Guest Post by Mike Dane
Without leads, your business is destined to hit the skids. Leads are eligible prospects who can transform into your regular customers if you do your homework well enough.
Bloggers and Internet marketers depend on various avenues to drive leads to their blogs. However, some of these channels don’t yield the results you want. If you’ve invested a lot of energy into creating posts with the hope of driving the perfect leads, but still fail to get results, things might look gloomy to you. But listen to this: there are others like you.
Many top bloggers including Brian Dean, Neil Patel, and John Chow made every effort to acquire leads in their formative years of blogging. However, with the right approach and perseverance, they’ve now grown their leads by more than 115 percent on an average.
Apply these 10 hacks to generate leads from your blog:
1. Review Your Homepage Messaging
For most bloggers, the maximum number of visits they receive is to their homepage. Norway-based electronics manufacturer Tandberg, which has now been acquired by Cisco, increased its lead generation by almost 50 percent from a plain homepage CTA that combined other elements like images, subtitles, and headlines.
If you have been promoting your blog aggressively, your homepage is sure to attract visitors from social media sites, search engines, referring sites, and a whole lot of other sources.
Here’s a case study on how Alex Chris, founder of Digital Marketing Pro, generated more than 400,000 visitors each month from his homepage. He displayed five sticky posts along with a list of some interesting trending posts and included a must-read section on the sidebar.
Another great example in this case would be Backlinko.com. Notice that the headlines on the home page and call-to-action include the keyword “traffic.” As a result, when users visit Backlinko, they’ll immediately notice the topic of the website and how Brian Dean can assist them.
These are some of the things you need to watch out for with your homepage messaging system:
- Explain in detail what your business is all about.
- The message of your homepage and the goal of your business should be in sync, so that visitors know exactly what you have to offer. This indicates that if your website is about internet marketing, your homepage message should have the same concept.
- You also need to include a form of agreement so that visitors don’t get confused when landing on your homepage.
- Give reasons that make you stand out from your competitors.
- Present a visual of what you have to offer, since a picture is worth a thousand words.
Here’s a stunning example of the homepage messaging of Instaflex, which highlights its message pretty evidently. Nothing bizarre, nothing crazy.
2. Give Out Personalized Reports or Guides for Free
A wise way to generate leads is to offer a free report or guide, and let users download it after filling out a form. This freebie should be packed with sound advice and the best suggestions to your target audience.
You can also take a handful of related how-to articles and transform them into a useful eBook for your customers.
Free resources, guides, or eBooks are the most prevalent marketing tactic in the B2B lead generation industry.
Remember that when you have a freebie that’s relevant, in high demand, exclusive, and scarce, it instantly becomes desirable, and users will want to get their hands on it.
Dan Ariely, a professor at MIT, stated in a recent paper that the word “free” gives an emotional charge to users, who perceive what’s being offered as more valuable than it really is.
Furthermore, searching for popular words like “game,” “blog,” and “book” in Keyword Planner shows that a huge fragment of searchers want these things for free.
Online advertising firm WordStream offers a free analysis and report in exchange for users’ email addresses.
3. Link Your Webinars to Your Content
A webinar is a comparatively cost-effective way to bring your message in front of your target audience.
A tiny consulting company used webinars to acquire close to 100 new leads, which led to six meetings, eventually transforming the generated leads into $50,000 in services.
KISSmetrics has so far held 77 webinars, with astounding results to date. These webinars have brought the company an extra 518,399 visitors, out of which 155,386 registered to attend a webinar. However, the number of people who ended up attending a webinar was 74,381, from which 16,394 turned into leads. Ultimately, this generated a whopping $1.64 million in revenue.
If you host a webinar and associate it directly to your content, your leads will take you more seriously since you’ve provided value to them before asking them to register.
Quality Matters once held a webinar that was linked to one of its blog posts (success stories), as shown in the screenshot below.
The main purpose of hosting a webinar is user engagement, and when people are engaged, miracles can happen right on the spot.
4. Find Commercial Keywords to Create Your Content
Keywords are a powerful technique to find out what your target audience actually wants to know about. Commercial keywords in particular clue you in to what your potential customers intend to purchase.
For instance, let’s say you’re a plumber based in Chicago and want to attract prospects in your city and neighboring areas. Here’s how you can find out what your prospects are looking for.
Head to Google AdWords’ Keywords Planner and enter your main keyword into the search box. In this case, it’s “plumber service in Chicago.” Click “Get ideas.”
You can see how easy it is to find keywords that your prospects are looking for, and then create content that can attract them to your plumbing business. If you target a specific niche and create amazing articles aimed at finding solutions to the questions of your audience, each individual member of that particular audience can turn into a lead for your business.
Moreover, by providing solutions to the questions posed by your potential customers, you’re creating a personal brand. With time, you’ll gather a loyal audience ready to trust you and pay for your services.
But remember that things will not happen overnight. You need to stick to it and create content that people are usually looking for.
Marcus Sheridan, who was once known as “the pool guy,” went on to write blog posts using commercial keywords that generated more than $2 million in sales.
5. Create Landing Pages That Convert Easily
If you give too much importance to conversion rate optimization, as some top bloggers do, you’ll find out that not all landing pages are built equally. A majority of landing pages perform poorly and may only get a few opt-ins occasionally. At the same time, there are others that are capable of performing brilliantly. For example, here’s a case study on how Moz made $1 million by creating high converting landing page.
According to Econsultancy, only 20 percent of internet marketers are satisfied with their lead generation rate, which points to a lot of landing pages that are underperforming.
So how can you create a fantastic landing page that converts?
- Write a compelling headline that’s strong and captivating: it should generate interest as users move down the copy.
- Your landing page has to be super fast. A recent study by KISSmetrics found that a one-second delay in the loading time of a landing page can reduce the conversion rate by 7 percent.
- Include bullet points highlighting the benefits of your services.
- Create an appealing visual, such as a personal photo.
An example of an ideal landing page comes from Chris Ducker:
6. Offer Exclusive Access
Another technique to generate leads from your blog is by offering users admittance to a valuable resource that can improve something in their life, such as ideation, performance, or productivity.
The best example to cite here would be Fitocracy, which is both an online platform and app that caters to individuals with health and fitness goals. The company has created a strong community around a mobile app that has a fitness tracker and offers a massive resource with how-to articles and exercise videos.
Access to the website is free and users can become a member after signing up. Once they become members, they can take the services of fitness coaches to help meet their health objectives and also connect with people who are heavily into fitness, eventually creating a social network.
7. Make Your Content Useful
The path for bloggers and content marketers to generate leads is clear. In order to gain traffic or leads and boost SEO rankings, you have to create awesome content on your blog. If your content is original, search engines will help your website gain more exposure. Put it this way—Google wants to reward sites that contain high quality and original content.
So not only does creating great content build a better site, but also it improves your rankings, which will surely have a positive impact on your business.
How should you go about writing useful content?
- Create original content
- Focus on writing powerful headlines
- Make your content actionable
- Provide relevant answers
- Be precise in reporting and sourcing information
- Create content that’s provoking and engaging
- Add images and video
- Always eliminate fluff
- Regularly update your blog
8. Include More Case Studies
In the past, the words “case studies” would’ve sent readers running since they were so uninspiring and boring. However, lately they’ve become an indispensable tool for blogs and websites.
In fact, this Content Marketing Institute report shows that a majority of B2B marketers view case studies as the most effective strategy for both prospect nurturing and lead generation.
If you want to persuade the right audience to perceive you as authoritative and authentic, write more case studies. Your audience will trust you more if you can invest enough time and effort to study a situation and come up with a proven result, and not merely write from your own worldview.
Here are some tips to follow while writing case studies:
- Summarize the study and write a preview of the result.
- Explain the obstacles you had to combat or a problem faced by the client.
- Write a step-by-step guide to all the challenges.
- Discuss the outcome of your solution and how it was successful.
- Write a conclusion and include a call to action.
Still need some inspiration? Check out this list of 138 epic case studies that can help you.
9. Include a CTA
You may have written the final sentence of your blog post, but that doesn’t mean you’re finished just yet. Every entry on your blog should propel your readers to perform some kind of action. For instance, you could offer an eBook or whitepaper that goes into more detail about the topic you’ve just written about in the blog post.
This is referred to as a “call-to-action,” and each of your articles should include one as a way to convert your readers into leads, and then into loyal customers.
10. Find Influential People in Your Niche
Unless you define your target prospects as “influential journalists and bloggers,” your target audience will never share your content. So if they don’t share even the best piece of content you’ve composed, you’ll never generate leads from your blog.
The reason behind this is simple: your target customers don’t have blogs in your niche!
Brian Dean from Moz states that his nutrition site, which eventually failed, was targeted at individuals looking to shed some extra kilos. Even though his target audience loved the content, the influencers in his niche (mainly health and fitness bloggers) found his content too basic since they shared in-depth posts.
His site easily attracts links from influential bloggers and thus generates tons of leads.
The Bottom Line
Generating leads from your blog takes time. You’ll have to move out of your comfort zone and expend energy.
Data-driven posts are a must in order to nurture your leads, and if you want to make the most of your time, you’ll have to repurpose your content and spread your net as wide as possible so that you can drive new leads to your business.
It’s almost impossible to increase your leads by 100 percent within a week, but with a consistent approach, you’ll surpass this milestone.
What are other lead generation techniques that have worked for you? Share your opinions, questions, or case studies.