How To Convert Blog Traffic From Readers to Customers

How To Convert Blog Traffic From Readers to Customers

If your website’s blog posts are generating a decent volume of organic traffic, congratulations—you’re off to a great start! While this blog traffic gives your website optimization efforts innate value, it’s difficult to measure, and it can be extremely frustrating if that traffic isn’t driving additional leads and/or adding sales to your bottom line. Moreover, it can be challenging to convince board members and other business stakeholders that the content is providing any value at all if it’s not directly impacting the bottom line. Fortunately, by deploying a few key strategies, you can effectively optimize your blog posts to help convert readers into customers. 

What Is the Purpose of Blogging for a Business?

If you’re wondering whether your business’s website even needs a blog, the answer is always “yes!” Maintaining a blog can be a valuable asset for any website looking to improve its visibility, credibility, and engagement with its audience, making it a key component of any successful digital marketing strategy.

A blog provides a platform for a website to regularly publish fresh, high-quality content that can attract new visitors and keep existing ones engaged. By consistently creating and publishing valuable and informative blog posts, a website can establish itself as an authority in its niche, helping to gain the trust and loyalty of its audience.

Maintaining a blog can also help a website improve its search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Google and other search engines prioritize websites that routinely publish relevant and informative content, and a blog is the ideal platform to incorporate targeted keywords and phrases that can improve a business’s ranking in search results.

A blog can help a website build its social media presence, as each new blog post can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. By leveraging social media to promote its blog posts, a website can attract new visitors and expand its reach beyond its existing audience. 

Finally, when done properly, a blog can also help a business generate additional leads and/or customers. This will boost the business’s bottom line—the ultimate goal of any digital marketing efforts—but can be the most challenging benefit to achieve. 

Why Blogs Don’t Always Drive Conversions

Part of the reason blog posts are less likely to drive conversions is simply their very nature. Unlike paid ads or organic evergreen website content designed to target bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) searches, blog posts tend to focus on longtail keywords and top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) or middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) queries. 

Put simply, a potential customer who searches for “best fishing rod” and lands on an ecommerce page is much more likely to convert to a sale than someone who searches for “best fishing holes in Montana” and lands on your blog post. That’s not to say the latter traffic doesn’t add value—after all, someone searching for prime fishing spots is probably a fisherman who has or will have a need for your products. They’re just not necessarily in the market at the moment and will take some additional time and persuading before becoming a customer. 

How To Create Blog Posts That Convert

If you’re posting blog content that receives an impressive amount of traffic but doesn't generate conversions, there may be a few factors to blame. Follow these tips to optimize your content and help convert readers into customers:

  • Adjust Your Expectations. Not all website traffic is created equally. As mentioned, blog readers have different intentions than people who land directly on your main website or digital ad content. Even the most successful blog conversion strategy will produce a lower lead or sales conversion rate than a paid ad, so keep that in mind when developing your key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Carefully Curate Your Topics. While blog posts offer a great deal of latitude to include content about topics that would appeal to your target audience, be sure to keep your goals in mind when curating a content calendar. Focus on topics that add value to your audience or specific subsets of your customer base, for example: taking a deep dive into frequently asked questions or customer pain points; highlighting unique product/service features; addressing industry news or company updates; highlighting customer testimonials; or taking visitors “behind the scenes” to learn more about your product/service and company. Avoid posts that are too far off-topic as these can confuse site visitors and will be unlikely to drive conversions.
  • Treat Each Post Like a Landing Page. You’ve probably put tons of effort into developing your website’s homepage and other pillar pages to thoroughly introduce your brand and explain its products and/or services through content, images, layout, and more. Unfortunately, many blog readers will never see those pages because their search engine query delivers them directly to a relevant post. Unless you’ve developed your brand as a household name in your niche, those visitors may not have any sense as to who you are or what you have to offer, so take time to introduce yourself. Use on-brand imagery and industry expertise to help support your content, and include a brief overview of your company at the bottom of each blog post. Social signals, including post likes and comments, number of downloads, customer testimonials, and/or logos of other businesses that have used your products/services can help subtly establish trust with your brand.
  • Develop the Lead Nurturing Process. If your only potential next step is to make a purchase or contact a representative, you may be asking too much of your blog readers. Take time to develop your sales funnel and determine common pathways to convert TOFU and MOFU traffic. Don’t ask a first-time site visitor who is just looking for answers to questions to commit to a purchase; instead, invite them to learn more about your brand and help earn their trust by asking them to sign up for your newsletter or providing their contact information in exchange for a freebie, like a free sample by mail or a downloadable guide related to the blog topic. When measuring success of TOFU and MOFU content, adjust “conversions” to mean sign-ups or downloads, not sales or contact forms for an accurate gauge on your efficacy.
  • Use CTAs Wisely. If your blog post provides information but fails to invite readers to take the next step, you shouldn’t be surprised when they exit the page after getting what they need. On the other hand, if your CTAs are too prominent, your content will come across as “salesy” and visitors will bounce from the page in search of more credible information. The best strategy is to include product and/or service page links throughout the copy where they fit in naturally, while keeping the overall post tone unbiased and informative. For instance, if your company sells fishing gear and apparel, a post about the best places to fish for bass could naturally include links to your site’s bass lures and wading boots—two key pieces of equipment the reader might need. Just don’t spend too much time talking about yourself, since a longtail sales pitch won’t rank well and will have readers bouncing from your site before they get through the first paragraph.
  • Bonus: Follow Up With Retargeting Ads. Even if a blog post reader doesn’t convert to a contact, lead, or sale right away, don’t give up hope. Blog traffic is prime for retargeting ads that will help nurture the prospect, keeping your brand and its products and/or services top of mind to generate additional conversions. 

Converting website blog traffic to sales requires a strategic approach that involves understanding your target audience, creating valuable content, and providing a seamless user experience. While any blog traffic benefits your website’s SEO, by setting appropriate goals, developing your sales funnel, and carefully weaving meaningful CTAs into the content, you can better optimize the content to boost your bottom line. 

Eight Oh Two is a proven leader in search engine and performance marketing focused on driving superior results by leveraging best-in-class technology with the very best in human intelligence. Contact us today to learn how we can help optimize your content and boost your blog conversions. 

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