Content marketing is one of the hottest marketing channels for years now, and for a good reason. It produces an amazing return on investment and a single piece of content that performs well can bring in new business for months after it gets published.
The problem is – many content marketers can do a decent job of getting traffic to their pieces. But when it comes to getting conversions and making money from that same content, they don’t have the same success.
If you’re wondering how to create content that gets both views and dollars, read on to find out what you can do today to get more conversions from your writing.
Focus on the right keywords and the search intent
Sounds simple – just find the right keywords. But it really is all there is to it. As content marketers, we expect each keyword to be a big hit and attract lots of views and add new revenue. In reality, the perfect keyword has to meet the following criteria:
- Have a good search volume (your “good” may be different, but we aim for 1,000+ monthly searches)
- Have a low keyword difficulty (in our case, less than 20/100 in Ahrefs)
- Have a purchase intent (someone who’s searching for it is likely to buy)
If you’ve been in content marketing for longer than a day, you know that a keyword that meets all of these criteria is like finding a unicorn. There are very few that tick all three boxes and in most cases, you’ll have to make a compromise.
Since our aim is to get conversions, we need to focus on the purchase intent – we need to choose keywords that are more likely to lead to new purchases. For example, instead of choosing “request for proposal”, which is a solid keyword:
We will instead choose another keyword to write for. In our case, one term that really does drive sales is “proposal software”:
On paper, the first keyword seems better. It has 8 times more volume (5,600 monthly searches vs 700) and it has a similar difficulty. In reality, people searching for “request for proposal” are not always buyers. They may be looking for the meaning of the phrase, examples, templates, best use cases and more. People who are searching for proposal software are much more inclined to buy. And while there are fewer people searching for it (700), a bigger percentage of that number is likely to buy compared to the 5,600 people searching for the first term.
With rank tracking tools, you can find out which keywords your audience is searching for and how it affects their search intent. This knowledge will give marketers the power they need to adjust marketing strategies accordingly.
This is search intent, i.e. the intention of the user searching for a certain keyword. It’s not easy to figure it out but once you do, you have mastered the most critical part of keyword research and content strategy.
That begs the question, should all keywords and content have the immediate goal of converting visitors to buyers? No – and here is why.
Create content for each stage of the sales cycle
As you probably know, the desire to purchase a product doesn’t just pop up in your customers’ minds overnight. Every customer goes through a series of events before they pull out their credit card and this is a typical sales funnel.
If you want to ensure your customers actually convert and purchase, you can’t focus on creating bottom-of-the-funnel content only. In other words, you can’t just expect them to purchase without going through the earlier stages first.
With that in mind, the keyword we just mentioned, “request for proposals” might not be ideal for immediate conversions. Sure, a visitor may not buy your product when they land on an article optimized for it. But they will get informed and learn more about the general topic and this is your opportunity to get them further down the funnel.
In that regard, not every keyword and article are suited for conversions. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write for them – on the contrary. You should write content for all stages of the sales funnel so your customers can naturally move from one piece to the next and end up making a purchase.
Digital marketing is an increasingly important aspect of content strategy. Content can be used to create a memorable experience for customers, build credibility with audiences and contribute toward overall company goals like increased sales by creating lead generation campaigns through social media advertising or public relations efforts online.
Every piece of content you create should have its own place in the sales funnel. It’s well worth it to create a content map in advance so you can know strategically which pieces fit in where.
Improve your internal link structure
It’s well known that articles that perform well in search engine results have a good number of links, both internal and external. On the one hand, external links show that you reference high-quality sources in your articles. On the other, internal links show that you point readers to other pages on your own website so that they can find more information about the topics they’re interested in.
When writing your content, make sure to include relevant internal links to other articles. Your aim should be to give more information, but more importantly, to push visitors further down the sales funnel.
That means that internally, you should link to pieces with a higher purchase intent. This could be bottom-of-the-funnel pieces for people already on the fence or landing pages where people can take a look at your offer and buy on the spot.
In our case, we do a mix of both, but in each article we write, we make sure to link to our proposal templates or our landing pages at least once. Preferably, somewhere near the top of the article so that there is a higher chance the readers click through before leaving the page.
Use relevant calls to action
A call to action is the number one element that turns a visitor into a buyer. No matter how many new fancy marketing tools are created every day, having a good CTA beats every marketing trick that you can pull.
In every type of article, you need some sort of call to action and especially so when the aim of the piece is to get immediate conversions. Depending on the type of CMS you use, it’s actually pretty easy to set up CTAs to show up automatically in your content.
We actually use this trick to get CTAs in all of our blogs so that even if someone lands on an article that doesn’t directly aim to sell, there is some chance that they go to a landing page.
For articles that are at the very bottom of the funnel and where readers are primed and ready to pull out their credit cards, we use more specific CTAs that are customized for a certain piece and audience.
Content marketing can bring incredible results for your marketing team. If your main aim is to drive conversions, you can achieve it quite easily. All it takes is creating the right kind of structure, starting from thorough keyword research, all the way to enticing the reader to buy with the right calls to action.