I’ve found that although many Internet marketers spend a lot of time working to attract more visitors (such as creating link bait and promoting it on different social networks), they don’t always have a plan for the new visitors that they attract. Having lots of visitors might make you feel good when you open your analytics program, but if you are not trying to convert them into something more, you are wasting a great opportunity (and not getting a good return on the time you are investing into promotions).
The first thing you need to do is identify what you want your visitors to do. This will vary from site to site, but there are some general goals that many different sites may share.
If you are a blogger, you will probably want to convert your visitors into RSS subscribers.
If you are a small business, you will probably want to convert visitors into potential customers.
If your website earns its revenue primarily through advertising, you will probably want to increase the number of pages your visitors view, the amount of time they spend on your site and the frequency that they return to your site.
Once you have taken time to identify your goals for the visitors that come to your site, you can begin working to achieve those goals. Here are some concrete tips that you can implement to help achieve the conversion goals you set for your visitors:
Offer More than One Way to Subscribe: Almost every blog I see has a big RSS icon at the top of its navigation menu. Many blogs also display the number of subscribers using the FeedBurner chicklet. While these methods are good and can help attract new subscribers, they still don’t do enough to capture visitors and turn them into subscribers. While any person that spends a considerable amount of their time online understands what a RSS feed is, the average person doesn’t know and doesn’t care what a RSS feed is. Therefore, if you have a blog (especially one that focuses on a topic outside of the technology world), you need to offer your visitors the opportunity to subscribe. Additionally, you can ensure that everyone understands what you are offering by saying something like “Have New Posts Sent to Your E-mail” instead of just “Subscribe by E-mail.”
Make Sure Visitors Don’t Have to Search for Contact Information: If you are a small business that wants to convert visitors into potential customers, chances are that they are going to need to contact you over the phone or through email. Therefore, if you want them to contact you, don’t make them even have to think about finding your contact information! You should feature your phone number and email address in the same place at the top of every page of your site. You should also have a page with a contact form, and ensure that the “Contact” menu is included in your main set of links on every page.
Show Related Content: If you want people to view more pages and spend more time on your site, you need to give them a reason to do so! One of the easiest ways to do this is by showing them links to content that is directly related to what they are reading.
If you are using WordPress, one of the best plug-ins to achieve this with is Landing Sites. When someone visits a post from a search engine, the plug-in will use their search engine query to display links to other posts on your blog that are directly related to what they are searching for.
If you aren’t using WordPress, you can still add links to your content to get visitors to dig deeper into what your site has to offer. If you don’t know what content you should link to, I would recommend linking to your content that is will be useful reference material to anyone that reads it.