By Rachel Foster published June 18, 2012

3 Keys to Increasing Your Content Conversions

Increasing your content conversions, CMI

Scott Armstrong of Brainrider.

Do you know how well your content is working for you? Although a growing number of marketers are turning to content marketing to increase their conversions, many have a hard time determining how well their efforts are paying off.

I recently interviewed Scott Armstrong, general manager of Brainrider, a Toronto B2B content marketing agency. Scott provided valuable advice about how to measure the results of your web content and optimize it to improve your conversion rates. According to Scott, there are three areas to look at when it comes to optimizing your content:

Findability

Findability is the ease with which your target audience can find your content. To learn how your website is performing in this area, check your Google Analytics data. Your page views and inbound page views will let you know if people are finding your content. You can also review which keywords people are using to find your site, which are bringing you the most visitors, and whether these keywords align with your marketing goals.

If you want to improve your findability, start by optimizing your meta title and meta description tags. Each of these tags should contain at least one strong keyword or phrase that your target audience uses to describe pain points.

When people optimize their meta descriptions, many focus on including keywords that will get picked up by the search engines. While keywords are important, you should also think about your meta description as the first 160 characters that will draw people into your content and motivate them to click your link. Use the meta description to explain why your content is relevant and why someone should read it.

Relevance

Relevance is how well your content relates to your target audience’s key pains, needs, and interests. One way to check your website’s performance in this area is to look at your average time-on-site and average page-per-visit statistics. High bounce rates could mean that your content isn’t relevant to your visitors’ needs or that your keywords aren’t reflecting your marketing goals.

To make your content more relevant, you must think like your customers. Take a customer’s point of view when you read your content and ask whether it is answering his or her most important questions in an engaging manner. For example, if your customers need to buy a piece of software, don’t write a blog post or white paper about how great your software product is. Instead, write about the pitfalls of choosing the wrong type of software, or a piece that compares the different options that your customers might be considering.

Also consider the stage of your customers’ buying cycle, as this can influence the type of content they will find the most relevant.

  • Early-stage leads are just beginning their research and will need practical, how-to advice that tells them how to solve their problems without trying to sell them a specific product.
  • Mid-stage leads need content that will help them understand the landscape — such as what’s available, some product pros and cons, and time-frame considerations.
  • When you develop content for late-stage leads who are ready to buy, then you can help them justify why they should purchase your solution.

Value

In addition to creating relevant content, you also want to ensure that your target audience finds it valuable. One way to determine the value of your content is to learn how many people are opting in for it. If a lot of people are willing to trade their contact information for your content, it means that they find it (or at least its promise on your landing pages) valuable. Other positive signs include someone opting in for a piece of content and referring back to it multiple times or sharing it through social media.

If you want to make a piece of content more valuable, ask if your target audience members will find it useful — will they think or act differently once they read it? Remember, interesting is not necessarily useful; opinion is not necessarily useful; and abstract is not necessarily useful. A useful piece of content is usually more practical, such as:

  • How-to guides
  • Matrixes
  • Statistics
  • Comparisons
  • Templates
  • Frameworks

The most important thing to ask when you are creating any type of content — for your website or otherwise — is: “What do my customers want to know, and am I creating content that answers their questions?” A tool that can help you in this area is a content framework, or a template that outlines your customers’ needs, pains, and desired information. This will help you stay focused when you create content.

What about you? How do you measure and improve your content’s findability, relevance, and value? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Need help finding which content marketing tactics will put your business on the path to greater success? Check out our guide toBuilding the Perfect Content Marketing Mix: Execution Tactics.

Author: Rachel Foster

Rachel Foster is a B2B copywriter and CEO of Fresh Perspective Copywriting. She helps her clients improve their response rates, clearly communicate complex messages and generate high-quality leads. Rachel has taught white paper, sell sheet and case study writing for MarketingProfs. She is also one of the Online Marketing Institute’s Top 40+ Digital Strategists in Marketing for 2014. You can connect with Rachel on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter or check out her B2B marketing blog

Other posts by Rachel Foster

Join Over 180,000 of your Peers!

Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Get Inspired: 75 (More) Content Marketing Examples FREE!

  • http://twitter.com/brencournoyer Brendan Cournoyer

    “When people optimize their meta descriptions, many focus on including
    keywords that will get picked up by the search engines.”

    This is a little misleading, as meta descriptions actually have no effect on search rankings, which confuses some people. The real value, however, is in using them to entice readers to click once they find your post in search, which is explained very well in the next line (tho 160 is a tad too long, I believe):

    “While keywords
    are important, you should also think about your meta description
    as the first 160 characters that will draw people into your content and
    motivate them to click your link. Use the meta description to explain why your content is relevant and why someone should read it.”

    The keywords themselves will only matter in that Google will bold them, drawing the reader’s attention to the description itself and what your article is about.

  • http://www.usbmemorydirect.com/ Vincent H Clarke

    Great tips Rachel, thanks for sharing. When it comes to findability though, you shouldn’t just think about how people will find your content on a search engine, but how they will come across it during their routine web browsing. 

    Your meta tags might be great, but if no one has heard of your infographic, they won’t be searching for it. Consider pushing your content and getting it shared on the networks, blogs, and websites of industry influencers, so that people don’t have to go looking for your content to find it.

  • http://humanwebsite.com.my/ Kent

    Same goes to my newsletter for what Google wants
    – Relevance
    – Visibility
    – Online Reputation

  • http://propertyagents.co/real-estate-lead-generation-course Muhammad Ayaz

    Hi Rachel!

    Great tips and I agree with you relevance is really a crucial point which indicates your site’s authority and I think it takes a little bit time to get to know about your readers point of interest to write on so you have to be a little patience and keep checking the ways to find out the point and once you get than you go to go. Thanks for great tips 🙂

  • N Dav

    Great tips