How To Optimize Content For Conversions

Writer:
Paul Dughi
Editor:
Published: Mar 21, 2024
Last Updated:
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So much of the focus of marketing these days is on driving traffic. Paid and organic traffic are certainly important, but what happens when prospects come to you? Can you get them to engage and convert? If they simply bounce without engaging or taking action, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities.

Fortunately, there are proven strategies to optimize content for conversions. This guide will explain the nuances of conversion rate optimization (CRO) with conversion optimization tips to improve your content marketing efforts and get action from your audience.

What Is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the strategy you put in place to craft marketing content and improve conversions. In other words, this includes everything you do to inspire people to perform a desired action. This may include purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, requesting a demo, or something else.

The average conversion rate for websites is 2.35%, although it can vary greatly by industry and sector. For example, personal care industries have higher average conversion rates of 3.17%.

CRO Formula and Calculation Examples

The CRO formula itself is fairly simple. Divide the total number of conversions by the number of visitors over a period and multiply it by 100. This gives you the conversion rate in percentage form:

( Total Conversions / Total Visitors ) x 100 = Conversion Rate

Let’s look at a few conversion rate examples.

Say your website attracted 100,000 visitors, and 2,000 people filled out your lead generation form. In this case, “conversions” are those who filled out a lead generation form. Your conversion rate would be calculated as:

( 2,000 total conversions / 100,000 visitors ) x 100 

(0.02) x 100 = 2% conversion rate

In this case, your conversion rate would be 2%.

Even small, incremental improvements in your CRO can pay significant dividends. In the example above, a conversion rate improvement of just half a percent — from 2% to 2.5% — would increase the number of conversions to 2,500. This equals a 25% overall improvement in the number of total conversions.

To put this into dollars and cents, let’s apply this same calculation to an eCommerce site with 2,000 transactions, or conversions. If the average sale is $100, the revenue from a 2% conversion rate would be:

2,000 conversions x $100 average transaction = $200,000 in revenue generated

However, at the same price point and number of site visitors but a 2.5% conversion rate, your revenue increases as such:

2,500 conversions x $100 average transaction = $250,000 in revenue generated

That’s also a 25% increase or an additional $50,000 in sales from just a small improvement in your CRO.

The Role of Content Marketing in CRO

You spend a lot of your marketing dollars to attract potential customers. Once they find your website, blog, landing page, eBook, or other content, you need to maximize your conversions. Without spending additional dollars in marketing to attract more people to your content, CRO delivers significant improvements in outcomes and reduces your acquisition cost.

Content marketing plays an important role here by attracting potential customers, driving traffic, and guiding them through conversion funnels. It may start with basic search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. However, content optimization moves people to act, driving them from awareness to interest to consideration to action.

Optimizing each phase of your content and targeting it directly at prospects at various stages of the buyer’s journey produces positive results. CRO and testing help you better understand and target your audience to further improve results over time.

9 Tips to Optimize Your Content for Conversions

An effective CRO strategy typically has four specific components that work together to drive engagement and conversions as it applies to content marketing:

  • Segmentation: Break up target customers into smaller audience segments.
  • Messaging: Tailor messages to reach each audience segment.
  • Engagement: Share the right messages on the right channels.
  • Monitoring: Review campaign performance for further optimization.

With that foundation in mind, let’s dig into some specific conversion optimization best practices with proven strategies to increase conversions (and revenue).

1. Make Profiles of Your Target Audience

In today’s cluttered marketing environment, it can be challenging to cut through the noise to get someone to focus on your content and act. For years, marketing focused on broad appeals in an attempt to attract the largest pool of potential customers.

Today, it’s about personalization. In fact, as McKinsey & Company shares, 7 in 10 customers expect a personalized approach. You must target the people who find and consume your content with messages that speak directly to them. This requires audience profiling to segment your prospects into smaller groups for greater personalization. 

Audience profiling allows you to paint a picture of your ideal prospects to hone your marketing approach. Here are the key steps.

Research

You must collect data about your target audience and integrate your internal and external data to make the most informed decisions. Understanding your customers at a granular level allows you to look for audience segments that yield the most potential impact.

It also helps to focus content for different audience profiles. For example, there might be significant differences between current and potential customers.

Uncover Attributes

Examine the data to look for commonalities among audience groups. This helps you focus content at each stage of the conversion funnel and puts you in the prospect’s frame of mind.

Identify Pain Points

Most successful marketing campaigns solve a problem or improve someone’s circumstances. To optimize content, you must understand what keeps your prospects up at night to uncover the issues most important to them. Presenting a solution is a powerful weapon in your CRO arsenal. If people feel your products or services can truly solve their problems, their focus is on value much more than price.

2. Identify High-Intent Keywords

Keyword research is fundamental to SEO strategies. Target high-buying intent SEO keywords to optimize your ad spending and content performance. Then, map them to funnel stages to guide conversion journeys and consistently provide the best results.

They also play a role in how content is created and focused. For example, target keywords such as “best accounting software” might be aimed at someone just starting their buying journey, while “free accounting software trial” could attract someone with clearer purchase intent.

This allows you to produce content optimized for prospects at each stage of the customer journey.

Short vs. Long-Tail Keywords

Don’t underestimate the value of long-tail keywords as well. There’s less competition for these keywords, and they can help you attract niche audiences looking for specific information. For example, consider the keywords “dress shoes” vs. “women’s red ankle-strap dress shoes.”

The former is considered short-tail and is much more broad. "Women's red ankle-strap dress shoes," however, is a long-tail term and will allow you to target that more niche audience.

While long-tail keywords will have fewer clicks, those clicking will have higher conversion intent for that particular product type.

3. Create Optimized and High-Quality Content

While SEO keywords are important to drive traffic and signal content direction, optimizing content for conversions goes well beyond layering keywords. 

While the modern marketplace is flooded with AI-generated content, you must develop high-quality content that provides significant value. AI content is often clearly identifiable and won't have the same ability to appeal to clients that organic material will. Use AI to form outlines, but ensure you give it an engaging human touch. Otherwise, you risk high bounce rates and low conversions.

image of a search bar coming off of a cell phone that says "EEAT" in Google's colors

 Google’s recent quality rater update focused on E-E-A-T as a strategy:

  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

Regardless of the types of content you create, demonstrating E-E-A-T is an effective way to optimize SEO and drive conversions.

4. Include Lead Flows in Your Blog Content

Lead flows are high-converting pop-ups that grab audience attention and offer specific value. Embedding lead flows into your blog content can improve web traffic conversion rates. Blog traffic then generates flow into your pipeline, capturing key visitor data.

For example, triggering contact forms, offers, or signups within your content or scheduling them to pop up at key moments can help with blog conversions. They can also help trigger automation targeting prospects, such as email sequences or enrolling them in a nurturing sequence. 

Lead flow data also becomes important to track lead movement through the conversion funnel and assess what works and what falls short for continued optimization. For example, if prospects stall at various points of the funnel, this helps you analyze your marketing messages at that stage to refine messaging and strategies.

5. Enhance Visual Appeal by Adding Images and Videos

Visuals send a powerful message and play a crucial role in conversion optimization. Dated visuals or design can signal poor quality — even when that’s not the case.

Provide context that goes beyond inducing engagement with:

  • Powerful visuals
  • Engaging images
  • Dynamic videos

This is mission-critical for eCommerce sites, where visuals play an especially important role in customer purchase decisions.

The Baymard Institute’s UX benchmark study showed that more than half of customers' first action was to view images when landing on a product page. While the results might differ for B2B, images and video still play an important role in conversions. One study showed that 93% of B2B buyers said video builds trust, while 97% said video views made them more receptive to sales.

6. Add Live Chat Features to Your Pages

Live chat provides an instant connection with those consuming your content. This allows you to capture leads and qualify visitors in real time with personalized interactions. Whether you deploy AI-enhanced chatbots for automated assistance or rely solely on human-supported chat, you can guide visitors along funnel stages and steer conversations toward information most likely to improve conversions.

Some of the benefits of live chat include:

  • Direct visitors to optimal content
  • Route leads to appropriate sales team members
  • Build personalized recommendations
  • Encourage greater engagement
  • Humanize digital experiences

With cart abandonment rates hitting 70%, chatbots are an effective strategy to decrease cart abandonment. Interacting with customers at key conversion points allows you to answer their questions and remove barriers to conversions.

7. Apply Persuasion Strategies and Create Urgency

What causes people to take action versus just moving on? This issue has been studied at length.

Dr. Robert Cialdini, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, often called the “Godfather of Influence,” has great insight into this topic.

Cpsldini’s research uncovered seven pillars of persuasion that you can consider as part of your conversion optimization strategy:

  • Reciprocity: Give something and get something, such as exchanging your email for valuable content or samples.
  • Scarcity: Highlight limited supply, limited-time offers, or exclusivity to increase desire and urgency.
  • Authority: Establish expertise and trustworthiness with credentials, testimonials, and results to gain influence.
  • Consistency: Get small commitments first to set a precedent for desired actions, like email opt-in leading to purchase.
  • Liking: Increase familiarity and understanding through personalized content and messaging to build affinity.
  • Consensus: Showcase positive reviews, case studies, or testimonials to leverage social proof and de-risk conversions.
  • Unity: Foster common identity and values for aligned brands and audiences.

8. Include a Strong Call to Action In-Line

Every piece of content created should start with a goal that answers the question: What do you want the reader to do? Without a clear goal, there’s no way to assess performance. The content you develop should make the case for why a prospect should take that next step.

Be direct in your calls to action (CTAs) and tell people what action you want them to take. The actions they take help inform your next steps and the content creation you need to nurture them through the buyer’s journey for ultimate conversions to become customers.

A call to action urges viewers to respond. It helps turn casual users into leads, leads into customers, and customers into loyalists. Learn a few tips to write a call to action and discover some killer examples.

9. Establish an Iterative Process of Testing and Optimizing

The final conversion optimization tip focuses on continued optimization. Split testing, A/B testing, and multivariate testing are all CRO strategies for regular improvement. You want to ensure your investment in quality content pays off and improves over time.

Smart markets track conversions across each stage of the funnel. They look for content that accelerates conversions and becomes a drop-off point. Iterating and testing content types, messaging, and paths helps optimize conversions.

While honing messages for each segment of your target audience and funnel stages, this data also helps to inform future content production strategies. Efficiency demands you know what content gets results and what falls short so you can evolve your approach moving forward. A commitment to ongoing CRO testing and optimization cycles will improve performance over time.

Find Expert Writers to Create Conversion-Optimized Content

Finding an expert writer who understands your industry and has the skills and expertise to create content to convert does not have to be a challenge. Compose.ly has a large pool of writers who know how to craft unique, compelling content that focuses on conversions. When you work with Compose.ly, you get the top 1% of freelance writers with industry experience, deep knowledge of SEO strategies, and proven success.

Compose.ly recruits, trains, and manages the best talent to provide top-quality results and optimize content for conversations — turning your visitors into customers. 

Connect with our team at Compose.ly today to hire writers who can meet your conversion goals and drive revenue growth.

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