Creating content that converts is not a piece of cake.
Not only should it be informative and valuable, but it also has to be skimmable and visually appealing.
Whether it’s a long-read, video or infographics, it should attract traffic and generate leads.
How do we face all these content challenges? Let us share a couple of insights with you.
Step 1. Drive convertible traffic with high-intent keywords
A short disclosure: we are Chanty, a team crafting an AI-powered team chat. As a startup at the pre-launch stage, we had to develop a marketing strategy that would bring us visitors, leads and, eventually, customers. Inspired by success stories of the world-class SaaS companies, we’ve placed our bet on content marketing.
It’s no secret when it comes to ranking content in Google, the competition is insane. However, we have still managed to rank our articles high enough. That led us to attract plenty of eyeballs and converting browsers into potential customers.
It all starts with a keyword
According to the principles of inbound marketing, we had to start a quality blog and optimize it for certain keywords. The question was: what Google query could lead users to our website?
We’ve focused on keywords with 100+ search queries/month during our keyword research. As we went through the queries offered by Google Keyword Planner, we’ve noticed “Slack alternatives” – the one keyword that stood out among all other. This was the “Aha!” moment for our team as it significantly shaped our entire content marketing strategy.
The keyword was an obvious jackpot for at least three reasons:
- Super-high intent. Slack is our number one competitor. Therefore, people putting this phrase in a search box were definitely looking for a tool other than Slack.
- High volume. It had more than 1K search queries per month.
- Low keyword difficulty. According to data from Ahrefs and SemRush, we had to get just a handful of backlinks to compete with other search results.
These three reasons gave us a green light to proceed with our content endeavors. As a next step, our team took time to actually dive deep into the issue and give each and every Slack alternative a try. Rather than putting a short paragraph on each tool along with a screenshot (like many other articles on the topic), we have actually delivered the in-depth review of tools similar to Slack.
It looks like we had it all done right – the intent was there, the content was a real feedback from our team full of numbers, comparisons and thorough analysis. Fortunately, all the hard work we’ve done was well worth it. As a result of our efforts, the article started converting at a whopping 10% rate.
This is when we’ve decided to…
Look for other competitor alternative keywords
The “Slack alternatives” approach required some scaling. So we’ve written more reviews e.g. HipChat alternatives, WhatsApp vs Slack, etc.
Eventually, we ended up with an entire blog category called “Team Chat Wars”. The reviews and comparisons our team was patiently working on have become a lead generation machine for our website.
Of course, it would be hard to convert visitors without mentioning Chanty in these articles. Well, that’s what we’ve done. You’ll notice we give a humble mention of our team chat without making it a hard sell in every article we write. At the same time, we do our best to stick to the facts and stay as unbiased as possible, so many of our readers are happy to join our amazing family of early adopters. The readers’ comments under our posts prove that we are on the right track.
The strategy we’ve used for Chanty might as well work for you! Do you have a well-known competitor? Now you can make use of your rival’s big-name featuring it in the content you write.
Step 2. Make your content bright and shiny
Picking the right high-intent keywords to optimize your posts for is only winning half a battle. The reality is – you won’t succeed without outstanding content. Everyone and his dog is babbling about high-quality content these days. But the question is how do you actually make it appealing and engaging?
Earning the trust with your content
Content surrounding your brand is what determines why your company is worth its salt.
Hitting punchlines, cracking jokes and spreading witty remarks is great.
But the strategy is to create relevant, structured and valuable content. Once you help people solve their issues and challenges, they are more likely to stick with your product and become paying clients.
This is the exact approach we follow when developing content for our team communication tool. Luckily, we often receive encouraging feedback from our readers. In fact, it’s hard to overestimate the power of feedback as it helps us validate every little change we make to our blog. When we try something new, it’s the readers we are listening to in the first place. If they are happy, we scale. If they are upset, we change the route. It’s that simple.
Discover your inner Hemingway
Apart from being in-depth and valuable, your content should be easy to read. Make sure to write it in a simple language without mind-bending terms and overcomplicated concepts. Then go the extra mile to format and structure your article for skim-reading: add bullet-points, subheadlines, and actionable takeaways.
To make the content even more engaging, elements of storytelling might be of great value. This could simply mean that you share your own experience on the topic. Not only could it make your content more valuable, but also a little artsy and fun to read. Finally, it’s always a good idea to share custom-made visuals – illustrations, screenshots, branded graphics, etc. Luckily, with a variety of free photo stocks like Unsplash, Pexels, StockSnaps, adding cool images to your blog post is a breeze these days.
Give a knock to some great blogs
Guest blogging is an essential part of an effective content marketing strategy. Unless you are on the first page of the Google search results, most of the audience you target might be unaware of your existence. Writing for resources with a relevant audience is what you’ll need to get an extra exposure to your brand.
Moreover, contributing to a third-party blog may reward you with a handful of backlinks to support your articles. To put yourself in the spotlight, you can head to the expert industry resources and media outlets. Unfortunately, publishing your content there won’t give you an opportunity to include a CTA form (like on your blog), but it’ll definitely let you attract and convert readers in case your writing is outstanding.
Step 3. Optimize your web-pages for conversion
Since people have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, we can’t afford to distract our potential clients. Everything should serve the task of converting. How to achieve this goal?
Let your sign-up form stand out
The whole conversion process should be dead simple. Sign-up fields should really catch the visitors’ eye. This is when sensible web design choices may help. It’s also a good idea to keep your sign-up form simple, avoiding 8-field long questionnaires. At Chanty, the only thing we ask our visitors for is an email.
It’s important to develop different CTA forms – for each stage of the customer journey. E.g. at Chanty, we have a beta test sign-up for those looking for a team chat tool to try. At the same time, we also have a newsletter sign-up and ebook download forms for those at the beginning of the customer journey.
A conversion optimization hack that many SaaS websites use (and we do too) is a fixed header on the blog. It means when the visitors scroll down as they read, they continue to see the menu with a call to action. This trick increases your chances for a conversion on a blog post. Here’s a header with a CTA button we use.
Make your sign-up buttons move
There’s a common challenge with CTA buttons. Often, visitors don’t pay much attention to them. To fix this, our team applied simple animation. We’ve shaken a sign-up button a bit, so our CTA started pulsing!
Surprisingly it really helped. We implemented this trick at the end of October 2017. In the next two months, users clicked this particular button twice as often as they used to.
Experiment with exit intent pop-ups
Exit pop-ups are the windows that appear once a user is about to close a sign-up tab. There’s usually a debate about whether to use them or not. Well, in our experience, they are surely worth trying. Once we’ve implemented an exit popup, it boosted our conversion and increased the number of leads by 20%.
Not all conversions are made equal. Some of your visitors are ready to become customers already after reading your blog post. Others may want to subscribe to a newsletter or download some kind of content upgrade. Therefore, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all CTA. Depending on the issue your readers are trying to solve with your blog posts, you need to craft a few CTAs and continuously analyze and optimize them.
Creating content that resonates and converts is not a cakewalk. Even the most high-quality pieces sit dusty on the back shelf of the internet these days. Great content alone isn’t a way to success. Content that attracts traffic and generates leads is. We’ve taken the following three steps and achieved amazing results. We hope they’ll work for you too:
- Drive convertible traffic with wisely chosen keywords. At Chanty, when creating content, we looked for high-intent and low difficulty keywords with a large search volume. It turned out, our competitor’s alternative keywords were matching all these criteria.
- Earn trust with your content. Let it be informative, helpful, bold and fun to read. Include storytelling and keep it formatted for skim-reading. The visitors will appreciate your endeavor and engage with you more readily.
- Optimize web-pages for conversion. Develop simple sign-up forms that are catchy, frictionless and visible (e.g. you can test animated sign-up buttons). You might also experiment with different CTA-forms and give a shot to exit intent pop-ups.
You can never be done with the conversion rate optimization since there is always a room for improvement. It’s a continuous experiment and quite a thrilling journey we’ve embarked on. Hold on to your hats!
Author bio: Aleksey Chepalov is a part of the marketing team at Chanty — a simple AI-powered team chat and a single notification center. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work.
Aleksey is keen on such topics as marketing, SaaS challenges, and personal growth.
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