11 Locations of Valuable Real Estate on Your Website or Blog
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What is the goal of your website or blog? Do you want to sell products? Promote a service? Grow an email list? Promote products as an affiliate?
Regardless of the type of website that you have or the main purpose that you are trying to accomplish, in order to have success, you’ll need to get visitors to pay attention to your message.
There are certain locations and pages on a website or blog that can be extremely effective for products, services, and other types of offers. As a result, these locations can be highly valuable to you, and you should work to maximize the impact that you can have in these areas.
In this article, we’ll look at 11 different locations on your website that can get results. You’ll want to use some of these locations to communicate your primary message, regardless of whether you are trying to sell products, promote a service, or something else. You may not want to use all of these locations at once, as that can be a bit overkill, but you can test them out and see what works for you and your audience.
This one is pretty obvious, but the homepage of your website or blog is extremely important because it will be seen by a lot of people. If you’re getting most of your traffic from Google search or from social media, chances are, most of those visitors are arriving at specific blog posts rather than coming to your homepage first. However, those visitors who enjoy what they see are very likely to click on a link to your homepage to check it out.
Also, many people who arrive at your website or blog through a link from another site will be coming straight to your homepage.
The typical setup for a blog is to show the most recent posts on the homepage, but another option is to create a static homepage that won’t change each time you publish a new post.
Using a static homepage gives you full control over the layout of the page and the content/message that visitors will see. You can use your homepage to grow your email list, get more exposure for your products or services, or as a hub that links out to the different content on your site.
WordPress makes it very easy to set any page as your homepage/frontpage, and if you’re using a drag-and-drop builder like Divi from Elegant Themes, you can easily create a custom layout for your homepage without even needing to touch the code.
Below, let’s take a look at an example of a static homepage. This page is from The Blonde Abroad, a travel blog (This page is very long. Yours doesn’t need to be that long). The page offers a “start here” message that is great for welcoming new visitors to the site. In addition to an “about me” message, the homepage is mostly geared towards helping visitors find the content that will interest them.
2. Top of Blog Posts
The area between the post title and the start of the content is also highly visible. This is an area that is used very often for advertisements because it is a great location for getting clicks and making money.
Sometimes the ads at the top of the post will be aligned to the left or right so the start of the blog content wraps around them.
While this location is often used by blogs for ad revenue, you can also use it for other purposes. Of course, if you have your own products or services to sell, you could create an internal ad that leads visitors to a landing page if they click on the ad. You could also use a simple text-based callout that gets visitors’ attention and drives them to some specific page on your site.
Although the top of the content area is valuable real estate, so is any area within the main body of the content. People who are reading or scanning your content will notice any ads or promos that are included within the content.
This could include banner ads or simply text-based ads. If you want to promote your own products, services, or other pages on your site, you may have more luck with a text-based ad than an image (be sure to test and see what gets more clicks) because many visitors tend to tune out images that look like ads.
If you use a text-based ad within your content, be sure to format it to stand out. You can use bold or italic text, set a background color to make the text appear to be highlighted, add some CSS code to put the text in a box with a different background color or a border.
You can also use the in-content area for email optins. Below you’ll see a screenshot from the personal finance blog Vital Dollar, demonstrating how you can use an in-content ad to grow an email list.
4. Directly Below Blog Posts
The area just after the end of a blog post can be very valuable, just like the area above the post and any in-content areas. The area at the end of the post will typically be well below the fold, unless it’s a very short post, but this can be a great location because people will see it immediately after they finish reading an article on your blog. This gives you a great chance to make an impression and give them some sort of offer.
People who read your entire post, or at least scan till the end, will be very interested in the content on your site, and they may be interested in whatever you have to offer. This can be a great place to include an optin form, or promote products and services.
The wellness blog Fulfilled Wellness uses the area below blog posts for an email optin form.
5. Site Header
The site header is obviously a location that has high visibility. Most blogs that are monetized with ads will include a banner ad in the header because it is usually one of the higher-performing ad zones.
Of course, if you’re not monetizing your site with ads, you could use this space for other purposes, like getting more exposure for your own products and services.
6. Top and Bottom of the Screen
One easy way to get the attention of visitors is to use a sticky notification bar at the top or bottom of the screen. “Sticky” simply means that the bar will stay at the top or bottom of the screen as the visitor scrolls up or down. Because the bar stays in place, visitors will surely notice it.
Sticky bars can be used for ads, as is the case currently here at Vandelay Design, or for your own internal promotions. It could be used to promote a product or service, lead visitors to an important page on your site, or include an optin form.
There are a number of tools that make it easy to add a sticky bar to your site. HelloBar is probably the most popular, but alternatives like WP Notification Bar Pro exist (you can also create a sticky bar with OptinMonster).
7. “About” Page
The “About” page is one of the most frequently visited pages on many websites (especially if there is a link to the About page in the main navigation menu).
People who visit your About page are there to learn more about you, your business, or your site, so they are interested in what you have to offer. Your about page shouldn’t be boring and it should include a call to action, like an email optin form.
One of the most common mistakes with About pages is to simply provide some boring biographical info without asking visitors to take any action. If you have products or services to promote, you could use this space for those purposes instead of an email optin form. Regardless of which approach you take, the About page is valuable real estate that should be maximized.
8. “Thank You” Page After Opting In
When a visitor chooses to give you his or her email address, they are obviously a warm lead. Don’t simply direct that visitor to a boring page that just says “thank you for subscribing”. If you are not doing something meaningful with the Thank You page, you are missing out on a golden opportunity.
The photography blog Loaded Landscapes offers a free download of 5 Lightroom presets to anyone who subscribes to their email list. The Thank You page does thank the visitor for subscribing, but it doesn’t stop there. Loaded Landscapes also includes a video about their top-selling Lightroom presets, which is a highly-relevant offer for people who just subscribed.
You can use your Thank You page to promote a product or make a special limited-time offer to get the most out of visitors who have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer. Many marketers will use a countdown timer to give subscribers something like 15 or 30 minutes to make a purchase at a discounted rate. The timer and expiration of the offer add a sense of urgency that will almost always increase conversion rates.
9. Confirmation Page
If you’re using a double optin approach for your email list, subscribers will need to click a link in an email in order to confirm their submission. What happens when visitors click on that confirmation link? In most cases, the visitor is led to a boring page that says “thanks for confirming your subscription” or something similar.
Again, this is the perfect time to get a relevant offer in front of someone who clearly has some interest in what you are offering. Loaded Landscapes uses a double optin approach, and when a subscriber confirms, he or she is led to a confirmation page that thanks the visitor, and then once again includes the promo video for their best-selling product.
Studies show that the average customer will see your message 6 or 7 times before making a purchase, so putting offers in these places can help to get closer to that number and lead to more sales and higher profits.
In the case of Loaded Landscapes, the Thank You page and Confirmation page include the same offer and same promo video, but you could use different offers if you prefer.
Another type of confirmation page that is even more valuable is the confirmation page following a purchase. When someone makes a purchase at your site, this is the perfect time to make an additional offer to them. Many websites and marketers use this approach with “upsells” and some ecommerce or shopping cart platforms have upsell capabilities built-in. For example, a customer might make a small purchase and the upsell might offer a bigger bundle or package of related products at a deep discount. A good approach with upsells can drastically increase revenue and profit.
10. After Download Page
If you offer downloads from your website or blog, how do you have them set up? When someone clicks the download link, the download starts automatically, and then what happens? In most cases nothing happens, but you may be missing out on an opportunity.
Instead of simply starting the download and that’s it, you could redirect visitors to a specific page after they click the download link.
The WordPress plugin Download Monitor offers a lot of functionality related to downloads from your site, as well as some add-ons that extend the functionality even further. There is an extension called Downloading Page that makes it simple to set up this type of redirect.
For example, if you offer a free WordPress theme from your site and you also sell premium WordPress themes, you could use this plugin so that whenever a visitor downloads your free theme, they will be redirected to a page with a special offer for your premium themes.
If your free downloads are highly relevant to products that you sell or services that you offer, this can be a perfect opportunity. And if you don’t have any products or services of your own, maybe you can find a good product to promote as an affiliate and redirect to some kind of landing page that promotes the affiliate product.
11. Navigation Menu
You also have full control over the links in your navigation menu. If you use WordPress, you’ll be able to easily create a custom navigation menu that links to any page on your site, or even pages on other sites.
Most navigation menus typically link to things like category pages, but you can also include links to the most important pages on your site, whatever that might be.
You can also use dropdowns to add specific links. For example, you may use category links as your primary menu options, and then use dropdowns to increase exposure to some of the most important content in each category.
Running a successful website or blog will require that you make the most of the opportunities that you have, and that can include effective use of these valuable areas. Take a look at your own site (or your clients’ sites) and see what opportunities are currently being missed. With a few simple changes, you may be able to seriously improve the effectiveness of your site.