WordPress businesses start content marketing with the hopes of boosting traffic, but conversions are always the end-all-be-all goal: how many sales does your content give you?
It’s common to either not know the answer to that question, or for the answer to be “not as many as I’d like”.
The problem is that most WordPress products’ blogs typically fall into one of two traps:
- The blog and strategy aren’t focused on improving quantifiable, measurable results. These may include making sales directly from content, generating newsletter subscriptions, or boosting new site visitors, which are all specific and measurable.
- They’re not measuring and optimising for conversions. If you aren’t tracking the performance of your content to assess its impact on overall sales, you can’t optimise your content to improve results.
Fortunately, both of these problems are relatively easy to fix with the right knowledge and tools.
You do, of course, need traffic to make conversion optimisation worthwhile! If you’re struggling to get rankings, Ellipsis’ SEO Content work is our market-leading solution for WordPress products.
Content marketing is one of the most popular marketing channels for WordPress businesses, as the promise of bringing in regular visitors with high-purchase intent each month is extremely appealing.
If you’re trying to sell WordPress products using content marketing, this is the post for you! In this post, we’re going to discuss revenue-focused tips you can use to drive more conversions from your content marketing strategy. Let’s get to it!
Why you need to optimise specifically for conversions
Plenty of brands take a “spray and pray” approach. They hope that pushing out a massive amount of engaging content will be enough to drive results.
They’re surprised to learn that it’s not about quantity – and even quality content isn’t going to drive sales if it isn’t specifically optimised for conversions. If you don’t have calls to action (CTAs) placed in the right place or products mentioned at the right time, all people will get is a great read before they click away.
Without conversion optimisation, your content will consistently fail to perform! All the time and energy you put into creating the posts in the first place will go to waste! We’re against waste in all forms, including wasted content.
Content marketing – especially when it comes to SEO content that’s meant to bring in high-value traffic – is a winner-takes-all game. In order to drive sales, your content needs to provide a solution to the reader’s immediate problem, and having your posts optimised to both inform and position your product or service as the best solution is key.
Whomever is able to give the customer what they need will be the one who lands the sale, which means that your content must be excellent for it to even work.
How to optimise your WordPress content marketing for conversions
There are three specific steps you should take to optimise your WordPress blog for conversions and sales. Let’s take a look at each one.
1. Include a CTA Box in-post
A Call-to-action box is visual and attention-grabbing. The box makes it easily noticed. It encourages readers to take a specific action, and clicking it takes users to the next step of the process. You can encourage them to subscribe to your newsletters to nurture leads through email marketing, to start a free trial, or to view products that you’ve mentioned within the post.
One study found that CTAs in content marketing were essential for increasing conversion rates:
- Revenue increased by 83% in one month after adding CTA buttons to article templates.
- eCommerce conversion rates increased 22% quarter over quarter following the addition.
- The average order value for blog readers specifically increased 49% quarter over quarter following the addition.
For best results with your CTA box, test out the following:
- Have a clear, direct headline. The copy that explains what action you want users to take should be descriptive and appealing while still being as brief as possible. You want it to be easy to scan and digest. A single sentence may be all you need to explain what you want users to do, and why they should take the action.
- Test brief CTA button phrases. You’ll want to have the actual call to action like “Start Your Trial” or “Learn More Here” highlighted in a CTA button. We recommend testing different phrasing to see if minor variations like “Start My Free Trial” versus “Start Your Free Trial” drive more conversions.
- Add brand imagery. A quick logo and the use of branded colours is all you need to drive your point home and build brand awareness.
- Include relevant CTAs in each blog post. Every blog post should have CTAs encouraging users to take some action, but the CTA should always be relevant to the post at hand. If you haven’t mentioned your product in a post but instead are trying to build a relationship, you can ask users to subscribe or send them to a relevant “download now” lead magnet.
- Test different placements. You can place CTAs at the top of the article in the introduction, within the article, at the end of the post, or with a floating box that will move with the user. We always place CTA boxes at the end of the post at the very least so that readers can take action after finishing the post, but test different options to see what works for your audience.
This is a great example from HubSpot’s blog, featuring a floating CTA box for a lead magnet.
We recommend these to our clients as standard. If you do content marketing, this should be your number one take-away from this post. CTA boxes are easy to do, and they work – we’ve seen conversion rates increase as much as 2x as a result of adding these.
2. Focus on UX and improve the on-page experience
UX design is all about the user experience. What is it actually going to be like for users trying to read your content?
Most businesses focus on UX only when it comes to their home page, product and checkout pages, or any actual software that they’re selling. If you want to successfully drive sales from your blog, however, you need to keep the on-page experience in mind here, too.
Have you ever tried to load an article that showed up as a slideshow that was slow to load with ads everywhere? If so, there’s a good chance that you’ll actively avoid clicking on links to that site ever again.
Focusing on UX can ensure that users spend enough time on your blog to trigger automated email campaigns (Ellipsis can help with this!). You also want to trigger retargeting campaigns including dynamic product ads. You also want them to keep reading and to see your business as a solid solution for their needs.
While focusing on the user experience, remember to keep the marketing funnel in mind. You want users to move past the initial awareness and interest stages to acquisition and activation. Optimising the right content with the right paths to conversion is essential.
Having a clean blog design that loads quickly is a good start, but you also want to provide information that positions your business. For example, powerful reviews establish social proof that can build trust over time.
Or think about money-back guarantees, number of installs, case studies and testimonials from happy customers. We recommend keeping a Google Sheet of testimonials on hand when creating content!
3. Track your content’s performance carefully
In order to improve the performance of your content moving forward, you need to know where you stand now. You can’t optimise your content if you don’t know what needs to be adjusted or tweaked.
We recommend taking the following steps to monitor your content’s progress in terms of increasing conversions:
Set up Google Analytics and monitor it closely
Google Analytics will be your best friend. You probably have it already, but you’re almost certainly under-utilising it! Here’s what you need to look out for.
Tracking the following metrics overtime will help you assess your content’s performance and ROI:
- Click-through rates. If users are clicking the links in your post or your CTA, it means that they’re engaged enough to do so. This is a great sign, and it can indicate that they’re moving through the sales funnel.
- Site traffic. You should be seeing an increase in traffic to your blog content. Ideally, plenty of traffic will be coming from a combination of search engines and social shares. You do want to see some recurring traffic but you want to see new visitors, too.
- Bounce rates. If your content has high bounce rates, it means that people are coming to your blog post and then clicking away afterward. You want to have lower bounce rates (CTA boxes are very useful!).
- Average session duration. The more time spent on a page, the better. A 1000 word blog post on average may take a reader two minutes to scan and five minutes to read.
- eCommerce conversion rates. After you set up goals on Google Analytics, you can track conversion rates from each blog post and see how much revenue each individual post or page is bringing in. Your high-value, end-of-the-funnel content should have the highest number of transactions attributed to them.
Off-platform, it’s also useful to attract engagement metrics on social media. This includes social shares and clicks from the platform to your site.
Add UTM codes to internal content to see your $$ content performance
UTM codes are the easiest and most reliable way to track your content marketing campaigns. They allow you to track the value of sales generated by your content marketing.
This is a game changer: with UTM codes done right, you can see exactly how much $$ your content marketing is making you.
You can use Google’s free Campaign URL builder to add UTM codes to existing links, which you should use for your internal content. You just need to enter in the existing site URL, the campaign source, the medium, and the individual campaign name. It will look something like this:
You want to add these to all product page links in your blog posts. You’re then going to be able to see a post-by-post breakdown of clicks and sales directly generated by your content:
There are a couple of caveats here, but we’re yet to find a situation where the tradeoffs aren’t worth it:
- You’re going to track about 50% of the sales your content actually makes. This is because you can’t track clicks through, say, the main menu, and some visitors will block Google Analytics. We’ve verified this figure across multiple clients and types of customer.
- This is “last touch” attribution: it tracks clicks to your product page and then resulting conversions. If you have any other tracking (such as Google Ads), this will overwrite it. It’s rare this is actually an issue, but it is a possible caveat.
- If you have a longer buying cycle (for example is your product is more expensive than ~$250/year), these numbers are going to be skewed and need to be taken in context. You may find it better to focus on conversions to the next stage of your funnel rather than purchases.
You may find those caveats aren’t worth the tradeoff for your content, but my strong recommendation is to use them. We’ve used these with WordPress businesses of all sizes and the ability to see how much $$ your content marketing is driving is extremely valuable. Once you see what’s working you can, of course, do more of it. Happily, these combine nicely with CTA boxes.
A/B split-test your content
As your content marketing campaigns progress, it’s important to continually run tests across different channels.
You could, for example, test out different text in the CTA boxes, or different lengths of content. There’s also the option to test different keyword strategies, social sharing practices, and more.
No matter what, though, always stick to a single variable that you’re changing in each test. You don’t want to have more than one variable be different, or you won’t know what’s driving the changes in performance.
The more data you have, the further you can optimise your content moving forward.
Take advantage of content marketing’s sustainable and cost-effective benefits with proper optimisation
Content marketing is our favourite marketing channel for WordPress businesses.
It’s a sustainable, long-term strategy, providing evergreen marketing materials that can be found years after they’re created or uploaded. This is particularly valuable compared to short-term paid campaigns, which can provide immediate results but only as long as the campaigns are actively being run and paid for. And as long as your posts are optimized well and updated if needed, they can continue to drive sales long-term.
When you’re creating content for WordPress, remember to account for users of all stages of th funnel so you can optimise your posts correctly. You’ll use different strategies for colder audiences than warmer audiences, optimising for lower-funnel goals like email sign-ups instead of direct purchases.
Never underestimate the potential of WordPress content marketing, as it’s an extremely cost-effective way to promote your products and services while generating site traffic and boosting your own credibility. They can attract attention and build both engagement and trust in a way that other channels just can’t.
Your next steps: use the CTA box below to download our whitepaper on The Content Effectiveness System: how we consistently generates sales from SEO Content. Or, if you need this: check out our conversion-boosting Content Growth packages here!