5 Ways to Guide Blog Readers to Become Leads
In the world of digital marketing, it's now a well-known fact that visits to your business website are like modern-day foot traffic.
People who visit your website are looking at your services and may be considering stopping by or hiring your team.
And businesses understand that the best way to get new website visitors is to write an interesting blog that covers a lot of keywords. And that --somehow-- blog readers can convert into interested leads who might even become paying customers.
Turning Website Visitors to Leads
So it should be no surprise that over the last five years, thousands of businesses have started blogs in hopes that curious readers will become leads. But not all realize how or why this inbound method works. The thing is, the transition between 'reader' and 'qualified lead' is a real one, but it's also something that you have to make happen. Today, we're here to talk about the blog-writing methods that can effectively guide your blog readers to become interested potential customers and email-subscribed leads.
Real Expert Insights
The first step is to understand that keywords aren't going to cut it. You can make an entire page that says nothing but "Best [Business] in [City] over and over again. That might get you page ranking, but it's not going to convince readers to call for service. Instead, consider which readers are most likely to transform into customers: The ones who are already in need of your service and just looking for the right business.
So what is really going to send them? Real expert insights. Not fluffy lifestyle articles. Not the same "Why Our Products Are Great" articles rehashed a dozen times. But real tips, tricks, and knowledge that your customers are looking for. These are people searching for "How To Fix a Leaky Toilet" who really need to know how to get that toilet fixed.
And if you give them that incredibly useful knowledge, they will remember you as a trusted expert and come back to your business when the next task is too big to tackle DIY. So share your industry expertise in the blog! Show your readers that you really are the skilled professional they need by writing content that could only come from an expert.
Fun-to-Explore Blog Topics
Next, remember that the variety of topics in your blog matters almost as much as the useful information. After all, when was the last time you hired a service after reading just one page on their website? If a reader is going to convert into a lead or customer, they're probably going to do more exploration than reading a single article. They're going to explore your blog and website until they get a clear idea that everything you write is useful and informed by expert industry knowledge. Digital Marketer has a great tip guide to help you write great content if you aren't sure where to start.
So make sure that your articles are not only interesting and useful, but diverse. Even if your industry is very narrow, like selling and installing water heaters, you don't have to rehash the same content over dozens of articles. Instead, get creative and make them fun to explore.
Here's a good example of how to diversify a seemingly narrow subject area:
- Which Size of Water Heater is Right for Your Home?
- 5 Ways to Make Your Water Heater More Energy-Efficient
- How Solar Power Can Heat Your Water for Free
- 4 Signs Your Business Could Use a Tankless Water Heater
Cleverly Relevant CTA and Links
The next thought is how you sign off from every blog. The end of a blog is a crucial moment in the reader experience. This is where they decide what to next. Left without a direction, even with great content, they will probably choose to click away with their question satisfactorily answered. This is why businesses have worked so hard to perfect their CTA (Call-To-Action) and more subtle surrounding links when a reader finishes an article.
Most CTAs (Call to Action) are very simple. Something like "For more tips, contact us today!". This gets your contact link in, but it doesn't generally inspire readers to actually do anything. Instead, you want your CTA to be cleverly relevant to the content itself. If, for example, the article was about how leash-train a puppy, your CTA might be "Now that your puppy has started learning how to walk on a leash, they'll be ready for regular to take fun walks every day. If you're ever away from home and need your puppy walked and fed, contact our dog walking team and we'll be happy to jump in!"
This guides readers to think of the business in direct context of services offered and the article they came to read. In other words, translating thoughts about the article into thoughts about becoming a customer.
You should also think carefully about which alternate blog articles and pages on your site are visible in links when readers complete a blog article. Try offering 2-5 other articles in the same category that readers might be interested in, and services that relate directly to the article's content.
Timely & Respectful Lead Generation
Lead generation in website design usually involves some kind of pop-up window or floating UI element. It asks if the reader would like to enter their email to qualify for bargains and/or subscribe to the mailing list. Because once you have an email address, there is someone to market directly to and help along the conversion funnel.
However, there are a surprising number of ways to do lead generation incorrectly, in a way that drives readers away instead of drawing them in. A pop-up that stops them from reading the article without giving an email address, for instance, seems spammy and your blog will lose readers instead of gain customers. In fact, anything that effectively stops the reader from reading is a turn-off. They also dislike being insulted with buttons like "No thanks, I hate learning" or "My Business Doesn't Need to Make Money".
Instead, make sure that your lead generation is both timely and respectful. Wait until the article is scrolled all or mostly down before triggering a lead generation and always phrase your lead generation as positively as possible. Even for people who will not convert to leads, because they are too far away, don't need the service, or can't afford it: Remember they mire recommend your brand to others if you make a good impression.
Credible Business Pages
The final point addresses is that your blog is not your only conversion tool. In fact, the content of the rest of your website matters a great deal. In terms of the conversion funnel, the blog is only the beginning. People who are looking for answers to a problem will first find themselves at your blog. When your readers do start to think about becoming leads or customers, naturally they will want to learn more about your business and services.
This is where the rest of your website comes in. In order to complete the conversion process, the business half of your website should reflect well on your company and services. Have a welcoming home page that is easy to navigate around. And service pages offering clear information about what you can do for customers.
If the blog is compelling and your website clearly indicates a business of reliable professionals, then you are much more likely to see a complete conversion process from casual blog reader to subscribed leads and new customers.
Writing a blog is the right way to start converting SEO hits into happy customers, but it's actually only the first step. In order to successfully convert your readers, you need to create an easy and welcoming experience for them to follow down the marketing funnel. First, engage them with interesting content that offers direct useful industry advice. Then entertain them with a variety of insightful information, proving you're more than just a one-trick pony. And finally, reel them in with clever Calls to Action and a compelling business website that shows that you can offer what your leads need.
With these techniques, you can finally start seeing the reader-to-lead conversions that are the entire purpose of starting a business blog. For more useful insights into how to build online exposure, readership, and leads, contact us today! Just like you are experts in your field, this is what we do best!