A blog can provide a number of lasting benefits for your business. It's a great way to boost your website's ability to get found in search engines , it's an awesome tool for exhibiting industry thought leadership, and it truly helps to encourage discussion and community-building around your brand.
But what's even better than all that? LEADS!
That's right. Carefully crafted blog posts can do wonders for your lead generation efforts . You just have to know how to do it right. Let's walk through the anatomy of a smart, lead gen-optimized blog post so you can start converting that blog traffic into precious leads. Luckily, it's far from complicated.
Anatomy of a Lead Generating Blog Post
1. Eye-Catching Title: Before you can even get readers to a point of conversion, you first need to attract them to read the blog post. The article's title is your best opportunity to grab their attention, so don't overlook it. Choose a title that is interesting, eye-catching, and indicative of the article's focus (i.e. informative). Also, shoot for 8-9 words or fewer to keep it clear and concise.
2. In-Text Links to Landing Pages: Once you have viewers for your blog post, now you can start making attempts to convert those visitors into leads. A well-constructed blog post should always include in-text links to other resources . (See what I did there?) To maximize lead gen potential, why not point these links to landing pages for downloadable offers such as an ebook you've written, an upcoming or archived webinar, or other conversion opportunities like demo requests, free trials, etc.?
3. Sidebar/Banner Calls-to-Action (CTAs): In addition to the individual blog articles you publish, the homepage for you blog can help generate leads in itself. The top of your blog as well as its sidebar are both prime real estate for CTA banners and buttons. Design some visually stimulating CTAs that link to landing pages for some of your best-performing offers. Feel free to also test and rotate different offers to make sure you're using this space for maximum lead generation power.
4. Social Sharing Buttons: It's a fairly simple concept -- the more visitors you can attract to your blog, the more chances for conversion! Give your blog content extended reach by including social sharing buttons (e.g. "Like," "Share on LinkedIn," "Tweet," etc.) on every post. This will encourage readers to share you content with their personal networks and expand its reach beyond your own connections.
5. CTA at the Bottom: Always -- I repeat -- ALWAYS include a call-to-action at the bottom of your blog post. Using the same philosophy as with in-text links and sidebar/banner CTAs, this CTA should link to a landing page with a form for another offer. This will satisfy readers' interest in learning more about a given topic and reward you with some fabulous leads. It's a conversion gold mine!
6. Relevancy: Relevancy is the blood of a blog's anatomy; it should run through the entire blog. Any time you include a CTA, it should be as relevant to the content of your blog post as possible. In the above example, the blog article is focused on social media strategy, so the in-text links and bottom CTA both point to landing pages that house social media offers. The philosophy behind this is easy to understand: if a reader is interested in the topic of the article enough to read it, he or she is more likely to be interested in obtaining more information on the same or a similar topic. Ensuring your CTAs are relevant is key to generating the most leads from your blog .
Is your blog optimized for lead gen? In what other ways can you create a conversion-optimized blog?