I am concerned about where to place a link to our blog on our pages. I’m concerned that by putting the blog in such a prominent place such as the main navigation at the top of the page, we could be distracting visitors. In other words, a visitor comes to our site to buy a product, sees the blog articles and goes off and reads those and is then pulled away from his/her original mission. Do you think that this is a valid concern?
Also, I do see that while the blog has gotten a lot of traffic, not a single one of these visitors converted or much less even visited our Order Form during their blog visit (although they could have converted during a later visit).
Is there a reason that I’m missing for putting a link to our blog in the main navigation?
The key point about a blog is that it contains timely content and is a way to attract subscribers to your site so they keep coming back. Research has shown that visitors to a site rarely buy on the first visit and it takes up to 7 interactions with your site before they’ll committ (I can vouch for this with Search Engine College).
So your first priority is to get them to subscribe to the blog and then convert them to a sale later on. This can be helped along by placing a big Order Here button on the blog home page. You could also encourage them to subscribe to your feed via email and then you’ll have their email address too so you can up-sell to them later, provided you ask their permission via opt-in.
So while I understand you don’t want to interrupt the visitors that might be placing an order, I think the benefits of grabbing new subscribers outweigh any risks of losing sales. I also think that people who are serious about placing an order will do so, even if they decide to read the blog first. If you’re concerned, make the blog page open up in a new window so they aren’t taken away from the product pages.