The Best Way to Convert Visitors to Supporters is to Forge a Bond
In modern SEO we often encounter the term conversion (rate) optimization. What’s that?
It means making visitors of your site your clients or customers in most cases.
A conversion can also mean to make someone convert from a casual visitor to a subscriber.
Conversion optimization is often a very technical term.
It has to do with A/B testing and landing page optimization among other means.
Behind the idea of conversion optimization is the concept that the Web is full of strangers.
You have to guide visitors once they appear on your site. They follow the path you want them to. It’s usually down the sales funnel.
How to Find Supporters
When it comes to business blogging and attracting supporters who will link to you and share your content it’s a whole different story.
You can’t simply make these people always click the right link, support you on social media whenever needed or even better link back to you mentioning you by name.
The best way to convert visitors to supporters is to forge a bond.
Contrary to popular belief the Web is a place full of friends and acquaintances. You first need to talk to strangers though.
Especially in case you blog and cover a relatively small niche like
- social media
All three niches are closely related so you can combine them like I do.
Meet Your Global Village
There aren’t millions of people but hundreds or even dozens you will meet virtually over an over.
I’m blogging for 2 and half years in this niche and I keep on stumbling over the same people over and over. It’s really like a global village.
Don’t get me wrong though. I do not talk about Facebook friends, I’m not even active on Facebook.
I do not refer to Twitter followers either although many people I’ve known before Twitter on the Web connect with me via Twitter.
SEO 2.0 is about mutual support.
It’s not as simple as a vote or link exchange. Many people try to barter. That’s not it. Some supporters of mine are in industries where my support is of barely any use.
I might have shared their content on social media sites in the past but they are still around today when I don’t.
The best thing about the Web is that it is by design a frustrating place. Yes, it’s an oxymoron.
Be Human to Attract People
People are so glad to meet a friendly human being on the Web amidst this huge wasteland that you can forge bonds much faster.
You don’t have to go to school together to become friends. In many cases
- mutual respect
- an overlap of interest (like blogging in the same niche)
- a short contact
are enough. People will support you not out of direct self-interest but because
- you notice them
- appreciate them
- express interest in what they do
- and contact them.
You wouldn’t get that kind of support by small talk on a party in most cases.
On the Web socializing works faster and better. You skip the small talk. You talk business without talking business.
Why Does it Work? An Example
It’s difficult to grasp and put into words. It works like that though. I’ve written in the past that you have to think relationships not technology.
Let me give you a simple example. When I started this blog in 2007 I was a nobody. There was no reason to become friends with me other than being a nobody as well.
One of my first articles here on the blog was a list of available SEO 2.0 definitions by other people. One of them was written by Lee Odden.
Lee was huge in the SEO industry back then already. Nonetheless he commented on my blog. He was polite and respectful.
Back then we forged a bond of mutual respect. I gave him kudos for offering a good SEO 2.0 explanation.
As he cared enough for the term SEO 2.0 I’ve often referred to his definition from then on.
He showed by his appearance on my blog that no matter who I was my blog was worthy of being noticed.
We’re not friends in the real sense. I’ve never met Lee and we even didn’t email each other until now but we follow each on Twitter and from time to time we may even retweet our links.
Still Lee Odden knew that I’m the crazy guy with the sombrero (my old avatar resembled a Mexican) and the weird name who came out of nowhere to set up one of the most successful SEO blogs out there.
Who Were All Those People? No Idea!
On the other hand most of the other people mentioned in the list who by and large were less important than Lee Odden haven’t showed up on the blog to comment on SEO 2.0
I have no idea who these people were without looking up the article. I don’t remember their names or when I do I don’t remember their SEO 2.0 definitions.
I’m not a supporter of them, neither are they supporters of mine.
I haven’t linked their sites since then again or voted for them. They were simply off my radar because I connect mostly with the people I have a bond with.
Why should I connect with those who don’t care and support them?
When you want to get links and shares on social media make sure people know who you are, that you care and that you forge a bond of mutual respect. This way you can convert them to long time supporters.
If you *really* want to get carried away, you can go so far as to befriend some of the people who you run into frequently online. I’ve found that building even simple relationships has been great not just for my attempts at web popularity but really has made this sort of endeavor more fun and rewarding.
That’s true Steven. For me it’s not that easy though as I live in Berlin (Germany) while most of the international SEO industry or business bloggers blogging in English are somewhere else.
Nonetheless it works sometimes. For instance a SEO company exec who has moved from Canada to Berlin has contacted me and we drink a beer from time to time as he lives nearby now. He has been reading my blog for a while before moving.
This is great commentary. I have started to spend more time reading blogs as I can. It can be time consuming but very rewarding.
Hardly fair to think people should be interested in you if you won;t time the time out to learn about them.
followed Lees re-tweet to get here, I have started using the favorites button in tweets with blog links that look interesting to me so I can visit them later when time allows… this helps a lot.
Hey Craig, thanks for the kind words. Indeed blogging, reading blogs and social networking with other bloggers can be time consuming.
On the other it may work on autopilot in phases when you’re too busy.
Once people know that you are available generally, they will spread the word even if you’re off limits for a while.
You have a great blog btw. I took your social media survey. Did you design it yourself?
P.S.: Do you know http://favstar.fm/ ? It shows the most favorited tweets.
Good point. Every simple thing can be extraordinary if you put your heart on it.
I think if your businesss is customer-oriented, then your articles should somehow make the readers feel comfortable and trust that what you’re saying are true. And yes, it also fun to have friends around the world as you go along with your blogs.