Take Action To Generate Lead Through Blog Optimization: A Guide For Marketing Directors And Managers
Lead generation is not left to chance. Your strategy probably has many layers - including a blog - but is that blog working as hard for you as it could? If your phone isn't ringing, if your web traffic is low, and if you're not getting the kind of action you want on social media, your blog might be ready for an overhaul. To get you started, we've put together a blog optimization checklist you can use to increase traffic to your website and generate more leads in the process. Each item on our list is designed to provide maximum benefit, with actionable hints that can help you see results right away.
Blog Optimization Tip # 1: Write What Your Audience Wants To Read
Knowing your audience is the key to marketing success. What is most important to you? Your audience wants solutions. They want insights. They want bite-sized information that they can apply quickly.
Avoid sales-oriented content
Sure, your product or service is likely that solution, but keep in mind that no one wants to be bombarded with your sales messages day in, day out. The more they see sales pitches, the faster they switch off. What they would rather see is something that solves a problem or answers a question for them.
If your blog continually highlights the benefits of investing in your platform, application, product, or service, you will lose more than you gain. On the other hand, if your blog is helpful, practical, and useful, the more likely they will read it to the end and share it with their network. The more helpful you can be, the more valuable you are to them.
Solve problems, influence people
First, try to add value by positioning yourself as an expert in your field and as someone who really understands your pain points. Make friends now, the sales will come.
Here are some things you can do to better understand your customer:
Create detailed customer personalities, then write content specifically for them. Buyer characters are fictionalized sketches of your ideal customer. They help us better understand who we are marketing to and what type of content they are responding to. Once you've created your ideal buyer personality (and maybe a negative buyer personality to represent your less-than-ideal customers), you will be better able to deliver highly customized content that will grab their attention.
To be useful
Some of the most viral content we see on the internet today revolves around brilliant ideas for dealing with everyday problems. If you manage to create such a solution in a highly specialized environment, both your reach and authority will explode. Be part of the solution your audience has been looking for!
It's not enough to showcase your own expertise - you also need to connect with other authorities in your niche. Select reputable sources to cite or link to, and let that source know that you have consulted them. They may even help you by promoting your post to their own followers, giving you double credibility to pass on to the bank.
Focus on the content first, then SEO
Just writing for Google can lead you in a lonely direction. It can overshadow what makes you unique in favor of rankings - a modus operandi that is as transparent as it is annoying. First, make sure your content is flowing well, then see what you can do to improve SEO. Remember that a popular post generates its own value in the form of views and posts, which are much more valuable from an SEO standpoint.
Use landing pages to increase traffic to your blog.
A little SEO comes into play here. Create streamlined landing pages that address a single topic or problem and use them to link back to your content that solves that problem in more depth. You can create a variety of such landing pages, each one focused on a specific topic or pain point.
Keep your website and all content updated
Clean up broken links and remove outdated content to make sure your website visitors don't stumble upon something that could confuse or ruin your good work. There's nothing more frustrating than browsing empty cyberspace for something that either doesn't exist or isn't very useful.
Use eye-catching visuals
Even if you're not great at design, you probably have what it takes to turn a boring, overused stock image into something that really grabs the interest of your ideal client. Image design can amplify your conversions in ways you never thought possible—think infographics, color, fonts, and balance. Granted, this isn't a skill you develop overnight, but with a little help and practice, you'll have it down in no time.
Check out this great guide on conversion-centric design for a wealth of tips to get you started.
Deal with emotional content
There are many levels of engagement and many ways to provoke an emotional response. If your content doesn't connect with your target audience, consider using emotional signals to generate a response.
Stimuli such as color, symbolism, and the promise of wider conversation provoke a psychological response and serve the dual purpose of revealing your brand's personality. It may take some experimentation to find out what really gets your people talking, but when they do they'll eat out of your hand and come back for more.
Blog Optimization Tip # 2: Make Your Blog Easy To Read
Your blog layout should be easy to read and digest. It should draw the eyes of its readers to the most important points and be divided into small sections for maximum impact. Your blog can be long or short, but everyone should pay attention to these key features:
Use short paragraphs
There is a tendency to skip long paragraphs. Make sure you address your main points right at the start and that you present your reasoning in clear English that everyone can understand. That should go without saying, but it should be repeated.
Use section and paragraph headings
Summarize your paragraphs by telling the point you are trying to make, then come up with your case as soon as possible. If you enlarge the white area around your titles, even a long post will be easy to read. Use the H1, H2, H3, and H4 tags for headings as they do a double job: they loosen up the content, and when you use your focus keyword in the headings, they provide a way for the search engines to to pick them up.
Choose standard web fonts for readability
Fancy fonts may give you creative pleasure, but they are not fun to read. If your message is to get across, it has to be understandable. This applies to the written word as well as to the spoken language. A clean font on a white background focuses on the content and not the design.
Use bullets or numbered lists
Bullet points or numbered lists break your content down into bite-sized pieces. Coupled with an introductory title, it allows your reader to browse the article for the information that interests them most. Numbered lists may be more useful when it comes to describing a sequence of events, while bullet points provide a neat representation. Whichever you choose, stay consistent.
Responsive design means your content will look exactly the same on any computer or device. If you have invested some time and effort in the design and layout of your blog, this should be even more important to you. In addition, Google is prioritizing mobility-friendly websites and blogs over those that are not.
Blog Optimization Tip # 3: Optimizing Your Blog For Email Conversions
You may not catch every single reader who turns up on your blog, but you may stand a better chance of building a mutually satisfying long-term relationship if you can force them to give you their email address. Your email list is a targeted tool you can use to offer even more value to your customers through segmentation—but that's a topic for another day. First you need to get these email addresses. And this is how it works:
Include email opt-ins anywhere
It should be anchored on your homepage, in the footer, in the sidebar, and at the bottom of your blog post. Be sure that it is as obvious as possible.
Use scroll boxes
An email opt-in that appears once the user has scrolled to the end of the article is more subtle and produces better conversion rates than a pop-up.
Make your registration forms visually appealing
Use contrasting colors to make your login box stand out from the rest of the page.
This technique, also known as two-step opt-in, uses information in exchange for an email address. Offer a white paper, a tip slip or an eBook in exchange for your registration. You are receiving something valuable and you have just won a new prospect!
The "ethical bribery
You won't land conversions by just staying cool, though that won't hurt. On the other hand, when solving a problem, relieving a pain point, or sharing privileged information that your customers want, you will get a lot of action. Give them something they would consider paying for. Here are a few ideas:
Give them a "how to" template that guides them through a complex process with ease
Offer a tip / cheat sheet to help them save time on industry-specific hacks
Showcase your expertise with a case study of how you and your team solved a problem in the real world and how it can be carried over to other situations.
to develop an "essential toolkit" to help them manage processes or design systems with a specific goal
Most importantly, make sure that you are offering something that they cannot get on your website or by reading your blogs, otherwise there will be no impetus to jump on your suggestion. Make them an offer they can't refuse!
Is your blog ready to use?
In summary, these are just a handful of methods you can use to optimize your blog for lead generation, but the most important thing to keep in mind is value. What does your audience really want? If it's possible to give it to them - at least a small part of it - those leads will keep coming.