Maximizing your blog’s conversion rate can be a challenge. But you can’t convert traffic unless you are RECEIVING traffic in the first place. Let’s take a look at 3 of the most important elements that every blog must have in order to maximize your conversion rate and increase your profit potential.

Blog Must-Have #1: Social Media Integration

These days, there is little hope for a website that doesn’t lend itself to being shareable in some way. How many times have you come across an article that you read online that was so good, so informative, and so worth rereading again, that you felt absolutely compelled to share with your friends, family, or colleagues? Judging by the sheer volume of Facebook likes, Google+ Ones, Twitter Tweets, forwarded emails, Diggs, and Pinterest Pins that are shared everyday, the answer pretty much speaks for itself.

These days, it can be argued that this form of virtual “word of mouth” will eventually come to surpass SEO as the new basis for ranking sites among the next generation of search engine algorithms. No longer will the number of keywords on a page matter as much, nor the number of websites linking to a page matter as much either. What will matter is how viral your content is.

And we are already beginning to see the likes of this. Take Google+ for example. They now have a “What’s Hot” section where you can view postings made people that have garnered the greatest traction in terms most “plus ones”. They also have a “Trending On Google+” section as well where you can see the items that are receiving the greatest number of searches on its social network.

One of the advantages of increasing your site’s trending mobility on social networks is that it not only attracts new visitors to your website, but it makes your site “sticky”, meaning that it offers a way to keep in touch with your visitors so that they can come back for more.

When you “Like” something or “Plus One” something, two things happen:

1) You are telling the world that you are giving it a thumbs up. So others will come to know about it, based on this “recommendation” of yours.

2) You are subscribing to the website’s “news feed”. Any activity or updates the website chooses to publish to the same social network will show up on you… a masterfully stealthy and discreet way to bait visitors into potential conversions, which equals revenue for the website owner.

Blog Must-Have #2: Quality Content

Gone are the days of using article spinning software, article generation software, or paying somebody $3 per article to write mediocre content, laden with grammar mistakes and overly stuffed with excessively used keywords, merely for the sake of search engine consumption for SEO and ranking purposes.

In this day and age, in the post-Panda and post-Penguin era, it is all about offering up unique, original, meaningful, relevant, and engaging content that actually produces value to the reader. In other words, your content must not be full of fluff and filler just for the purposes of trying to satisfy some mythical minimum word count or minimum keyword density “SEO requirements”. Instead, each and every single word in your blog posts needs to contribute to proving a point, educating or informing the reader, or entertaining the reader.

Therefore, every single word in your articles must have meaning and relevance. If you MUST do SEO  (because old habits are hard to break and right keyword usage still counts), you should consider using LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords instead. In other words, you should intersperse your article with as many synonyms and related terms as much as possible, rather than trying to “force” your keywords into the article.

Your keywords should fit your article. Your article should never fit your keywords.

Blog Must-Have #3: Opt-In Email Subscriber List

Despite the fact that social media is becoming a mainstream form of sharing and promoting blogs and keeping people informed, the fact of the matter remains that opt-in email subscriber lists have always been, still are, and will continue to be an extremely effective means of generating extremely targeted leads to whom you can market the products or services that you are promoting through your blog.

Unless you have your visitors voluntarily subscribing to your email list while on your site, there is a chance that they may never visit your site ever again after their initial visit. That visitor could potentially be lost forever once they click on the back button. An email list is a passive way for readers to receive updates from your site, without having to log onto a social network. 

An email list provides you with inroads to keep in touch with visitors for days, weeks, months, or even years to come, long after they will have made that initial visit to your website.

What makes opt-in email list-building more effective is that, unlike social networking, you can offer your subscribers something in exchange for their sign-up. For example, you could send them a free e-book, or you could send them coupons, or give them a discount toward some product or service you are offering.

Here are some steps on how to create a killer opt-in form and maximize your subscriber conversion rate (the ratio of visitors to your website to confirmed subscribers):

  1. Don’t be afraid to give away free information on the fear that subscribers may feel that they don’t need to pay to buy your product or pay to subscribe to your service. The Internet IS full of FREE information everywhere, but if you can compel them to sign up, then that means that they are genuinely interested in what you have to say. You will then be able to gradually establish your credibility and earn their trust, so that when you do market products or services to them, they will be more apt to pay for them.
  2. Your opt-in list should be prominently displayed somewhere “above the fold” on your blog. “Above the fold” means the visitor to your website should not have to scroll down or hit the Page Down key in order to discover that you have an opt-in email list subscription form there.
  3. Consider placing your subscription form in the sidebar of your blog. This way, the subscription form will appear not only on the main page, but also on every single inner page. If your visitors land on your website directly on one of your inner pages as opposed to your main page, wouldn’t you want them to also be able to see your opt-in form?
  4. Aesthetically speaking, you want your e-mail sign up form to use a color scheme that stands in stark contrast to the main color theme of your website. Otherwise, it might go unnoticed and visitors who have a tendency to ignore and tune out advertisements will just dismiss your opt-in form as just another advertisement. Of course, the color scheme must be attractive, not tacky.
  5. DO use your best sales pitch to persuade people to sign up. The verbiage above the subscription form should make use of catchy slogans, wit and humor, should imply scarcity, it should incite the visitor’s curiosity, and play upon their need to solve their problem or answer their questions about whatever topic they were looking for. “Cure Your Acne Today”, “How Badly Do You Want Your Lover Back In Your Arms Again?”, “Never Be Made Fun Of For Being Fat Again”, “Ready To Make More Money Than You Know What To Do With?” These are all examples of the terse, yet effective, types of verbiage you should use on your email subscription sign up form.
  6. Avoid using the words “OK” or “Submit” on your opt-in form’s submit button. This is drab, boring, and is likely to cause the form to go unnoticed. DO use some other catch expression like “Count Me In”, “Subscribe Me”, “Let’s Go”, “Game On”, “I Want To Learn How To Cook”, “I Want To Lose Weight”, “Tell Me More”, or “I Love Justin Bieber”. You get the idea. This will arouse the visitor’s curiosity and compel them to want to subscribe, just to see what happens.

So if the money is in the list, then isn’t it time you started creating one for your blog?

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts. What are your must have elements of a blog?