You probably know that while visits are nice, leads, well, are so much nicer. Simply put, blogging for the sake of driving more traffic to your website doesn’t cut it any more. You need to find a way to monetize your content. The real value lies in the ability to take this traffic and convert it into real leads, and eventually revenue, for your company.
Back in 2014, HubSpot’s research found that marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. Not surprisingly, the same report found that marketers’ top two business concerns are increasing the number of leads generated, and turning those leads into customers.
Once you’ve set your priorities straight, and start blogging at least once a week – if not twice or three times, it’s time to create a clear conversion path from your blog. This will help ensure that any top-of-the-funnel visitors can easily see what the next step is for them to take in the buyer’s journey.
Here are four helpul ideas on how to start generating more conversions from your company blog:
1. If There’s No Call-to-Action, You Can Forget About Conversion
Adding calls-to-action (CTA) to your blog is probably the simplest (and most important) way to get your blog readers to leave their contact details. To make sure readers are viewing and clicking on these CTAs, place them around the blog in areas where they will get the most eye traffic.
Before you start populating your blog with CTA boxes, check that the offer you’re featuring is directly related to the content of your blog – and the stage of the funnel it’s aimed at. The entire point is to offer the reader with more information on a topic that he or she has already showed interest in. If you just finished reading a blog post on SEO tips, you’re more likely to click on an offer for an eBook on SEO best practices, than one on web design or demand generation.
In addition, depending on the product or service you’re selling, figure out what the most vital “next step” is that you want your readers to take. For example, if you’re trying to get prospects to sign up for a free trial of your SaaS product, you may want to skip CTAs for eBook downloads, and just make all of the CTAs on your blog post page consistent with that specific objective.
What are the most popular places to feature CTAs on your blog?
- Header (more about this below)
- Middle of the Blog Post
- End of the Blog Post
- Hyperlink Text-Based
In terms of placing a CTA in the header, one useful tool you can leverage is Hello Bar. It basically sits at the top of your blog page (or any other web page), and remains visible to your readers while their scroll through your post. It’s extremely simple to test out different messaging, and change the color and style.
As with anything else in marketing, the only way to find out which CTA positions appeal most to your target audience is by testing. Beyond the position itself, make sure to also test other elements, such as colors, messaging, visuals, and most importantly – the offer itself.
2. No One Wants to Fill Out Your Ridiculously Long Form
Congrats! You’re successfully driving traffic to your blog, and visitors are even clicking on the sidebar CTA to register for your latest webinar. Nothing can stop them from turning into a lead now, right? Well, not exactly. If they reach your landing page, and see a form with more than a few essential fields, they may not be wiling to fill it out in exchange for your offer.
In fact, research from DK New Media and Formstack found that the optimal conversion rate occurs when the number of fields a user has to fill out is 2-3. They also found that reducing the number of form fields to 10 or under increased conversions by 120%!
When deciding which fields to keep, and which to throw out, make a list of all the information you’d ideally like a prospect to leave. Then, start separating the “must-haves,” such as name, email, and company name, from the “nice-to-haves,” such as job title, company size, revenue and so forth.
To determine the ideal number of fields, you need to keep two things in mind. The first one is, “How valuable is this offer?” The length of the form needs to be suited to the value of what you’re offering. If the form is for a webinar registration, keep it as short as possible; however, if it’s for a 1:1 demo, it’s legitimate to ask for fields such as position, goals, budget, and so forth.
Your initial goal is to get the prospect’s email, so you can then use it to nurture them through email marketing campaigns. If a prospect returns to your website after the first conversion, you can then implement smart forms and progressive profiling to extract information that hasn’t been requested in the past. It basically saves any details that have previously been filled out by that lead, and only features new questions that haven’t been asked yet.
Pro Tip: Instead of redirecting visitors to the form through a CTA, consider embedding the actual form itself at the end of the blog post. This saves them the “click-through”, and makes it more appealing to fill out, since it’s already in front of their eyes and doesn’t require any extra time or work.
If you’re looking for tools to optimize your web forms, this is a great article.
3. Mobile Responsiveness is King
What does mobile responsive design have to do with generating conversions from your blog? Let’s start with the fact that a recent study by Nielsen and Googlesuggests 77% of mobile searches are performed at work or home — areas where a PC is also likely to have been available. This means that many of your blog readers are consuming your content from their smart phone, and not their laptop or desktop.
As a result, your blog posts, and any CTAs featured on them, have to be mobile friendly. This also reinforces the idea above about sticking to only as many form fields as necessary. Any extra fields are distracting to mobile users, and can even stop a visitor from converting. Make sure to actually check what your blog looks like on a mobile phone, and ensure that there are no CTAs that block the content itself, that show up in the wrong place, or worse – don’t show up at all.
On a slightly unrelated note, if you tend to keep tabs on updates to Google’s search engine algorithm, chances are you’ve already heard about “mobilegeddon.” As of April 21st, Google announced, “We will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” It’s become more important than ever that your website, blog included, be easy for mobile users to access. To find out if your website is fit for mobile survival, check out Google’s mobile-friendly test.
4. Blog, Blog Again, Blog Some More…
This last one’s a bit of a no-brainer, but the best way to increase conversions from your blog – is to blog more. Companies that increase blogging from 3-5 times a month to 6-8 times a month almost double their leads. Once a company has published 200 total blogs, it will likely generate an average of 5 times the number of leads as a company that doesn’t blog regularly.
Suffice to say, your blog posts have be targeted correctly to the audience you’re looking to attract. Prior to selecting a topic, make sure to select one SEO keyword to focus on in your post. In addition, refer to a tool such as Google Trends or BuzzSumo to narrow down the specific aspect of that top that’s proved to be most popular with audiences.
Lastly, if you’ve been blogging for at least a few months, take a look at the performance of your posts in Google Analytics. Your main source to check there will be under ‘Behavior’ and ‘Site Content’, which will help you understand exactly which content drives the most traffic, page views and more.
If you’re reading this blog, that hopefully means that your own blog is up and running and seeing some success in the form of visitors. Optimizing the experience your visitors have on your blog and the paths you present those visitors to convert them to leads is the next step into seeing higher ROI for those efforts. Are there any blog conversion techniques you didn’t see here? If so, share in the comments!
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