Learn How to Make Your Blog the Ferrari of Lead Generation
Blogging has emerged one of the most popular trends in content marketing in past 3-5 years. Many of the businesses now revolve around blogging itself.
Good news is – their success has forced most modern marketers to take blog marketing more seriously. May be that’s why, today most of companies have a blog section on their websites. Bad news is – most of these blogs work as a token presence and don’t realize their true potential for the business.
Ever wondered why?
After all, all marketers launch the blog with lots of expectations –
• Create great content that will go viral,
• Generate lots of traffic to the blog,
• Achieve Wide Reach & Shares for each blog article,
• Finally, gain better conversions
Initially, it looks simple:
Let’s create lots of (supposedly) good content. Share it on social channels. Make the blog articles SEO friendly. Do some paid promotion (provided you’ve got big pockets).
And then wait for increase in blog web traffic.
In many cases, if content is original, its quality is really good, and other key fundamentals are in place, the web traffic gets a boost. Usually, more web traffic means more leads and hence, more sales. However, in case of a blog, most of marketers remain happy with just higher blog traffic. Leads from blog? Nowhere near to expectations. Lead generation through the blog is still a dream for most of marketers. That really nails the usability of blog.
Blog should deliver qualified leads for your business. Otherwise, it’s all fluff. To me, after all, any business activity is driven towards the revenue.
Making interesting conversation is one thing and converting those conversations into revenue is another ball of game. Lead generation through blogging is challenging but very much possible.
How to Get More Leads from Blogging
Lead generation with blog can be in different forms – email signups, downloads, free trials, subscription, service purchase etc.
This article will help you implement some winning tactics to transform your blog into a source of lead generation for your business.
More Blogging = Better Chance of Lead Generation
First, fix the basics. Create lots of blog content. More you blog, more your chance of getting new customers. When I say, create lots of blog content, it is implicit that it has to be of high quality.
The best thing about leveraging blog content is that it’s all organic. And in organic search, nothing can beat the blog on SERP (Search engine result pages).
Focus on Creating Long-form Content
You must have heard about long-form content, right Long form content refers to the LONG articles discussing a topic in highly detailed manner – ranging from 2,000+ words to 20,000 words. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you would have come across it on many occasions in articles like this one (2,100 words), this one (2,561 words) and the one you are reading is (3,000+ words).
Scared? Please don’t. Long form content can be your best friend for blog lead generation.
Long form content will win the war for you when it comes to all popular search engines and most importantly, with your blog readers / potential customers. And this is accepted and proven by industry leaders across the globe.
A Quick Flashback
Till 2013, short-form content was the norm. Anything between 350 to 700 words article was considered the best practice. Marketers around the world used to publish 3 to 5 such articles each week. Despite being poor in terms of content quality and relevant information, it worked well for them.
A time came when Google was filled with crap stuff and keywords-stuffed articles. This forced Google to change their algorithm in 2013 to serve the end-users. This was the deserving end of short-form content and rise of the long-form (over 2,000 words) content to get higher rankings in search engines. Initially, there was some apprehension about the feasibility of long-form content.
“When readers started moving to the internet, media analysts thought long-form journalism was in trouble. Attention spans were going to shrivel. Readers wanted short, they wanted snappy, they wanted 140 characters and not much more (though a listicle on the side couldn’t hurt). Who would want to scroll through an 8,000-word article on an iPhone screen?”
– Naomi Sharp
But, the massive success of long-form content around the world has proved that such fears were misplaced.
Moz and BuzzSumo analyzed over one million articles (in 2015) and found that content over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links than shorter-form content.
“As a content marketer, you have to create long form content, meaning 2000+ word, high-quality blog posts.”
– Neil Patel
Don’t forget that long-form content is loved by all relevant stakeholders – Google, Influencers, and your readers. As the studies show that long-form content is preferred by Google as well as readers, which directly affects your blog rankings and blog traffic.
Back in 2012, SerpIQ conducted a study around more than 20,000 keywords. (Look at the screenshot below.) The results showed that the average content length of each of the top 10 results was more than 2,000 words. The average number of words for the content in the #1 spot was 2,416. For the #10 spot, the average number of words was 2,032.
As you can see, there is a decline in content length as we move from first to the tenth position. This graph indicates that the trend of long-form content getting better traction had started in 2012 itself. Pandu Nayak, the technical staff member at Google and creator of the Panda algorithm update, posted the following from this article on long-form content:
Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic. That’s why today we’re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles.
BuzzSumo found that “the longer the content, the more shares it gets, with 3000-10000 word pieces getting the most average shares (8859 total average shares).”
The long-form content is comprehensively researched, well-written and SEO-friendly. So, if you want to get good blog traffic, better user engagement and lead generation from blog, than start creating long form content.
2,000+ words article is good.
3,000+ words article will be better.
5,000+ words article will be great.
More blog traffic means a higher chance of lead generation from the blog.
Here is the math:
Assume your blog gets 1,000 visits per month for short-form content (700-1,000 words max). Out of these 1,000 visitors, 2% sign-up – 20.
It’s proven that long-form content gets higher traffic than short-form content. So, now your blog gets approx 4,000 visits per month for long-form content (3,000+ words). Out of these 4,000 visitors, 2% (same as earlier) gets converted – 80.
Notice the difference? It’s 4 times more leads. Now, coming to the length of the content. Just churning out 2,000 to 4,000 words article won’t help. Without a doubt, quality comes first.
So, if you can write 2,000 to 3,000 words blog articles with the right mix of quality and promotion, you can double your conversion rate.
Focus on Long-tail Keywords
Focusing on long-tail keywords can be very profitable for your blog strategy. What are the short tail and long-tail keywords?
Short tail keywords (also known as ‘Head Terms’) are 3 words or less.
‘Digital marketing,’ ‘Digital Consultancy’, or “marketing company.”
Long-tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases that are very, very specific to whatever you are selling.
‘Digital marketing agency in Delhi NCR,’ ‘Hire a Digital Consultant in India’ or “Top 10 marketing companies in New York.”
Long tail keywords help bloggers in two aspects:
- Easy Ranking
- Higher Conversions
Please note that long tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific. Here is a quick comparison between both long tail and short tail keywords for your understanding:
The long-tail keywords revolve around the user intent. You see, whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are going to buy.
They use more specific keywords. These keywords have less number of searches but a higher chance of a conversion. For example, look at the latest average monthly search volumes for short tail and long tail keywords:
Therefore, start focusing on long-tail keywords while writing your blog articles. Link your long-tail keywords from head to tail. By doing this, you can rank for specific keywords and attract more of your targeted customer base. More importantly, you get a higher conversion rate.
Look at the chart below:
Long-tail queries converted at 26%, an enormous 160% increase over the 10%-converting head terms!
It’s your time to leverage long-tail keywords. Go ahead and start doing it.
You may ask:
‘How to know what are the long tail keywords for my niche?’
It’s easy to find out your industry’s long tail keywords using Google Search Console tool.
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results. Discover how Google Search—and the world—sees your site:
- Which queries caused your site to appear in search results?
- Did some queries result in more traffic to your site than others?
- Are your product prices, company contact info, or events highlighted in rich search results?
- Which sites are linking to your website?
- Is your mobile site performing well for visitors searching on mobile?
…and much more!
Here is a quick Google Search Console process snapshot to help you find out your short and long tail keywords:
- Log in to your GSC account.
- Click “Search Traffic.”
- Click “Search Analytics.”
When you click on ‘Search Analytics’, you will see a new screen (see below).
You see different options with check boxes like ‘Clicks,’ ‘Impressions,’ ‘CTR’ and ‘Position’. Turn all of them ON.
Once you select all these options, you will see the keyword results as shown below:
The keywords with higher CTR (more than 10% at least) should tell you which long-tail keywords you should focus on. Now, you are aware of the keywords that bring traffic to your website.
Here is a list of key steps you should take to gain higher conversions from your blog articles:
- Create a quick list of phrases that people in your niche are searching for.
- They should consist of a minimum of 4 words or longer.
- Make sure these terms are included smartly in the blog articles.
And most importantly, once these long-tail keywords are finalized, you should start writing separate blog articles for each keyword. Ensure that the blog article title retains the chosen long-tail keyword. Don’t forget to use this long-tail keyword in the body text and other related keywords. Last but not the least, write a long-form blog article which is more than 2,000 words.
Offer Your Readers Exclusivity
Use content exclusivity as a weapon. Everyone likes to be part of a secret club where only a few can enter. A blog is not meant to offer everything free and at the very first instance of the click. If readers can’t have it, they would want it more. That’s human psychology.
Though it’s difficult to create a sense of exclusiveness yet it can be done with some smart marketing or EXCLUSIVE content creation. So, try to offer some exclusive content to your readers for the want of additional information from them.
This can be done in a variety of forms:
- Only available here
- Limited offer
- Only available to subscribers
- Become an insider
- Today only
- Only 5 left
- Get it before everybody else
- Be the first to hear about it
- Be one of the few
- Accessible only by reference
- Free subscriptions running out
- Join exclusive content
- Only 10 available
Publish Different Types of Content
Admit it – A blog is not all about the text.
In the age of rich media, your blog can serve a lot of variety of content to your readers. So be prepared to shake and mix up things a bit.
- Group interviews
Why does this help?
Because different people prefer different ways to consume information. Start posting the different types of content and then re-purposing them in interesting ways can really make a whole lot difference to your blog. And, this will help you reach out to a wider base of audience.
Exploit CTAs while Replying TO Blog Comments
You write good content. People read your blog. Some of them leave your blog disengaged. And, some of them are engaged enough to leave a comment.
You go and answer each comment. Here is your chance to generate more leads.
While responding to each comment, use CTAs to a landing page where they can subscribe for the webinar, or download a whitepaper / an e-book. Remember, these are the people who are interested to start a conversation with you after reading your blog.
So, don’t leave them midway. Give them something extra to stay connected with you. Offer them more value than just a ‘sincere thank you’ message in the comments section.
You will witness the difference in terms of web traffic, higher engagement, and the number of leads.
Caution: Don’t go overboard. Use it smartly and sparingly.
Convert Your Blog Readers into Hot Leads
Now, you have taken the needed steps to ensure that you start getting enough traffic on your blog articles. The next step is to ensure that you provide your readers with enough opportunities to convert into a lead – that too in subtle ways. Conversion is all about getting the web visitors to take the desired action on your online platform.
A typical understanding of conversion is about customers paying money to buy your service or product. That’s an incorrect way of looking at a blog lead. Conversion can be the beginning of a relationship or taking your relationship with your blog reader to the next level.
- Asking your blog readers to subscribe to your blog or newsletter can be a conversion.
- Taking the free trial offer is conversion.
- Downloading your e-book or a whitepaper is a conversion.
- Someone who followed you on Twitter liked your page on Facebook or connecting with you on LinkedIn is a conversion.
- Someone taking a free or paid monthly subscription is also a type of conversion.
Focus on the Call-to-action (CTA)
Your calls-to-action (CTAs) is your ticket to a higher blog lead generation rate. So, ensure they are engaging enough for your readers to take your desired action. Play around with your CTAs in terms of keywords, content, design, and placement.
If you use a contact form then keep the fields limited to two. More than three will be a crime. Make it easy for people to convert. Here are some of the great examples of CTAs used by industry leaders.
The Content Marketing Institute use the sidebar area with different conversion opportunities:
Search Engine Land has a sticky subscribe bar at the top of each blog article:
SEMRUSH invites you to enter your website URL and start using their tool with a single click.
Crazy egg offers 30-days Free Trial on the blog page beside standard subscription options.
We have discussed lots of ideas which can help you grow your blog traffic and generate more leads for you. But, don’t forget – blog is a marathon, not a sprint. It demands lots of great content, constant experimentation, and last but not the least, massive patience from your side. I hope you have learned some of the good tips from this article to generate more leads with your blog. Start testing them again and again.
The desired effect may take little longer but it will form the crux of your long-run blog lead generation strategy. You just need to try these strategies to ramp your blog for better web traffic and hence, more leads.
Over To You
Are you now ready to implement these tactics and optimize your blog lead generation strategy? Share your experience after leveraging these tactics and how did it improve your lead generation with your blog?
As an expert digital marketing consultant, I have helped our customers optimize their Blog lead generation marketing with sharp strategies and flawless execution.
Few Question for You
So now I have few questions for you:
How are you generating leads from your blog?
What are your thoughts on the lead generation from blog tips shared in this article?
Do you have any tips to share?
Let me know in the comments section below or tweet me @iamnitinmalik.