Why did you start blogging? Among other reasons, you probably want your readers to take some sort of action. Perhaps you want them to subscribe to your blog or download a particular piece of content. Of course, the ultimate goal is to get as many of them as possible to become customers. In other words, you want your readers to convert.
Are you satisfied with your blog's current conversion rate? If not, take action to change that! Through a practice known as conversion rate optimization (CRO), you can turn your blog into a conversion machine. Let's first get a better understanding of blog optimization for conversions and then consider 7 surprisingly easy ways to put it into practice.
About Blog Optimization For Conversion
What is conversion rate optimization? CRO is the systematic process of increasing the number of site visitors that perform an action on your website of your choosing. These desired actions fall into two categories: micro-conversions and macro-conversions.
Micro-conversions are smaller goals that precede or lead up to bigger desired actions. For example, simply subscribing to your blog would be considered a micro-conversion. On the other hand, the term macro-conversion refers to larger achievements. More significant actions such as requesting a quote or making a purchase fall into this category.
Regardless of what type of conversions you hope to achieve, the process remains the same. With your current conversion rate in mind, you must first set a realistic, time-bound goal for where you hope to be.
Next, identify elements of your blog that need improvement. As you pick out what you feel are the weaker parts of your blog, ask yourself these questions:
- Could I change this in a way that would boost my conversion rate?
- What can I do to motivate my readers to take the actions I want them to take?
After making adjustments, you can then test the results to ensure that you've made forward progress. The raises the question: what kinds of changes can you make?
There are plenty of tweaks known to boost conversion rates, but we'll consider some of the simplest.
Optimizing for Conversion: 7 Simple Tips
Here are seven website conversion optimization tips that are very easy to put to into practice.
1. Leverage the Power of CTAs
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are prompts that encourage people to take immediate action. They are exceptionally powerful for two reasons.
First, many people tend not to take action unless they are specifically asked to do so. Sometimes this is because they don't know what action to take; other times, they simply may not have thought of doing so. In either case, asking outright can prompt them to act.
The second reason why CTAs are so effective is that, as stated, they often lead to immediate response. In these chaotic times, people are more easily distracted than ever. Readers who you let navigate away from your blog may never return.
That means that you have a very limited window to get your blog visitors to convert. Needless to say, you have to make the most of that short span of time. Placing calls-to-action strategically and prominently on your blog is the way to do that.
Deciding Where to Put Your Calls-to-Action
Continuing our point about strategic and prominent placement, it's vital to know where CTAs work best. While you can certainly include them elsewhere, most marketers agree that it’s a good idea to place at least one CTA above the fold.
What does that mean? "Above the fold" refers to the portion of a page that can be seen without scrolling. In other words, everything within that space is seen first. Some common ways to place CTAs here include:
- Putting a banner across the top of your blog
Of course, there are also subtler options that can go above or below the fold. These include:
- Hyperlinks embedded in your text
- End-of-post CTAs
- Sidebar CTAs
However, a word of caution when it comes to the sidebar: it can be tempting to place several elements alongside your posts. While this might seem like it would increase your chances of converting, it can be a distraction. Therefore, it's best to keep your sidebar simple so that all eyes are on the call-to-action.
When designing your CTAs, make sure to follow best practices to ensure that they actually work.
2. Keep Sign-Up Forms Simple
Many conversion goals require that interested individuals fill out some type of sign-up form. If your site goals warrant this, make sure to keep the forms as simple and non-invasive as possible. Only ask for the information you need.
For example, if your goal is simply to get subscribers, your sign-up form shouldn't require your reader’s address, date of birth, and social security number. You don’t want your readers to be thinking, "What do you need that for?"
As a rule of thumb, the info you require has to be equal to the perceived value of what you're offering. Otherwise, conversions will continue to slip through your fingers.
3. Offer and Promote Content Upgrades
A content upgrade is a kind of bonus content offered in exchange for a site visitor's email address. Such upgrades are usually specific or relevant to the existing content on a page. Therefore, you can create several offers to match the main topics discussed on your blog.
Need some content upgrade ideas? No problem. Try these:
Cheat Sheets and Formulas
Some of your blog posts probably dispense advice. Why not turn that advice into a cheat sheet or an infographic with a formula that can be used to achieve a goal important to your audience?
If you would like to expand on a subject discussed briefly on your blog, an eBook might be the way to go. They allow you to dive deeper into a specific topic and provide more value to those who download them.
Have you recently held a webinar, conducted an interview or created a video that would be of interest to your visitors? If so, you've got a great potential offer at your disposal!
Also an opportunity to expand on information discussed on your blog, you can create and send out an email series. Over a few days or weeks, you can progressively educate those who are interested in benefiting from your expertise.
Free Trials or Samples
A free trial of your services or a sample of your products might be enough to get people to convert. After all, most people think twice before turning down free things!
4. Publish Content More Often
How can publishing more posts boost conversion rates? One explanation is that regularly producing high-value content can boost your search engine rankings, making your blog easier to find online. As we’ve written before, businesses that blog tend to increase their leads by 67% per month, and businesses that blog frequently receive between 3 and 4 times more traffic. The more people who visit your blog and find it useful, the better your conversion rate will be.
When your readers are confident that they can count on you for up-to-date, easy-to-understand, practical information and advice, their bond with your brand becomes that much stronger. You become their go-to resource, which encourages loyalty.
This raises a question: how often, exactly, do you need to blog? That depends on several factors including your audience, the type of posts you publish, how many posts are currently live on your blog, and so on. Marketing guru Neil Patel explains how you can determine the right blogging frequency for you in five steps. In a nutshell, the more often you can publish, the better – until you’re publishing so often that you’re compromising the quality of your posts.
Once you've settled on a schedule, all you have to do is stick to it.
Granted, it can be difficult to blog regularly when you have other things on your plate. Yet, you don't have to carry the load on your own. It's simpler than ever to hire expert content writers to assist you with content creation.
5. Set High Standards For Quality
It's worth noting that publishing often is not the only thing that's important; the quality of what you publish comes first. Even when you're short on time, don't publish subpar posts just so that you can check them off of your to-do list. Blog optimization for conversion requires that you provide real value to your readers and stick to writing and SEO best practices. What are some of those best practices?
It's a challenge to express the range of human emotions through writing. Readers can't rely on body language, facial expression or tone of voice. When expression is limited, pick up the slack by being conversational. Boring people to death or coming across as stiff and impersonal are not the ways to get more conversions.
A conversational tone and style, while still professional, can keep readers engaged and make them feel more connected to you. This is a much more effective way to encourage your readers to convert.
Structure Your Posts For Easy Reading
Large chunks of text are overwhelming to the eye and can stop people from even starting to read. It's best to break up your text into bite-sized chunks to prevent your readers from getting eye strain. You can do this by:
- Using short sentences and paragraphs.
- Including images every so often. (You can also use images to emphasize important points!)
- Listing tips and statistics with bullet points – the way we’re doing in this section!
You should also make sure to use descriptive headings and subheadings. These set the reader’s expectations for the information to follow and make their reading experience much more pleasant. They also keep the interest of those who prefer to scan posts for the information that’s most relevant to them.
Educate More Than You Promote
Your posts shouldn't be all about your business. This will only push people away. No one wants to be sold to all the time. If you educate them instead, over time, your readers will naturally become more interested in any products or services that you offer.
Informative blogs often achieve better rankings on Google, leading to higher visibility online. This is especially true when, during indexing, web crawlers observe that your visitors tend to spend a considerable amount of time reading your content. For them, this is one indicator of a quality web page. As a result, your posts will rank higher and draw in more traffic with the potential to convert.
Best practices are called best practices for a reason. You can be sure that adhering to them will only further your goal of getting more conversions from your blog.
6. Ensure Mobile-Friendliness
Did you know that, as of 2018, more than half of all global website traffic comes from mobile devices? It's true! But what does that mean for you? It means that you must make mobile-friendliness a priority if you want to enjoy true blogging success. After all, you can be sure that a good portion of your blog visitors use mobile devices.
If your blog isn’t optimized for mobile browsing, those people will quickly become frustrated and give up.
What can you do to prevent this? First, evaluate how well your blog is optimized currently for smartphones and other mobile devices. You can use a tool like Google's mobile-friendliness test.
Once you've identified any existing issues, fix them. Consider searching for a responsive site theme that automatically adjusts to each visitor's device and screen size. Also consider investigating available plugins that will help you to make any necessary changes.
7. Practice Internal Linking
Internal links lead from one page on a site to another. Why should you include them in your posts? The more internal links your readers click, the longer they’ll spend on your site, and the longer you keep your readers on your site, the more chances you have to convert them.
Failing to keep your readers on-site and engaged for as long as possible means that they'll read one post and leave your blog without converting. That's the exact opposite of what you want them to do! Make sure that you include internal links where appropriate. You can use linked anchor text in the body of your post or create a section highlighting related articles.
Get Started With Conversion Rate Optimization
There are plenty of ways to boost conversion rates on your blog, even in addition to the seven discussed above. Several of those ways, as you've seen, revolve around the core of your blog – the content.
You likely know what a challenge it can be to stick to a consistent posting schedule while maintaining the quality of your posts. If that's a task you'd rather take off your plate, you might consider following in the footsteps of thousands of businesses who now outsource content creation. Outsourcing has numerous benefits including access to expert writers who specialize in crafting conversion rate-optimized content.
At Compose.ly, we’re proud to provide a way to connect to those writers and boost your content strategy. Why not give it a try and watch your conversion rate rise?
This article was written by Compose.ly writer Nia Gyant.