At bottom, every conversion consists of a visitor who decided to make a purchase. If the person doesn’t make a purchase, there’s a reason or two.

Maybe he or she is not ready to buy, or perhaps the prospective customer feels the need to consult with a spouse. But maybe the user experience is a challenge.

Plenty of tools and strategies have been designed to optimize conversion rates by improving the user experience, but intermediate step has to come first .. and you have to know exactly what’s going on before you can fix it.

This may require experimenting with split testing, and diving deeper into what your users’ experience.

Put tools and strategies on pause while you research

How user experience could be dampening your conversion rate typically cannot be diagnosed without research. Despite the general consensus that certain strategies are inherently effective, without research data that is specific to your users, you can’t be certain.

For an in-depth look at conversion rate optimization based on data collection that can drive appropriate strategies, read this article from Econsultancy.com. Several experts weigh in on essential issues such as what to measure, UX elements to avoid, CRO tools, and cutting-edge strategies.

One expert, Paul Rouke, discusses how possession of the latest and greatest tools can sometimes cause your employees’ expertise to be overlooked. “The most important tool for businesses is what they have huge access to – their employees’ brains. So often people and their expertise and ideas are overlooked or under-utilised – or simply not given the time to apply themselves to conversion optimisation strategy.”

If you’re ready to dive into conversion rate optimization prior to collecting data, this article explains how. You might be surprised to know that your blog can have an impact on your conversion rate, even if your sales are closed elsewhere.

Here are two primary reasons:

  1. Visitors regard your blog as a resource until proven otherwise

Visitors are trained to think of blogs as a resource for information. You can easily make several mistakes with your blog that can convince visitors it is not such a good resource after all. Failed expectations will cause prospective conversions to disappear.

What makes a blog a good resource?

  • The content has to be useful and relevant to the visitor. Your website, which includes the blog, must exist for the sake of your visitors. So the content should be relevant them … not just a showcase for your business. This distinction is vital.

For instance, if you’re a life coach, your visitors will be looking for a resource that helps them to live a happier, successful, and more meaningful life. You, on the other hand, hope to sell your services.

For your blog to be successful, you have to blend these two motivations. A blog that’s filled only with articles that advertise your services isn’t necessarily going to be a useful resource for your market.

However, a blog that offers the same value as your actual services will be highly attractive and relevant to prospective customers. An example of blending what’s relevant to your visitors with your end goal (sales or customer acquisition) is this blog from Green Residential, a property management company in Houston.

Every article is written for the broad segment of the firm’s target market: landlords, investors, and homeowners. Each piece is a valuable resource for the market, and ends with a call to action that supports Green Residential’s desire to acquire clients.

  • Your blog is readable and relatable. Some designers get carried away with fancy typography that looks impressive but isn’t easy to read. There’s nothing wrong with being creative, but if your blog isn’t readable, people will bounce and you’ll never see them again. This is obviously bad news for your conversion rate.

Even the Conversion Benchmark Report from Unbounce.com discusses the importance of reading ease, page length, and emotion/sentiment, and how they can affect your conversion rate.

  1. Your blog is an extension of your website’s user experience

First impressions, far more than second and third, count for a lot on the Internet … but they aren’t everything. Visitors aren’t interested in how great your user experience used to be; they want a great user experience right away and always.

Creating an effective first impression carries you through that initial visit. But you have to transform that first impression into a user experience that moves with the visitor across every page of your website, including every page of your blog.

When a visitor navigates to your blog, the experience should be seamless. The design of the blog might be different from that of the rest of your website, but it shouldn’t be any lower in quality.

Your blog has the power to increase your conversion rate when  the content is relevant and well-presented. The point is to keep people engaged no matter where they are on your site.

If you decide to collect the data you need to optimize the design elements, working on your blog is one of the best places to get started.

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