AskPat 120 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 120 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me.
Before we get to today's question from Eric, I do want to mention and thank today's amazing sponsor which is FreshBooks, the easy cloud accounting solution which is helping millions of people, including myself and small business owners, save time with invoicing and being able to get paid faster. You can try FreshBooks right now for free if you go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. You'll get a free trial. Seriously, it's one of the best things you could do if you're just starting out your business, in terms of keeping track of your finances. I only wish I found it sooner. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com, put “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Okay. Now let's get to today's question from Eric.
Eric Dingler: Hey, Pat. This is Eric Dingler of EricDingler.com. My question is this: I have a blog post that I wrote when I was first starting out that's bringing in 25-30 percent of my daily search traffic. However, it's the single worst converting post I have. The reason I believe this is: I wrote it when I first started out and it's not my greatest post, by any means. Since then, I've tweaked on things and worked on things and learned things and I have a structure now for my posts that is just much better and gives the information better and just works better now. I'd like to go back and edit this post but I don't want to break anything as far as the SEO goes. I'm looking for some guidance. How can I go in and edit and change in this so that as people find it they're getting a much higher quality post? I'm hopefully increasing the conversions of the post but I'm not breaking anything as far as SEO goes in the process. Thanks a lot.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Eric. Thank you so much for your question and I really think this is a good lesson for everybody out there, to make sure that you go into your analytics and you see exactly what's happening. Eric, I'm so happy that you know exactly that there's this one article that is driving most of your traffic. A lot of people don't even understand that or get that far. Go into your analytics, people, and you'll discover things like this and then you can know how to adjust or pivot or what to do to make things even better, which is what Eric's trying to do here.
Eric, you have this post that is generating about 25-30 percent of your traffic and you have since learned how to write better, how to provide value and give information better. There's a lot of ways that people have handled this thing in the past. A lot of times people are too afraid to touch these older articles because it is driving all this traffic. What they do, is they end up saying at the very top of those posts, “Hey, if you came from Google”—which I think is a great thing to do. That's one thing that I think everybody should do: If there's a particular post that is generating a ton of traffic for you, specifically from Google, one of the coolest things you can do is at the top of that page is say “Hey, if you came from Google, this is awesome because I'm here to help you figure out this,” and that alone will help people keep moving forward in terms of knowing that they're in the right spot for whatever it is they came for. It's just cool that when you land on the page coming from somewhere that somebody knows where you came from. It's like they're in your head and, again, that's a great way to increase conversions down the page. Now a lot of people do that but then they say, “I have created an updated version of this post. Click here to get it.” If that's at the beginning of the post, check out what happens. People see it, they're like “Oh, cool that he knows I'm from Google. Oh, here's a new version of this post. Either, I'm going to click away because that's another action that I'm going to have to take and I came for that information on that page and so I'm leaving, or I click on that link and maybe I do get better information on that other page;” however, my SEO takes a hit because the time that's spent on that particular page goes down the drain.
Again, depending on when you listen to this, things may have changed in the algorithm but they're a lot of things that matter in the Google algorithm in terms of SEO. One of those things is time on the site. Google understands that if people come to a site and they're on it for two seconds that it might not be worth something.
My recommendation, Eric, is to be careful about what you do here. I would first be okay with knowing you could change this. I would go even further to say that you should change this because we all know that Google is trying to do their best to show and provide the best information. If you know that you can improve the information on this particular post, then you should be doing that. If you are just leaving it the way that it is and it's not as helpful as it could be, then you are doing a disservice to those who are actually using it. So what if it's getting you 25 percent of the traffic? If it's not converting for you then what's the point? You have to work on the conversions on this page which means changing some things around. I wouldn't link to a new post but I would do what I can to change this existing post, although I would keep a few things in place. Making sure that the structure of the post—if you have headers in there or sub-headers for example, I would keep those in there because those are things that often are looked for and are included in the algorithm in terms of semantic keywords and things like that. If that's over your head, don't worry about it.
Do what you can to massage the post a little bit and try to get to a call-to-action maybe a little bit faster. The terrible conversions might be the result of your lack of writing experience and, as people go down the page, if you ask for the conversion or the call-to-action at the end people might not have got to the end. You want to make sure that you, perhaps multiple times in that post, ask for the email or whatever that call-to-action might be. I think it's really important. This is something I learned from Derek Halpern. He suggests, on an About page for example, to include multiple instances of an opt-in form. You have permission to do that. Obviously, you don't want to be incredibly aggressive each and every time but you can lead up to an opt-in form multiple times on one specific page and that's what I would do. You might just even want to start with that. Just don't even change any text. I think I would change the top text like I talked about earlier, “Hey, if you came from Google, awesome. Here's what you'll learn in this post. Keep reading.” As you go down, keep everything the same. Test this out for a week and see how the conversions go. Just add two or three, it depends on the length of the existing post, more places to run that call-to-action. Try to make them somewhat strategic and spaced out. That alone should increase your conversions, especially if, at this point, it's terrible conversions.
I'm wondering, Eric, is the conversion right now only being asked for at the end? If you start to ask a little bit in the beginning and then in the middle as well, I'm positive that it'll increase its conversions. I don't think the SEO would be hurt, or it wouldn't hurt at all, if you were to improve the existing information that's on that page or even add to it as well. I don't think it's going to hurt it at all. What would hurt is if you start deleting everything and changing the whole thing around where it becomes a completely different article. I think, perhaps, you can take the purpose of that page and the existing content and just improve it. Make it better. Massage it. Use better call-to-actions. You might even be okay with deleting stuff that is superfluous or mentioned twice. Do what you can to just make the content even more awesome and provide even more value than it already does. I don't think you'll have anything to worry about, Eric. I think the best bet here is to increase conversions by adding multiple call-to-actions within that particular post.
Eric, good luck. Thank you and I hope that answers your question. I'm really interested to see how that helps. Again, I want to thank everybody out there for listening to AskPat. If you have a question you'd like to be potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask from right there on the webpage using the SpeakPipe widget. You can just use your internal mic or any sort of headset that you might have.
Of course, I want to thank today's sponsor which is FreshBooks. FreshBooks, again, an amazing cloud based accounting software for your small business. It is seriously . . . One of the biggest regrets I have is not getting on a software like this earlier. I was doing everything on Excel before, by hand sometimes, and it was just such a mess. When I finally got using FreshBooks, it really saved my life here. If you go to GetFreshBooks.com and put in “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section, you get a free trial. You get to actually try the software out. I swear, as soon as you do, you're going to see how awesome it is. Again, GetFreshBooks.com, use “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. If you create a lot of invoices in your business, this is going to help save your life too. I don't, but I know a lot of people who do use FreshBooks and I'm often on the receiving end of those invoices. They do look great and it does work really well. Again, GetFreshBooks.com, “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Thanks again so much. Today's quote of the day comes from Carlos Castaneda. He says, “The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
Cheers. Thanks so much and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
AskPat listeners get a thirty-day free trial to their software when you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.