In a nutshell — if you have a blog you HAVE to try Push Notifications.
I am going to confess — I am NOT an early adapter. In spite of making my living on the internet as a writer, SEO specialist and BLOG implementer I almost never jump on a bandwagon of any kind before it is at least partially proven.
Years after regularly saying NO to push invitations, I finally decided to give it a test on one of my websites. And the really crazy thing? I had to read a paper based, newspaper to find out how good PUSH is.
Yes, it is amazing that newspapers still exist.
Before I continue, I’m going to take a moment to clarify what BLOG push notifications are.
If you have a smart phone, you have probably seen hundreds of APP push notifications. You almost always have to sign-up for the notifications as part of the process of downloading the app.
If you are on the Internet a lot, you’ve seen BLOG notification requests like these ones …
If you refuse the first one, you will likely get another request when you visit the site again. If you specify “never allow” you will see the push request only once.
If you say YES, you will start getting notifications like this one. Depending on the service you use, the notificaton will just disappear after a few seconds, OR you might have to click on the X to close the push panel.
Viewers can click on the gear symbol in the lower right corner for more options including cancelling further notifications.
My PUSH Test Results
Backstory: Over two months ago in the midst of a major crisis, I happened to be in a hospital trauma care room for the 30th day in a row. I was waiting for an update on my Mom who at the age of 90 had broken seven ribs.
I read every page of the newspaper, including an article on Web Push Notifications and how successful they were proving to be for many blogs. I was intrigued and thought that maybe I should finally take a look and maybe give it a TEST. I KNEW it wouldn’t work for ME (sound familiar?), but testing is in my blood so …
I went home and did a few searches to find some reviews. One of the reviews mentioned a Blog I was familiar with. I followed the links and found a case study about the blog. The owner “complained” about massive success. She was even considering abandoning her newsletter in favor of PUSH.
I decided to go ahead and test Push on my sugar-free-zone.com blog. I had recently revived the blog after years of neglect. I thought that if PUSH actually worked for this blog I would pay more attention.
I spent an hour installing it and making sure it was actually working and then, stuff happened with my Mom again.
I didn’t check back with my push account until almost a month later. During that time about a dozen scheduled blog posts went active and my Virtual Assistant worked on and posted several recipe posts.
When I finally had the time to check I was GOBSMACKED.
Good thing I was sitting, otherwise I would have HAD to sit down.
In just less than a month, on my low traffic site 275 people had signed up.
Then I got a second round of GOBSMACKING information.
Subscribers were actually responding to the notifications by returning to the website. Not just a few people but on one of the notifications over 33% came back to the website to check out the article. Holy sheep doo!
I’ve been on the Internet for over 25 years and have NEVER seen that kind of response rate. The highest response I’ve ever got from one of my email newsletters was 39%, that was once in a over a year of emails. Now I am getting a CTR (click through ratio) of over 20% almost every time a push goes out.
I am now two months into my test. I continue to have high levels of Push signups, though NOT as high as the first month. The initial surge was from my regular readers. I suspect the rate of subscriber sign-ups may slow a bit more next month … but I’m also working on site SEO, so you never know!
In the second month the response rates continue to be high (averaging 20%). The traffic coming back to my Blog has literally doubled my overall traffic stats, and lowered the overall website bounce rates (important for SEO).
The service I am testing offers 2500 free subscribers before requiring participation in their paid program. The program starts at $29.00 a month, but offers some really good add on services including one that I would really like — a drip program that would allow me to show push notices on all my favorite blog posts to each new subscriber.
In the mean time I found another program that offers 30,000 free subscriptions before the pay gate comes into effect. I am going to test this program to see how it compares.
Here are the two services I am testing. In a month or so, I will followup with a comparison review of both services.
- Up to 2500 free subscribers.
- You can manually schedule push notifications into the future.
- Good and informative stats.
- The biggest benefit of their PRO version is the ability to set up an evergreen push feed.
- Up to 30,000 free subscribers.
- You can set up segments in the free program.
- Ability to Personalize Notifications
- Almost immediate stats available.
How To Start Web Push Notifications For Your Blog
I don’t see any downside. The upside is increased traffic and time on your website.
You can test for free. Your only investment is 60 minutes of your time.
Put aside one hour to set everything up. Test by having a friend visit your blog and signup. You should see one new subscriber within hours. If NOT, ask for help. I actually contacted the PushEngage help desk and asked them to confirm my setup was working. They were VERY helpful.
Let us all know what kind of results you are experiencing after a week or so!
If you are currently using either PushEngage or OneSignal I’d love to get your opinion (and results) of your service. If you have other suggestions, let us all know!