You defined and set up your content marketing goals, published content, let your analytics software collect data, and were excited to take a look at the results. But your conversion rate was way lower than expected. Now your work is cut out for you: you need to drive more conversions—but how? Let’s take a look at a few strategies and tactics to increase that conversion rate.
Keep it simple: Make it easy for visitors to convert
Often, conversion rates are low because it’s difficult or impossible for visitors to convert. This sounds obvious, but it’s important to make the path to conversion as streamlined as possible for your visitors. While the path of least resistance will be different for each site, there are some general best practices recommended by most conversion rate optimization experts.
Add clear calls to action
Whether you want your visitors to request more information about your service, buy a product from your online store, or request a demo for your software, you can’t expect them to know what to do next if you don’t tell them. After all, your readers can’t read your mind. Implement clear, compelling calls to action (CTAs) in your content to make it easy for readers to take the next step. Building the perfect call to action could be an entire blog post of its own, but here are some core considerations when implementing CTAs in your content:
- Provide direction. Tell your readers what action to take, as explicitly as possible.
- Be concise. Limit your CTA to one sentence.
- Communicate value. Make sure readers feel like it’s worthwhile to take action.
- Stand out. Your CTA should attract attention and make your readers feel inspired to click through.
Having a clear, compelling call to action reduces confusion for your visitors, making it clear what to do next.
Track your CTA performance with Quietly Insights.
Shorten the path to conversion
What does a reader have to do to convert from a blog post? How many clicks, forms, and pages do they have to go through before they’re able to download that whitepaper, request a demo, or make a purchase? Every action on the path to conversion is another barrier that makes it more difficult, and therefore less likely, that a reader will complete a conversion.
Where possible, enable conversions right on the page. Trying to get newsletter subscriptions or demo requests? Have a sign-up or demo request form beside or below your content.
Want to increase online product sales? Link directly to your product landing pages. Better yet, let visitors add products to their cart from the blog post—take a look at how MEC features products in their blog post.
Make your blog accessible
If visitors can’t see your content or calls to action, they can’t convert, so it’s important to make sure your content is as accessible as possible. In particular, reduce your page load speed, and ensure your site is optimized for mobile devices. Aside from providing SEO boosts, these two tactics directly affect your conversion rate.
Aim for a page load speed of under one second—according to a report by Akamai, a one second delay in page load speed can result in a 7% reduction in conversions; 47% of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% of visitors abandon a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Long story short, it’s super important that your content loads quickly! You can measure your page load speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Mobile optimization continues to be more and more important—according to Statista, as of Q2 2018, nearly 52% of all internet traffic is on mobile. 52%! If your blog is not optimized for mobile, you risk losing the attention of over half of your potential website visitors. By simply making your site easier to access, you can significantly improve your conversion rate.
Attribute conversions to your content with Quietly Insights.
Be compelling: Make visitors want to convert
Now that you’ve made it easier for visitors to convert, we need to take a look at the other side of the equation: ensuring your visitors actually want to convert. After all, no matter how simple it is to make a purchase, become a lead, or download an ebook, if your readers aren’t interested, they’re not going to convert. Here are a couple of ways to increase your conversion rate by creating more compelling content.
Focus on real customers
We’ve written about this at length, but it’s important to create content with your readers in mind. It’s easy to lose sight of who you’re writing for, especially when you’re brainstorming with content strategy, calls to action, and company objectives in mind. The most straightforward way to make sure you’re focusing on real customers? Ask yourself these questions when planning new content:
Who is this piece targeted towards?
If you don’t know who you’re talking to, it’s hard to know what to say or how to say it. Refer to your buyer and audience personas and pick one persona to target per post.
Where are they in your customer journey?
Once you know who you’re targeting, determine where they’ll be in the customer journey when they read this. You’ll want to adjust your message and call to action depending on whether they’re becoming aware of your brand, evaluating your offer, or ready to convert.
What are their needs?
Finally, knowing your audience also means knowing what their needs are. Ultimately, visitors read your content because they have some sort of need or pain point. Whether that’s a need for a product or service, a solution to a problem, or education about a topic, compelling content should address those needs.
If you’re unsure what your readers’ needs are, consider doing some keyword research to identify what potential readers are searching for. Alternatively, opt for a more direct approach—just ask! User interviews are a great way to get a better understanding of how your content can provide value to your target personas.
Once you’ve answered these questions, review your content and determine whether:
- Each piece of content is targeted towards the right audience
- There is adequate coverage for all stages of the customer journey
- Your CTAs target your audience’s needs at the correct stage of their journey
With this information in mind, you can either revise existing content to be better suited for conversion, or create new content to address each area of opportunity.
Understand converting content
In addition to understanding your customers, it’s also important to understand your content so that your content strategy can get even stronger over time.
The first step is to determine which blog posts are driving conversions. If you’re using Google Analytics, take a look at this guide to determine the conversion value of your content. If you’re using Quietly Insights, use the conversion section of your analytics dashboard to find your top converting stories.
Once you’ve found your top converting content, identify the commonalities between these stories. For example, consider whether top performing content pieces:
- Are centered around a specific topic
- Have a similar type of CTA or offer
- Are targeted towards the same audience
- Are of a similar length or format
- Have a similar focus keyword
- Have been promoted through similar channels
Then you can create content based on those insights. For example, if most of your top converting content contains more than 1,000 words, focus on creating more long-form content. Similarly, consider using successful CTAs in more of your stories.
It’s worth noting that not all the common elements you initially identify contribute to the strong performance of your content—ultimately, you’ll need to test which of these elements are most effective at driving conversions. However, they’re a great starting point to test what works, and what doesn’t.
Improving your content conversion rate isn’t always easy, and it can take time. But by identifying your areas of opportunity, and creating a plan to tackle these issues, you can increase the conversion rates of your existing content, and ensure any new content you create is even more effective.