, and it's important that each and every page that you put on your site (as well as all the blog posts) should be geared toward funneling people into some sort of conversion in the most effective way possible.
Turning Your Blog Into An 'Attention' Funnel
For you to be able to convert people effectively, you have to set up your entire blog as a sort of 'funnel' for the attention you get from your visitors.
You don't want your visitors' focus to be dissipated when they land on your blog, but rather you want to help them focus that attention on certain aspects of your blog and encourage them to take particular actions while they are there.
In most cases, you're going to be attracting that attention mainly through blog posts, and usually one of your posts will be the main point of entry to your site.
There are a few things that you can do with your blog posts to ensure that they are optimized as attention funnels, such as:
Include targeted content upgrades so you can build your email list from within your post
Don't clutter your sidebar up with things that visually distract your readers
Include in-post links to the places on your site where you want your visitors to go
Other than your blog posts, there are some core pages on your site that you need to focus on. While some people may land on these directly, most visitors come to them from other pages on your site.
This makes the pages more 'qualified' since the second click probably means that the visitor is more interested than a casual surfer who does a quick scan and then bounces off.
So, now it's time to review the core pages of your blog, find out what the typical mindset of people who visit the page is, and discover how we can use that information to set the pages up the right way for maximum conversions.
Your Blog's Most Important Core Pages
1. The Home Page
The home page of your site is the one that is most likely to be used as an entry point among your core pages so we'll start with that one. But, what's the mindset of the visitor on this page? Well, they don't know anything about you and, to be honest, they don't really care.
They only have this on their mind:
Is this website relevant to me?
Is there a reason why I should care?
Most people's blog home pages are the 'default' types.
A lot of themes display the latest blog posts on the homepage by default and you will find that most homepages are packed full of up to 10 blog posts, loads of widgets in the sidebar, and other such visual overload things that are totally overwhelming for the readers (and which are terrible for conversions).
Make sure your home page isn't one of those.
This is what your homepage should do instead:
It should communicate your brand and your value proposition very clearly
It should move the visitors down the belief chain (get them to believe more in what you're offering
It should provide your visitors with a very clear 'next step'
The one and only purpose of your home page is to catch those visitors, convince them that you have something that they are searching for, and then get them to go deeper into your site.
It would be even better if you could get them to subscribe at that point. So make sure that the flow of your homepage is simple and effective and your homepage conversions will go up.
2. The Blog Page
Your blog page is the page that lists all the posts on your blog. Often, the 'Blog' link for that page will be in your main navigation menu. On this particular page, your visitors will expect to see a list of your blog posts in chronological order.
Their mindset on this page is to see what else you've got to offer. So, make sure that this page shows them or allows them to find things of value.
If they see stuff that they perceive to be of value, they will click on it and this moves those visitors a bit closer to becoming customers or subscribers. It also increases page views and brings your bounce rate down.
In order to get the maximum effectiveness from that page, here is what you can do:
Reduce clutter in the sidebar. For instance, you could just have an opt-in and some links to your popular posts
Use preview images to communicate the value of each of the posts
Make sure your search function is visible and obvious (only if your blog has enough content)
Don't use plugins on the post lists that repeat for each post. For example, tag lists, category links, and social media buttons can be on the post but they don't have to be repeated for every post on the list. Besides, who's going to share a post they haven't read yet?
3. The About Us Page
Your blog should have an about page because some of the people who visit your site are going to want to know what you're all about. Their typical mindset while on this page is mainly wondering if they should care. And so your about page should be set up to answer that.
This page isn't usually one of your site's entry points, but it's one that your visitors will go to from another page when they're trying to figure out what you're all about. They just want to know if they should care about your blog and this is the perfect chance to convince them.
But, most people drop the ball in this area. They go on and on about their life story and other such stuff on the about page. While you may think that it's important for your audience to know who you are and where you come from, keep in mind that at that point they don't know you yet, so your story actually means nothing to them.
Seems a bit counter-intuitive, I know, but your about page should not actually be about you! It should be about your site and why your visitors should care. Its sole purpose is to sell your audience on your site and call them to action – namely, to subscribe.
4. The Getting Started Page
If you don't already have such a page on your site, it may be a great idea to create one. This page is very effective for conversions especially if you're catering to an audience who are trying to accomplish big things that have lots of aspects to them.
Your blog may be packed full of epic content, but if there's no clear structure or order to it, it will be too confusing and no help to anybody.
Someone who is new to your site wouldn't know where to go or what to do next. You need to create a sort of 'road map' which shows them a clear starting point and the order of progression from there. Their mindset is 'What do I do now?' or 'Where do I begin?' and those are the types of questions that your getting started page needs to answer.
But in order to do that effectively, you must first have a firm understanding of the exact transformation that you provide in your business or blog.
Your transformation will have a beginning, then a logical sequence before the ending. Use this knowledge to answer those questions and you will be able to optimize your conversions on your getting started page.
Here are some things you can do to orient them and show them where to start:
Make sure they understand your site's main purpose, as well as what outcome you're hoping for
Clearly state what their first steps should be
5. The 'Thank You' Page
Most of what we do on our blogs is designed to move our readers down the funnel (to buy something or, more likely, to opt-in to our email list). Obviously, once someone has submitted that opt-in form you're going to show them a 'thank you' page. This is a very valuable piece of internet real estate that you should use to your advantage.
The person has just taken a significant action and given their email address to you.
Now, you must understand that for most people online, once they have already started something, they are more likely to follow through on it. The hardest part is often getting them started, but once they do, it's easy to get them to move forward.
So that person has taken the first step by opting into your email list. This is the perfect opportunity to get them to take another step, so don't drop the ball on this one. If you want to build an effective funnel, your thank you page should ideally contain an offer to buy a relevant front-end product or service. So your thank you page might be something along the lines of:
"Hi, thanks for subscribing! The download I promised is on its way to your inbox and will arrive in a few minutes. While you wait, allow me to show you how..."
And then proceed to educate them and give them the opportunity to purchase something from you. Make sure it's something cheap since they haven't got enough trust for more expensive products. The product they buy from you should come with minimum funds and risk, but it should contain crazy amazing value from you.
That will put that person on your list but it will also show them that you deliver great value and they will be more willing to buy from you in the future.
If you don't have something to sell yet, get started on creating an offer, but in the meantime, here are other things that you can do with your thank you page:
Get them to fill out a survey where you gather useful information
Invite them to a forthcoming webinar ... Or whatever else you can think of.
The point here is not to just say 'Okay, Thanks. Please check your email, confirm... ' and all the other boring information that you see on generic thank you pages out there. That would be a huge waste of such a valuable page.
Now it's time for you to put all of this into action. Which core page on your site do you think would benefit from a little tweaking? Pick one and use this article to guide you. Get started right away and watch as your conversion rates on that page start to explode.
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Updated: Originally published July 27th 2018