Let’s face it. Conversions are hard. You can drive tons of traffic to your site, but the amount of conversions can still be at a pretty darn low level.
You may ask yourself, what a hell am I doing wrong?
You see a lot of clicks, the banners on your heat maps are heavy with red, you definitely drive some traffic! But the number of those who actually purchased the product is minimal in comparison to what you expected. Is it an unfortunate month, or maybe you should try changing the CTA color from green to blue yet another time?
I’ll tell you something different, my friend!
Today I’ll give you some real advice on how to convert your traffic like a pro. These things may be difficult for you to accept at first, since there will be only a few actual tips on increasing conversion that you can implement right away. The most important message I will tell you would require a huge load of time and effort, but I can promise you the results will be far more than good. They will be outstanding. If you’re ready to approach my advice with dedication, and not rush things up to see instant results, then take a look at my advice on how you can increase your blog’s conversion and turn regular visitors into customers.
Are you on board with me? Then let’s begin!
My first piece of advice to you will be as simple as it gets.
Although some may find it a bit disappointing and naive, I strongly believe this is the only and the most important thing that separates a successful affiliate blogger from unsuccessful one. Most of my points below will tell you what I mean by genuineness and how can you apply those principles to build a trustworthy relationship with your audience.
If you’re genuine, the audience will trust you. Don’t be shy in telling about yourself, however don’t boast too much as well. Let them see the real you, and not just a guy who runs a blog. Show off your character traits, behave like a real person and don’t be afraid to show your weaker side. We’re all humans after all.
If you’re blogging what you’re passionate about (I hope you do), than instead of posting another news or roundup article take some time to write a post where you share your own experience with your visitors. Perhaps you attended a conference and wanted to share your expressions with your readers, or maybe you finally finished one of your old projects and want to know what people think about it. Either way, you will open up to your readers and they will be able to see a little bit of who you are, and that would be the beginning of the conversation between you and your audience. And that puts me to the next piece of advice.
Know Your Audience
Of course, all of you know who you’re writing for. Designers, developers, SEO experts, the list can go on. Maybe some of you even created a detailed persona for each of them and listed their hobbies, favorite TV shows and thought up their pet names. But that’s not the point with knowing your audience. Of course, personas don’t hurt, but you can do very well without them.
By knowing your audience I mean that you have to understand their needs and wants. You have to be very aware of all the problems and difficulties they’re facing. If you know their struggles, you can understand what content you might create which would solve at least one of their problems. If your post helped somebody, it’s already a success, a win-win situation. By knowing your audience well, you will be able to create really useful content that would inspire people and help them solve their problems.
Know Your Product
Again, a simple tip that may seem too obvious at a first glance. You know what products you promote, right? Website templates. Themes. Website designs. Call it however you want. Maybe you also know the inner guts of web templates and can customize them yourself. Maybe you can even develop one from scratch. That’s all really cool, but what if I ask you what makes TemplateMonster’s templates special? Why would you recommend them over templates from other providers?
So, here’s my suggestion. Take one of our templates, for example our latest WordPress theme Monstroid , and learn everything about it. Learn about all the plugins it has, what they can do, decide which plugins you find the most awesome, learn about the guts of Monstroid – its parent Cherry Framework 4. Perhaps you would even want to create a child theme for Monstroid yourself, that would be really cool too.
After learning all these things, you can share them with your readers and tell them what exactly is so great about Monstroid. However you should also mention things that you didn’t like. There is no perfect WordPress theme on the market, and there will be always some downsides for a particular theme. Be honest with your audience, – tell them what you think needs some improvement, and they will respect you for this even more. In such a way you will be awarded with the most important thing you can get, and that is trust.
After taking time and learning about our products you’ll have the required knowledge to share your experience with others and in such a way create new, engaging content. And here goes my next tip.
Your Content. It Should Be Awesome
Yeah, I know you’ve heard it hundreds of times, but I’ll repeat it again.
Content is king!
Your content has to be awesome, outstanding, incredible and amazing. Why? Because we have enough of mediocre content. The web is full of blogs and articles that rewrite each other in different ways only to please the ‘almighty’ Google crawler.
Be different. Make your blog stand out thanks to awesome, high-quality content.
I know that is freaking hard. I get it. You don’t have to make every single article perfect. Sometimes it’s time for something simple. I would say a half of your content can be something that doesn’t require a lot of dedication and energy. However don’t be satisfied with such type of content only. At least one time per week you have to publish something that really resonates with you, something that you’re passionate about and eager to share with your readers. This can be some insightful experience of yours, a tutorial, a detailed guide, or any other type of post that you’re excited about.
Have a Strong Call-to-Action
You may ask, what’s all about those tips you gave me? Write great content, be genuine, I get it, but how would this help me to convert? I want sales, and not just some ‘Jedi talk’ about knowing your audience.
You’re right, because right now we’re missing one very crucial component, and that is call-to-action .
A lot of people make this mistake. I mean really a lot.
It seems so obvious at first, but when you put all your efforts into building great content, and you’re really satisfied with what you’ve done, you may have a thought that tells you, “boy, what an awesome article I made, people will definitely love it, and share it, and click all my small and indistinguishable affiliate links that I put in such a way that only a few will notice!”.
Sure, that is a bit exaggerating, but no, my friend, it doesn’t work that way. No matter how great your blog is, if you make it difficult to share your content and click your affiliate links, your affiliate conversion will be minimal.
Contrast is everything
Your CTA has to be very prominent. In my experience the best CTAs are links and buttons. Banners also work in a way, but banner blindness and AdBlock is not something people made up, those things are real, and they cut off your banner traffic tremendously.
That’s why I prefer text links and buttons. Mostly the design of your site dictates how well the links and buttons look, but the most important thing you have to pay attention to is contrast. Design is a subjective thing, and some people may like a blue button, others a green one, and it doesn’t matter as much as some of you may think. Contrast, that’s what matters. That’s why make sure your links and buttons are distinguishable.
Where Should I Put Those CTAs ?
When it comes to the placement of your CTA, the opinions differ and it mostly depends on the layout of your blog, but my advice here is simple.
People got tired of all the obvious places where you can find banners, they simply ignoring them. If somebody came to your site to read an article, then they would hate to be distracted. I know it, because I also hate to be distracted!
However, with a little bit of creativity, you can draw somebody’s attention without getting the angry response that would result in closing up the browser tab and never ever visiting your website again. I personally was very amused to see the ‘Best Ad Ever’ thingy at Jeffery Zeldman’s site. It’s fun, creative, and grabs your attention as soon as you finish reading a post.
Be creative and make your own ‘Best Ad Ever’ type of thing. Think up a catchy phrase, or experiment with the design and layout of your advertisement block. Also, be sure to try out its different variations, A/B testing really works if you use it properly.
Let This Plugin Insert Your Affiliate Links Automatically
Finally, a tip that you can use right away!
As I said previously, links are great for conversions. There are much more chances that a person clicks your link instead of a banner ad, that’s why it’s important to show those links when appropriate.
There’s is a nice plugin, called WP Auto Affiliate Links. It allows you to put affiliate links onto your site automatically by specifying a keyword.
It works great in a situation where you need to update your older posts with new affiliate links. Would you like to go through each post manually? Me neither. That would be a tedious job, but WP Auto Affiliate Links makes it easy. The plugin does not modify your content, and the links are added only when your content is displayed.
It’s a nice and free solution, that can make it easier for you to manage your affiliate links.
That’s it for now. I could also rant a bit about opt-in forms and A/B testing, but I’ll spare you guys for now. Conversion is hard, but when you’re honest with your audience, act like a real person and know well the product you promote, then it comes naturally.
Right now is your turn.
I want to hear your thoughts about conversion, and I really mean it. For how long have you been blogging, for a year, two, five? You definitely have some experience to share with us. Also, if you don’t agree with me on some of my points, don’t be silent, and tell me what you have in mind.
Matthew Cain is an inbound marketer at TemplateMonster, occasional writer, passionate about content strategy and web design. Be sure to say “Hi” on Twitter .