Gone are the days when blogs were just a personal space online to write and rant. Not that we don’t love a good ranty post. However, now you need to work to write a blog post that converts. Business websites with blogs produce 67% more leads on average per month than those without. Today’s blogs are legitimate business tools and a goldmine for organic SEO traffic.
Blogs are considered the most effective way to turn casual readers into customers, which is why 84% of companies have a content marketing strategy that includes blogging. But it’s not enough to just have a blog. This is not an “if you build it, they will come” situation. You have to write blog posts that convert and are packed with UX and SEO benefits. Not sure how to hit it out of the park? We’re here to help with the following 10 tips for writing a blog post that converts.
1. Understand Your Audience
You need to understand who comes to your business website’s blog if you want to convince them to take action after reading your blog post. Research your target audience and demographic to determine the type of content they want and need. Consider surveying current customers or potential customers about what information related to your industry they would find helpful. Conduct an SEO audit for competitor analysis and insight into your ideal demographic.
Gather all of the information you can about your target audience, including demographics, consumer behaviors, motivations, interests, etc. Use that information to create a fact-based story about who they are and what motivates them to make a purchase. Your blog posts should be written for one of your buyer personas. This allows you to create content that connects with your audience and meets them where they are in the customer journey, increasing the likelihood that you’ll write a blog post that converts.
2. Write Compelling Headlines
Your headline will make or break your blog post. People read the headline to determine if they’re even interested in clicking on the post. If your headline doesn’t draw them in, you’ve missed your opportunity. If they don’t include keywords, they’ll also miss the mark SEO-value-wise. When writing headlines remember to:
- Keep headlines short. Make headlines short and easy to understand. No one will labor over a complex headline to try to figure out if they should read your post. They’ll just move on to the next piece of content available in their feed. Don’t make them work for it. Entice them. You have less than a second to do so.
- Stay active. Write headlines in subject, verb, object order, which is the most active and engaging sentence structure.
- Use SEO keywords. Your audience should be able to immediately identify what the post is about by reading the headline. SEO algorithms and spiders should be able to pull out keywords too to better rank your content.
If you still aren’t sure if your headline is appealing, use a headline analyzer like this one from CoSchedule that gives your headline a grade and tells you which words are too common or could be improved.
3. Write to Your Readers
Here’s the hard truth. Readers don’t care about your product or service. They don’t even care about what you want them to do after reading your blog post. They care about themselves, the problem they’re having, and how your product or service solves it.
If you want to write a blog post that converts, you need to focus on the reader and eliminate their pain point. Write the post from the reader’s perspective and what’s in it for them to take action. How does your product or service improve their lives? That’s the focus of your CTA. Come up with content buckets to ensure you speak to every audience member.
4. Make Your Post Easy to Read
While we’re dropping hard truths, we’ll go ahead and let you know that people don’t read your blog posts. Most people skim blog posts. The average reader spends less than 40 seconds looking at a blog post, which means you have to get their attention and make your information easy to read quickly. Make your blog content easily digestible by including:
- Short paragraphs. Big blocks of text overwhelm the reader and make them less likely to even scan your content. Keep paragraphs short. You don’t have to follow that five-sentence rule your English teacher taught you. Instead, include one idea per graph, even if it’s only two sentences.
- Subheads. Break up text and make it easily scannable by including subheads. Be sure these are written like mini headlines — active voice, easy to read, and include keywords.
- Bulleted lists. Lists are easier to skim than blocks of text. Including bold headers for each bullet point makes it even easier to get the gist of what you’re writing.
- Visuals. Break up the text with helpful graphics or pull quotes that make it easier to understand the content as a unit.
- SEO Best Practices. The formatting and way you incorporate keywords greatly impacts your SEO. Stick to SEO best practices.
5. Optimize for SEO
Organic search provides most of the traffic to blog posts. Publish SEO blog posts that allow your content to be found by search engines. SEO-rich posts create more opportunities for Google to notice your site and recommend it to others. More readers mean a greater chance for conversion.
6. Include a Call to Action and Crosslinks
Always end your blog post with a call to action. Your CTA can ask your audience to register for your email list, link to a service on your main website, or encourage a product purchase. No matter what the CTA encourages your readers to do, it should be apparent that you’re offering a solution to their problem. The CTA is the key piece of your blog post that converts.
Also, don’t forget to crosslink to important articles, products, services, and core pages on your website! You of course can link externally too. Just make sure those links don’t distract your reader from converting or bouncing from your site.
7. Offer Bonus Features
Everyone likes extras, especially if they’re free. Offer your readers some extra content if they take action, like signing up for your email marketing list, following you on social, or pointing them to other relevant products and services. Use lead magnets like ebooks, coupons, access to exclusive online content, white papers, etc. to encourage people to provide their email addresses. Even include a pop-up on your blog to increase your chances of converting—and landing pages from promotional crosslinks.
8. Add Visuals
Visuals get a reader’s attention and make them pause to look at your post. Blog posts with visuals get 94% more attention than those without. Consider adding relevant photos, gifs, video, pull quotes, or graphics to your posts to break up the text and draw your readers in.
9. Use Exit-Intent Popups
Exit-intent popups appear when a visitor is about to leave your site. Typically, these popups convert 10-15% of visitors. You can ask these readers for their email addresses as an email marketing strategy, provide them with a coupon to make them reconsider a purchase, or show them a great offer to keep them from abandoning their cart. The goal of these pop-ups is to at least get a visitor’s email. That way, you can contact them in the future with email drip campaigns, newsletters, and/or special offers.
10. Share Your Blog Posts
Don’t assume that just because you wrote a great blog post that people will somehow find it. You can’t just rely on search for traffic. Share your blog post in your email newsletter and on social channels to increase readership. Remember, the more people who read, the more likely the post is to convert.
Write Blog Posts that Convert
We hope these tips help you think about how to write blog posts that convert. If you aren’t already using these strategies, you should start now. Make a content marketing budget! Commit to solid content strategy. If you still need guidance or want to outsource your content marketing, we can help!