Content marketing is a powerful tool we can use to help us achieve our business goals, which (for most of us) means generating leads or conversions.
However, often we get so caught up in the SEO benefits of blogging (and measuring content success with ‘empty metrics’) that we forget that your content actually has an important role to play in lead generation.
Is your blog doing its part to bring in new business? If not, here’s a simple first step you can take to make your blog a more effective conversion-assistant…
Historical Blog CRO
When it comes to optimising your blog for conversions, your ‘old’ blog posts are an untapped goldmine. Of course, creating new conversion-focused content is great but in this post we’re going to focus on what we can do to polish up the posts that already exist on your blog.
Why? Because it’s quick, it’s easy and most of your blog traffic will be coming from posts that are more than a month old (about 76%, according to Hubspot).
If you look at your top performing blog posts as part of your content performance reporting, you’re likely to notice that huge chunks of your blog traffic are likely also coming from just a handful of posts.
You know the ones: that bunch of ‘perennial top performers’ that rank in the knowledge panel, gained momentum on sharing sites like Tumblr or have been linked to a bunch of times.
It’s time to give those old timers a new lease on life.
- First, identify your top-performing blog posts
If you don’t already know, check blog analytics to identify your top-viewed blog posts of all time.
You can do this by logging into Google Analytics > scroll to the “Behavior” section in the left-hand menu > select “Site Content” > select “All Pages”. Set the date range to all-time.
Next, filter your results by entering the URL path: (EG: /blog/) in the search bar on the all-pages report.
You’ll now be looking at a list of your top-performers (by pageviews). To ascertain whether they’re making their mark with your audience (not just being viewed and hated), you’ll also want to take into account things like bounce rate, time on page and even scroll depth.
- Assess your high-traffic/low-converting blog posts.
Now that you’ve got your list of high traffic but low converting blog posts, you’ll want to assess each one carefully.
- The information is still relevant
- There are no mistakes or issues with the page
- There is nothing else you could improve to make the post even better than it currently is.
- There is relevant CTA on the page
If they already have a CTA you’ll also want to check how well it’s already converting, because if it ain’t broke; consider focusing on the low-converting ones first.
- Add the right CTAs
To improve the conversions rate of the page, you’ll need to ensure that each post has a relevant CTA or clear logical ‘next step’ in the buyer journey. And by ‘relevant’ and ‘logical’ we mean that it makes sense to be on that specific blog post.
Many marketers have the same CTA or opt-in on every page. But it doesn’t take long to figure out that different offers are going to appeal to different audience members.
To match your most relevant CTA with each post. Think about:
- The blog’s target audience (what are they interested in?)
- What stage of the buyers’ funnel they’re in (what are they ready for?)
- What deals, offers or opt-ins would appeal to this type of person at this stage?
- What new offerings do you have now that you didn’t have when this post was published?
- What CTAs or opt-ins would work on this post based on the above?
- Go a step further by identifying relevant keywords:
Now – the thing about the last step is that, although a good place to start, you’re basically choosing your ‘relevant’ CTA based on your own assumptions about what the blog post’s visitors are looking for.
As always, it’s better to make these kind of decisions based on data. In this case, that’s keyword data.
By identifying the specific keywords people are using to find your post, you’ll have a much better understanding of what it is that they’re after. By matching the offer you promote in the post with the keywords people are using to find it, you’ve got a good shot at giving them what they really want.
Here’s an overview how to go about it:
Step 2: Prioritise your keyword list based on the top 1 or 2 keywords most of each post’s traffic is coming from.
Step 3: Optimise your posts using the target keywords identified above.
Step 4: Incorporate those exact keyword phrase(s) into your posts’ calls-to-action (CTAs).
Marketing giants, Hubspot have tried this method on their own business blog and were able to generate 3X more leads from the blog posts they optimised. In fact, of the 75 posts they optimised using this method during a trial, they increased the conversion rate on every single one.
- Finally, pimp your CTAs.
Once you’ve got a compelling offer on each relevant blog page, the final step you can take is it pretty-up your CTAs themselves.
Here are a few good pointers on how to optimise them visually.
Your blog should be assisting with generating leads for your business, and – if it’s slacking a bit in this area, your top-performing ‘oldies-but-goldies’ are a great place to start.
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