Why does your business site have a blog? Running a blog is time-consuming and expensive. Content production is not for the faint-of-heart. A blog has to justify itself, and that means it has to contribute to increasing the chance that a visitor will act. What that act is depends on the type of site and the business’ marketing strategy, but every business blog exists to fulfill a purpose.
And yet, every day I see business blogs that make next to no effort to elicit conversions. There is content, but that’s as far as it goes. When I talk to business owners about their blogs, often they haven’t really considered conversion rate optimization. In their mind, a blog is an SEO tool. It exists to get more relevant pages into the SERPs.
That’s an old-fashioned conception of a blog. While blogs are certainly a powerful SEO tool, it’s important to think about what happens when visitors arrive from search or from a social network. What do you want them to do? Where do you want them to go? How can you best achieve those goals?
The first step is to make sure that your blog is an adequate platform on which to build a conversion rate optimization strategy, so let’s have a look at two ways businesses are actively negating the opportunity a blog presents.
This is a little obvious and abstract, but everything depends on the quality of the content. An SEO-focused blog has to fulfill minimum standards of quality: grammatically correct, unique, relevant. But that’s not enough.
Everyone blogs and content is everywhere. People don’t have the time or the inclination to consume poor quality content. A 300-word article knocked together in half-an-hour that contains nothing of value to the reader won’t get you far in the battle for attention.
Take a look at your blog and ask yourself if you would read what you’re publishing. If you saw a link to one of the articles on Twitter, would you click? And if you did click, would the content encourage you to read more articles on the same blog? Would it excite or interest you? Would you learn something of value?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, why do you expect anyone to feel different?
Let’s assume your blog’s content is awesome. What next? You’ve given something of value to your visitors, but is that the end of their journey with you? It may well be if there isn’t an obvious way to engage with the business or get further information.
A call-to-action is a short piece of copy, often accompanied by an image, that makes an offer and elicits an action. The action might be to visit a different page, make a purchase, sign-up for an email newsletter, or provide contact details in exchange for access to more valuable information.
Every page on your blog should contain at least one call-to-action.
Building A Foundation
The two areas I’ve discussed are the bare minimum for building an effective blog-based conversion strategy. Yet every day I see business blogs that don’t come anywhere near meeting even that standard.
Investing in quality content and adding relevant calls-to-action is the first step on a journey that could transform your blog into an active revenue generator.
Author Bio: About Graeme Caldwell — Graeme works as an inbound marketer for Nexcess, a leading provider of Magento and WordPress hosting. Follow Nexcess on Twitter at @nexcess, Like them on Facebook and check out their tech/hosting blog, https://blog.nexcess.net/.