Can your blogs really go beyond engagement, and convert new site visitors to leads and prospects? Yes. Blogs and CRO can work together. They should help you convert readers to customers, though a smart content strategy must be used for this.
“Conversion strategy on your blog is very different from the strategy employed on your homepage and subpages. Why? Because on your actual website pages, in addition to building relationships and connecting with visitors, we’re trying to get those visitors to take the next step. Your homepage and some (or many) of your subpages should be designed to convert visitors to take an action: contact you, download an ebook, schedule an appointment, buy a service or product, etc.” — from A Holistic Guide to Online Marketing, by Joey Donovan Guido
I am included as a reviewer for Mr. Donovan Guido’s book, and I was pleased to do it because I believe Content Marketers need to understand that blog posts need to convert in addition to engaging prospects and clients. Does this mean you should write sales copy in blog posts? No. Donovan Guide makes is clear in the book (there’s much more packed into it beyond blog marketing) that the purpose of your blog is to build relationships.
He mentions that working towards conversions on your blog has a “different flavor” than how you do this on your home page and other key landing pages. Donovan’s point is that you are mostly helpful in blog posts and calls to action are down played. He writes, “Now, I’m not saying you can never have a call-to-action in a blog post, but it shouldn’t be a big contrast-colored button at the top of the page. Instead, a call-to-action — if you use one at all in a post — typically sits at the bottom of the blog in the form of a text link.”
I totally agree. Downplay calls to action… but do consider them at the bottom of your posts. And… here’s a hybrid tactic you can try after you run a post and get good results.
The Post to Landing Page Hybrid Conversion Strategy for Blogs and CRO
Mr. Donovan Guido and I agree that posts should not be “salesy” — at least, at first. What’s that mean? Your first pass at writing posts must be focused on providing helpful, engaging clients for prospects. But… after you have run a post for a while with good SEO results (see Donovan Guido’s book for SEO strategies, and also our posts on SEO tactics, here), you can consider converting your post to a hybrid landing page designed to convert more visitors to prospects at your website. Here’s how:
- Let the first post you do that is primarily optimized to rank well and engage and help prospects run for 3+ months
- Once it ranks well and has served its first purpose as a blog post/article, consider what you can do to boost conversions even more using landing page strategies.
- This often involves adding a lead gathering form with something of value in exchange for extracting the visitor’s email address as we did in this hybrid post which began as a simpler article before we made it into a hybrid landing page.
- The strategy pays off when your original post has good SEO position and you retain the helpful aspects of the article and then… add a “louder” call to action up front to capitalize on the flow or organic visitors.
Good luck and… always be converting with a smart Blogs and CRO strategy even if your first “flavor” of communication is primarily through blog articles crafted to help engage your prospects.