Take a look at an article on your business’s blog and ask yourself this question: how does this article help to convert visitors into customers?
For many businesses, the answer is not at all. Their blog is used to bring people to the site, but does nothing to lead them towards buying or subscribing. Visitors stumble across an article, read it, and move on with their lives.
That’s a wasted opportunity. Your business’s blog is a key component of your inbound marketing strategy, but a popular blog that doesn’t convert is almost worthless to the business. It may help increase mind-share for the brand, but it has the potential to do so much more.
Let’s have a look at some of the ways a business can increase the likelihood that visitors will convert.
Account For Intent
Building an audience is one thing; building the right audience is something else altogether. A blog serves multiple purposes, but each piece of content should be tailored to a specific goal.
Some content should be purely about raising awareness of the brand by encouraging sharing on social media and other channels. But a subset of content should focus on improving search ranking for queries that demonstrate intent to buy.
I’m not a fan of business blogs that are entirely focused on selling, but there’s nothing wrong with using the blog to address the concerns, interests, and questions of users about issues directly and indirectly related to the product.
Prominent Calls To Action
Calls to action are essential if blog articles are to produce conversions. Calls to action are on-page elements that influence users to take a specific action. A typical example is an email subscription form with a short piece of copy that establishes a value proposition: “Sign up for more great content about shoes”.
Calls to action should be prominent, but not disruptive. Don’t block visitors from accessing content when they arrive from the SERPs. Doing so may increase conversion rates, but the leads are usually low quality and Google intends to start penalizing pages that obscure content on transition from search.
Act On Exit Intent
Although you shouldn’t block visitor’s access to content, there’s nothing wrong with using modal popups to grab their attention after they’ve read an article. Exit intent — the intent to move away from a page — is signaled by interactions with the page that can be monitored. Scroll position and specific patterns of mouse movement are key indicators.
Displaying a modal dialogue with a sign-up form when users signal an intent to exit is non-disruptive and great for conversions.
If you’re a WordPress user, there are several plugins for displaying calls to action triggered by intent to exit. OptinMonster is probably the market leader, but it’s a little pricey for smaller businesses, who might want to take a look at Yeloni Exit Popup.
Offers For Blog Readers
A business’s content marketing strategy should be informed by clearly defined marketing personas. Each piece of content should target one or more of those personas. Because you know who will be visiting, it’s possible to present visitors with promotions tailored to the specific characteristics of a persona. In fact, you should be creating content with specific promotions in mind.
It’s not enough to publish awesome content that attracts an audience. Businesses also need to figure out how to leverage that content to benefit the business in more tangible ways. Clear calls to action, tailored content, and targeted offers are powerful weapons in the blog CRO arsenal.