We’ve talked about the best practice of matching your offer and blog post topic as tightly as possible many times on the HubSpot Marketing Blog. But just in case you haven’t heard of this best practice before, I’ll give an example.
Let’s say you have a post explaining different types of commercial cooling systems that gets a steady amount of organic traffic each month. The best fit offer for this post would be a quiz to determine the right cooling system for your business, or a cooling systems pricing comparison sheet.
Because the offer closely aligns with what brought the visitor to your blog post in the first place -- an interest in learning about commercial cooling systems -- it’s natural for visitors to want to consume this additional content and convert on a lead form. On the other hand, an ebook on ventilation best practices probably wouldn’t convert traffic as well, since it’s not as well-aligned with the topic of the blog post.
A few years back, we did an audit of our highest organic traffic posts on the HubSpot Blog to see if our offers were as optimized for conversion as they could be. We found several areas to more tightly align blog post topic with offer topic, and saw CVRs climb. For example, conversions from this post increased considerably when we swapped a generic marketing offer for a press release template.
Fast forward to today. It had been a while since we took a look at those posts. After all, all of the optimization work that could be done had been done, right?
But then I started digging into the conversion rates of the offer landing pages themselves ... and discovered a whole new gold mine of opportunity.
Here’s the quick and dirty of how I doubled leads from 50 of our top-performing blog posts in one week by analyzing landing page CVRs.
Gathering the Data
First, I created a massive spreadsheet that included data on:
- Blog post traffic
- Leads generated from blog posts (HubSpot customers, you can do this via attribution reports. Learn how here.)
- Conversion rate of offer landing page
Here’s what that looked like (this snapshot features some of our worst-converting blog posts -- clearly, there's some work to be done):
Then, I sorted by highest number of blog post views and highest number of leads generated, and started comparing to offer landing page CVR. This helped me prioritize my optimization efforts so I could see where the potential to move the needle was the greatest -- i.e. an offer with a 70% submission rate but 800 monthly views wouldn’t be as good an opportunity to increase raw leads as one with a 45% submission rate and 15,000 monthly views.
The sweet spot was high blog post views + low number of leads generated + low landing page submission rate.
Auditing the Offers
Then, for the top 150 viewed blog posts, I manually audited and noted the URL of which offer LPs were being used. I found that some offers were tightly aligned to the topic of the blog posts while others were not. I also found that some of the offers we were directing visitors to were out of date -- not the best experience.
Next up? Some VLOOKUP magic to match offer landing page submission rate to the blog posts that offer was being linked from. It quickly became clear that some of our best-performing blog posts were pointing to some of our worst-performing offers. I also spotted a few trends in subject matter among our lowest performers, such as social media, career development, and content creation.
Finally, I went through our offers library and identified the content offers with the highest submission rates, and sorted them by topic category. These would be the replacements for the laggards.
After all this number crunching, I was able to identify 50 blog posts that represented our lowest-hanging fruit. I went through and swapped out these posts’ CTAs (or created new ones from scratch) for the most tightly-aligned offers with the highest submission rates.
The results were even better than I expected. After one week, these posts generated 100% more leads than average -- even while post traffic was down 10%. This seemingly small tweak made a big impact on our leads.
We'll be keeping an eye on how this pans out long-term. But in the meantime, here are a few takeaways and lessons learned I hope will be as valuable for your team as they were for ours:
- When deciding what offer to pair with what blog post, don’t neglect to check the submission rate of the offer landing page. As we found, this is an easy way to quickly increase the number of leads you’re generating from your best-performing blog posts -- especially if you have multiple offers on the same or similar topics.
- Regularly audit your offers to ensure the content isn’t out of date. Outdated content will create a negative visitor experience and hurt your conversion rate.
- Regularly audit the conversion paths of your top blog posts. Set aside time for optimization every few months so you can ensure you’re using your content to generate the most possible leads. Optimization isn’t a one-and-done thing.
Have you ever done a similar optimization project? Comment below with your best experiments and hacks to increase conversion rate below (and hey, we might even feature your experiment on our blog).
Originally published Jun 21, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated June 21 2017