Most companies know by now that content marketing is a must for building your brand, establishing thought leadership within an industry, and attracting new potential customers to the sales funnel.
Today, 72% of B2B companies feel that content marketing is an important part of their core strategy. Interestingly, only 21% feel that their strategies are successful. One reason for this could be that it is unclear if their content is converting (or it’s clear that it isn’t).
But most of the time, increasing your content’s conversion rate doesn’t require an entire strategy overhaul. There are small tweaks your company can implement right away that make a big impact on the way your content delivers results.
- Refreshing your existing content drives new traffic, increases conversions and maximizes ROI from time spent on content creation.
- Giving attention to content enhancements like visuals, compelling headlines, text format, and calls to action makes your content more compelling and likely to convert.
- Ranking for purchase-intent keywords finds customers who are closer to a buying decision, increasing the likelihood they’ll convert after interacting with your content.
REFRESH YOUR EXISTING CONTENT
Good content marketing doesn’t require reinventing the wheel — at least not all the time. One of the best ways you can increase traffic and conversions from your content is looking at what’s already working.
How do you know what’s working? By looking at what you’ve already published.
Companies should analyze existing content to find the posts or topics that performed best and expand on those. Drill down into the topic further or approach it from the opposite direction.
Example: if “10 Ways to Get Potential Customers to Subscribe to Your Blog” is generating big traffic, then “10 Reasons Potential Customers Will Unsubscribe from Your Blog” will probably do the same. Customers are looking for information about subscription behavior, and in both cases you’re covering it.
You can also refresh your old content by updating it with new information, more recent backlinks, and updated keywords. SEO practices frequently change and new content is being produced by the minute; while the core concept of your content may remain relevant, the details will need updating.
Periodically giving new life to your best content will keep it performing at a high level. Refreshing successful content maximizes ROI on the time and resources you spent creating it in the first place.
Check out the video below for a deeper dive (including a step-by-step guide) on refreshing your content.
GIVE EXTRA ATTENTION TO HEADLINES
One of the biggest mistakes content marketers can make is approaching headlines like an afterthought once a content piece is created.
Headlines are responsible for 50% of your content’s effectiveness, so it’s absolutely critical that they grab attention and make people want to read your content. The good news is that just because it’s so important doesn’t mean it’s very hard. In fact, most of the strategy behind a good headline is making it clear that the content underneath is going to address the customer’s question or need.
Here are some proven headline titles that work:
ALWAYS INCLUDE A CALL TO ACTION
Calls to Action (CTAs) are a pretty well-known best practice in content marketing and it’s important for giving the customer a clear next step toward conversion after they’ve read your content. Interestingly, most content marketers think about CTAs as a period at the end of the content marketing sentence. That doesn’t have to be the case.
CTAs should actually be the driving force behind your content, not an add-on once it’s finished. When you’re making decisions about what content to create, don’t just think about which topics you’ll include but what you want your content to make customers do. Then, build the rest on that foundation.
When your content aligns more clearly and organically with the CTAs you’re going for, customers are more likely to find it when they’re considering taking that action.
MAKE IT VISUAL
Content performs at an exponentially higher rate when it includes visuals. Here’s what the stats say:
- Companies who create custom visuals on social media see a conversion rate 7x higher than those that don’t.
- Social posts with visuals are shared 40x more than those without them.
- How-to content that includes visuals performs 323% better than text-only versions.
These are just a few examples, but the point is clear: including visuals to support your content makes it more engaging and increases its performance.
Consumers rate video as the most compelling visual content but look for visuals from brands in many forms.
FORMAT YOUR CONTENT SO THE BEST POINTS STAND OUT
Content marketers often hear that consumers only read about 20% of the content on any given web page (most often citing this 2008 Nielson study).
If that’s true (and the evidence points to yes) then content marketers need to make sure the most important points stand out in their content. Clear points get across to readers better and ultimately increase conversions in the long run.
Some of the strategies for accomplishing this are the ones already discussed above: visuals, compelling headlines, clear CTAs — all of these things pull out the major points for consumers to make sure they get it when they see your content.
Bullet points, quotations highlighted in the center of the page, and using standalone sentences that drive your point home are also ways to make sure your key takeaways don’t get lost when a reader is scanning.
The big point: make sure your content is concise and compelling, break it up so it’s readable (and scannable) and make sure the most important points are easy to spot and reinforced.
CREATE CONTENT FOR PURCHASE-INTENT KEYWORDS
You’re more likely to convert a customer who is ready to make a purchase. To find them, you can create content that ranks for high-intent keywords. About 89% of customers begin their buying journey with search, so it’s definitely a strategy supported by consumer behavior.
Ranking for keywords that suggest high purchase intent (like “buy” or “hire”) drives customers at this stage in the journey to your site and your content. The important thing to remember is that if you’re ranking for these keywords, your content has to match up. Content for this audience should be less top-of-the-funnel education and more directly related to products, solutions, and calls to action.
WHY EVERY COMPANY SHOULD OPTIMIZE FOR CONVERSIONS
Creating and implementing a content marketing strategy is a key first step toward generating leads, building your funnel, and increasing sales. Once your strategy is established, however, it’s not enough to rest on its laurels and hope for the best. Taking small steps to maximize conversion potential can yield big results without having to allocate an equally big spend.