A few weeks ago, I decided to rebuild this site using a minimalist template in order to see if it would affect the search engine rankings. So far, there's been no discernible impact, in case you're wondering.
However, I've been wondering if the stripped-down theme might have other benefits. Perhaps in terms of calls to action at the end of the post. I know that since changing the design, I've experienced more comment responses to the site, which I'm very grateful for.
But let's look at calls to action. For the uninitiated, we think of something a reader might want to do after reading an article. Other options might include:
- Subscribing to receive updates
- Following me on Twitter (very popular these days)
- Social media buttons (I'm not sold on the benefit of these)
Before I go on, I'm only keen to implement one call to action. I want to keep this simple, I don't want to baffle readers with tons of options. This has to be a focussed call to action with a measurable set of results.
I like the idea of increasing subscribers to the blog. I can offer the option via email or RSS and track the subscriber numbers through Feedburner. Currently though, the subscriber count is languishing at about 17, which is unsurprising since I've not been actively seeking subscribers. What will happen when I do though?
On the downside, I don't update this blog as often as I could. It's not my primary focus. So would I be wiser to offer a route to connect with me somewhere else? Somewhere like...
The new darling of social media. I have two accounts there - my personal account and my @unrealitytv account. I actively use the Unreality TV account for day to day chat though, so it's the best route to chat with me.
I've experimented with social media buttons in the past. Not only do they clutter up the page, but they confuse people who don't know what social media is.
On the other hand, I'm a very active StumbleUpon user (almost 8,500 stumbles). Perhaps a call to my fellow StumbleUpon users to vote for my posts, and a link to my profile? I'd prefer this to a nasty-looking dump of social media icons at the bottom of every post.
Ha ha, just joking. The last thing I intend to do is stick adverts on my minimalist blog design! Are you mad?
So, which should it be? Email/RSS subscriptions, hook-ups via Twitter or a dedicated StumbleUpon call?
I'm undecided. One idea is to use all three on a rotational basis - give each call to action a month to work and measure the results. Work out which one is most effective and run from there.
Are there any other calls to action you think I've missed out on? At the moment, building readership and connecting with other people are the priorities for this blog, so Twitter, subscriptions and traffic-generating social bookmarking sites have potential to do that.