covering your website bases

Covering Your Website Bases: Part 1

Passively Converting Visitors to Followers

Websites have become the defacto 21st Century storefront.  Other than some staple items, people prefer to buy online.  However, unless you need something this very moment, few to no one buys on the first visit – they are doing their homework – and fewer return; because they have the attention span of a gnat.  So how do you make sure you don’t lose any potential sales?  You provide the most convenient way your visitor prefers to stay in touch.  You cover ALL your bases!

The Conversion Conundrum

The number one goal of a website is NOT to make a sale; it’s to capture the identity of your visitor, in order to build a marketing database YOU own, so you can continue the conversation. This is known as a “conversion.”

There are many options; however, every option does not appeal to all visitors. So how do you ensure the most preferred option is available? You provide all of them!

Before the Conversion Can Occur

exchanging valueFor a conversion to occur, you have to provide quality content and incentive.  In other words, there must be an exchange of value for value.  The question visitors ask is, “What will I gain for giving up my email address or following?”  While this is a topic for an entire article which is forthcoming, in a nutshell, your visitor has to have his or her needs met.  What are those needs?

  • Entertainment
  • Education
  • Assistance

This can be provided in several forms. So stay tuned for The Value-for-Value Relationship: Building a strong following.

Assuming you’ve already done that part, now you have to capture them. By capture (which sounds nefarious), I mean start a relationship so when they need what you have to offer, they remember where to come.

What are your conversion options?

There are aggressive and passive conversion methods. The passive conversion methods are:

  • Blog subscription
  • Blog comment form
  • Have a question form
  • Contact Us form
  • RSS Feed

These are simple to incorporate. Let’s take a look at the passive ones this week.  We will cover aggressive methods next week.

Blog Subscription

join our blogThe simplest and most powerful is the blog subscription form. Your blog is your OpEd (opinion editorial) page of your website.  It’s your news. Done correctly (read the series on Blogging Tips here), it will be your number-one traffic generator.  The reason it’s the most powerful is it’s where you share your expertise and can form opinions.  Moreover, people will realize what you know and how you can help them; therefore, if they need what you offer, they will give you an opportunity to compete.

Blog Comment Form

The blog comment form does more than let you know what your audience thinks.  If someone is taking the time to comment on what you wrote, they will most likely be willing to subscribe to your blog.  You can set it that it automatically does so.  Make sure you have a disclaimer, so they know they are being enrolled and have the option to opt out.  When you reply to the comment, suggest they subscribe.  Most people will do what you ask.

Have A Question Form

Most people will think of a question, but are too lazy to ask it.  Putting a “Have A Question” form in your sidebar is a great way to help nudge a person to connect.  As they read and the question arises, seeing the form in the sidebar may prompt them to fill it out.  Once you’ve started the conversation, again, suggest your blog and offer to add them, so they don’t have to bother.  Convenience is always appreciated!

RSS Feed

rss feedRSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.”  Many people use RSS feeds to receive whatever content they subscribe to in one location.  All WordPress sites have an RSS Feed; however, many people are not aware of it. Your RSS Feed, on a WordPress site, is http://<YourDomain>.com/feed/.

If you’ve not added this to your social media icon selections, I recommend you do so.

Contact Us Form

While this one seems to be a ‘DUH’ one.  Many don’t take advantage of using the page to further the conversation.  For example, on my Contact Us page, I also include a button (buttons work better than links) suggesting they fill out my questionnaire for an accurate quote for any services they may need.  I also inform them they questionnaire is a project guide; hence will assist their team.

By using the questionnaire, I’ve created another opportunity to capture the identity and start a possible sale.  This is a passive/aggressive method.

As I previously said, these are simple to incorporate; which is why when I see a site without all of them, it makes me wonder.  Next week, we will discuss aggressive options, which take some effort to add on, but the effort is well worth it.  They will help fill your pipeline and make your website interactive.

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