If you’re reading this blog, it’s a good guess you’re using — or trying to use — your web content to find more readers and make more sales.
After all, you’re running a business, and the purpose of a business is to make money. If you can’t make more money than you spend, you can’t keep the doors open.
But how do you make more money? Well, there are some who’d say I don’t know much about business, but I know the answer to that one — to make more money, you need to either sell more to the clients you already have, or sell to more clients.
That’s where strategically using your web content can make the difference.
As recently as 10 years ago I might have talked here about the four Ps of marketing — product, price, promotion and place. Up until about the middle of the last decade, getting those squared away was enough to start making a dent in your market.
But since then the rules of finding new clients have changed — radically. In fact there are some who say marketing has changed more in the past five years than in the previous 50.
Marketing is now about using a steady stream of valuable web content to attract visitors, turn them into prospects and leads, and then show them how to become clients. (That’s content marketing in a nutshell.)
“That’s great,” you say… “But how am I supposed to do that, exactly?”
Well, I’m not going to lie to you. If I could give you a roadmap for growing your business in one blog post, I’d print it up and sell it for a million dollars.
I can however, give you some ideas about changes you can make — starting today — to the web content that you’re already using.
Try making these three changes to increase the number of people who find your blog.
- Write on topics your ideal client wants to read. Think about the questions your prospect has during the sales process and answer them on your blog. And I mean the entire sales process — all the way from “I don’t have a problem” to “OK, I’m sold — now what happens?”
- Optimize each post. To have a hope of showing up in the search engines — and looking good when you get there — you need to relentlessly focus on your metadata. Page titles, META descriptions, page headings, ALT text, image file names and URL structure — make each piece of it as good as it can be.
- Always use a call to action. Offer an email-gated download or some other kind of email sign-up with every post. There’s no point in doing all this work if you’re not building a list of people you can reach out to later.
Landing pages and offers
Here are three things you can do to make your landing pages and offers work better — turning more of your new readers into prospects.
- First of all, use them. A staggering number of business owners I meet don’t use an email-gated offer as a way of collecting lead information while building rapport. If you’re not set up to offer an educational download and follow it up with an email series, we should talk.
- Offer immense value. Your offer needs to be valuable, but even valuable isn’t enough anymore. If you’re looking at your download thinking, “God, I could charge three hours’ worth of consulting time for this!” then you’re on the right track.
- Consider all learning styles and all media types. Don’t get locked in the PDF trap. Try offering MP3s, downloadable video, slide decks and more to people who don’t like to read. (Preferably, one of each if you have the time and ability to get creative.)
The ROI on email is ridiculous, so if you’re not using it already to stay in touch with prospects, you should be. Keep these three things in mind, though.
- If you’ve got a newsletter, make it shareable. Your newsletter needs to be so good that readers couldn’t imagine unsubscribing. If you can’t commit to that level of quality, it’s better not to do one.
- Develop an email series. An email series is the perfect for repeatedly getting in front of prospects in a non-threatening way.
- Above all, add value to whatever you email. Ask yourself “If I were buying from me, would I want this in my inbox? Would I want to be interrupted in the middle of something important to find out it was this?”
Finally, don’t forget about social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to both help people discover your blog content and convince the prospects you already have to come back. Use these three tips to make them more effective.
- Use the 10-4-1 rule. The right mix of curated content and your own material will position you as an expert and keep your prospects from burning out on your self-promotion. It’ll also drive more traffic to your site because you’ll
have built a reputation for value. Try Kipp Bodnar’s 10-4-1 rule: for every 15 updates, share 10 pieces of curated content, four of your own, and one call-to-action (download, buy, contact me).
- Use hashtags. Get in front of conversations that are already happening by using popular hashtags related to your business.
- Don’t stop promoting. Plug the same piece of content more than once, on more than one platform… Each time and every time.
Which tweaks will you put in place?
Advanced strategies — like guest-blogging, articles in industry magazines and co-branded promotions with your clients’ customers — require someone else to buy in.
But you can implement any or all of these 12 tweaks to improve your web content on your own… starting tomorrow if you’d like.
So what’s stopping you?