There’s one overarching goal behind your business’s blog.
And it’s not “attract traffic.”
Although attracting traffic is important, you’ve got to have a strategy behind it. If your blog primarily attracts animal lovers and Taco Bell enthusiasts, but you’re trying to sell hair products, then you (probably) haven’t hit your goal–even if your blog is attracting thousands, if not millions, of people.
Your goal is to convert traffic into customers: to form relationships with leads and turn these leads into conversions.
To make money for your business.
That isn’t to say that you should turn your blog into a big “Click-Here-to-Buy” advertisement. It won’t work that way.
At the same time, it’s important that you implement subtle methods to attract the right readers; and it’s imperative that your blog give direction to these readers, so that they can segue from reader to customer.
So here are 6 blogging mistakes that can ruin your chances of converting blog traffic into valuable customers… and some sure-fire solutions:
Of course, it’s great to spread your content far-and-wide: Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook are all great tools for attracting a general audience. Casting a wide net is helpful; but what’s even more helpful is finding that powerful niche demographic who care enough about your topic to want to purchase from you.
So don’t forget about the other platforms at your disposal: StumbleUpon, Inbound.org, Google+, Quora, Reddit, LinkedIn groups. That isn’t to say you should post your content on all these platforms haphazardly and randomly. Post it thoughtfully. If you wrote a great post about marketing tips for 2018, post to Inbound. If you see a question posted on Quora and think your blog post about “Writer’s Block” could answer that question, post it.
It’s important to remember that these subdomain audiences might be more desperate for your service or product than the followers you have on Twitter.
Also, look into specific targeting options offered on your social media sites. On Facebook, the lookalike audiences feature allows you to create a target audience. Many social media platforms also allow you to target people who have visited your site before, to ensure you’re reaching out to “warm” prospects.
There’s a proven principle in both psychology and marketing: the mere-exposure effect, which says that exposure to something over time makes people like it more and notice it more (it’s so trusted, actually, that marketing created and follows The Rule of 7 as a result).
Buzzsumo analyzed more than 100 million articles and found reposting content can boost engagement by 686%.
So it’s important to repost your content, exposing your audience repeatedly to your quality posts. It makes sense: we’re so busy in our day-to-day lives that we often ignore even our friend’s posts as we scroll through Facebook, and we’re used to deleting all those blast emails in our inbox; but over time, if people repeatedly see the same post on different channels, they’re eventually going to be ready to click.
Lists and infographics receive more average shares than any other content type, including how-to posts and videos. This is probably because lists are easy to read on the go (and skimmable); infographics are also easily digestible.
Even more surprising, though, is this: 10 item lists receive the most social shares out of all numbered lists (with 16, 23, and 24 as runner-ups); with 10,621 social shares, the magic number 10 gets four times the social shares of number 23 (which is the number shared the 2nd most). So next time you’re making a list, don’t doubt that numbers matter–and maybe round it up to 10?
Graph courtesy of OkDork.com
User experience is important, because as hard as you work to get traffic to your blog, it’s not going to mean much if your traffic doesn’t spend longer than 30 seconds on your page. Over time, Google will recognize that the low average time-on-page means that people aren’t finding what they’re looking for–and you’ll lower your ranking on search engines.
So here are a few ways not to do that: first, break up your text with images. Research has shown that twice as many people share posts with at least one image, as opposed to no images. And for your visual readers, it might compel them to keep reading.
Second, your blog should be mobile optimized to ensure your mobile readers have a great user experience, as well (especially because it won’t show up in search engines on mobile if it’s not).
You might also consider showing snippets of recent blog posts on your site. At the very least, make sure your blog is easy to find from your landing page.
When it comes to your blog content design, make it as appealing and easy to read as possible: the font should be at least 11px (and the font should be clean and clear), and use headers to break up your text (as well as bullet points, lists, etc., if necessary).
It’s not just important for you to write beautiful paragraphs–it’s also important that you present them in the right way. While you want to hold your audience’s attention with suspense, you also don’t want to wait too long to answer their questions: I’ve skimmed plenty of blog posts, gotten frustrated because I couldn’t immediately find what I was looking for, and jumped from the page before reaching the end.
Ensure that the beginning of your post outlines exactly what the reader will get from the rest of the post.
Instead of creating suspense by holding out on what your readers want, create suspense with your language. Use phrases like “Here’s the deal:”, “Why does this matter?”, and “That’s not all.”
Figure out what you want your traffic to do–subscribe? Check out your services? Find a way to include a CTA at the bottom of your post; perhaps offer incentive (“subscribe for our free e-book that offers more tips…”), or, if your service aligns with your blog post topic, simply end by saying, “If you need help implementing these SEO strategies, contact one of our representatives and we’ll set you up with a free trial of X.” If you’ve given them compelling, high-quality content, they’re more likely to trust you (and buy from you) down the line.
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