In the world of digital marketing, conversion is king.

Oh, wait, isn’t content king? Or so you’ve heard? 

So, what happens when these two kings meet out in the wide and rolling spaces of the world wide web? In other words, what can a content website do in order to improve its conversions? 

While they can certainly take a leaf or two out of the eCommerce website’s conversion book, there are also tactics unique and specific to content websites to keep on your radar. 

Let’s explore!

Have Good Website Architecture 

Before a visitor even thinks of converting, they may be tempted to click off your website simply because it’s hard to navigate. 

On a content-based website, this means: 

  • nailing your categories
  • creating appropriate tags (if you are using them)
  • recommending just the right kind of article in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page a visitor is currently on.

Start by making your main menu intuitive and easy to understand. Don’t stuff it with every single page you have. You can use the footer for your legal information and just stick to the main content categories in the menu. 

Subcategories and drop-down menus are a great way to segment your content further if you need to as well. 

When selecting the names for your categories, make sure they make sense to your audience. Some websites complicate matters too much, trying to sound authentic and esoteric, when often the simplest wording will do.

Jar of Lemons has a great menu – it’s concise, easy to understand, and it takes you to the category you want to browse without any added complexity. 

menu

Make Your Pages Fast 

The modern online consumer has a shorter attention span than ever before. If your website takes ages to load, chances are, they will get too impatient and simply leave. 

Making your website fast and light is more in the realm of website design and SEO, and you may need to enlist some help, but here are the main points to focus on:

  • Minimize the number of HTTP requests.
  • Minify your files.
  • Reduce server response times.
  • Find a fast server, ideally one that is not too crowded.
  • Compress your images.
  • Enable browser caching.
  • Use a CDN.
  • Use lazy load.
  • Eliminate all unnecessary plugins.
  • Reduce your number of redirects.
  • Optimize for mobile.

If you are unsure where to begin or what a lot of these terms mean, find an expert who will make all the necessary adjustments. You can inadvertently crash your website by doing something as simple as disabling the wrong plugin. 

Provide Value Early 

There are so many articles covering the exact same topic you are posting that your audience will always be aware of the fact that they can simply return to the SERP and find an article they like better. 

To keep their attention riveted to your page, you need to provide real value as early on as possible, as opposed to asking them to scroll two or three times until they get to the interesting part. 

Start by crafting that perfect introduction. Don’t just define terms and offer a general overview of the topic. Give people a reason to keep reading. 

You can be funny. You can introduce a cliffhanger. You can state something outrageous. You can open with an unpopular opinion. You can state a shocking fact. There are a bunch of different copywriting tricks for writing that tantalizing intro, so test some of them out to see what works best for what type of audience. 

After you’ve introduced your topic, you might also want to move straight over to the actual value of the post. 

This seems somewhat counterintuitive – however, there is a logic to it. 

Your goal may be to keep a visitor on the page for as long as possible, but if they don’t see anything valuable or of interest, they’re not going to stay. On the other hand, you may risk them clicking off earlier by providing all the value right up front. But, chances are they will click through your link.

One way to provide that value is to offer a comparison or summary table that will recap all the most important information. You will go into it in more depth later on, but this early summary will answer someone’s search query, eliminating the need for them to look for another resource. 

Here’s a great example from Charlotte Law, whose website has a simple and effective table above the fold. This is essentially everything a visitor will need, but they’re also likely to stick around, as they now know the rest of the article will deal with the topic they want to learn more about.

charlotte law

 

By letting people click through to your offer early, you will be eliminating the danger of them getting bored by the length of the page. You need to write a whole lot of words to rank and the majority of your readers won’t actually read through all of them, so providing the offer early will improve your conversion rates.

This Find Your Gi post illustrates that point. They sum up their bottom line at the top of the page and allow you to click right through to their offer. If this is all you want to be doing, there is no need to keep reading and scrolling.

website

Make Your Pages Easy to Digest 

You also want your pages to be as light and easy to digest as possible. Cluttered and overcrowded pages tire out the eyes, they are difficult to navigate, and locating the actual point becomes increasingly difficult as well. 

To make your pages easier to digest, you’ll want to:

  • Use lots of white space on every page – It will draw attention to the actual copy and visuals, making them stand out more. Of course, you can use a colour other than white (as long as it’s not black). Neutrals or light pastels work well, and you can add a splash of a darker shade to parts of the page to section it nicely. 
  • Pay special attention to your headings and subheadings – They need to be bold and large (not too literally), and they need to be obvious enough for a reader to gauge your main points. They can then return to the sections they are interested in and skip what doesn’t appeal to them. 
  • Keep your paragraphs short and easy to skim. Anything that feels like a wall of text will never be as appealing as bite-sized chunks of information that are easy to scroll through and still get the gist of. 
  • Make sure the text itself is broken up with plenty of images. Ideally, these images will: reflect the products (if any) you are covering in the post, be cohesive by following the same pattern or featuring the same filter (if any), and add to the post.

Many websites make the mistake of adding an image just for the sake of the image, ending up with visuals that add nothing to the post, but take away a lot of interest from the actual text.

This Newsweek post has done a good job. The images show the actual products and they are of the same format and the same style. Thus, they are adding to, as opposed to taking from, the post itself. 

content

Final Thoughts 

Competing with the millions of content websites out there is becoming increasingly demanding. However, with the help of some of our tips, you should be able to inspire more conversions – which means you can focus your attention on attracting visitors and let your content speak for itself.