While the basic function of a business blog is to convert your visitors into leads and eventually sales, you still want to entertain, educate, and delight. When you notice your conversion rates are low, there’s a good chance you’re not living up to your end of the bargain. Unfortunately, the reason for a dip in conversions may not be readily apparent, especially if you’ve experienced success in the past. So, what can you do to keep those conversions coming?
Test Your Load Times
The very first impression new visitors have of your site, whether it’s the main page or the blog, is the load time. If your pages take too long to load, you could lose 40% of your potential customers right off the bat. After two seconds, those buyers will go somewhere else.
This information is especially important if you plan to use lots of images, video, and other rich media on your blog site, because these can slow down load times considerably.
You’ll need to use some testing services on a regular basis to make sure the blogs you’ve added lately haven’t negatively affected your load times.
As one more reason to keep up with the load times for your blog and website, consider the fact that you could be punished by Google for slow load times. Google wants people to have happy experiences on websites, so if yours takes forever to load, the search engines will move you down in the rankings. With negative ranking from Google on searches, fewer reach your blog, and those that do will likely seek out a competitor’s site when yours takes too long to load.
Whatever your blog might be about, you need to make the true value clear in the title. Even when you’re posting silly videos and images to show what goes on behind the scenes at your company, make sure those who read the blog know how this adds to your company’s unique value.
For instance, if your blog is about a prank played on the CEO, make sure the headline lets those watching know that your CEO is a laid-back, forgiving guy when the video shows him getting as big a kick out of the joke as the person who played it. After all, your intention is to educate your readers and not just entertain. Which brings us to the next point…
When potential customers visit your blog, they’re there for one thing: education. You might provide silly videos that get lots of shares and “likes,” but if you’re not also giving information that helps customers, your sense of humor has no chance of converting those visitors into sales.
The education you provide can cover several different aspects of your business, from the relevance phase all the way to the post-purchase customer delight phase. When you forget to provide information to your customers in favor of entertaining them with your fun stuff, you take a chance on sending them right over to your competition, where they’ll get all the information they need.
When you notice conversions are at a low, audit your recent blog entries and your content calendar for future blogs. Are you answering questions? Are you providing instruction for use of your products? Do customers know how to facilitate returns or exchanges? Get back to the basics and use those blogs to provide solutions. You’ll notice a difference in no time.
Ask for the Conversion
Once you’re sure your pages load and your blogs entertain and inform, don’t be afraid to simply ask your visitors to sign up for your email list or to download the latest offer. You can do this right within the body of the blog or with a CTA at the bottom of the blog. Most prefer the call-to-action method, especially if a smart CTA can be used. The smart CTA knows when the person reading the blog has already signed up to receive emails, so it doesn’t show up every time that user lands on the blog.
Provide a Subscription Landing Page
When visitors do click the CTA in order to sign up to receive your blog on a regular basis, make sure they’re taken to a landing page. This landing page gives you even more opportunities to surprise and delight your customers. For instance, you can provide some copy on what your company does and what they can expect to see in every blog.
To encourage trust, give those subscribers a chance to choose how often they’ll receive your emails. Maybe you’ll send something out once per week for some, while others will want a notice every time a new blog goes up. You can even ask here if those visitors would like to receive emails for new offers and specials from your company, which gives you a chance to really open up communications between your company and your potential customers.
Give Your Blog Play on Other Landing Pages
While a landing page for blog subscriptions is definitely a good idea, you should also make sure the blog is advertised on other landing pages. When your visitors take the time to download offers of ebooks and whitepapers, give them a chance to mark that little box that says emails from your company are okay. If they make a purchase, take the opportunity to capture their email address so you can continue delighting them through your educational and entertaining blog.
Remember, the sales cycle isn’t over once someone makes a purchase—not if you ever want that customer to return for future purchases. You owe it to them to provide more information through your blog, so encourage subscriptions wherever you can to keep that customer delight coming.
Are there other ways to experience more lead conversions from your blog? We’d love to know if other tactics have worked for your company’s blog. Let us know in the comments!