You've done your research. You've seen the articles on how content marketing can boost website authority, drive traffic and get eyes on your products and services. You sit down and meticulously type up a blog article about your new service, post it on social media, sit back and wait for the orders to roll in...except they never do. Where did you go wrong? The article is engaging, provides hard data and explains why your service is better than that other company's service.
It sounds like you need help improving your content conversion rates.
Consistently producing relevant, interesting content is no easy task. Getting potential customers to convert on that content is even harder. Between doing keyword research, analyzing what's already being said, and then figuring out not only what to say, but how to say it, you'll have your work cut out for you. On top of that, you need to figure out how to get people to buy what you're selling. But this process doesn't necessarily have to be immediate. In fact, since around 98% of customers won't make a purchase during their 1st visit to your website, compelling content acts more as a long-term strategy by building brand awareness, establishing authority and bringing a unique perspective -- all of which play a significant role in customers' minds when it comes time to convert later on.
By producing unique content, you're sowing the seeds of a good reputation. Now it's time to figure out how to harvest it and improve your content conversion rates.
Note: while "content" is an all-encompassing term for many types of media, for the purposes of this article, "content" refers to web pages.
Consider Tangential Content
Tangential content: articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc. that delve into a topic that's...well, tangentially related to your products/services/brand, but isn't intended to encourage an immediate conversion. For instance, let's say you hypothetically own a small taco restaurant called Let's Taco 'Bout Tex-Mex. You could consider writing an article about the essential kitchen equipment necessary to create delicious tacos because it's interesting and informative, it may gain social shares and even an influx of organic traffic; however, it probably won't do much to bring foot traffic to your doorstep. But that's not the goal of tangential content, anyway. It's supposed to be different from your typical, branded, here's-why-you-should-buy-my-product articles because frankly, those articles often struggle to get viewership.
Tangential content is more shareable because it isn't a sales-oriented pitch. It strives to improve website authority by link building, establishing a voice, solidifying your reputation and reaching a wide, top-of-funnel audience. Branded content is great to have, but if you're a small business with little clout or if you work in a boring industry, it's going to be hard to gain conversions without that authoritative reputation; and tangential content is the opportunity to build that foundation.
Clear, Prominent, Consistent Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
If you're producing branded content that's sole purpose is to drive conversions, make sure to optimize on-page user experience. Make your intentions clear and make it as easy as possible for users to take whichever action you desire -- make a purchase, register for an event, call, etc. If you don't explicitly and consistently communicate what you want your customers to do after engaging with your website, they won't take those actions. It may sound in-your-face or cheesy, but multiple, clear and prominent CTAs scattered throughout the page will attract and guide users to click through the rest of your sales funnel. CTAs should be short (just a few words), to-the-point, and attention-grabbing. Something as simple as "Call Now", "Request Sample", or "Start Free Trial" will suffice.
Analyze the Customer's Journey
One way to truly understand how potential customers interact with your website is to become one. Start your journey with a Google search of your product or service and see the ways in which users are able (or unable!) to convert. Ask yourself these questions:
As search engines become more and more sophisticated, they adapt to user behaviors. One of the largest trends currently is the advent of mobile-first indexing. In this high-tech world of interconnectedness, just over half of Google searches are now done on mobile devices. That's not to say that desktops aren't important anymore -- they still are. But as more and more users use their phones to conduct searches, the importance of mobile optimization grows.
While Google has stated that mobile responsive design doesn't directly affect organic SERP rankings, it sure does affect on-page statistics like bounce rate, time on page, and overall user experience. Have you ever visited a site on your phone and you had to keep zooming in and out because the text is too small? Or have a hard time clicking on correct menu elements? Yeah...not fun.
But while mobile conversion rates tend to be low and bounce rates remain high, this can be attributed to a number of factors, such as:
Despite these points, mobile bounce rates are trending downward as users become more comfortable with using their phones for day-to-day web browsing. So you may as well get ahead of the curve while you can.