To someone who isn’t a digital marketing expert, a blog is just an article on the internet — a bunch of words thrown together about a topic that a user may or may not be interested in. Besides that, it doesn’t serve much of a purpose. Those in the field know this couldn’t be further from the truth. Blogs aren’t just articles for people to read; they’re also powerful lead generation tools.
Why is blogging an important part of website development?
When launching your business’ website, there are a million little things to get done. The menu structure has to be organized. The design has to look perfect, and all service pages have to be written. In the midst of all of this craziness, a blog may just seem like a bonus feature of your website — something that’d be nice to have but isn’t 100% necessary.
In reality, publishing blogs with the launch of your website and continuing to create new posts over time is a key part of a business’s marketing strategy. Creating an ongoing content strategy to continue posting high-quality content on your website is extremely important, and if you fail to do this, you likely won’t drive as much traffic to your website as you may have hoped.
Ultimately, more content being published means more incoming traffic. More traffic means more leads. So, how do you write blogs that convert into leads? Here are six tips:
Create a content strategy, and publish blogs frequently
First things first: Before you start writing blogs, it’s important to create a content strategy. A content strategy helps you publish content frequently and on a schedule. It can also help to ensure that you’re writing purposeful content that is all related in some way. Before you start blogging, plan out your content for one month, and figure out how often you want to post. Neil Patel recommends once per day for bloggers who are just starting out.
Incorporate keywords and links into every blog
When you start writing your first few pieces of content, make sure to incorporate high-volume keywords and both internal and external links into every blog. A tool like SEMrush can help you perform keyword research so that you’re incorporating the most highly searched, relevant terms into your blogs. Once you figure out these terms, make sure you’re incorporating them into your content, but especially into H1s and H2s.
Optimize for SEO
Great content is important, but don’t forget about the importance of optimizing your blogs for SEO before you publish them. What exactly does this mean? Here are a few checklist items to be aware of:
- Include keywords in titles, headings, subheadings, intro sentences, hyperlinked text, and meta title and description.
- Optimize your images; include keywords in the file name, and fill out alt text with a brief, keyword-rich description of the photo.
- Add tags to your post, and choose a post category.
- Make sure your blog has at least two internal links (to other related blogs on your site) and at least one external link (to a high-authority, trustworthy source).
If you want to make sure you’re checking all of the boxes when you post a blog, a tool like Yoast SEO can help.
Create valuable content that is written for humans first
While keywords, linking and optimizing your blogs for SEO is important, nothing is more important than writing for humans. Real people are actually going to be reading these posts, and if you’re not writing for them, you’ll fail at lead generation. Your content should help people resolve an issue or answer a question they have; only then will it be seen as a trustworthy and reliable source of information.
Not only does valuable content convert more, but Google as a search engine is extremely sophisticated in the way that it ranks information. Google will penalize you if you’re focusing solely on SEO; machine learning is intelligent, and it won’t take long for Google’s bots to catch on if you’re creating content just to rank.
Add strategically placed, well-written calls to action
Each one of your blogs should contain a call to action (CTA) in order to drive more leads. This CTA should be strategically placed and should lead to a form for interested readers to fill out. The CTA should always relate to the article content and feel natural within the body of the article; otherwise, your conversion rate will suffer. Don’t place your CTA in the same spot for every blog; in fact, it’s better to experiment until you find a sweet spot. Include no more than two CTAs per blog or you’ll distract your readers.
Create a system for contact collection and follow up
Generating leads with blogs is great, but do you have a system figured out for when you do get a lead? If not, things could get messy quickly. What information are you collecting when a user fills out a lead form? Who does that information get sent to? Who follows up with the lead? Do you have a sales enablement team, or are leads immediately contacted by an executive sales representative? Figure all of this out before you start publishing blogs to your site.
Content marketing can be one of the most powerful lead generation tools when used correctly. If you have a killer content strategy and know how to write blogs that can turn readers into leads, you’ll be well on your way to surpassing your sales goals.
Scott Scully is is the CEO of Abstrakt Marketing Group in St. Louis. You can connect with him about lead gen, marketing and business on LinkedIn.