How to convert blog readers into customers.
Over the years, you’ve probably had the same issues that many have. You get plenty of visitors and readers to your blog posts per month but the majority of them aren’t converting into paying customers. There is a way however to convert those readers into paying customers.
Most people will tell you that it’s the content that you write, it’s not related enough etc. Sure that’s part of it but there is no guarantee that just because you write related content you’re going to convert your readers into customers. To understand how to do this properly, let’s look at a methodology for converting readers and how you can apply it.
(1) Make your first blog post a call to action for whatever product or service you are selling.
So the first item a reader should see is a page that will present your main service and has a call to action that encourages consumers to convert. If you’re selling a product, it should direct users to a product landing page. As we sell services, we’ll be directing people to a lead capture form. Because of the way that most blog posting software works, it’s possible that these posts end up being at the bottom of the pile after a way. Look for a way to pin it to the top, or perhaps create a separate feature for it so it’s always visible.
(2) Have a call to action at the top (or bottom) of your blog.
This should ask people what they want from your site. Is it more information about a specific service area (so in our case this might be digital marketing, web design, web development or so on), but if you offer a product, this might be more product information. Again, this will eventually funnel readers to a call to action page that has a lead capture form.
(3) Add a top/bottom bar to your pages.
If you have specific content offers or an overarching proposition (we give away free marketing consultations), then a top bar/bottom bar/pop up that highlights this and takes users to a data capture form that encourages sign up for this. You can set it up so that even if a user scrolls, they will still be able to click on a link that takes them to the capture form.
When a reader navigates to a blog post to read it, it’s always good to have a leader to your other service areas at the bottom of the page. So when a reader clicks the call to action button they are taken to the product page or service page with a lead form (having this actually on the page can increase lead form conversion rates by up to 30%). If you have a service offering, this is a great place to display it too.
Pop-ups are good but make sure you’re not spamming your readers too much as they are primarily there to read your content.
(4) Contextual links.
Don’t just rely on users seeing your offer at the top or the bottom of your page. Have lead capture form links within the content of the post itself. Also use any side bar space that you might have to lead users to read content on related service / product pages. People are more likely to convert during the course of reading if the contextual linking is strong enough.
(5) Make sure your pages answer common search queries.
If you want to be known for a particular product or service, make sure you have got pages on your sites, or more importantly blog posts, that talk about that specific thing. So if your prospective customers are Googling “top web design agencies” – perhaps have a page that compares the top 5 web design agencies on your site with you as the number one agency.
Keyword research is massively important when you decide what to write your page content about. You can use free tools like Ubersuggest to analyse terms (or words) that are regularly being searched and gauge how difficult it is going to be to rank for those terms. Blogs should be optimised for keywords that you want to rank for and you should include them in your headers.
(6) Show real reviews and testimonials.
People want to see authenticity and results that prove your product or service can do what it says it can do. Peppering your site with real case studies that provide social proof is a sure way of moving a potential customer further along the sales funnel.
According to a 2016 survey conducted by Bright Local, 90% of customers read ten online reviews before trusting a brand and nearly 60% pay attention to the overall star rating.
WordPress has a plugin that can easily be added to your website and you can choose from different rating types (stars, percentage etc).
(7) Pay attention to post readability.
According to HubSpot, less than 20% of online visitors read every word on your page. People scan content and look for information that captivates their attention.
Use headings carefully, pull out quotes of pertinent information, add images to describe more complex content. If your content is more scannable, readers understand the marketing message more easily and they are more likely to convert.
Add proof where possible – show numbers, mention studies and statistics – online readers really value facts.
Keep paragraphs short; short paragraphs allow for white space – not only is this more pleasant to look at but it’s much easier to read.
Use bullet points and numbered lists. These help break up your text and emphasise important information that can be understood at a glance. “How to” posts are still really popular and lists are the most indexed content on Google (look at what appears in featured snippets).
(8) Avoid sounding salesy.
The last thing readers want is to be sold to. They aren’t reading your blog posts solely to buy something. They are usually looking to add to their knowledge about a certain area. Yes, they are ready to buy but they will be turned off by anything that is too in-your-face.
Content should educate people, offer expert advice, actionable tips and techniques that can be easily applied in their working lives.
And remember the golden rule – product or service features should always be linked to benefits. It should be crystal clear why a feature of your service exists and how it can answer a problem or need that the reader genuinely has.
Remember that readers come to your site for a reason – they want to be educated first and foremost. Yes, they want to buy but content should be tailored to their specific needs, from search term, through to its presentation, to related content and it should be really easy for them to find a way to your Calls to Action. It’s a different mindset but one that you should focus on today.