Like with SEO for websites, conversion optimization for blogs involves some work in implementing ways to bring in traffic. There are beneficial strategies that can make it more effective, and others that can have the opposite effect and do more harm than good.
With any kind of website, it is important to attract visitors if good search engine rankings are the goal. Blogs are among some of the more popular sites on the Internet, and are subject to the same analysis by the search engines. Used as information sources, as destinations for consumer-based advertising, and as corporate knowledge bases, blogs can be optimized just like anything else on the Web. In fact, conversion optimization is similar to Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. There are several ways to go about it and others that are best avoided.
DO: Update frequently
Conversion optimization is a beneficial component to SEO practices. It makes the pages of the blog more inviting for people to visit, so it becomes more likely that links will be created to that particular blog, and references to it elsewhere will bring in traffic as well. Frequent updates are also important. This is even easier with a blog because it always should have the latest updates and news on the specific topic it focuses on. By practice, search engines favor pages that are updated often, and index those with fresher content higher than others. Relevant keywords to what visitors are seeking on search engines, commonly seen in SEO efforts, are essential too.
DO: Create simple, good-quality content
Sometimes there is a tradeoff between using complex, modern technologies and being popular. Better ways to organize information, such as using hierarchal menus, make it easier to navigate sites and blogs that cover a lot of ground. However, pages that cover fewer topics are ranked higher by search engines, therefore raising conversion rates. It can be tempting to create content enhanced with Flash-type presentations and cool animations, but simpler text-based content is actually better for SEO and conversion purposes. When hierarchal menus are used, the headings should be relevant to the topics, which will be viewed favorably by both the search engines and visitors.
The content itself is useful in conversion optimization for a blog. Written content is what entices people, so things like authority articles and other types of marketing content should be included, especially if it is a corporate blog. Videos, images, and even contests can also be helpful if used appropriately and in context.
DO: Write about interesting topics
When it comes to corporate blogging, the topics themselves can make or break the conversion efforts. Press releases are always great tools, as are any up-to-date announcements. They’re new and fresh, as are other authority driving content such as discussions and reviews of best practices in the particular industry being covered. How-to articles, studies, and white papers of business competitors, analysis on current and future trends, productivity tips, humorous or satirical pieces based on industry-specific topics, and listings of free resources are all great ideas as well.
DON’T: Be a spammer
While there are many effective strategies for blog conversion optimization, there are also other practices that should be avoided. Spamming other blogs should never be done. Corporate presence may gain recognition, but not favorably. Posts that relate to industry news and trends are great, but filler posts just take up space and readers will quickly be turned off. Keyword stuffing, just to get search engine traffic, can be harmful as well. Also, do not use images or any other content from other websites. That’s plagiarism and can ruin reputations permanently.
DON’T: Try to be an expert on everything
A blog is a prime means to demonstrate authority on a specialized topic, but it is not necessary to come off as an expert on everything. This is where having a specific topical focus is important, and makes time management a bit easier too. However, the blog doesn’t have to be only about one topic. There can be side topics and counterarguments that touch on other topics to make a point. This can get other readers involved as well, which can increase conversion rates.
DON’T: Make everything about sales
It is reasonable to think that a new blog may not get as much attention from the experts. Don’t let that be discouraging, because if the site is professional enough, industry experts may still agree to be interviewed. Try as hard as necessary; their expertise and relationship can be useful down the road. Blogs are a useful tool for marketing, but they need to have a purpose. A blog that serves only as a sales page will not work, and don’t target everything to social media. Blogging and networking via social media outlets are useful marketing tools for all businesses, but it’s not wise to rely solely on one method.
That being said, proper conversion optimization involves being understanding of the interests of all the other bloggers out there. Make the blog easy to use as well, such as not requiring logins to view or write posts, and don’t talk negatively about competitors or discuss personal information. Keeping as many prospects as possible interested is the name of the game, and you should see conversions increase over time.