Do you track your content to better understand what drives the most traffic to your website
If your site is built on the popular WordPress platform, this information is readily available using a number of plugins.
It has been a while since I wrote Blog or Website: The Real Difference. Yet, that article still brings in considerable traffic years later. This tells me it’s a topic that should be addressed further.
It turns out there is one important reason for doing so.
What Has Changed
The influence of mobile in particular is dramatically influencing how websites and blogs are used, and therefore, how they can be designed to achieve maximum conversion.
According to Pew Internet, more than 50% of all buying decisions are based upon online information. For local businesses whose sites are frequently accessed from mobile devices, that figure is even higher.
The end game for web marketing is converting traffic into profitable business outcomes. This is predominantly the role of your website. No surprises there.
When you consider the many ways for driving traffic to your website, including blogs, social media, and all forms of advertising, it’s important to understand that some convert better than others.
The Blog is Now a Mobile Show
Consumers search the web for information, answers to questions, and solutions to problems. This is the research they conduct BEFORE searching for companies.
The fact is it’s unlikely buyers will find your website if they have never heard of your business. One way to affect that is with online advertising. However, advertising tactics have little stickiness compared to a blog that educates and informs, and concurrently introduces the business that created that content.
Think of your blog not as commentary, but practical tips, advice, or step-by-step instructions for helping your community do more of what they want to do. This keeps your blog focused on helping, as opposed to selling.
When I wrote Blog or Website I suggested thinking of your blog as a digital magazine. That description is still relevant; however, now in addition to print content, audio and visual media are also in demand. Why? Smartphones.
Millions of smartphones are activated worldwide everyday, making them the go-to device for consuming content. As a result, audio podcast shows are becoming the new talk radio, giving listeners specific information with far fewer commercials, and all of it for FREE.
Teaching is the new selling, and that can be accomplished with a blog that hosts instructional audio, videos, Slideshare presentations, and more. There is no limit to what you can do with your blog to both drive traffic AND encourage conversions.
The Website is a Digital Store
A website should be designed to convert interest into a sale.
If a visitor to your website cannot immediately understand what your store sells and how it can help them, then they may be lost within seconds to another business. So, it is important to use relevant keywords and plain language that practically jumps off the page.
This is where things get tricky, because not everyone is ready to buy just yet.
Assume you get good traffic but it is not converting. This may suggest you need some educational content on the home page. That page is valuable real estate, so make it high value, such as a short, focused video.
You Need Both
The new website is one that sells, while also developing relationships and trust. This is why your business needs an interactive blog to support your website.
That’s the reality of the world we live in. Just as you cannot expect to proceed to marriage after the first date, so it is with eCommerce.
You have to sell, and selling these days is social marketing. It’s a process of educating first with content, building trust with social engagement, and providing a mechanism for the buyer to buy when they are ready.
Years ago blogs were journals, and often stand-alone sites. These days blogs are archived sources of information on the secondary navigation of the primary website. They serve up media that drives traffic to the website and gets shared on the social networks.
Taken to a higher level, your content can be refined into higher value media such as eBooks, tutorials, or more. Keep in mind that media not only informs and educates, it sometimes entertains.
In fact, some are suggesting The Lego Movie now in theaters may be one of the most successful examples of content marketing (on a large scale) to date. Your business can do the same by creatively combining your blog with your website.
Thus, to succeed with online marketing nowadays you have to think of your business as a media company. Your business listens and consistently responds with media that sets up conditions for the purchase of your products and services.
Now over to you. How are you using your business blog?
About the Author: Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)