Double Your Leads Instantly With This Simple Evergreen Tweak

We all have them, those evergreen posts that bring in traffic like crazy. Day after day these posts bring in gobs of traffic, sometimes literally accounting for even half of the total traffic to our blog. Did you know that you could literally double your leads on these few posts alone?

You see, while it might make you feel good (and it should) to see all that traffic, more traffic isn’t all that you need from your blog. In fact, it is often true that higher traffic pages also bring in the lowest conversion rates. This means that more people arrive at your page through search, take one look, read what they need, and head the other direction. They never materialize into a tangible lead or long-time reader.

This is often referred to as high bounce traffic. It usually isn’t good, unless you are willing to do something about it.

Making A Bounce Count

We recently did an inventory of high bounce pages on our own marketing blog. We had several posts – some a couple of years old – that were receiving a large share of the traffic to our site. They were good posts, and were great at being a continuous draw for readers, but they had a fatal flaw: most people came and then left quickly. The traffic was there, but it wasn’t doing us any good.

Chances are that your blog suffers from the same problem. What can you do about it?

The first step is to understand how your traffic is coming and going. To do this, use Google Analytics.

A simple content breakdown of your sites pages will reveal a lot. You can get here by clicking Content > Site Content > All Pages from the Google Analytics dashboard. You should see something like this:

With Google Analytics, you can easily identify high bounce pages.

With Google Analytics, you can easily identify high bounce pages.

The main thing that you are looking for here are pages with an extremely high bounce rate. We targeted pages that offered a 85% or higher bounce rate. We hypothesized that with a few simple changes we could significantly improve our daily lead conversions on these specific pages. Since they commanded such a large amount of traffic, we believed that they were key targets for conversion optimization.

Our hypothesis proved true, and we doubled our leads in less than a week. Here’s how we did it.

Find A Cookie

The key making all of this work is what we have come to call ‘the cookie’, that reward you offer up front. What are you dangling in front of your readers? What reasons are you giving them to come onboard? For many bloggers, a free ebook or an offer to join an email mailing list is the major goal. For others, it may be a more in-depth sales lead.

The key is matching your cookie with the content that your users are viewing. Because they are already on a specific post, it is pretty easy to understand what content your audience is looking for.

Double-Your-Leads-website

Visitors looking for general help on making a better website were first shown a pop-up offering a related ebook before they could access the content they came looking for.

Double-Your-Leads-facebook

Visitors that wanted help with optimizing Facebook were already primed for any Facebook content. Why not offer them a free ebook first?

Double-Your-Leads-twitter

A high-bounce post about something as simple as setting up a Twitter profile indicated there were many new Twitter users eager for help on using Twitter. We had an ebook just for them.

In our example, you can clearly see that Twitter and Facebook are the key topics of interest. We already had ebooks available on those key topics. We decided to offer these visitors an ebook on the topic they were looking for in a more persistent way: they could not immediately access the blog post unless they dealt with the pop-up offer. Visitors to a post about Facebook would be encouraged to get an ebook about the Facebook Timeline. Readers of our popular Twitter posts would get an offer for a free ebook about Twitter.

The important thing is that your cookie should be something that these visitors are clearly telling you they’re interested in. If they are arriving on a Facebook page, don’t offer an ebook about Pinterest. They’ve already told you what they wanted, so give it to them. The cookie must relate to the content if you want them to bite.

Make the Pitch

The trickiest part is making the pitch, deciding how you will present the cookie to the reader. We based our decision on what our pitch would be after considering some things we knew about our goals, our blog, and its audience:

  • We wanted to target visitors on high bounce pages only. No need to hassle every reader on every post.
  • Because we knew the content of the high bounce page, we wanted to offer visitors something they would actually want.
  • We offered a high-quality cookie, and gave them a good reason to convert. It was geared to help them just as much as us.
  • We opted to be a little more aggressive on these pages than we normally are, because of the high bounce rates. Most of these visitors are leaving anyway!

For our blog, we opted to create a popup box on each of the high traffic pages offering a free ebook for download. Readers could get around it by clicking the darkened area, but there was no obvious way to close the pop-up box otherwise.

Download a free Facebook marketing ebook.

Perhaps a pop-up isn’t something you want to use. There are other methods that might fit your blog better. The hello bar at the top of the page would work. Even an inline form in the middle of the blog post, asking them to sign up for your email list or free ebook would do the trick.

What you choose to do is based on what you know about your audience, and what you’re able to set up on your own blog. You’ll want to watch conversion stats to see how well your method is working, and if you need to be more (or less) aggressive.

Pitch Selectively

You might wonder why we wouldn’t do this on every blog post, if it increased our leads so much. In our case, it mainly has to do with the method we chose, the pop-up.

Respect Regular Readers: We wanted to avoid the “annoyance” factor with our regular readers, those who were signed up for our emails and coming into our blog repeatedly. They’ve already been “converted” on our site and are on our email list. The last thing we want to do is throw a pop-up in their face repeatedly. Since newer posts still received traffic from our Facebook and Twitter fans, we didn’t want to bombard them, either.

Pop-Up Intrusion: Let’s face it. Pop-ups, while they convert, are annoying. Rarely do readers enjoy dealing with a pop-up before getting to the content. The traffic on these particular posts we chose are one-time visitors, interested in getting the content and leaving. We placed the possible conversion as more important than annoying them. Using the hello bar, or inline forms, is less intrusive and you could very easily use them with higher frequency without having to worry about these issues. A pop-up is fairly aggressive and persistent.

Content Relevancy: Other posts get high bounce traffic, too, and they may be something we’ll consider adding pop-ups to in the future. It’s definitely something we’re keeping an eye on, not just for targeting pages for pop-ups, but also as a suggestion for possible ebook topics that our traffic stats tell us people want.

For now, we decided to focus on these top few posts that we’ve seen consistently topping the charts for over a year. We want to watch how these conversions do, which leads us to the next important aspect: paying attention to the numbers.

Watch The Results

The fun part is actually watching the conversions roll in.

You will want to identify your key metrics before you make the switch so that you can measure the boost in performance  This helps you prove  scientifically that your changes made a difference. It also allows you to make additional tweaks and changes that are influenced by hard data. A change based on solid data is always better than a best guess.

We use KISSmetrics to track our own conversions.

Improve your conversions by 50% instantly.

The results were clear. In a mere 7 days, our lead conversions were up by over 50%! It was easy!

Conclusion

Most of the time, improved conversions and better traffic is right under your nose if you choose to make the time to look at what your analytics are telling you. Answers to what your audience wants are right there, and you only need to learn to interpret what you’re seeing and think of ways to use it to your advantage. This particular method didn’t even require a deep dive into the numbers; it only required us to pay attention to the high traffic posts. Instead of being satisfied with mere traffic numbers, we wanted to do something with that traffic.

As bloggers, it can be easy to focus on the blogging, leaving important conversion tracking and blog improvements in the dust. It never hurts to tweak, especially if we put a little science behind our experiments.

About the Author: Garrett Moon is a founder at Todaymade, a web development and content marketing company, and the makers of CoSchedule, a WordPress-integrated app that makes content marketing and social media easy.

  1. Hey interesting idea. Could you please share which tools/plugin we can use to target readers of a particular post and show them a popup to unlock the content?

    Tanks,
    Vijay

    • I agree with you Vijay, this is an amazing and creative way that will help us reduce the bounce rate and convert readers to leads. As Garrett mentioned, popups are really annoying and personally I would never use it unless I have a great blog and articles like KissMetrics. The best option for us is to go with the hellowbar or any relative plugin. Also a form within your post will do so I believe we have many options.

      Best of luck-Ayman

    • For us, most of this was accomplished with custom code, however the hello bar mentioned would be pretty easy to add to any blog.

      There are probably other good solutions that work like plugins. Hopefully others will have suggestions in this area. Thanks for reading!

    • Vijay if you’re using WordPress, check out Ninja Popups on Code Canyon. It’s a popup manager where you can set different lengths of time for when it should show (e.g. when they first arrive, after x seconds, or when they are about to leave, etc), and different popups for different content. Also very easy to style it and make it look attractive.

      • I agree with others about using less intrusive ways to message users. Thank you for all the recommendations on plug-in options guys!

        There could be a penalty for full page overlays that cover content – if your bounce rate actually increases because of the popups and time spent on page goes down, that will signal lower relevancy and can affect your SERP. Would need to monitor those metrics closely after implementation in addition to conversion #s.

        The suggested strategy would work best for content that is unique and not easily available elsewhere.

  2. Awesome post! Loved the “cookie” idea. Along with that, could you suggest some easy to implement cookies for those of us that don’t have the time/ resources to write an e-book?

    • Well, you could always compile a PDF of your best blog posts, or a checklist or your most helpful tips.

      It doesn’t have to be as large as an ebook, just useful to your readers. I am sure you have something. We’ve even made downloads out of old handouts that we had previously created for customers.

  3. Thanks for your valuable post.

    As you said like that i am getting more bounce rate, May i know how i protect that. Through this blog post i did not get any answer for this question. I think so this blog only for eBook promotion. Is it possible to tell publically “how to manage Bounce Rate”.

  4. Really great post and information you shared here I wish I was at that stage in my blog where I was converting traffic to leads to sales in time I have only started cheers again for your top onfo

  5. Excellent article and love the way you found poor performing pages via Google Analytics and improved these to increase conversions.

    The difficulty with the strategy of course for many small business people is having the time and budget to create a cookie / information product that suits each market. Its a big expense and if your site traffic is low, the payback is slower.

    Nonetheless critical if you want to get a result.

    Dale

    • I hear you concerns Dale, but I think the creation of “cookies” is actually a lot easier than people think. What about compiling your top ten blog posts into a simple pdf? Often times, our ‘cookies’ are right under our nose.

  6. It’s always a good idea to look for new ideas to get leads or conversions. I really appreciate your post.

  7. I’ve been having this exact problem for a while now, and trying to convert those one-time visitors has been a challenge. I thought I needed to create one juicy offer to appease the masses. Thanks for showing me the light! And thanks for the suggestion of Ninja Popups, I’ve been reviewing popups to use and I hadn’t come across this one, so I’ll take a look. Thanks again!

  8. Great idea Garrett,

    I’m going to put this to work on two pages I have tons of traffic on, but low conversions/engagement from.

    I’ve tried a dozen of things to engage on these but never thought of page specific bait/cookies [slaps forehead]

    Thanks. I think I’m going to owe you a digital beer in about a week.

  9. Great advice, guys. You know, I’ve always been pretty deeply against pop-ups, but I never thought of using them selectively on old pages that my normal audience isn’t going to see anyways. If I’m going to lose most of those people anyways, it might not be a bad idea. Great content, as usual!

  10. Garrett, nice post. Some very helpful ideas in here. I’m going to head over to GA and look at my bounce rates by page on my blog.

  11. What is the “conversion” exactly? Collecting an email address? Or an actual sale?

  12. Thanku for sharing………………..

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