You can’t build a blog without building a loyal audience; most bloggers will know that ‘increasing blog subscribers’ is a crucial part of building a successful blog, it is something that many newbie bloggers fail to recognize and even take seriously.
Essentially there are two pages on your blog that is considered most essential, and in many cases the most visited too (for the majority of bloggers), so which pages are we talking about here? We’re talking about the ‘homepage’, and the ‘about page’.
If these aren’t amongst the most visited pages on your blog, then you might want to check your Google Analytics to identify which pages are.
In this post we’re going to focus mainly on your blog’s homepage.
In my opinion making better use of your blog’s homepage means going beyond the conventional method. The method of just using the homepage to display a list of your latest posts and some sidebar items.
Here’s a positive suggestion, why not use your blog’s homepage as a powerful landing page to help you convert more visitors into subscribers?
In fact visit some top blogs like ProBloggingSuccess, CopyBlogger, NathalieLussier.com or the SmartPassiveIncome blog, you’ll immediately notice that these popular blogs use their homepage (static) as a lead capture page for obtaining email subscribers.
If you want to break away from convention and do something similar, here are some tips on how to make the most of your blog’s static homepage and convert more visitors into subscribers, loyal subscribers that is.
Note: I’m using a third party child theme built for Genesis which is widget ready for a static home page. In other words I don’t need to build a separate static page and make changes to the reading settings. Depending on which theme you’re using, you may first have to create a static page (home) and a blog page (blog). Here’s a short tutorial video by Nathalie Lussier demonstrating how to create a WordPress front page.
OK now let’s get started with some top tips on converting more of those blog visitors into subscribers.
6 Ways To Boost Conversions Using Your Blog’s Home Page
#1. Place your important elements above the fold to boost conversions
If you check out the screen shot below I took of my blog after running it through a useful tool provided by QuickSprout.com, you’ll notice that there is a recommendation for where I should place essential elements, below the fold line.
In my case the important element being my ‘call to action banner’, where clicking upon the ‘Join Magnet4Marketing’ banner will take visitors to my email opt-in page. However you might choose to add your email opt-in form directly here instead of taking visitors to another page, it’s entirely up to you.
What ever you choose to do just ensure that you place your actionable element above the fold where your visitors can see it, without having to scroll down the page.
#2. Highlight the ‘benefits of subscribing’ to your visitors
Do not just add an opt-in form with no information or good reason why your visitors should consider subscribing. If you want to increase conversions, make good use of bullet points, arrows or ticks to highlight the key benefits of signing up to your email newsletter.
If you are providing an incentive for subscribing, such as giving away a free eBook or exclusive content, make sure you make this clear when you highlight the benefits.
#3. Keep it simple and keep it clean
If you really want to boost those conversions, avoid placing other distracting elements above the fold. In my experience I have found that displaying ads or banners or any other gimmicky distractions in the same area as your ‘opt-in call to action’ can affect your opt-in conversion rate. If you’re in doubt, consider doing multivariate testing.
#4. Optimize your images
If you’re using images on your homepage just ensure that they’re optimized for SEO and faster loading. If your images aren’t optimized for faster loading, download each one of them onto your computer and then use the http://tinypng.com/ tool to shrink and optimize them before uploading them back into your blog’s homepage.
#5. Optimize your opt-in form
Make it really simple and appealing for visitors to subscribe to your email list. Here are a few tips for doing just that:
- Make the design elements of your opt-in form visually appealing.
- Don’t ask for too much information, name and email address is usually enough.
- Let your visitors know just how much you hate spam and respect their privacy.
- Use an effective headline title for your opt-in form.
#6. Track your goals and conversions in Google Analytics
Optimizing your call to action or opti-in form is one thing, you also need to ensure that what you’re doing is actually working and getting you results. Consider setting up goals in Google Analytics to track your goals and conversions. Check out the video below on how to setup Google goal tracking in Analytics for your email opt-in page and thank you page.
Experiment and test everything, track what works and what doesn’t work but don’t over complicate things. Keep your blog homepage clean and clutter free, don’t confuse your visitors, ensure they know what your blog is about and what they’re signing up for.
Persevere with increasing your conversions and in time your blog will be booming with hundreds and even thousands of loyal blog subscribers.
OK so you’ve read my tips here, over to you.
Are you making better use of your blog’s homepage to convert more visitors into subscribers? Do you use a static homepage or do you prefer to display your blog posts on the homepage? Leave me a comment below as always troops.