Generally speaking, bloggers are always intrigued by their WordPress sidebar conversions, as they could potentially make or break their overall success.
It is therefore crucial to effectively leverage your blog’s sidebar, customizing it to satisfy both your long-term blogging goals while keeping your readers more engaged. Let’s look at basic, yet clever ways to increase your WordPress sidebar engagement.
Know Your Audience
First and foremost, what you showcase on your WordPress sidebar is heavily influenced by your core audience. For example, do Google ads serve as your blog’s primary monetization method? If so, does your niche focus heavily on products or merely on general advice? What about your demographic? Are they relatively young or older people?
If the blog specializes in high-competition niches and your audience is relatively prone to clicking advertisements, then you might consider including ad-based widgets on the sidebar. Otherwise, it’s time to implement other widgets that may bring more value to you and your readers.
Offer Minimal Options
It’s perfectly okay to display several widgets at once, including the common newsletter incentive among other top-priority items. However, don’t include everything into one place â€“ especially if an item can deliver similar results elsewhere.
Think about your blog’s search bar, the â€œTop commentersâ€ widget and other optional features. Use other spots (such as your blog’s header or footer section) to include all secondary options. Giving your visitors too much to do will only help diminish their attention span from the things that really matter.
Speaking of whichâ€¦
Prioritize Important Widgets
This one practically goes without saying, but it’s worth mentioning to newcomers in the blogosphere.
Is your blog’s primary mission to get newsletter subscribers? Then place its corresponding widget toward the top, above the fold and not hidden among everything else. Same applies to your social media buttons, your latest posts widget, or anything else depending on your end-goal.
Repeating a Widget is Fine â€“ Even Recommended
There is no harm in displaying the same exact widget twice in your sidebar if you wish to prioritize its results. Some readers may see the very first widget (such as a newsletter subscription form) and keep scrolling down for the sake of exploring. Before you know it, they no longer remember to opt in and you’ve essentially lost a new subscriber.
Thus, it’s okay to include a certain feature at the very top and at the bottom of your sidebar, if necessary.
Copywriting Still Counts
Bloggers sometimes focus on so many things at once that it’s easy to forget other important aspects of their blog. Copywriting is often a top priority when it comes to articles; we want to have that perfect headline and those highly engaging sentences.
Remember that a good copy also applies to your sidebar’s call-to-action headlines. Use the same techniques to bring those eyeballs to your social media buttons or anything else you need your readers focused on.
Essentially, you want to combine a witty headline with a straight-to-the-point premise. Avoid anything overly cutesy (it confuses readers) but also don’t rely on tired, outdated phrases.
Switch Things Up
This recommendation should not be done frequently, especially if your sidebar setup already brings great results. But if you notice a gradual decline in conversions, this may be due to general visitor blindness. In other words, returning visitors may become used to the same features displayed in the same spots, and thus may ignore them subconsciously.
If you don’t wish to make drastic sidebar changes, consider simple things such as changing your subscription form’s color, or experimenting with minor headline ideas.
Test and Analyze
Even if you are already getting decent results from your sidebar items, you may be missing out on amazing, jaw-dropping, super-duper conversions without even realizing it.
No matter how scary this might sound, you should occasionally move some sidebar features up and/or down and analyze your conversions over a few weeks to see what kind of blog engagement you receive. The potential short-term losses may be worthwhile in comparison to the many more results you could ultimately receive.
For best results, consider heatmap software to see where your visitors are hovering their mouse (and clicking) most frequently. Some heatmap plugin suggestions include Heatmap for WordPress and Hotspots Analytics.
Do you have additional tips on how to increase your WordPress sidebar conversions and bring in greater engagement? Please share them below.
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Author: Elvis Michael
Elvis Michael is an avid blogger and e-trepreneur, endlessly exploring new ideas and effective ways to inspire.