With all of the advice out there for how to write the perfect blog post, many of us have forgotten that the main company blog page and each inside page need optimization too! There are several quick fixes, including adding call-to-action buttons, making it easy to share content, and keeping the headlines short, that can effectively increase your conversion rates.
Creating an interactive and visually attractive blog template can significantly influence a person’s desire to continue reading. The main landing page where all of your blog posts are featured, as well as the internal template used for each one, need to be social, easy to read and engaging. As much as all of these bells and whistles matter, if your content isn’t interesting or useful – no sidebar or share buttons will make a difference.
They’re on your website, in all of your e-mail campaigns, and on all of your other marketing content – so why shouldn’t they be on your blog? Even though you should avoid using overtly promotional language in the text of your posts, this doesn’t mean you can’t include one or two call-to-action (CTA) buttons around the content itself.
For example, the Hello Bar is a freemium, nonintrusive call-to-action banner that sits at the top of your blog page. It’s extremely user-friendly, and lets you easily customize the color, text and the wording alongside and in the button itself. Try out different messaging, and A/B test all of the elements to see what works best. In addition to the bar at the top, you can also include either a sidebar banner, or a button at the end of the text inside each blog post. These CTAs can be used to promote gated content such as a white paper download, sign up for a product demo, or any other conversion objective you may have.
People are lazy. If you don’t put a share button in front of their faces, unless the blog post is absolutely incredible, funny or amazing, they won’t make an effort to share it. There are a number of services you can use to add share buttons to your blog, including AddtoAny and AddThis.
Whichever you choose, it should be easy enough for anyone reading the blog find, but not so prominent that it interferes with the reading experience. Also, make sure that the tool is aligned with your social audience. For example, if you’re sharing B2B content, make sure it has a LinkedIn sharing button. Keep in mind, social media buttons are normally located “above the fold” and should appear on every blog post as soon as the page is loaded.
Once a reader has reviewed your content, your aim is to keep that person on your website for as long as possible. One way to achieve this is by featuring a recommended content box, which enables easy access to other blog posts or content (case studies, videos, white papers, podcasts) that resembles the current page they’re visiting.
The longer they spend reading your content, the more likely they’ll want to learn more about your brand, and potentially become a customer. Quite a few tools exist for recommending content, including BrightInfo, a freemium service which automatically discovers your content (or lets you manually select items, and is not overly intrusive since it appears as a sidebar.
Get personal. It’s not surprise that people are becoming more and more interested in the personalities and identities of the people behind blog posts. As promotional and corporate-esque content becomes increasingly less welcome, people have become more keen on connecting to the human side of content marketing.
A simple way to fulfill this interest is to include a short bio and photo of the author at the bottom of each post. Rather than writing the name of the company on the byline, include your name, 1-3 sentences about your background and a great photo. One best practice is to mention your position and the name of the company in the bio, so that if the content is syndicated, your brand’s name will still be present. Gravatar is an easy way to ensure your photo appears beside your name anywhere you’re active online, whether on WordPress, e-mails or comments.
Depending on the size of your content marketing team, chances are you have dozens, if not hundreds or even more blog posts. Make it easy for the reader to find more relevant content by segmenting the posts into different topics. There are a few key ways to do this; one is to include a box on the side of the main blog page, and inside every post, with a list of hyperlinked topics that can be clicked on. Alternatively, you can have place the hyperlinked topic right below the blog headline, and make sure this is featured both in the preview of the blog post on the main page, as well as inside the post itself.
We’ve all seen the statistics about how the majority of people read only the title, while only a small percentage continue to read the actual post. What’s worse is that most people will only read the full title if it’s short – and of course, engaging.
To avoid losing prospective leads, keep your blog post headlines short, preferably under 65 characters (this will also ensure that they’re not truncated in search engine results). Also, use a keyword inside the title itself (you can use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to check for the most popular ones), preferably at the beginning of the title. This isn’t just for SEO purposes, it will also make clear exactly what kind of content to expect in the article itself. On additional tip is to include the write out the content format [PODCAST] or [INFOGRAPHIC] next the title.
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