For today's review, I found two websites that are made by two different readers and that - upon closer inspection - are plagued by the same problem.
If you have been blogging, but it seems like everyone's ignoring what you write, check out this video to see my suggested fix.
The Opt-In Begging Problem
The websites featured in today's review are Kip Kitchen and Healthy News 24. The first problem both of these sites have is that there are too many opt-in forms and the forms aren't exciting enough.
Yes, Thrive Leads includes every opt-in form type you can think of, from sidebar widgets to Scoll Mats to multi-step opt-in forms. But that doesn't mean you should use every form type at the same time. If you do that, you'll just overwhelm your visitors... and you'll come off a bit desperate, too.
Instead, I recommend that you start out by creating one opt-in form and refining it, to make the offer a really juicy one (here's a post to help you come up with irresistible opt-in offers). Then, create one alternative to that opt-in offer, try to make it just as deliciously attractive and test them against each other.
When in doubt, I always recommend a streamlined approach. Your website will perform better if you focus on optimizing few things instead of adding lots of stuff.
Your website will perform better if you spend your time optimizing instead of adding more stuff.
The Boring Headline Problem
Both of the sites in this review are content or magazine style sites, which makes the problem with the titles that I mention in the video especially egregious. However, no matter what market you are in and no matter what your business model, the points from this website review apply to you if you do any kind of content marketing.
To take the guesswork out of creating awesome and click-worthy post titles, I have three recommendations for you:
- Check out this post with 8 tools for creating great headlines.
- Use the Thrive Headline Optimizer plugin to A/B test headlines and use only the highest performing ones.
- Download the bonus swipe file below.
What are your thoughts on the sites in today's review? Can you apply the tips from the video for your own site? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Great video and post Shane.
I agreed with everything you said.
People browse headlines just like they used to in the newspaper. If it catches their attention they read the 1st sentence. If that sounds interesting they continue.
Yes, very good point, Patrick. After you’ve created a compelling headline, it’s just as important to create an interesting opening paragraph. We’re all careful about how we spend out time, so if something seems boring in the first few seconds, we’re gone.
Great Post. These tips may be simple but have a great effect long term. Thanks Shane for sharing!
Thanks for your comment, Andrea! Glad you liked these tips. 🙂
Woah. That headline template booklet is really good! Gonna copy and try to use some of those! 🙂
Thank you, Danielius! Glad you like the swipe file! 🙂
as always, you are the greatest over at Thrive
Thank you very much!
Excellent video and article, Shane. Loved it! Coming to think of it, these mistakes are actually quite obvious yet made so often (I have made them for sure in my “early” days). I also think that your term opt-in “begging” really hits the nail on the head. I have been recently seeing the possibility of a site sending your “notifications” instead of asking for your email address. Wonder what your thoughts on this approach of using browser notifications are to get the message across to the site visitors.
Great post. I have shared it to my social media pages as I think it is really important for every blogger to know (of) this stuff. Thanks for sharing your insights!
Thank you for your comment, Sameer!
I haven’t tried the browser notification thing. My current thinking about it is that I would much rather have an extra subscriber on my mailing list (where I have 100% control and ownership) than have someone get browser notifications when I publish a new post. In terms of attention management, the browser notifications are more of an attention waster, in that sense.
But since I haven’t tested it myself, that’s all just speculation.
Yes that’s the way i like it. Very good topic and a cool background. Good idea.
Thank you, Thomas!
Great tips and information. I use your products and will look into the Headline Optimizer.
Glad you enjoyed these tips, Rick!
You always Have Great Insight!! Thanks For The TIPS!!!!
Thank you, Joseph!
Very useful post Shane. I agree writing blog post titles is like writing a headline for a product. There are millions of websites competing for the same visitors so we have to market our content in a similar way we market actual products. Content assets are commodities and need to be treated as such. I would add that it’s important to ensure the Meta description reflects the blog post title, since the search engines archive that content’s title for increasing one’s virtual real estate. Thanks for the helpful article.
Thanks for your comment, Lewi!
Great tips. Thanks!
Thank you, Deb!
As always, great insight.
You want to critique my site?
Let me know. Thanks!
For a chance to get your site featured in one of our videos, you can submit it here.
I really appreciate your insight regarding the home/landing page vs. the “blog roll.” Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to create a home page–and I like your suggestion that you should create a homepage that introduces your site to a NEW visitor and not just display your latest blog post.
Question for you: Is it just as effective to use a Thrive landing page for a home page vs. the homepage of a Thrive theme (for example, Rise)? Should we start with a landing page as our homepage template, or try to create a homepage, starting with a theme and relying on the Content Builder?
Thanks again for your awesomeness–you are one of the few people online who are truly keyed in on the needs–and wants–of your audience/subscribers. I appreciate you and your crew very much!
We have some templates made specifically for homepages. It’s certainly possible to use a landing page and make it match the look and feel of the rest of your site. Although the experience will be more seamless if you use your theme and create a “home landing page” with that.
Also, we’ve got this webinar replay which might help you in your quest for building a great homepage.
So do you feel that adding opt-in offers or content upgrades go blog posts is all too much or too many options?
There’s no rule written in stone, about this. The important thing I look for is that overall, it should feel like you (as the site owner) are offering me (as the visitor) something truly valuable and interesting. If you present me with a huge, in-you-face offer for something I really want, it doesn’t appear desperate. And even if you have many different offers advertised in many different ways, it won’t look desperate unless those offers are boring or irrelevant to me.
This is one of the big problems with using something like “subscribe to our newsletter” as an opt-in offer (one of The Big 3 problems we keep seeing): nobody wants more emails. And if a site is showing popups and ribbons and boxes all over the place, all asking the visitor to subscribe to a newsletter, that comes off as desperate.
Thank you – yes my blog and podcast titles are too boring!
I would not have realized it if I had not watched this video.
I will see what I can come up with that is more engaging!
Glad this gave you some helpful insights, Lesley!
Thanks, Shane, this was really helpful. I’m also stuck on what to put on my homepage as it’s currently showing my latest blogs. I can’t seem to edit it with TCB, is this because my theme layout overrules the editor?
You can follow these instructions to make your site’s homepage a custom page. To create an optimized homepage, you might also find these templates useful, or this guide about the “upside down” style homepage.
I hope this helps!
Hey Shane – fantastic tips and content as always. On a side note, how do you do your video background – is that a green screen which your editor then changes to the animated one? And also, how do you do the circle with your head in it when moving to the screenshare? Thanks!
Thanks! All the video stuff you see is custom built by our video editor, using After Effects and Premiere.
Thanks for the swipe files! The importance of writing clickable headlines cannot be understated. Another great resource to help people improve their headline writing skills is the free Headline Analyzer over at CoSchedule.
Thanks for your comment, Rob!
The headline analyzer is an interesting tool, although I’d use it with caution. It looks for very specific words in your headline, which will increase your score. Once you play around with it a bit, you’ll A) get frustrated at how many good headlines get relatively bad scores and B) learn how to game it to get very high headline scores, but those headlines will often not actually be very good. 🙂
New mic Shane?
You might want to fiddle with the audio settings a bit because this one makes you sound like you have a cold 🙂
Anyways, great tips as usual.
I watched all the website reviews you have done so far (in fact I have read every single blog post on this site) and there’s one thing that makes me sad. And that’s that people don’t really implement what they learn here.
I mean, it’s so simple and the Thrive Themes suite makes it so easy, but still most people won’t implement this on their own sites. I have gone back to sites months after your review was posted and I still find them in the same condition.
I just wish people actually put thrive themes to full use (like I’m doing on my website which is under construction) and gain the benefits.
Anyway, great review Shane. Keep it up 🙂
Thank you for your comment, Pulkit!
Look at it in a positive light: by doing these things to optimize your site, you gain a huge advantage over 99% of other sites out there. 🙂
Also, there wasn’t anything wrong with the mic, I just had an actual cold when recording this…
Yep, I’m super excited about what I will be able to do on my website by putting the whole suite to the best possible use.
Get well soon 🙂
Shane, great tips as usual, but the Headlines Swipe File is the best. And thanks for pointing out the conflicting calls-to-action. Made me go back to my website and make a few changes.
Thanks for your comment, Asa! Glad you found this useful.
Great post as always, Shane. I purchased the Thrive membership last weekend and really love how easy it is to use. Excited to start testing and tweaking my lead boxes.
Thank you, Kim! Glad to hear it. 🙂
Enjoyed the animated background you had behind you in this video. Also, great info, as always.
Thank you, Eric!
Hey Shane, I really like you reviews. I will really appreciate if you review my new site. Thanks!
Thanks for your comment! For a chance to get your website reviewed, you can submit it here.
I have seen bloggers using too many pop ups and it irritates a lot. The headline of the article needs to be engaging but the number of opt-in forms should be kept at minimum.
Very interesting and useful for my website as always.
But I was making that mistake because Yeast SEO in WP was saying
“your title is more than the limit”.
Important question for me: Is there really no SEO problem to make a long title, as you have shown examples?
Michel, Yoast SEO allows you to have a different title for the search engines and for your visitors.
This will help you to keep the SEO title as short as needed and the “real” title as enticing as possible for your visitors.
You have shared very important post, Shane. This was also a problem for me. Ordinary title can’t drive any traffic for our site. However, title makes a visitor happy, at first sight. If visitor not happy, then your article has no value.
Thank you for your comment, Janet! Happy to know this was useful for you!
I am so grateful for finding and becoming a member of Thrive theme! You guys are amazing and continue making my life as a new online business so much easier and comfortable. You guys, and your product totally rock!!!
Your tutorial videos and ‘teaching’ videos are an amazing added asset that help me improve my website and my visitors experience.
This is such valuable information. I completely understand that too many buttons and options are confusing.
As a new business, I am trying to engage as many people as possible and create an inviting variety for my visitors, while maintaining the simplicity you talk about.
I’m struggling with this issue all the time.
It’s a tough balancing act!
How does one create that balance I wonder….
Any tips on that?
p.s – would be happy to have you ‘dissect’ my website in one of your future reviews. I find these reviews so so helpful !
Thanks for your comment, Lian.
I think it comes down to priorities: of all the things you want your website to do, what’s the most important? If you could only have one conversion goal, what would it be?
You have to be able to make a decision about that, focus your site on that conversion goal and keep everything else to a minimum.
Your observation is very great and along with this tips to fix the problem is also classical .
Thank you for sharing such nice and very conducive article to make wonderful blog article without mistake most likely .
Thank you, Samdani!
Hi Shane great article once again. Can I ask the program you use to have the circle of yourself talking while demonstrating on the screen in your video please?
That’s a custom-created effect, in After Effects, I believe. I’m not the one doing the video editing though, so I’m not sure.
Thanks Shane – It looks great
What theme is being used here? I might be a little off point but I was just wondering. I am thinking maybe the Focus Blog but I’m not sure?
Thank you for taking the time to share your expertise. There are so many minor adjustments we all can make. Your videos makes it all seem a little easier.
Thanks for your suggestion and video about the mistakes made by the bloggers so often. I hope getting knowledge from your article one can really improve the situation and can be removed the mistakes.
Thanks for your worth information. A do agree with you that these tips are simple but have a great effect for the long term. Thanks Shane for sharing!
I have learned that I have to draw attention to each sentence. Only then will I make my reader continue in the post. Congratulations on your article.
(Aprendi que tenho que chamar a atenção em cada frase. Somente assim vou fazer meu leitor continuar no post. Parabéns pelo seu artigo.)