It’s great when you’re generating heavy traffic to your blog. Like really great. But more likely than not, blog traffic is not the end you’re aiming for. Most blogs are a means to an end and that end is customers or contacts.
So go ahead and celebrate a bump in traffic. That is a good thing. Just make sure you are keeping your eye on the prize. Conversions. If you’re blog is getting traffic, but not conversions, it might be time to make some changes.
So, the question becomes: how do you increase the conversion rate of your blog?
Unfortunately, as is the case with so many things in life, there’s no one right answer. Sure, a magic bullet would be great, but it doesn’t exist.
However, on the bright side, there are things you can do to up your conversion rate. And that’s what we’re going to be going over here, so buckle up.
Is my current conversion rate good?
“Hey, if my current conversion rate is good, I don’t have to worry about it, right? So is mine any good?”
Unfortunately, there’s no magic number here. Judging whether your current conversion rate is good comes down to several factors that relate to everything from the economics of your company to what your ask is for a conversion on a blog (it might not necessarily be to make a purchase, perhaps it’s just signing up for a newsletter).
Since there’s no one number to look at, you want to think about if the time spent on your blog is generating enough value to justify that time.
One easy way to think about this is does the cost of the total time spent on your blog in a given month exceed the value it creates for your business?
To put this in concrete terms (I’ll use round numbers for simplicity): Let’s say you spend 20 hours a month on your blog. You value every hour you spend working on the blog at $30. So, over the course of a month, you spend $600 per month on your blog.
In that same month, you get 50 conversions from your blog, and you value each conversion at $10. So, you’ve generated $500 worth of value from your blog. In an ideal world, this second number should be bigger than the first, so in this scenario, you’d probably want to find ways to boost your conversion rate.
This example is obviously cleaner and smaller than anything that exists in the real world. Also, it’s worth noting that your blog provides other values than simply converting customers. It may prove its value alone by creating brand recognition. The longer you blog, the more valuable your blog will be so there’s compounding value to each blog you write, so again, use this metric, but take it with a grain of salt.
How to improve conversions
There are dozens of ways to improve your conversion rate, and it’s hard to say which tactic is the best one for you to go after, so sometimes it’s best to opt for the shotgun + testing approach.
So let’s go through a few different tactics:
Make the right ask
Chances are people arriving at your blog are in the early stage of their buying journey. This means they need to be nurtured, not sold to.
Imagine if you contacted a real estate agent to buy a house, and on your first phone call, the real estate agent suggested you make an offer on the house. You’d hang up before the agent got another word out.
The same Principle applies to your blog, depending on the nature of your business. If you’re an e-commerce business and you sell three-dollar socks, it might be okay to ask the visitor to make a purchase.
But more often than not, use the blog to nurture future customers, not make immediate ones. Ask blog visitors to sign up for your mailing list. You’ll see much higher conversion rates on your blog if you’re asking people for their email address rather than their money.
Use lead magnets
Lead magnets are a great way to entice your audience to give you their email. If you’re not familiar with lead magnets, they are essentially the quid pro quo of email marketing. A visitor to your site gives you their email and you give them something in return. This might be an ebook or some other type of gated content.
The reason these are so effective is because the people coming to your are doing so because they’re interested in the subject matter. If you offer them something even more comprehensive about the topic, they’re likely to be wooed.
If you want to learn more about lead magnets, take a look at this comprehensive post on them (and no, this doesn’t qualify as a lead magnet).
Look at what’s already working
Chances are you already have some blogs that are converting well and others that don’t seem to be doing anything for you. Well, that itself is a great resource for you. Learn from your past successes and failures.
What are some commonalities shared by your high converting blogs? Maybe it’s subject matter, or maybe it’s the call to action. Whatever it is, it’s probably reproducible. Repeat the tactics that are working, and you’ll find yourself producing more high converting blogs.
Does your subject matter and audience make sense?
If you’re trying to sell vacuums and write blogs about beauty tips, you’ve got yourself a problem. (Also, if you’re doing this, what is going through your head)? The point is, your blog needs to attract the right audience, and to do that, the subject matter of your blogs has to line up with your brand and product.
If your audience comes to your blog, but there’s not a clear connection to your product, they’re probably not going to sign up for your newsletter or take whatever that next step is in the buyer’s journey.
This doesn’t mean that your blog should only contain material about or closely related to your product. You can certainly stray and write posts that are only obliquely related to your product.
The best way to think about it is “might somebody that comes to this blog realistically have an interest in what I’m selling.”
For example, if you sell men’s apparel, it’s reasonable to think that a post about the best hairstyles for 2018 would attract an audience that would be interested in your product line. Sure you don’t sell anything having to do with hair, but somebody interested in hairstyles is likely style-conscious and would be interested in clothes.