Nearly every day I hear from site owners struggling with Search Engine Optimization.
They dream of the day when the Google Gods deign to send targeted search traffic to their humble website. THEN they will finally have a steady stream of customers and a viable online business!
Or will they?
There’s more to building a viable online business than cracking the magical SEO code.
A flood of traffic to your website does not guarantee anything — except maybe an unexpectedly large web hosting bill. It’s only when you persuade your visitors to take action that interesting things begin to happen.
I Speak From Experience.
Over the years I became pretty good at the SEO thing. Building sites, creating content, and attracting a steady stream of visitors was easy. I landed posts at the top of Reddit, Digg (remember those days?), and engineered viral campaigns that garnered tens of thousands of Facebook likes and shares.
That was all fine and good, but eventually, I realized that I was terrible at what came next. “Next” being anything that resembled turning a flood of traffic into revenue.
The word “conversion” was not in my vocabulary. What can I say? I’m a slow learner.
I knew nothing about building a long-term relationship with those visitors. I had an old-school blogger mindset. If .0001% of visitors added one of my sites to their RSS feed, I was happy.
It was only after I started encouraging visitors to signup for my mailing list that my online publishing efforts began to look more like a business than a hobby.
Even then it was rough going for quite a while. My early attempts at encouraging visitors to opt-in were awkward. Terrible, even.
There’s more to building your list than shouting “hey, let me send you some email” to anyone who stumbles across your website. You have to give people a reason to want to opt-in.
What I eventually realized is that the reason for the opt-in is similar to the original reason for their visit. My visitors are looking for answers to questions or a solution to some pressing problem.
To get people to opt-in, I had to offer even more answers and better solutions. And do so while maintaining the quality of the content published on my public blog.
The Secret Formula For Getting More Email Subscribers
If there’s a secret formula for getting more email subscribers, it’s this: Offer something of value to your readers in exchange for permission to keep in touch via email. It helps if your offer has so much perceived value that it’s something your visitors would willingly pay to obtain.
I know, that sounds stupidly obvious. And yet so many business owners get it wrong.
Make a promise. Then deliver on that promise. Then over-deliver!
Delight your readers with more than they expected. Anticipate their unanswered questions and solve those problems too.
Do these things and your list will grow. Those anonymous visitors who once turned up at your site and then vanished will turn into raving fans.
Along the way, some of those fans will become happy customers.
Back To My Original Point
SEO is just the beginning. An important first step in getting people to your site. But once you get people to your site, it’s time to start building a relationship.
If your site already attracts even a small number of daily visitors, and you don’t have some form of lead generating offer in place, you’re letting valuable relationships slip away.
The time to start your mailing list is now.