Building An Athority Website - Should I Create My List Right Away?

6 replies
Ok so I'm about to start a new pet care site, one which will have many pages and be ranked for various keywords for that pet. I've struggled before with maintaining a list and fretting about the list content being "just right" so I don't want to waste time, but on the flip side I always hear how much a list can improve conversions.

Basically I'm going to have an opt-in form on one side of the main page saying "Are you a new xxxx owner?" and then offer a free care course. However, I'm not sure if I should set it up as a general review site and THEN add the opt in once I'm ranked and getting traffic, or if I should slap the opt-in on there and then go about my SEO?


- Brandon
#athority #building #opt #website
  • Profile picture of the author Steve Holmes
    Get it on there a.s.a.p. I would much rather get it up there to test, track and change as required than hope to get it "just right" when it does go up.

    Just look at the early traffic as an initial market test.

    Not much point in losing potential leads. Gl with your new site.
    "Live like you'll die tomorrow, Learn like you'll live forever" - M. Ghandi
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  • Profile picture of the author Branlan17
    Appreciate your input : ) This is basically what I figured I just worry so much about getting opt-ins "just right" that sometimes I lose sight of the fact that without steady traffic my testing is probably all for not and I should be focusing on some of the more basic elements of SEO. Also, I can never quite know if I'm writing my email series right haha. Oh well, time to make it happen!
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    • Profile picture of the author DomenicoGrecojr
      Yup create your list ASAP.

      You can mail your subscribers with the progress of your website. The sooner you build your list and the sooner your build your relationship with them, the better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Branlan17
    Oh and on a related note: Does my page need to be a squeeze page? Because I was kind of wanting make an authority looking resource site with the opt-in in the sidebar rather than ad-copy'd up in the middle.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Originally Posted by Branlan17 View Post

      Does my page need to be a squeeze page? Because I was kind of wanting make an authority looking resource site with the opt-in in the sidebar rather than ad-copy'd up in the middle.
      People have different opinions on this, because they have different experiences of this.

      The unarguably correct answer, so often provided here, is always "test, test, test" and discover what's best for your business. However, this isn't particularly helpful when you're just starting out with something new, don't really have anything to test yet, and can't even necessarily formulate the appropriate testing parameters, much less start monitoring them in a meaningful and productive way.

      I strongly suspect that in reality, which method is likely to be better for you depends on what has brought your traffic to your site in the first place, because that's what determines their expectations of it, wishes for it, and the extent to which it coincides with and fulfils what those people are really looking for.

      For myself, across a range of 8 different niches, I've always found (I haven't actually tested all 8 of them, I admit, because by now I've drawn some "general conclusions" about "my type of customers" and how I'm attracting them) that I do much better without a squeeze page, by showing people a content-filled site without them needing to opt in first, and by having an incentivized opt-in prominently featured on every page of the site (which, of course, is easily done with a side-bar arrangement, if you're making the site from any sort of "blogging software").

      Some people have done their own testing and found the opposite (and many more haven't tested at all but have simply assumed the opposite).

      I suspect, though, that some of them have "tested" it simply by measuring the number/proportion of people who do opt in with each format - a huge mistake, in my opinion: income is a much better way to test! The logic of the assumption made here is exactly analogous to the widespread mistaken assumption that increasing your click-through rate, when article marketing, is necessarily going to increase your income - and that one's just nonsense (and no guesswork at all involved in that conclusion!).

      I'd rather have fewer opt-ins and higher income, myself, and I don't for a moment accept that in the long run more opt-ins are necessarily going to lead to higher income, because it depends on who those people are, what proportion of them are really potentially buyers, what's initially attracted them, and so on.

      I'd suggest to you (and I adduce no evidence at all for this - here I am only guessing!) that if you're attracting people by PPC advertising, you'll do better in the long run with a squeeze page, and if you're attracting them with high quality articles, you'll do better with a side-bar opt-in, because many people attracted by high quality articles arrive at a site wanting to see a further plethora of high-quality content before opting in.

      Just my perspective. And good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ldimilo
    Not to counter what Alexa has to say about this, I will add that the less link leakage you have on a page, the higher the conversion rate on the front end, provided that what you are offering is what your market wants or needs.

    From my experience, an opt-in in a side bar (a la "blog" format) won't convert as highly because there are simply too many competing links and ways for a person to exit the page. This isn't to say that you shouldn't do this. This is just to say that usually a blog format is competing with a number of elements that a capture page wouldn't.

    The benefits of the opt-in in a blog format is that you are demonstrating value immediately and therefore will likely not have as big of a hill to climb during the subscriber's initial evaluation. The result could be a higher open rate coming out of the gate.

    This is just from my experience and as with all of us on here, it is tinged with our own sets of bias so take it however you like.
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