AskPat 20 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up, everybody? Welcome to Episode 20 of AskPat. My name is Pat Flynn, and I'm here to answer your online business questions every single day.
And I want to give a shout-out to the crew over at BufferApp.com. That's actually a tool that I use every single day to help me manage and schedule posts for my social media accounts. So I'll spend most of Monday, for example, scheduling tweets ahead of time for the week. Now, I don't just go completely automated; I still interact because that's important. It's social media, so you still have to be social, but this helps me get more traffic to my site and schedule things ahead of time, putting in the work now, so I can reap the benefits later. Again, that's BufferApp.com. Check it out. Great, great, company.
Today's question is from Idris, and he asks about something that is missing on most websites out there, so let's take a listen.
Idris: Hi, Pat. How are you? I'm Idris. Hope you are fine and doing great. My question is, is it important to set up a “Get Started” page on our blog? Does it make impact on the SEO or site rankings, and is it beneficial for the users? If so, how to set it up, and get things going as quickly as possible, and as effectively as possible? Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Idris, thank you so much for your question today. I am so glad you brought this up, because a “Getting Started” page is the biggest hole on most blogs. It was a huge hole on my own blog for so long, and it absolutely needs to be filled by everyone, everyone. No matter what kind of site you have, but especially if you have a blog, you need a “Getting Started” page. It's absolutely crucial.
And here's why: Most websites, and again, especially blogs, they're a mess, right? You add more content, and more content over time, and although you do this in a chronological order, the posts hardly ever should be consumed in the same order. One blog post could be a post for beginners, and then the next one is a more advanced one. Another one for beginners, and then something's related to something that just happened, which is going to be less important over time, and then you write an epic blog post that takes off and goes viral . . . I mean you write and publish ideas as they come, as you address concerns of your target audience, and if you were to list the titles of all of your posts, you couldn't imagine someone who is brand new to your site benefiting from reading all of those things straight through in the same order that you've written them.
A brand new visitor who comes to your site needs direction. They need guidance. They need to see your best stuff. I mean, I can't imagine saying, “Hey, welcome to my site. Read all the content on my blog from the very beginning.” That just won't work. I mean, how overwhelming is that? So actually, your audience, when they come to your site, they need a few things. So keep all of these things in mind: One, they need to know they're in the right place. That's first and foremost before anything; they need to know that when they come there looking for something, perhaps from Google or from a recommendation from another person or another site, the moment they land on your site they need to know, right away, within the first seven seconds if they're in the right spot. If they can't get that really quickly, they're out, you know? And the content that you spend most of your time writing and creating and publishing? None of that will matter because people would have already left your site.
So first impressions are important. What's the first impression people have when they land on your site? If you need help figuring this out, which we all need help figuring this out, because we can't possibly know ourselves, since it's our own site, the best thing to do is ask. Just ask a few people in your audience, “What was your first impression of my website?” Or your website. And you're going to get a goldmine of answers. When I reached out to my audience, a few members of my audience, a couple years ago and asked them that same question, I discovered that people were confused, they were overwhelmed, and most importantly, they didn't know where to start. There was just so much content, I mean. When I asked my audience this, there was over four hundred posts. It was too much for them, and many just left the first time they came to the site. And it wasn't until they just kept hearing so much about Smart Passive Income and Pat Flynn and all the content I was creating that they decided to dig deeper, and then they got hooked, and they got over that initial shock. But initially, terrible first impression, which led to the creation of my “Getting Started” page.
And that's what you need, a “Getting Started” page. A specific page on your site for new visitors to click on and read. This page serves several different purposes, so let me list them for you here. One: It gives new visitors a place to learn more about what you can provide for them. Again, new visitors. A place not on your homepage, but a specific page, a “Getting Started” page, to understand what you can do for them. Secondly, that initial click, that physical click to this “Getting Started” page from your homepage, is just a little tiny transaction. But that one click, it internally gets people to commit to keep going through your site. They come to your site. “Oh, here's a page that looks like it's just for me.” Click. And now they keep reading. They're invested a little bit more than they were, they're not a cold visitor anymore, they've already interacted with you in some way. So, again, you're guiding your new visitors, instead of saying, “Hey, welcome to my site! Figure it out yourself.” You don't want to have that impression.
Number three: The “Getting Started” page gives you an opportunity to share your best content, the most relevant content for your brand new visitors. You're able to filter through all of the stuff on your site, for your brand new visitors, instead of, again, relying on them to do it themselves. They won't do it themselves. You have to do it for them, and this is the perfect page to make that happen. Fourth thing about the “Getting Started” page: You can give call-to-actions on this page. What are their first steps? “Welcome to my site; here's what I'm about, here's what I can do for you, here's some of my best material, and if you're excited about this, here's the first thing you should do to help you do X,” whatever X may be. And then, boom, share that, and they're on their way.
Number five, fifth thing about a “Getting started” page, you can actually use this page to collect email addresses too. It's the perfect place to do that. You've delivered value and content, you gave some direction, you proved yourself as an authority, and you can totally ask for an email address at this point. “If you're interested in more, fill out the form below and I'll send out a weekly newsletter. Also, get a free copy of my ebook or mini course or resource list,” or whatever your lead magnet or giveaway might be. My “Getting Started” page on Smart Passive Income has been such a huge, massive success. I no longer get the whole, you know, “Where do I start?” question from my audience. I never get that anymore, because it's right there on the homepage. A big, green button that you cannot miss.
It should be incredibly easy to find, so keep that in mind. Also, a lot of people do click on the link to the same page in the navigation menu. It also says “Start here” or “Get started here” in the navigation menu, as it should, because sometimes people arrive on your site for the first time not on your homepage, but on an inner page instead. In addition to reduced confusion, that page converts like mad. It's awesome. The conversions into my email lists are much higher than anywhere else on my site. My first step, call to action, on that particular page is to check out a video that I created on how to get a website up and started. A lot of my domain and hosting conversions, where I earn through an affiliate commission. I earn an affiliate commission through the affiliate relationship I have with that hosting company that I promote. It happens on this page. It converts so well.
If you'd like to check out a “Getting Started” page in action, head on over to SmartPassiveIncome.com and you'll see. You can't miss the place to get started. It's a big green button; you'll never miss it. You can get the full experience of what it's like for a brand new visitor to go through this getting started page and check out the content that's on that page. You can structure your own the same way if you want. Again, you can see it all. I actually start with some basic definitions for people who are brand new to the idea of Smart Passive Income.
A couple of other things before I finish up about that page: It's easy to create. You asked about creation, and yes, it's really easy. Just create a new page. Typically you can have the URL be something like yourwebsite.com/get-started, or start-here, or even just “start.” Whatever you want it to be. And that page, if you have the ability to do this, it's best to have it a full-width page, meaning no sidebar. It's just like a landing page; it is a landing page. The best practice for landing pages is that if you have a page that serves a specific purpose, which is what this page is, its purpose is to introduce your brand to your audience and, more importantly, direct them and guide them where to go when they get to your site for the first time. You want to get rid of all the other distractions, like the sidebar, which often will have things that are pulling people's attention away from what they should be paying attention to.
Some themes, some WordPress themes, if you're on WordPress, they have the ability to choose a full-width template when you're creating a page. If you have that ability, do that when you create your “Getting started” page, and it will be much easier for you. If you don't, you could possibly hire somebody to do that for you, or ask for a favor because it's not that hard if you know a little bit of HTML and CSS. You could also use a tool like Leadpages to make that happen too.
Finally, in regards to your last question, interested in about whether or not this helps with SEO, search engine optimization, my thoughts on that are this. Anything that you do that improves the user experience for your audience is going to help you, SEO-wise. Maybe not directly though there are cases for sites with . . . you know, if your site has increased page views and lower bounce rates, and people stay on the site longer. That will help with your SEO, well, in the rankings. That's a part of the algorithm. Indirectly, it helps because when people come to your site, there's direction. They stay there, they get to know it through this page that you create, and get deeper into your site. Find more content that you have, and there's more opportunity for sharing, and having people like your content enough to link it on their own sites. Which does help with SEO, too. Provide value, and you will climb higher in the search engines, and a getting started page will help you provide value.
So Idris, I hope this helps you. Thank you so much for the great question. You'll get an email from me very soon so I can get you more information to send you an AskPat t-shirt. If you, the listener, has a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, head on over to AskPat.com. You can listen to all of the other episodes there as well. If your question is featured, I'll hook you up with an AskPat t-shirt. Thank you again so much, and again, a shout out to the guys, Leo, all the incredible people who work at this company. I want to give a shout out to BufferApp.com. I use it everyday. Check it out. It's awesome. BufferApp.com.
And of course, I want to leave you with a quote, and this quote today is by Booker T. Washington. He says, “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
That's why I love the business motto that I have, which is, “I give.” I give and I give and I give, and I give opportunities, to pay me back, and people go through those opportunities because they've given so much. So think about that. Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode.
A social media tool to help you manage and schedule posts all your social media accounts.