In a contemporary world where buyers are more acutely aware of advertising than ever, it’s essential to figure out the best methods to generate sales for your organization on the customer’s terms.
- Define and create quality content according to strategy;
- Maximize the visibility and sharing of this content, and;
- Drive readers to engage with our company through our website.
1. Start with Strategy
We’d always blogged with a purpose, but planning to win made a huge difference. We identified the goals we wanted to reach in terms of traffic and multiple measures of conversion, choosing aggressive but attainable numbers. Once we figured out the “what,” we moved on to the “how.”
|Graph represents the daily number of visitors to our blog from search engines only. Visitors increased 1053% during the period Nov 2012- Nov 2013 (6,783) over previous period Nov 2011- Nov 2012 (588)|
2. Keyword Targeting
We researched highly-trafficked keywords related to our business and developed a thematic framework for our writing around them. An online search implies a need for information. Our research on people’s needs allowed us to craft useful content that answered their questions and provided them value.
3. Content Calendar
By proactively scheduling our content creation, we were never too swamped or caught off-guard to create a useful and interesting blog post. Calendaring also gave us a chance to serialize posts over weeks based on a few major themes, which are divided into more specific, keyword-oriented topics. Calendars can be created using a spreadsheet, Google calendar, or project management tool like Basecamp.
4. Post Volume
Increasing posting from one to 12 times per month made a huge difference. Not only does regular posting equate to more search engine fodder, it makes for an engaged and anticipatory audience.
5. Author Variety
Historically, 90% of our content has been written by one author. This year Google made improvements to its Results Pages in highlighting individual authors via a mechanism called Authorship. By linking to one’s Google+ profile in an article byline, authors can have their work better attributed to them. While Google has been fairly mum on the existence of a de jure “Authorship” system, we can assume that having more active participants reflects better on a site’s quality.
|A screencap from a search engine results page (SERP) depicting the post’s author.|
Reaping the Rewards of Increased Traffic
This massive increase in traffic resulted in an 566% increase in leads over the previous year.
In addition to setting a record for leads captured, we improved our closing ratio by blogging to serve our most qualified prospects. Once customer lifetime value and recurring revenue are factored in, inbound leads for 2013 have contributed nearly $500,000 to our business. Posting useful, well-written, quality content within a well-defined plan has paid off.
Only Part of the Blogging Puzzle
While earning higher traffic and as a result of strategy is a win, it’s really only half the battle. In order to provide the greatest benefit, an increase in traffic must result in a higher number of conversions as well.
- Write the right stuff for the right people
- Make sure that content gets found by the right people (the focus of this post,) and
- Make it as easy as possible for those people to say “yes” to a personal conversation with you.
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