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My Getting Started Page: Success or Failure?

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My Getting Started Page: Success or Failure?

By Pat Flynn on

For over a month, the Getting Started with Smart Passive Income page has been live on this blog, and today I’m going to share some interesting numbers about this new page with you.

This page was created to fill an apparent hole on my blog (and many other blogs), which is a clear starting point for newbies and unique visitors who may be overwhelmed or confused upon first arrival.

I was getting used to seeing emails just like the one below every single week:

Starting Point Request from an SPI Reader

To address this issue, I created a page which comprised of the following elements:

  • A high-quality welcome video to introduce myself and quickly explain where to start.
  • Quick definitions of the terms I would be using.
  • Links to my introductory podcast sessions.
  • Clear instructions on the first steps that one should take.
  • Links to my most popular posts.
  • An opt-in form for my newsletter / email list.
  • A button to easily share the page.

Then, I hit the publish button…

Mixed Reviews

On April 27th, the page went live and it was met with a lot of mixed reviews.

Some people loved it and thought it was perfect.

Others thought it was way too much information, especially for someone who is brand new to all of this.

As someone who has done a number of redesigns before, I know that it’s impossible to please everybody, especially if you have a rather large audience, and typically I would let the numbers and statistics do the talking before making any changes.

But, I did agree that the page was too overwhelming (it was about 3000 words in length) so I split the page into two.

The original page has everything outlined above except for the “links to my most popular posts”, which is now on its own separate page.

Really – these are two separate pages that address two different types of people looking for different kinds of information, so I think this was definitely the right move.

Numbers and Statistics of the SPI Getting Started Page

For the purposes of this analysis, I’ll be looking only at the stats for the past month (May 12 through June 12th), which does not include the first 2 weeks after the page went live. When it went live, I wrote a blog post about it, tweeted it heavily and also promoted it on Facebook. Those things would probably inflate the numbers to figures higher than how the page would perform under normal circumstances.

Visits

The first obvious questions are, how many times has the page been visited and are people staying on it?

Starting Page StatsAs you can see, over the last 30 days the page has been viewed by 6,152 unique visitors who are spending an average of 13 minutes and 27 seconds on the page, with a bounce rate of only 4.8%!

This means that for every 100 people that visit the page, less than 5 people leave within 30 seconds without clicking on anything else.

(A “bounce is”, according to Clicky: A visitor who has only one pageview, and who is on your site for less than 30 seconds.”)

These numbers are out of this world, and you can see just how this particular page performs against the rest of the site. A majority of the people who land on this page are definitely reading and consuming it, just like I had hoped.

How Many People REALLY Click to View the Getting Started Page

Getting Started Page Teaser on HomepageIf we divide 6,152 visitors into 138,702 visitors (6,152/138,702) we’ll get the percentage of visitors to the blog that actually visit the getting starting page, which is about 4.43%.

This isn’t bad – but it’s really not a good number to look at because not everyone who visits our blogs view our homepage, which is where my “Click Here to Start” teaser is located.

Many people land on our blogs directly from Google or from a referring link that point to a specific blog post on our site – not the homepage. As you can see below, my homepage had only been visited by 74,958 people, which is 54% of the total visits on my site.

Uniques to Homepage

So, the better number to look at is # of visits to the getting started page, divided by the number of people who visit the homepage.

6,152 / 74,958 = 8.21%

And just to put this in perspective, this page was the #1 clicked page that people went to from the homepage.

  1. Getting Started Page: 8.21%
  2. My Income Reports (Page): 6.26%
  3. Niche Site Update – New Content, Record Earnings, What’s Next (Post): 5.83%
  4. My Monthly Report – May 2011 (Post): 5.10%
  5. A Day in the Life of Pat (Post): 4.53%
  6. Your Website is Up – Now What? 5 Things… (Post): 4.52%
  7. Smart Passive Income Gets Critiqued – Conversion Strategies with Derek Halpern (Post): 4.40%
  8. Resources (Page): 4.35%
  9. About (Page): 4.20%
  10. What Else is Wrong With the SPI Blog – SEO Mistakes (Post): 2.99%

To me, this is a huge success and I should continue to test different copy and images within the teaser area on my homepage to increase those percentages even more. I feel that it’s a good enough page (based on the time on page and bounce rate) that it would definitely be worth my effort. Plus, since there’s a video of me speaking, it’s a great introduction to who I am and what my site is about – something different that many people don’t really see on other blogs.

Conversions on the Getting Started Page

I currently have two conversions to track on this page:

  1. An affiliate link to Bluehost in my “First Steps” section of the getting started page; and
  2. An opt-in form to signup for my newsletter.

In total, the page had converted 16 times on the Bluehost link, earning over $1000.00 (which was part of the reason for the significant increase in Bluehost earnings in my last income report). I even get an email from Bluehost after each transaction that confirms that the getting starting page is indeed converting for me, which is pretty cool:

Bluehost Referral from Passive Income 101

Email Conversions

The email conversions are not as high as expected, converting only 3.2% of the visitors into subscribers (about 200 new subscribers over the past month) – which isn’t terrible, but I feel it could be much higher, especially on this particular page, although there are technically two opt-in forms on this page – one at the bottom of the page, and the one in the sidebar. So, it’s hard for me to say exactly how this particular page is performing.

I will admit though, I do have to work on the copy leading up to the opt-in form, and I’ll be testing different looking opt-in forms as well.

You can never do enough testing.

:)

Overall, I’m really happy with the getting started page and am really glad I spent the time to create it. I don’t see many other blogs utilizing something quite like this, which really benefits everybody in the long run if done correctly – but hopefully that will change.

Have you, or are you thinking about creating your own getting started page for your blog or business? What kinds of things are you doing to capture the attention of those who are first time visitors to your site?

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