Convince and Convert

8 Things I’m Trying to Improve with This New Convince and Convert Website

badge jay says 8 Things Im Trying to Improve with This New Convince and Convert WebsiteScreenshot 4 11 14 5 38 PM 8 Things Im Trying to Improve with This New Convince and Convert Website

After a long gestation, I am delighted that we have launched the new ConvinceAndConvert.com site. We don’t change our stripes here all that often (every couple years or so), and I try to have a rationale when we do.

Here are the 8 main things I’m trying to improve with this new design:

1. A Real Home Page

Since almost day one, the Convince & Convert blog has been the home page for the site and for the company. With our consulting business growing quickly, it was time to create a true home page that describes all the things we do here (consulting, training, blog, podcast, email, ebooks, books). Plus, even though Convince & Convert is a company of eight people, I wanted to make sure people still know that I’m personally very involved. So, there’s an intro video from me right in the middle of the home page. (for more on how we operate virtually and a lot of other “did you know” stuff, check out this ultimate FAQ about our business, and business model).

High five and huge thanks to Mikey Mioduski of Mioduski Design for his great work on the new site layout (and also the new JayBaer.com site).

The new Convince and Convert blog index 8 Things Im Trying to Improve with This New Convince and Convert Website2. Boost Email Signups

We get a lot of new subscribers each day for our One Thing daily email newsletter, but not as many as we should get, given the traffic on this site. This new design integrates the email signup mechanisms with the site content at multiple points. No pop-ups required, but it’s pretty obvious that we want you to give the One Thing a try. (and we do! if you don’t receive it, you can sign up here, or lots of places on the new site)

3. More Podcast Emphasis

It started with no expectations, but the weekly Social Pros podcast has become one of my favorite ongoing projects, and has also proven to be one of our most important content marketing and sponsor assets. The new site gives us a spiffy new podcast index page, and outstanding new formatting of the podcast-related blog posts.

4. Mobile Consistency

The previous site wasn’t bad when viewed on a smartphone, but it wasn’t great. This design is great. You lose very little impact (and no content) when accessing this site from any device, on any platform. Very, happy and proud about that. Terrific job by Greg Taylor and Jeremy Scott from Marketing Press in making the mobile version work so well, and for a ton of great work on the development of the site overall (more on that below).

5. Increase Time on Site

Partially due to the design and partially due to the very broad audience we attract here, we don’t have a site (historically) that is as sticky as I’d like it to be. Average length of stay is not where I want it, and the new design is set up to make it more comfortable on the eyes, and to more seamlessly recommend other content to you. Partially through the featured posts widget top left, and also through some “you might also like” tools at the bottom of each post. Right now, we are using Disqus for that, but we may be implementing some other technology to recommend posts. Stay tuned.

6. Category Clean-up

Like many blogs that have thousands of posts, we had gotten some creep in our categories. Lots of categories were out-of-date, scarcely used or ill-begotten from inception. We reduced the number of categories significantly, and mapped all old posts to this new group, which required a ton of crafty 301 redirect work from the folks at Marketing Press. Thanks guys!

7. Consulting and Client Clarity

In addition to the blog category sub-nav and fly-out menu, we also cleaned up the top navigation and made it more obvious what we offer from a consulting perspective. I also rewrote the main pages like social media consulting, content marketing consulting, and workshops and coaching to make them more consistent, and to more succinctly explain what we do, and what it costs to have us do it.

We’ve also been almost bashful about talking about our clients at Convince & Convert, so we addressed that this time by moving clients into the main navigation, totally redoing the clients page (organizing them by industry), and adding a clients carousel on the home page.

 8 Things Im Trying to Improve with This New Convince and Convert Website

8. Widgets and Time Savers

We also wanted to make sure that our colossally awesome Managing Editor, Jess Ostroff, could shave some minutes off of some of the repetitive tasks she performs to keep this site rocking and rolling with 8 blog posts, 6 emails and a podcast every week. The Marketing Press guys (in cooperation with our amazing Genesis theme and Synthesis WordPress hosting crew) built a bunch of custom magic behind-the-scenes.

Probably my favorite is the podcast widget, which automatically scrapes the headline of each new podcast blog post, automatically inserts that headline and the featured image, and instantly creates and uploads the podcast promotional graphic that appears on the left side of each blog post. Robots rule!

A Note About Blog Comments
Speaking of the podcast, our guest a couple weeks ago (one of our best episodes ever, by the way) was Brian Clark from Copyblogger. He explained why they pulled comments off of their blog, and I said on the show that we are considering doing the same thing. We haven’t pulled them off yet (obviously), but we may yet. We find that the best interaction with our content often occurs on other platforms (like G+) and I’m not necessarily troubled by that. We’ll see.

I can’t wait to see what the impact of this new design is on our analytics. What do you think of it? Thanks as always for your support!

~ Jay Baer

 

 

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Screenshot 4 11 14 5 38 PM 8 Things Im Trying to Improve with This New Convince and Convert Website
Article Name
8 Things I'm Trying to Improve with This New Convince and Convert Website
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Description
The all-new Convince and Convert website has been launched, and Jay Baer recaps the 8 major reasons for the change.
Related
  • http://www.hqsocialmedia.com/ Houssem Daoud

    I really like the new design Jay. It’s cleaner, brighter and I think more conversion oriented (I like the new home page). One thing I’m curious about though. Why did you move the sidebar from the right to the left. Is it because you want more emphasis on the content?

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      Great question.

      I’ve done a ton of web usability and such in my career, and have found because people read left to right, giving them options left instead of right may get more attention. It’s always bugged me that 98% of blogs use right rail, so i decided to switch this time.

      • http://www.hqsocialmedia.com/ Houssem Daoud

        I never looked at it from this angle Jay. Thanks!

      • http://www.pixelsandclicks.net/ Bhaskar Sarma

        *Slaps forehead*

        That sounds so obvious. Any change that you have noticed so far?

  • http://www.contentchampion.com/ Loz James

    GREAT new design Jay, it’s clean, crisp and definitely designed to ‘convince and convert’.

    This is one of the best redesigns I’ve seen in this space for a long time – seriously.

    Kudos to you and the team.

    Cheers!

    Loz

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      That’s really nice to hear. I’m sure Mikey and Greg and the guys are delighted to see that comment too, Loz. Cheers!

  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    Keep comments open! I hate blogs that have them closed. When they are closed it tells me the site doesn’t care about growing a community but just interested in traffic.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      I hear you, although I find a lot of the community is happening on FB and G+ already.

  • susanmclennan

    There is a reason you are one of the best in the business. Your new site is wonderful. And you look great on camera! Congratulations. Well done!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      Thank you, my friend. Your new site at http://www.reimaginePR.com is pretty darn spiffy too!

  • http://www.gahproductions.com/ Torry Hamilton

    The site looks fantastic! One of many reasons I follow you and your team.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      Thanks Torry. Very kind of you.

  • http://chris.ly/ Chris Lee

    Site looks fantastic, Jay! Congrats!!!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      Thanks so much Chris. You da man!

  • Edmund Pelgen

    Hi Jay. I love the new design. That home page clarity is exactly what you needed. Compared to your old site this one looks like “the big boy pant’s have been put on” and now those “leading companies” can easily know with a glance that you are the right one for them. Cheers.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      Thanks so much Edmund. That made me smile. Ironically, today is the first day it’s been warm enough to wear shorts in about forever, but I’ll have the big boy pants on again Monday!

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Jay, awesome! I’m doing the same thing on my blog. The home page note resonates strongly with me, as when you can get that down, you’ll see greater continuity between your blog, and your home page. Bright, clean design here. Love it!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      Thanks so much. yeah that home page part is NOT easy. Only took me 5.5 years to get it right!

  • Kelli

    Jay – Love the transparency and I believe you’ll achieve your goals with the new site. Agreed with others it is crisp and clean. Makes me want to stay around longer. My only suggestion is the top menu bar as its very wordy. Maybe needs some kind of spacer such as “|” between each title so it doesn’t look like a run on sentence. It just makes each tab stand out more.

    As a side note, love your book by the way still consuming it. Thoroughly enjoyed how you describe what YoUtility is with regard to the tree and popping out and fading away. Absolutely perfect. Your podcast with with Brian Clark was great to listen to and think all podcasts should be in the comfortable style as that clearly was. It makes people listen to the conversation to gain some snippets of knowledge rather than feeling lectured to. I understand on the comments but personally I like to see them on posts.Maybe when our site gets too big and we need conversations elsewhere then that’s the time to pack it up.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      Thanks so much Kelli. Yeah, that conversation with Brian is one of the best we’ve done!

  • Bob Reed

    I really like this, Jay. It supplies better scope of all the things C&C is doing.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      Thanks so much Bob!

  • http://www.autismpluslande.com/ autismplusLandE

    This is my first visit to your blog, so I can’t make a comparison to the old site, but my first impression is that it is visually clean and easily navigable: I’m sure I’ll explore your other pages as I become a more regular reader.

    The thing about comments, or comment moderation specifically, is that it can be an incredible time suck that prevents you from providing more meaningful content to your readers. And like the Copy Blogger article shares, many people post comments on Copyblogger and your site in the hope of driving traffic to their own blog/website. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the quality of those comments is high enough to cause people to come back to your website more often/stay longer/increase page views per visit.

    But how do you evaluate that impact? And how do you “reward” or incentivize your best commenters to keep on commenting? For a tiny blog, using something like a “Top Commenters by quantity of comments” list at the top of the home page may be sufficient, especially if you’re moderating all of your comments. But for a blog this size you would end up with people posting tons of useless comments to be on that list. Perhaps a better approach, would be to create a plug in where you can award a top QUALITY commenter something like “gold star status” where their comments always show up at the top of the list/are highlighted/are in 20 point font/links to their latest blog post(s) are automatically included at the bottom of their comments/etc.

    Geez, wish I had your problems, Jay! :-)

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      Thanks for stopping by. I like the “good star” angle. I’m going to ponder that.

  • http://www.sweetsoaps.com Ellen Cagnassola

    Good timing that I am reading this as I am about to convert my site to WordPress and re-brand my business. I think no blog comments is fine Jay. It’s not unlike sending out an email newsletter (no comments there either) If people want to say something to you they can email. Maybe those emails become blog posts? Content cultivated. I find there is less and less time and how many things can one human do on a PC everyday? My eyes are blurry already.