Prospective clients often ask, “How can writing blog posts turn website visitors into leads and new customers?” It really is the Big Question they need to understand before committing to inbound — or content — marketing.
For businesses, blogging does much more than let followers know about recent news and events. When done right, it establishes your organization as an authority in your industry, gives followers an insider look at your company culture, boosts SEO, and generates qualified leads.
How to Convert Blog Readers to Leads
Let’s take a company that has written several blog posts over the past year, and while most don’t get too much attention—maybe 30 to 50 visits a month—one or two of the posts have started:
To receive links from other websites
Are showing up in the top organic search results for relevant keywords
Are starting to be shared by strangers
A few of these blog posts are getting 1,500 visits per month (more than some website pages), even though they were written six months ago, and each is getting anywhere from 10 to 30 clicks on the call-to-action (CTA) in the blog post.
That click takes the visitor to a landing page with a relevant offer (exclusive content in exchange for contact information).
Those landing page visits generate 2 to 3 leads, respectively, when the visitor completes the form to get the content.
That company is now generating 2 to 3 leads per month from a blog post that they wrote six months ago. What happens when they continue to write blog posts and optimize them as recommended below? They start to generate a steady stream of leads from these blogs — and each time they create a new offer or have another blog post that finds success, they see more leads coming in.
You know the 80/20 Rule; it applies here, too. Expect 80% (or more) of your leads to come from 20% (or fewer) of your blog posts. We can’t guarantee you that one of your first 10 blog articles are going to hit paydirt. You may need to write 50 or more before you see some of them regularly cranking out leads. There are a lot of technical reasons why this is true — it’s not just your writing! We always urge clients to keep faith and continue posting. We’ve never seen it fail over the long term.
5 Things Every Blog Post Needs to Generate Leads
1. Written for Your Target Persona(s)
In order to generate leads utilizing content or inbound marketing, you have to know your target persona — who you are writing for and who you’re trying to attract to your website. If you have no destination, any road will get you there, right? If you have no target, you will have few visitors and no leads. Research your target audience and learn about what they're looking for online and how you can solve their challenges. Write about and create offers related to those things that they are searching for and asking about online.
2. Sound Keyword Strategy
The best content in the world won’t help anyone (not your target, nor your company) if it can’t be found. Prospects search using certain words and phrases they think will get them the content they want; those words and phrases are called keywords. Do everything you can to get your posts found and properly indexed by Google by utilizing a sound keyword strategy of inserting those specific and relevant words and phrases in your blog content. But don’t go overboard and try to game the system by writing jargon-filled posts. Write for humans and not computers.
3. Good Call to Action
At the conclusion of every blog post there needs to be a call to action (CTA) where the reader is asked to further their knowledge or to learn more about the topic being discussed in the blog post. This is where a number of inbound marketing programs fail—they simply forget to, or do a poor job of, inserting a call to action and moving someone from being a blog reader to a lead.
4. Relevant Premium Content or Offer
It’s a best practice to include a link to an offer or landing page that can provide the visitor with some additional, related content to download. This additional content is exclusive, kept behind a wall, and made available only to those who request it. It’s more than another blog post; this is premium content that is richer, lengthier, more useful. Having multiple pieces of premium content makes it easier to ensure that what you offer with each blog post is relevant to the subject of that post; relevance is key to clicks, downloads, and lead generation.
5. Promotion, Promotion, Promotion
If keywords are your strategy for being found and read, then promotion is your tactics. Strategy without tactics is the slow road to success; strategy plus tactics makes it happen for you dramatically faster and sooner. You must promote! Even the most established blogs spend a fair amount of time promoting their blogs via social media and acquiring new subscribers to their blog. So, proudly publishing your latest blog post is just the first step in the process. Allocate plenty of time and attention to propagating every post.
If you're interested in more ways your blog can generate leads, download a sample chapter of LeadG2: Getting Prospects to Raise Their Hands, by Matt Sunshine.
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