Business Blogging 101 Part 4
Now that whether or not you should be blogging and what you should be blogging about has been covered in some detail, let’s take a good look at how you can use this incredible marketing tool as a sales tool as well. In fact it was just hinted at in the previous Business Blogging 101 Part 3 article.
Now that you are blogging away about your expertise and solving your ideal client’s problems, building trust and thought leadership; let’s take a look at how you can use this to create leads and ultimately generate sales. This is called a ‘Call-To-Action’ or simply CTA. What a CTA does is get visitors to your site or blog to do something such as sign up for a newsletter, contact you for more information or to purchase a product or service.
#3 – Prompt visitors to DO something
There is no denying that a blog gives you prime electronic real estate to promote your business as well as place calls-to-action. At this point you are mostly trying to keep visitors engaged with your website, retaining them to take a look at the rest of your website. Some of these methods have already been covered in other articles such as a newsletter, a whitepaper, an ebook or even some how-to videos. What that may all entail is limited only by your creativity, time and effort.
But most importantly, a call-to-action begins the process of converting your website visitors into qualified prospects. It starts the sales or buying process through the use of calls-to-action, engaging them on a deeper level. Otherwise, your website visitors will simply go elsewhere, find a similar product or service and get engaged by their calls-to-action. Simply having a blog and writing content about your business is not enough to increase sales alone; you must prompt your site visitors to actually DO something.
The best part is, there are several ways of doing this. One standard way on almost every website is a CTA in the sidebar. This is your basic banner or button that prompts visitors to click on it. Usually this is done for your top-performing offers, placing them strategically in the sidebar with the rest of your website navigation.
Another method is to create calls-to-action within the blog posts. Actual placement is typically at the top or head of the post as well as in the middle and at the end too. Some even use all three positions for different types of offers. But keeping them related to the content of the post will garner you better performance than one or more non-related CTA.
Finally, there are also the text-based or contextual CTA. This is absolutely essential that you match keywords with the products or services for which you are linking them to. The other important thing to remember here is that this is a text link, so making it a part of a cohesive sentence or paragraph is very important to keep in mind. It creates a seamless connection between what you are writing about and what you have to offer, not to mention that it caters to the reader. Keeping it related will increase the effectiveness (in addition to the appeal) of your landing pages and experience much greater click-through rates.
You just learned that it is not enough to blog about your business, you products and/or services or solving your ideal customer’s problems; there needs to be a call-to-action. Placing CTAs around your site and your blog will prompt visitors to learn more about you and your business, becoming much more likely to purchase from you as opposed to your competition. But keeping those CTAs related to the content is pretty darn important too, as it will increase click-through rates and generate more leads/sales on your various landing pages.
Be sure to check out Business Blogging 101 Part 5 for even more good practices for increasing website traffic, leads and of course sales!