Blogs, Data, and Conversions: Easy Website Improvements

Now that you’ve used technology to give your startup an edge, it’s time to focus on a singular goal: Improving your website. While higher than the rest of the world, only 56 percent of entrepreneurs worldwide are comfortable searching for and acquiring new clients. Improving your website, especially your blog, can entice the clients to come to you.

Pareto’s 80/20 Ratio

The 80/20 principle describes more things than you would think: Material wealth, peas in pea pods, how much the population owned Italy at the turn of the 20th century, and products that make a company’s profit. Take note of that last one — about 80 percent of your company’s products will be made from only 20 percent of your products. Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto discovered this principle in the 1800s. Today, it is often used in a business context.

For our purposes, it relates to promotional articles. In short, 80 percent of your content is not focused on being promotional. Instead, it simply engages your audience, inviting comments and shares. For example, discussing migration patterns in America or providing a guide to roofing your home. The overall goal is to offer valuable information to readers — or at least post something interesting to foster engagement — rather than promoting your newest product or service repeatedly. Search engine optimizer giants Moz refer to this as the “BuzzFeed Approach.

What to Post

Here’s another example: Energy drink makers Red Bull don’t just splash their cans and logo across every post; their audience is more interested in extreme sports. They carefully tailor their Instagram using this knowledge. A recent video of downhill skateboarding does not show their product or logo in the video, and has more than 706,000 views. That leaves the other 20 percent of posts for promotional content. These showcase services you offer, a new product, or a sale. This isn’t to say the other blog posts can’t link back to products or services.

Let’s look at how a specific niche handles this: cars. Unitronic focuses on providing both hardware and software for cars, so they provided a blog post on how parts have gone from analog to digital. A tire vendor offers a beginner’s guide to off-roading. Both offer information to the reader, and a link to products, in this case car parts and off-road tires. 

Another unlikely niche for blog posts is data recovery. Data recovery is only a small part of a business bouncing back from a disaster, a blog post on how to put together a business continuity and disaster relief plan can show how their product fits into a larger picture. It's a holistic approach to a problem, but a problem that can, in part, be fixed by a data recovery company.

Landing Pages

For added benefit, these posts can point to a landing page, as well, acting as an ad that you don’t have to pay for. Typically, a landing page is what a potential customer will find on the other end of an ad. But, there is nothing preventing you from linking to the landing page in a blog post. The post won’t look overtly promotional, will provide the reader with valuable information, and link to a relevant product.

Landing pages are easy to build, and have a single goal -- conversion. Specifically for a single product, without muddying the waters with links to other parts of your site, unlike a homepage.

The point of landing pages is to provide the most optimized way to increase your conversion rate.

Integrating Customer Data

Once you have blogs, landing pages, and readers, you can collect data on their usage and behavior on your site. You can then integrate this data into your business decisions, such as determining what days and times your customers typically use your site.

With this data, you have a better idea of when to post content or new items. Trying a new idea on your website? This data will tell you if you are getting a return on your investment. If not, it signals you should pivot to a new idea. It can also give you a good idea why a customer becomes a repeat customer.

Analyzing consumers is key, especially if too many people view the site and don’t heed the call to action. Another important question the data might answer: Why are users adding a service or product to their cart, but not checking out?

Finally, you can predict future purchases with customer data. Display these predicted purchases, enticing the user to make a sale now instead of later.

Still not convinced customer data is useful? Based on buying habits, Target correctly predicted a customer was pregnant before her father found out -- and that was in 2012.

By improving your blog and landing pages, and then integrating customer data back into your business decisions (particularly concerning your website), you can greatly improve not only your customer experience, but also conversions and engagement.

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017
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