📘 You're Losing Customers

📘 You're Losing Customers


Your Content Ranks, But Doesn’t Convert (Now What?)

  • September 6, 2022

About the author

Cesar Cobo

I’m a data driven marketer who enjoys talking shop, Salsa dancing and 90’s sitcoms. Whenever I'm not maniacally poring over an audit, I’m probably contemplating an intricate strategy to dominate Google while tenting my fingers.

Does this sound familiar? You built a website, invested in quality content, and optimized it with relevant keywords.

Traffic’s rolling in, but there’s a problem:

It’s been weeks (or even months), and you’re getting little to no leads or conversions. Why aren’t you seeing results?

A mistake many content creators make is treating content like a crockpot (just set it and forget it)—when it’s actually a garden that needs consistent pruning. If you’re not tracking post performance and running experiments then you’re missing valuable insights that can improve conversion rates.

So let’s explore the top reasons content ranks, but doesn’t convert. And what you can do to change that.


Why content ranks, but doesn’t convert

It’s disheartening to see your hard work go to waste. But there’s a reason you’re not getting the outcome you expected with your content strategy.

Here’s an overview of the main reasons that hold content back from performing optimally:

  • Focuses on the top of the funnel: People at the top of the funnel aren’t ready to convert. So if you’re publishing content that’s informative, but doesn’t tie in specific pain points and solutions, then you’ll fail to convert visitors into leads.
  • Not enough (or misplaced) CTAs: Calls to action (CTAs) drive visitors to the next step in the funnel. If you don’t place enough in the right areas, they’ll get overlooked, and visitors won’t convert.
  • Writing for the wrong audience or keywords: If your content doesn’t speak to the unique needs of your audience, then they’ll bounce away. So make sure you’re targeting the right topics and implementing relevant keywords to help them find your content.
  • CTAs are present, but are lackluster: A CTA should entice visitors to take the next step. But it must fit the topic and their needs. For example, the content should educate them on a pain point, or solution and the CTA should direct them to the next step using clear, direct language (e.g., Download eBook to improve your marketing strategy in 14 days).
  • Funnel that focuses only on macro CTAs: Asking visitors to schedule a call when they’re not ready appears pushy. Using micro CTAs targets those further up the funnel and drives them closer to the middle and bottom.

Notice these issues in your content? Or maybe you don’t have these problems, but still struggle with driving leads and conversions.

Either way, you’ll find the following tips useful.


1. Start with BOFU content and work your way up

Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) content is designed specifically for people who are ready to convert now. For instance, pages that showcase your services, case studies, industries covered, or a form to book a call.

When someone visits these pages, they’re ready to decide to purchase your product or service. Having these pages completed first ensures you have a finish line for your content funnel.

Without them, you have no way to convert them from visitors to leads. You’ll link to these pages from your middle of the funnel (MOFU) content. So after designing your BOFU pages, begin working on MOFU content.

Once you’ve exhausted MOFU topics, work on top of the funnel (TOFU) content.

If you work from the top down, your TOFU content will have nowhere to direct visitors to push them to the bottom of the funnel.

Semrush takes a product-led approach to its MOFU content. It publishes content on topics that easily tie in its product, like this:


The topic targets people who heard of Semrush and may be curious about its benefits. And the fact it’s possible to take advantage of the tool for free makes it easier to drive traffic and conversions.

Just include a “free trial signup” as the CTA. And that’s exactly what they did:


When you click the CTA button, it takes you to their signup page, but they don’t waste this opportunity to improve its converting power.

On the right side, you’ll see a testimonial and “trusted by {insert logo of big brands}” that encourages sign-ups.


Note that there are many ways someone may land here—not just from a blog post. So optimizing your signup or book a call page for conversions is critical.


2. Create CTAs for macro conversions

Once your funnel is in place, sprinkle bread crumbs throughout your content to drive visitors to the finish line. Macro conversions use CTAs with big asks from visitors (e.g., sign up, book a call, schedule a demo, etc.).

These are macro because if a visitor completes the CTA, it can lead to a sale. Now, you want to place CTAs for macro conversions strategically.

For example, they should appear on all of your website pages (e.g., home, services, industries, testimonials, FAQs). And on blog posts targeting MOFU traffic (like in the example above).

On Webris, we use our “traffic projection analysis” as a macro CTA on all blog posts.


We place it in the right-hand column and in the footer.


Now, this works because the CTA isn’t asking for a conversion. It’s not a blunt, “book a call,” which sounds pushy, especially for those who aren’t sure they’re ready to buy our service. Instead, it’s an offer to learn how our tool can improve their site’s potential.

And placing it in two areas ensures everyone sees it, whether they make it to the bottom of our blog posts or not.


3. Don’t stop with macros, target micro conversions too

Unlike a macro conversion, a micro CTA focuses on converting people who are further up the funnel. The goal is to get visitors to stick around longer and learn more about your product or service.

A few examples of micro conversions include:

  • eBook download
  • Case study download
  • How-to guide download
  • Link to another relevant blog post
  • Video showing how to perform a task
  • Podcast episode discussing a topic in-depth

Micro CTAs are ideal for relevant blog posts. For instance, a TOFU post on “Why it’s important to optimize your SEO strategy.” Then you can include a micro CTA to download an ebook on the best practices for SEO.

Sprout Social often includes micro CTAs for its tools and templates. One example is in Sprout’s post “The best times to post on Facebook 2022.”


Right at the beginning, it features a micro CTA for its tool to find the best times to post on social media.


Amazon also does an excellent job of inserting multiple micro conversions throughout its blog posts. For example, in its post about dropshipping, it has a pro tip section that links to its fulfillment options:


At the end, you’ll find a “Did you know” section with a link to learn about Amazon affiliate marketing:


And in the conclusion, there’s another CTA to a guide about starting an eCommerce business.

Normally, you want your CTAs to be the same. But this scenario works because it’s a TOFU topic and aims to capture the attention of people in different stages. Some may not know about Amazon fulfillment, while others know and will find Amazon’s affiliate marketing page interesting.


4. Build remarketing lists to drive blog conversions

Ever visited a shoe website, browsed around, then left—only to see ads for the shoes you viewed on every other website you visit? These are called remarketing ads, and they’re a valuable tool for driving certain traffic back to your content.

For example, you can build remarketing lists that target folks who clicked on a CTA in your blog post. Or who visited specific BOFU pages.

The goal is to “remind” visitors who showed interest in your offering to return and make a purchase. Of course, your lists should only remarket to those near the bottom of the funnel and that engaged with your content.

Examples of who to include in your remarketing lists:

  • Blog readers who reach a certain section of the post
  • Blog readers who stay on a post for a certain duration
  • Blog readers who clicked on a CTA link, but didn’t convert

Use this guide to create audiences and build remarketing list campaigns.


5. Place CTAs throughout your blog posts

Having multiple calls to action in your blog posts ensures two things:

  1. Everyone sees your CTA, no matter how far they get.
  2. Folks are nudged several times, increasing the odds of a conversion.

Now, where you place your CTAs matters. Ideally, you want one near the top, above the fold. For example, Ahrefs does this in its blog posts (when relevant):


Then it should also appear at the end of the blog post. If the post is rather long, then consider placing one in the middle as well.

Hotjar does this in its long-form posts, like this one about customer survey questions. Its CTA is for its pre-built survey templates, which it displays at the top, middle, and end of the post.


6. Time your pop-ups appropriately or risk running visitors away

If you’re using pop-ups to capture leads, then when they appear matters. There’s nothing more annoying than landing on a blog post and instantaneously seeing a pop-up asking for your email.

When your pop-up appears too soon, it feels rushed. And it doesn’t give the visitor enough time to engage with your content to determine if they like your brand enough to sign up for an email list or download.

So it’s better to trigger pop-ups after they reach mid-way on a blog post when they’ve shown deeper interest. Another option is to have it appear at the end of the post—only some make it this far and it’ll pre-qualify leads based on interest level.

Experiment with various durations to see what yields the most conversions. Also, make variations to see which offers and messaging resonate with your audience most.


7. Use tools to analyze your audience and user experience (UX)

The better you understand your audience, the easier it is to create better content. For example, knowing their pain points makes it easier to select topics they’ll find helpful. Plus, you can weave in their challenges, so the content speaks to them.

The same goes for creating CTAs and downloadable content to capture leads.

But how do you learn about your target customers? You have two options:

  1. Collect qualitative data (e.g., customer interviews and surveys)
  2. Gather quantitative data (.e.g, analytics tools that capture traffic and online behaviors)

The best option is to combine the two.

Tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar allow you to do just that. Hotjar uses heatmaps and screen recordings to analyze user behaviors (e.g., scroll depth, sections most read, etc.). Plus, it has surveys you can add to your site to collect user feedback.

Then Google Analytics collects information about bounce rates, link clicks, and conversions.

If you want to dive deeper, you can use Sparktoro, which goes more in-depth into analyzing your audience’s online habits. For instance, you can identify topics they’re discussing, who they follow and engage with on social media, and other websites and podcasts they consume.

Use that information to direct your content strategy and promotion.


8. Embed relevant videos and audio clips

Google ranks content based on whether people click on it…and how long they stay there. If people are bouncing away after a few seconds, then it reduces your ranking potential.

So keeping people on your blog longer is key. Aside from writing in-depth long-form content, you can embed videos and audio clips.

These play directly on your website, so visitors don’t have to leave to watch or listen. Keep them short by creating clips most relevant to the blog post. For example, if you have a blog post about social media marketing, include an audio clip about how a business owner attracted leads using a particular tip you mentioned.

Amazon does something similar on its blog, except in video format:


Then here’s another video in the same post that talks about Amazon’s fulfillment service:


Visual and audio content can be curated from other sources or made by you (an excellent way to repurpose your podcast or YouTube videos).


9. Run ongoing A/B tests (for everything)

There’s no telling what will work and what won’t. So the best way to find out is to consistently experiment with various:

  • CTAs
  • content formats
  • button styles and colors
  • blog titles
  • content topics
  • and other elements of your blog

When creating experiments, only change one element at a time. So if you’re testing a CTA, then only change the headline. Does it help, hurt, or do nothing to the outcome?

This way you know exactly what made the new version better than the old one.

Tools you can use to track A/B tests include Google Analytics, Optimizely, and Adobe Target.


10. Include relevant case studies or testimonials

Adding case studies to your blog posts increases the value of the content, while also promoting your expertise. Let’s say you wrote an article about boosting productivity in the workplace. As a coach who trains managers to be better leaders, you can include a case study of how you helped a company achieve higher productivity rates.

It demonstrates the process you used, so your readers can try it themselves. Or hire you to do it for them (many will choose the latter).

There are several ways to present a case study in your content. For instance, including an H2 section that breaks down the process and results. Or record a customer interview to capture the story.

When selecting a case study, be sure it matches the pain points of the target audience. This way, it vibes with your visitors and shows how you can help them too.


Design content that drives traffic and leads

Content is the key to building awareness of your brand. You already got the traffic—now, you can use the steps above to generate traffic, as well as conversions.

So use these tips to improve your blog content. Or if you’re struggling to find the issue or don’t have time to optimize your content for conversions, then let’s talk.

I work with businesses like yours daily, using SEO and conversion rate optimization to grow their leads and sales. Interested in learning how I can do the same for you?

Schedule a strategy call with me today.

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Comments ( 138 )

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