Is your blog effective? How do you know? What does “effective” even mean in terms of blogging?
If your company is blogging at least once a week, that’s a good start. Creating compelling blog content is one of the best ways to reach your audience, drive traffic to your website, and establish yourself as a thought leader. However, if you aren’t seeing real ROI from these efforts - in the form of leads, it can be tough to justify the time and resources required to frequently update and promote your blog.
To see the true benefits of blogging, every single piece of content you create – along with the design and layout that go with it, needs to be optimized to convert website traffic into leads.
On June 10th, we have co-hosted a webinar with B2B marketing expert Roy Povarchik, called “How to Make Sure No One Converts from Your Blog” on this exact topic. During the webinar, Roy will discussed some of the biggest mistakes bloggers make when trying to convert blog readers into real leads. Before you join us to learn more about creating a “conversion-worthy” blog, first formulate a clear idea of what the next step you want your blog readers to take is, and how you plan to measure this conversion goal.
CTAs, Content Offers, and Everything in Between
Blogging is an excellent medium for growing your audience and your lead base, but it can’t exist in a content marketing vacuum. The point of your blog is not only to impart valuable knowledge to your audience, but also to make them want to leave their contact details to receive similar information.
The email signup CTA is a must-have, but beyond that, figure out which of your premium content offers, such as webinars, eBooks, templates, white papers, or even a free trial, relates most to the subject of your blog post. If someone’s already clicked through to read your post, the CTA you feature there should be directly connected to the topic they’ve already showed interest in.
After you’ve selected which offer to promote, work on figuring out where readers are most likely to see it on your blog. The positioning matters as much as the content itself – the harder it is to find the CTA, the lower the chances of your prospect converting.
Here are a few tips and tricks to consider when positioning CTAs:
1. Make it Stick: If you choose to put CTAs in your sidebar, make them “sticky” (fixed position), meaning that it scrolls up or down with the reader no matter where he or she is on the page.
2. Simplify Conversion: Instead of placing a CTA at the end of the blog post, why not just embed the form instead? This saves the visitor from having to click through, and makes it more appealing to convert since the form is front and center; this tactic is best for short forms.
3. Top of Mind: Heard of the Hello Bar? It’s a simple, full-width bar that spans across the top of your website, and helps you grabs people attention, without using a distracting pop-up box.
How To Tell if Your Blog Readers Are Actually Converting
You’ve written a great blog post, and even added a CTA to the bottom and the sidebar. Now what?
The next step is to measure whether the CTAs are actually working, and if so, which ones work best, on which blogs, for which offers. In other words, you’ll need to track the effectiveness of your blog to know whether your efforts are resulting in good lead conversions.
However, simply measuring the number of leads you generate each week or month doesn’t really provide actionable information - certainly not enough to begin an optimization program.
Here are Roy Povarchik’s 11 analytics to track for blogging success:
- Unique visitors
- Pages per visit
- New vs. returning visitors
- Bounce rate
- Visitors coming from search engines
- New subscribers
- Popular posts/pages
- Social interactions
- Referral traffic
- Mobile vs. desktops session duration
- Operating system of visitors (OS X vs. Windows/ iOS vs. Android, etc.)
Keep it Simple, Blogger
In your enthusiasm to turn your blog into a lead conversion machine, it’s easy to get caught up in implementing every call-to-action, widget and pop-up under the sun to entice your readers. However, this clutter can confuse and even scare your readers away (seriously, no one likes pop-ups).
It also makes it extremely difficult for you to accurately track which elements of your blog are successful and which are costing you leads. To avoid this, focus on one or two optimization elements at a time – and carefully measure conversion rates. For example, try using a specific call-to-action that relates to the content they are reading – and make their conversion path clear and clutter-free.