Ways to Turn Website Traffic into Subscribers
Getting to 100,000 hits a day can feel ideal, but if your conversion rate is too low, it won’t do you a ton of good. For this reason, many focus on turning traffic into conversions (and that’s GREAT); however, if you’re struggling there is a stepping-stone you can take in between. Focusing on turning your traffic into subscribers (and then ultimately your subscribers into conversions) can be a great strategy for those who need that extra foundation to ensure a conversion. Furthermore, if your traffic is already converting, you want them to convert again, right? Really focusing on driving that traffic to your email newsletters, for example, can help make this happen.
Turning Website Traffic into Subscribers
You will find that many of the ways you succeed in funneling traffic to your subscribe buttons is much the same as when you’re trying to get the traffic to do anything—read a specific article, watch a specific video, purchase a product, etc.—all of which are stepping stone to conversions in their own right. A few strategies include:
Create Quality Content with the Right CTA
It’s no secret that having quality content is important, and a call to action (CTA) helps to make the difference between just some article on the Internet and an article that results in, well, an action. Google measures the quality and increasingly values each page while matching it with the right search phrases. The example below is great because it doesn’t just ask you to subscribe; it entices you. Plus, it has a great design, which we’ll get into the next point:
You should keep in mind that it is also important to segment your target audience according to your needs to create the perfect CTA. The user who is reading your content knows what it is that you want, so you must offer content that generates value and convinces you that your products or services are the best purchase they can make.
Focus on Design for Subscriptions
Making a good choice in the theme of your content is key to attracting visitors and getting them to subscribe. There are certain websites out there that are hard-hitting on the “buy this now” vibe, and they’re easy to spot right away, but those that focus on conversions aren’t always as easy to spot. Get creative, and instead of putting CTAs everywhere, stick to one or two and let the design do the talking. Consider the example below from the fashion company Ugmonk. As you can see, their main focus isn’t conversions, but rather subscribers. They have a CTA for people to keep shopping, but their CTA regarding subscriptions is much larger:
Use Different Types of Content and Lightboxes
Again a fairly obvious tip, but varying the type of content you publish helps reach different audiences. Use infographics, videos, case studies, experiments, news, tutorials, compilations, and everything you can think of that can add a different touch to your content every time you publish. Use your subscription button as a CTA and you’re good to go.
Lightboxes are also excellent ways to highlight your CTAs and focus on subscribing. Lightboxes don’t always work well for a purchase-now CTA because they occur so quickly when visitors may not be ready, but asking for subscribers works great. Search Engine Journal (shown below) actually employs this very tactic with much success, likely because we don’t just ask for you to subscribe, but tell you what you’ll get with your subscription right away.
Advertise Your Subscription: Solve Problems with Your Content
The content that best converts is, undoubtedly, the one that responds to a problem. A lot of the searches made in Google are to learn to do something or solve a problem, so if you manage to help those people with your content and also do it using some tool or product that you sell. A great trick is to give readers a taste of how to solve a problem, but ask them to subscribe for more tips. HubSpot is a master at this trick by publishing headlines that would presumably solve a problem, giving you a taste of their solution, and then asking you to do something else (in their case, sign up for an eBook, in our case, subscribe to a newsletter). Below shows the end of the piece and how they add in their “ask.”
It helps if you have a newsletter that focuses on this one specific problem, however, so for many businesses it makes sense to have two different segments when sending out emails to subscribers.
Your Next Step
After you’ve found success with all of the above, make sure you don’t lose that subscriber! There is plenty to focus on this, usually by focusing on your content, but one of the most important things to remember is to always analyze.
Analyze Your Content
Measuring all the content you create will help you know which methods or topics have worked best and which ones to repeat later. For example, you could analyze basic web metrics such as time spent reading an article, bounce rate, or SEO metrics like inbound links or authority articles. In addition, other metrics such as the strength of CTAs in social networks and the number of subscribers or sales it has generated would also be very interesting stats to jot down.
The important thing about this analysis is to discover the type of content that works best for each goal. That is to say, if your goal for this month is to increase the subscribers of your website, thanks to a thorough analysis, you could decide how to generate more traffic or traction.
The moral of the story is that sometimes jumping straight to the must-get-conversions-now mentality will slow you down. Once you have a great website, great SEO, and content and/or Google AdWords ads on the web that are driving traffic to your website, you can take that traffic and convert it into subscribers. From there, you can take those subscribers and turn them into loyal customers that are continually in touch with your company. In other words, set up a series of stepping stones to create a solid foundation for growth!