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?
Tim Varner is co-founder of Roost, which makes it easy for content producers to use web push notifications to grow their audience. Sign up for free at GoRoost.com.
Sounds interesting. Push notifications on smartphones usually stay until we clear manually(by swiping etc). But it seems web push notifications will disappear automatically. What if the person is away from screen for sometime/pc is idle?
At least on my Mac, the notifications still live in a tray that can be opened on the side of the screen, Subodh.
And when I power up for the day, I often have two or three notifications waiting.
Wonderful. It sounds awesome and I am agree with you that web push is really necessary for bloggers. thanks for the information you have provided on this topic. This is your another great post.
This tool looks interesting! These inventions can really be helpful for bloggers, as we know that, Converting one time visitors into loyal readers is a great approach to build a better blog.
Have a Nice Day!
Web Push is really nice tool, if it provides notification it is really interesting concept, so that the blogger going to benefit for this tool. Great Post.
In response to your question, the notifications are still available to you in your system tray, which is in the upper right of your Safari browser, if you happen to miss them.
We also offer features that help optimize for conversion.
How does the web push user experience scale when subscribing to many high-traffic blogs? What about notifications overload?
By the way, web push seems to finally vindicate the basic idea pioneered by RSS. Despite the advanced stream filtering algorithms of social networks, an all-you-can-eat option still makes sense in many cases.
At Roost, we allow publishers to create personalization options for their subscribers. That is, give their subscribers the option of declaring what content they want to receive notifications about. That helps mitigate against unwanted notifications. Visit, for example, TheNextWeb to see how this works.
But ultimately, if brands mistreat the channel, their users will unsubscribe. So here, as everywhere else, brands must be responsible.
We have Best Practices section on our site with guides–many more to follow–that are designed to help brands think through their strategy and help them optimize for the best possible user experience.
I should say, at a basic level we agree with your RSS observation. Others have cast us in those terms, such as HubSpot and TechCrunch. We have the advantage of better/new technological solutions over old-style RSS, but all that was good about RSS is also true of web push. Web push is just more expansive in terms of its capabilities.
This would be my big concern. It seems like web push could get very obnoxious very quickly. I could see using it to subscribe to one or two of my absolute FAVORITE blogs, but most blogs would get the no… and i would kind of be annoyed at how presumptuous they would be to ask to be in my face like that.
Paolo — I agree, so good to have a way to serve the function of RSS, but without having to go to another place to see if you have updates. I’m thinking overload would be handled the same way as we handle it with email — when the user feels like they’ve maxed out, they begin to unsubscribe and only keep alerts on for their top picks.
I thought about this as well. I can see subscribing to other posts and receiving contact push notifications which could be annoying plus drain my battery on my iphone.
I agree, Paolo. I can see some viewers just clicking OK to get notified and then later becoming “banner blind” to the notifications that pop-up.
It’s good to know this is coming. It will be interesting to see how well it is received.
This is the first time I am hearing about Web Push and I really like its features. I will definitely give it a try as driving regular visitors is a huge problem for every blogger. Thanks for bringing Web Push to my attention!
WebPush sounds as if it’s going to be the Internet’s next multi-million dollar or billion-dollar application. Can we possibly look forward to it being acquired by Facebook or twitter in the future? Bloggers who use natural methods for driving traffic to their posts or always looking for effective and unique ways to drive traffic and retain visitors on their sites, thus, increasing e-mail subscriber opt ins.
Hopefully, we can look forward to hearing great news about this wonderful application on a major news websites such as Bloomberg, Forbes, Reuters, or TechCrunch.
Is web push an open standard or a popular product aspiring to become a de facto standard?
There is no standard yet, but we expect a W3C standard to emerge in the coming years.
Previously I had really no idea about web push.I do know that popups but don’t have any idea that these are called web push and how effective they are for any blog.Thanks for sharing it.Indeed a great share.Well done.
This sounds like a great idea. I just set it up however, it’s telling me there was an error. I followed the instructions to a T setting it up on my WordPress.org dashboard. Did anyone else have an issue? I sent an email to Roost support.
The only thing I can think of is I gave my email address for those reaching me on my blog not for my Gmail account. Any suggestions?
I get push notifications from Pinterest through my email. I think I like this way better for my browser but will they pop up on my phone through an app kinda like Messenger for Facebook?
The web push is a promising tool and is very helpful for alot o bloggers
Congratulations! You get the prize for the freshest content across the web!
What a breath of fresh air. Push-notifications will be the new email/rss. The standards for creating web-push notifications across all browsers will improve with the new conversions. (I big plus in Push-notifications.)
The only thing I see Lucy getting upset about is the first screenshot. Much like pop-ups, I think she will get annoyed at the placement while reading other content. The side notifications currently in effect will be more popular (if not with higher conversions, we’ll see).
Thank you for making my day!
Along with my other comment, I’d like suggest a more sturdy operation. Can something be engineered to stay on the browser sidebar after the web push notification?
For instance, something similar to Google Plus with notification numbers on an icon that is then rolled down for browsing latter on? Possible solution to get around the need for in time browsing.
I have already enabled Push via Roost and so far the number of signup is low and it might grow when we get support for other browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Tim any deadline for Chrome ?
“Push” technology has been around for a long time, both in and outside of the browser. In the late 90’s a service named PointCast ruled the roost…. but pushing large amounts of data created bandwidth bottlenecks, so other players emerged and were pushing summaries of “custom content” to users. Some of the companies included Intermind (I was personally involved with) and BackWeb (which was quickly snatched up by Microsoft and incorporated within their operating system and new Internet Explorer browser , which lagged WAY behind Netscape Navigator at the time). Microsoft was focusing on web tv, dominating the tech world (even creating products for Apple so they didn’t cease to exist – due to monopoly / anti-trust concerns) and totally missed the beginning of what was coined the “killer app” era. Nice to see “push” back in this current form. Great article. Thanks.
The web push is a promising tool and is very helpful for alot o bloggers,should improved myself by support of web bloggers.
First time I hear of Web push, will check it out for sure, from what I read sounds promising.
Well for me, i tried web push some time ago but i didn’t realize this that important :)
I will check it again for sure..Thanks for letting me know of it :)
this is new for me. i hear first time