Many small businesses maintain an active blog with company updates, promotions and educational content that satisfies the most discriminating of visitors. The unfortunate reality is that most business’ blogs are significantly underpowered to capture leads. We uncovered nine powerful tips that will improve your blog’s conversion rate.
After we upgraded our blog to use Thesis from DIYThemes, Derek Halpern from Social Triggers reached out to me to discuss optimizing our blog for better lead generation. Derek is a proven expert in using blogs to generate and capture more leads from traffic already on your blog. We exchanged several emails and recorded a screencast together packed with nine helpful tips to help entrepreneurs turn their blog into a powerful lead generation machine.
Watch on Vimeo: Optimize Your Blog for Lead Generation
Here are nine tips that we discussed in the video. The best part is that you can do this with practically any blog with any theme. I admit that these tips are a bit easier with a powerful framework like Thesis on top of WordPress (because of its Custom Functions), but as you see in the video above, the advice is applicable to the blog you already use.
- Create Highly-Targeted Resource Pages – Targeted content around a specific topic that focuses viewers around the most engaging and relevant content.
- Say Goodbye to Categories – Categories often confuse visitors, so direct them to the very best content you have to offer with 3-7 resource pages.
- Capture Email Addresses Above the Fold – Make it easy for visitors to opt in with a visible Web Form without scrolling down. Consider moving search and other tertiary calls to action toward the bottom.
- Ditch Feedburner for a Reliable Email Marketing Solution – Consider using an alternative email marketing service for sending new blog updates to subscribers – even manually.
- Promote Your Facebook Page with an Interactive ‘Like’ Box – Instead of using a linked image to your Facebook Page, use the interactive Like Box so visitors stay on your site.
- Leverage Public Mentions as Social Proof – If a business is a member of an alliance, industry group or written up in the media, consider using their logos on the blog as social proof.
- Capture Leads at the Bottom of Blog Posts – Serve the needs of visitors by enabling people to receive for more information at the bottom of the blog post itself.
- Use Internal Linking to Cross-Promote Related Articles – Not only will doing this improve your SEO, it also allows visitors to learn more about content with related posts and resource pages.
- Add a Lead Capture to the Top of Blog Index Page – Though more aggressive, a web form will help new visitors take immediate action on your blog index page. On a single post page, make it smaller so people access the content they want.
The point in all this advice is to help businesses realize they can provide blog visitors more value, a great experience and achieve more value for the business. If you have traffic and dedicate resources to create content, why would you neglect to optimize the conversion rate from its traffic?
These small, yet meaningful changes help the blog generate more value for businesses with seemingly minimal effort. Derek made a point all business-oriented bloggers should consider, “If little things like moving an opt-in form from the bottom of your sidebar to the top of the sidebar nets three times more leads, it makes sense to leave it there.”
What do you think of these tips? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to let Derek know what you learned from this video on Twitter at @DerekHalpern and see learn more on his site at SocialTriggers.com.
We plan to put Derek’s advice into practice and let you know the results as well as how we accomplished it with Thesis. Subscribe to the blog to hear how it goes!
[Image credit: eadey]