This is a guest contribution from Tim Varner of GoRoost.com.
Raise your hand if you’re a blogger who’d like to turn your one-time visitors into repeat visitors — and eventually, engaged community members.
If you’re not raising your hand, I’m sorry — but we can’t help you. Go watch a cat video or something.
If you are raising your hand, get stoked.
Because coming soon to a browser near you is a new technology called web push.And it’s quickly becoming every blogger’s go-to traffic driver.
Intrigued? We thought so. Read on to learn what exactly web push is, and why it’s the next big thing for bloggers.
So Wait… What’s Web Push?
If you use Facebook or YouTube (or any number of other apps) on your phone, you’re likely already familiar with push notifications — you just might not know it. They’re the messages that pop up on your phone — regardless of whether you’re using the app at that moment — to tell you there’s an update on a stream or channel you’re subscribed to.
Though mobile notifications have been around for a while, web push is brand new. It’s different because it sends notifications through web browsers — not apps.
This innovative technology is already available in Apple’s Safari browser, but this fall it will become an option in browsers Chrome and Firefox, which are used by far more of the population — in other words, more of your readers.
And, yes, this is a solution that will support desktop and mobile web browsers.
Translation: web push is about to become HUGE.
Here’s how it works:
- While surfing on her laptop, Lucy lands on your blog…. and a window pops up asking if she’d like to subscribe to push notifications.
- To accept, all she has to do is click “Allow.” (She doesn’t even have to give her name or email address.)
- The next time you publish a new post, a small notification will appear in Lucy’s web browser. If she likes the headline, she can click on it. If she’s not interested, it will disappear after a few seconds.
This is what the process looks like in Safari:
And here’s how notifications show up (Gigwise box in top right corner).
Now that you understand how it works, it’s time to learn what sets this traffic-driver apart from social media and email.
Why You Should Pay Attention to Web Push
We know you have lots of options for driving traffic to your blog. So why should you shift your strategy to include web push?
One very important reason: Web push is an incredibly effective way to turn one-time visitors into loyal readers.
It encourages opt-ins
Web push notifications have a 15 percent opt-in rate, which is about 10 times higher than email newsletters. People have grown wary (not to mention tired) of giving out their email address all the time, and web push solves this with just one click of the mouse.
That’s awesome news for anyone trying to build an online community — because once a reader opts in, it’s easy to bring them back to your site again and again. One-time visitors will then turn into loyal, repeat readers, which is exactly what you want as a blogger, right?
It has a broad reach
One of the problems with sharing your message on social media? Your reader has to be a member of that specific network and using that network when you send an update.
With web push, your reader only has to use a browser — which applies to pretty much everyone who uses the internet. Rather than hope your reader will be on a specific social network at the exact time you’re posting, you can catch your readers where they’re already hanging out: on the web.
We all know nobody has a long attention span anymore. That’s why web push notifications were designed to be brief.
When you publish a new blog post, your subscribers receives a headline, rather than the full article — similar to a 140-character tweet. Yetunlike Twitter, the message isn’t lost in an overwhelming clutter of other posts. Instead, it shows up where the subscriber is already working or playing: right in the browser.
It makes audience segmentation easy
You may have always wanted to segment your email list — but didn’t have either the know-how or the time.
Web push makes segmentation easy. It allows you to send specific content to specific subscribers, which means you won’t waste time sending content to people who aren’t interested, and your subscribers won’t feel spammed by constant updates.
Here’s an example: If you write blog posts on pizza, pasta and hamburgers, but your subscriber is only interested in pizza-related content, they can choose to only be notified when you’ve written an article on pizzas. This ensures that both you and your reader get the most out of the experience. (Not to mention it gives you an inside peek at your audience’s true preferences).
Bottom line: Web push works.
It opens a world of opportunities for content creators, helping bloggers and publishers see incredible results for opt-ins and engagement. So when are YOU going to turn your visitors into a loyal community?