Automated and Bootstrapped Content Conversions for Small Business WordPress Sites
In this Special Report for our members, we will be sharing the following aspects of automating and bootstrapping content conversions for your Small Business WordPress Site. We have decided to create this report in the form of a blog post rather than present it in the form of an ebook as we foresee making yearly updates to this report due to the constanly changing nature of WordPress.
What is Content Conversion?
When your content eggs its audience to take an action, resulting in lead generation, the process is called content conversion. Useful content is not only good for SEO, but it can also push lead generation. Content marketing generates almost three times the number of leads than traditional marketing. Content can turn visitors into leads, leads into customers and customers into fans. Conversion-oriented writing is a requirement for effective content marketing. The more easily you are able to get a visitor to sign up for your newsletter service or share your content, the more the number and quality of leads you generate. Content conversion stands on certain principles, they are-
Principles of Content Conversion
1. Conversion isn’t mandatory
Content marketing is at its most effective when visitors are provided value without having to do something in return. All that is required is time and attention. Time and attention is actually a great place to start as it develops a relationship with the brand. Optional content means that the content is free to sample without sharing your e-mail or other contact info. So if your content is a blogpost, you are allowed to read it without signing up to the blog’s mailing list. If it’s an e-book, you can download it without filling up a form. You are not constantly given incentives to take action – instead, you are provided with value without expecting any returns. The conversion here is a natural extension to the content. So, if you like the content, you will logically sign up for more updates, alerts for new content and so on. The CTA is more subtle than landing page optimizations.
2. Testing is compulsory
Testing your content informs you about which content is working and which is not. You get a fairly good idea of the kind of content that is getting your site traffic. An effective content marketing practice is to create new content and test old content simultaneously. Conversion rate is a good yardstick to calculate how your content has performed. It is also a good measurement to understand if your CTA is working. Social media sharing, SEO rank, pageviews, video views and downloads are other metrics to measure your content’s performance.
3. Format is flexible
Conversion content marketing believes in the flexibility of format. It prides itself on the flexibility to morph into whichever framework the audience is more susceptible to. Content can be presented in a variety of options – it can come in the form of a singular webpage or a microsite with several interlinked pages; it can also be a web application.
Content conversion is the end goal of content marketing. When a person expresses interest in your service/product by sharing their personal info, a lead is generated. Lead generation turns into customer conversion gradually, if this interest can be retained. It is necessary to know how to go about this process as it is at the root of how content marketing works.
Importance of content that is specifically designed for conversion
Content conversion is the most important part of content marketing. It lets you know if the content you are putting out night and day is actually gaining any user interest or fizzling out without an audience. While there are other metrics that can be used to understand the pull of your content, content conversion is the most accurate. You can get your content to drive conversions in the following ways –
- You can connect your content to your marketing goals by putting persuasion tactics into play
- You can tie your content closely with your sales funnel. You can develop assets that drive both online and in-person sales by doing this.
To come up with content specifically designed for conversion, you have to keep certain things in mind. Let’s discuss these-
Things to keep in mind when designing content for conversion –
- You have to know your audience – Understanding your audience and customer is key when it comes to moving your content closer to the sales funnel. Knowing what motivates them will help you create content that will cater to their needs. You can create a demographic overview of your customer base, develop an idea of their hobbies and interests and focus on their buying behavior to obtain a holistic picture of them. It will help you come up with content ideas more easily.
- Ascertain your publishing channels beforehand – Many bloggers ready their post before deciding where to publish it. Doing so takes away from the leads they are able to generate. Creating content customized for a publishing channel will allow you to save time and keep a steady flow of readers.
- Choose topics tied to your marketing goals – You can choose topics related to your content strategy by selecting evergreen topics related to your industry, topics that address your customer’s FAQ, topics that explore developing trends in your industry, tutorials, commentaries about current events, listicles and insights from other domains that correspond to your work. These topics must be aimed at your customers and not your industry peers. Also, they should be closely tied to what your brand offers. Off-topic content can be detrimental to a cohesive market image.
- Deliver value – Content strategy will help you sell as long as you focus on providing value first instead of going in for the hardsell. If your content connects with people, sales and leads will naturally ensue. A CTA and strong bio that helps users find you easily all go into making market conversions.
- Be creative while promoting content – Having a smart promotion strategy adds to the content you’ve created and helps you get the return on investment you had hoped for. Promoting content encompasses good SEO, shareable content and optimizing content to create a solid “click trail” that leads your audience from one page to another ending in a sale or other desirable action.
Content designed for conversion is a huge part of the content strategy, but it is not all. Content needs to be insightful, valuable and user-friendly so that it builds your brand image even if it doesn’t lead to lead conversions.
The importance of title-testing in WordPress
Titles are crucial for any social media post. Titles are what comes up in search engine results. It is what primarily grabs audience attention enough to make them click on it and read the whole story. It also conveys your brand image to first-time visitors and forms a central part of your brand. There is no one method that will optimize your titles into clickbait. However, there are methods by which you can test your title to decide upon one that works. Before we go into it, let’s look at a few characteristics of titles-
Titles are displayed in search engines
They are displayed in tabs on your web browser
They tell a story about your site/page
Titles are like the nameplate for a brick and mortar store
They are your one chance to explain your page in short
The only way to figure out which title works for you and which doesn’t is to experiment. WordPress plugins will help you out with this task. The Title Experiments Free plugin allows you to write multiple titles for a post on the post edit screen and measure the effectiveness of each. It ensures an initial even distribution by circling through titles everytime a post list is displayed. The plugin shows the same title to the same visitor and later shows the most effective title once enough pageviews have been recorded. The effectiveness of the title is calculated by using a fairly complex method, but the results should only be viewed relatively. For, e.g.: So and so title worked best for so and so post. It is possible for all your titles to perform the same. In this case, you need to look at the absolute figures to determine if all your titles are working or failing. Run Google Analytics on your website and learn about the current click-thru rate before writing multiple titles for your posts. It will give you a standard against which you can then compare the performance of your titles.
Steps to title-test in WP
- Download and upload the Title Experiments Free plugin to your WordPress site. Go to Settings and select the “Best Title in Feed” option.
- Go to Post Edit screen and add multiple titles to any post new/old. You may remove poorly performing titles by deactivating them or removing them from the list completely.
- Track the performance of each title by observing the bar chart, fraction and percentage next to each title. The bar chart represents the number of views the post has had with the title over the last 7 days. The ratio gives an estimated click-thru rate. The percentage is the likelihood of that title being displayed.
Follow the traffic on your website and you will soon be able to tell which words work or do not in your titles. You can then manipulate your titles accordingly. Multivariate tests can be run on everything from the content to the feature image. However, the title is the best place to start. There is no point in testing the variants of your content if your title is not getting enough click-thrus.
The Five Title Testing Plugins WordPress Offers You
Coming up with catchy headlines is an essential part of writing content. Interesting headlines get you click-thrus and traffic. Many times small tweaks here and there can dramatically improve the performance of your headline. You may be strapped for resources but WordPress makes it a breeze to test headlines. So much so that you would be a fool not to actively test your headline variations and in the process, optimize your website.
There are several headline optimization plugins in the market that make testing headlines extremely user-friendly. It can take as little as 5 minutes to get started. A site must get adequate traffic in order to gather reliable and accurate statistics. You need all the more traffic for the more headlines you want tested. The catch in headline testing is to just go with it. Don’t spend time agonizing over the perfect headline, just think up 3-4 and let the plugins work their magic. There is a good chance that one of your headlines will perform significantly better than the rest and make for successful testing.
Here are 5 popular headline testing plugins you can try out-
- Thrive Headline Optimizer – It allows you to create unlimited headline variations from within the default WordPress editor. Basic statistics are available next to the editor while more detailed stats are available on a separate page. The success or lack thereof of headlines are measured using 3 customizable headline criteria.
- Title Experiments Free – It allows you to test multiple titles for both posts and pages. It is available in the WordPress plugin directory. The plugin measures impressions and views to present its results.
- Title Experiments Pro – Features of the premium version of the Title Experiments plugin include featured image testing, detailed statistics, experiment freezing and priority support.
- KingSumo Headlines – It is sold as “Automatic headline optimization for your WordPress blog.” The plugin allows you to test multiple variations of the same headline. KingSumo also shares these titles across social media to tell you precisely which titles are attracting the most number of shares.
- Headline Envy – It is another free plugin found in the WordPress repository. It integrates with your Optimizely account to ease the process of split-testing headlines. You can add title alternatives from within the post editor and test them before republishing your post with the popular title. These titles are tested anywhere that you see post, page or product titles output. It can include the homepage, sidebar, archive or in a widget. The plugin can automatically select the winning title, or you can do so automatically.
All the plugins discussed are extremely easy to use. Headline optimization takes only a couple minutes and there is no reason you should forego it. Minimal or optional input is required. The choice of plugin depends solely on the individual using it and his/her needs. The Thrive Headline Optimizer, however, appears to be the most well-rounded option. The KingSumoHeadlines is a close second because of its functionality of measuring social clicks.
The importance of testimonials in content conversions and how you can publish testimonials that look great on WordPress
Customer testimonials are a key content element when it comes to selling a product/service on a website. They review their customer experience and urge the audience to make a purchase. These testimonials can come in several forms – audio/video or text. Either way, they are intended to boost your sales. Customers are a skeptical breed and testimonials make for a good industry mechanism to establish credibility. They aren’t sales pitches but are instead personal reviews that help create trust between a prospective customer and the company. The presence of real people reviewing your product/service in itself scores brownie points when it comes to promoting this product/service. Research states that around 70% of consumers read up on a product/service’s review before deciding whether to spend money on it or not. If used correctly, testimonials are a great way to convert prospects into customers. Afterall, nothing influences a buyer more than another buyer with the same buying objectives and pain points as their own.
Testimonials not only help your conversion rate but also help with the following-
- They help increase your click-through rate.
- They boost your lead generation.
- They improve your SEO as they provide fresh and updated content that help with being found on search engines. Also, reviews tend to contain keywords of their own that prospective customers search for.
However, these testimonials need to be high-quality and placed appropriately for them to have any impact. You may also optimize your customer testimonials in the following ways-
- Place them in plain HTML instead of Java or Flash for them to be easily readable by search engines
- Make sure you use schema markups and/or rich snippets to make sense of testimonials and share related information on the result pages for search engines.
- Attempt to receive longer testimonials either by creating a number of fields or having a questionnaire ready that will make the process of reviewing much easier for your customer.
Let’s look at a few handy tips on how to select the right testimonials that encourage content conversions-
- Choose selectively – Direct recommendations of your product are well and good, but you know what works better? Reviews with in-depth product details that go on to address a customer pain point or talk about how it satisfies a customer need. Testimonials that list specific product or service benefits induce maximum sales.
- Include the reviewer’s photo – Doing so goes a long way in building that sense of trust with your prospective customer. Now, he/she knows that the testimonial has a flesh and blood claimant and isn’t machine generated. What more? It will also make your testimonials more eye-catching and increase your click-through rate.
- Go crazy displaying them – If you’ve got your testimonials in place, don’t hesitate in showing them off. Put them up on your website, on your contact page, homepage, case studies page or even a dedicated testimonials page. Have a quick decision with your web designer to position your testimonials where they will collect the most eyeballs. You could perhaps try out a web application that will let you set up a testimonial page or a plugin that will allow you to post different testimonials on different pages of your website. Determine which works best for you and get to displaying those testimonials loud and proud!
- Keep in mind your buyer personas – If you’re not addressing the pain points of every possible buyer persona, you are not gathering your testimonials right. Your audience should be able to relate with the person putting up their testimonial. Only then will it inspire them enough to make a purchase. Ensure that every demographic and buyer persona you are trying to sell to is featured on these testimonials. Not doing so will limit your selling potential.
- Only feature original testimonials – The cardinal rule when it comes to sharing testimonials is to never put up fakes. Only real testimonials from real customers will help you build a trusting relationship with your prospects. If you fake your testimonials, you are not only risking your reputation – you are also setting unrealistic goals for your customers.
- Try video testimonials – A short 30 second to a 1-minute video where your customer shares their experience with your product/service is a great way to increase business conversions. It is personal and your prospective customer can see and hear the emotions your old customer attaches with their purchase.
There are a few tricks to displaying your testimonials that will help you make the most of them. These are –
- Build a testimonials page for the very reason to show off your testimonials in one place.
It makes it more convenient for search engines like Google to find it and also proves more convenient for your prospective customer. Maybe even add customer testimonials to select pages where you advertise certain products/services to add that extra bit of credibility to it.
- Add them to your CTAs
If you want more people to answer your CTAs, add reviews to them. It is a surefire way to get your audience to sit up and take notice. Maybe you’re offering a free e-book on sign-up to your e-mail service, make sure to put in some customer reviews here on how the e-book has helped them. It will provide a boost to your sales in the long run.
Convert them into Case Studies
Testimonials need not strictly adhere to one form or structure. Play around with them to substantiate your claims best. Highlight the results from real-life testimonials and get the most benefit out of it.
Customer testimonials not only influence your customer conversions but also reflect on your brand image. Making good use of your testimonials will separate your business from your peers as also represent your customer service. Don’t leave them lying on your review page, strategically position them all over your website and get amazed at how your conversions leapfrog.
The best WordPress quiz plugins and what it can do for conversions
In a content creator’s endless attempt to keep his/her user engaged, they sort through the available options – video, a great tool for user-engagement; podcasts, likewise another favored way to obtain and maintain user interest and finally – quizzes, the ultimate method to get your users to interact with you. Quizzes are also widely shared on social media. Be it an IQ test or a personality quiz, people love to share their results and challenge their friends to it. Quizzes drive both engagement and traffic- to the joy of content creators worldwide. It is how BuzzFeed keeps its visitors around for a significant time on their site. The more time a user spends on a quiz, the more time he/she spends on your site. Quizzes benefit your social marketing efforts in a variety of ways. Some of them are-
- When people spend more time on your website, your bounce rate lessens.
- Lower bounce rates translate to higher SEO score.
- It provides your users with something to act upon on your site.
- They improve your user-engagement and sets you apart from your peers.
- It inspires people to follow you as a brand, building brand loyalty.
- These users are most likely to buy your product/service in the end after having spent an ample amount of time on your site. They may click on an ad, buy a product or join your e-mail list.
- In case, the product serves its function to the customer, the customer retains his/her interest in your brand. You now have a long-term user contributing to your customer lifetime value.
- Loyal users spread good word-of-mouth and help grow your customer base.
- Quizzes amass a generous amount of social media shares which put your website on the watchlist.
- The comments section usually garners a fair bit of user participation
- The measures listed above directly work to increase conversions and revenue.
The best part is, no matter how seemingly difficult creating a quiz might appear, it is not half as much so. All that’s required of you is to install a WordPress plugin that will generate questions, add answers, insert images and tally responses. Some even provide additional facilities like inserting a poll or survey. Other plugins include the full package from form-building, e-mail capture to slideshow tools. They may generate basic quizzes or even quizzes replicating BuzzFeed quizzes. Most of these plugins are either free or cheap. It leaves you no reason to not include one of these on your site.
Let’s look at a few of these plugins that score highest in converting leads below-
- OnionBuzz Viral Quiz Creator – The plugin is your key to creating BuzzFeed-like quizzes in no time. It includes easy options for quiz layouts, feeds/categories, MailChimp integration and custom formats that include – Personality, Trivia, Lists, Ranked Lists, Flip Cards and more. All you need to do is use the built-in option to create your custom quiz and go on to use the generated shortcode to insert it into any blogpost, page or widget on your website. All the quizzes created are 100% responsive and mobile-friendly.
- Quiz and Service Master – It has a simple builder with options like radio buttons, comments and checkboxes. It allows the functionality of adding a timer to the quiz if you so wish. The plugin permits the use of media within the quiz. Overall, this plugin gives you jaw-dropping features for designing your own quizzes and surveys.
- WordPress Viral Quiz Builder – It helps you build BuzzFeed style quizzes quick. The plugin supports MailChimp, Aweber and ActiveCampaign among other email marketing software. Personality test and Trivia are the two types of quizzes with an option to randomize the order of questions. The “browser refresh” option allows the user to create multi-page quizzes that end up increasing your pageviews. The results for these quizzes so created can be hidden behind content lockers such as an e-mail opt-in box or social share. The user is then compelled to subscribe or share the quiz socially before he/she can view the results.
- Watu – Watu allows its users to create quizzes with open-ended, multiple-choice and single-choice questions. In fact, it can also make its questions mandatory so that the user must answer the question in order to progress in the quiz. Each question is assigned a particular score which is calculated together to give the result. It has the ability to display a bar chart which compares user points versus average points and shows a list of all participants.
The premium version of the plugin brings features such as quiz results export and a login-only quiz to the table. It also enables you to charge a user for a quiz and so on. Additional quiz types such as “Fill in the Blanks” and “Sort the Values” are available in this version.
- Quiz Cat – The Quiz Cat plugin allows for the creation of engaging quiz landing pages. It supports MCQs and the option to randomize the questions which ensure that the reader actually spends time reading the questions. It allows you to create a custom message for each user’s score.
- WPQuiz – The WPQuiz plugin is available in a free and Pro version. It helps you develop personality and trivia quizzes. It’s a responsive plugin and can be placed in a variety of sites. The Pro version includes added facilities like the functionality to export your quizzes.
- Chained Quiz – The plugin allows you to build unique quizzes where the next question depends on the answer to the previous question. It can build an interesting personality and EQ quizzes. You have the ability to create single-choice, multiple-choice and essay-based questions in your quiz and assign points to each answer. Your result is calculated accordingly.
A WordPress quiz plugin can do loads to secure lead conversions. Ample thought should be given to choosing the right plugin for your brand, as a result. Choose wisely and you may land up with a quiz plugin that not only increases audience engagement but turns lead conversion into a breeze.
Publishing conversion-optimized pages and content in WordPress
Sure, completing a blog post gives you a feeling of satisfaction. But publishing it properly ensures that this blog post gets found, read and shared. SEO optimization the content is crucial before you post it. It brings you ROI in the form of traffic, leads, conversions and sales. The following SEO practices will improve your blog post’s readability and reach –
- Come up with an engaging title – The title of your blog post holds immense power. People will decide whether to spend time reading your article depending on how you structure it. It will also determine whether you get organic traffic from search engines or not. A good post title that will easily show up on search engines is short, preferably under 70 characters. Include keywords and phrases in the title. Doing so will ensure you attract the right sort of audience and also lend your post more exposure on search engines.
- Always format your copy – Improve the readability of your content by sectioning it into small paragraphs. 5-6 lines make for a good paragraph length that holds your audience’s attention enough to be read and not skipped over. Using sub-headings will help your reader get a gist of your content when they scan the article to decide whether they will read it or not.
- Spend time researching keywords – It is impossible to optimize your blog without following through with keyword research. Using the right keywords in your blog post is of absolute necessity. Businesses that use the right keywords generate far more leads than those that are not keyword-optimized. Broad and general keywords pertaining to your industry, product or service are a good place to start. Search for long-tail keywords that expand on this root-keyword but are specific enough to describe your post more accurately.
- URL optimization – If you do not manually select the words that will go into your post’s URL, WordPress will automatically include every word from your Title. An optimized URL will be 50-80 characters long and include your target keyword phrase.
- Meta-description – Meta-description is the text that is displayed below your post’s title on a search result. Include your main keyword phrase here and be careful of the tone you employ. It will attract users looking for results that address their query best.
- Format your image – Poor quality and badly formatted images are a strict no-no when it comes to your blog posts. It is important to check if the image you are using is properly sized and accessible by different devices before you post it on your web-page. Make sure you use relevant images. Optimizing alt-tags and title-tags will help your post in being found on search engines.
- Featured Image – Posts with pictures have a higher click-through rate. An optimized feature image will be resized according to the width of your post space. Its title, alt-name, caption and filename will include the main keywords. A description of the image will help visually impaired visitors. Lastly, ensure that these images are copyright free if they are not yours personally.
- Categories and Tags – Select the category and tags that is most relevant to your post. It will help your readers and make for better SEO.
- Add internal links – Adding internal links to other pages of your blog serves multiple purposes. It optimizes your blog and also provides your readers with value by allowing easy access to other relevant articles on your blog. After you are done adding these links, check if they are broken or not. Broken links can bring down your site’s SEO rankings.
- Perform a device-check – Building a responsive site saves you the trouble of creating separate versions for desktops and mobiles. So before putting out your site live, check how it performs on different devices.
When you spend so much time researching, organizing and creating your content – it seems mindless to not have it dispersed the right way. Following the measures listed above will ensure you publish successful WordPress posts every time that not only get discovered on search engines easily but are also read and shared widely. You can also proofread your post and check cross-browser functionality as additional steps that will enhance the content you are sharing.
The goal of content marketing is to make content conversions.There are certain principles that need to be followed while attempting to make content conversions. Firstly, the content should be tested to see how it is performing with the audience. Secondly, the format the content is presented in should be flexible. Whichever format suits the audience should be the format used to present the content. Lastly, content may not always make conversions, but that is okay. As long as your content provides your audience with value, he/she will answer your CTA and opt-in. If not, they are free to leave. Good content will automatically yield conversions.
You can create content with the goal of making conversions. The content, here, will be specifically tailored for your target audience. It will provide the audience with value and be presented creatively. The channel on which it will be presented will also be researched carefully by the content creator. The content will be tied to your industry, giving an appearance of industry expertise to your brand.
Title-testing is an important part of your content’s outreach. Titles can make or break your content. The reader more often than not decides which content to read and which to forego based on the content title. WordPress allows several plugins to test titles and optimize them. Thrive Headline Optimizer, Title Experiments Free and Pro, KingSumo Headlines and Headline Envy are among the many plugins that serve this purpose.
User testimonials are another great way to improve your site’s SEO and make more conversions. They are an ingenious method to build trust with your prospects. When an individual reads a review by another individual who addresses their pain point and has similar buying objectives, it can do wonders to sell the product/service to him. Similarly, quizzes help user engagement and lessen a site’s bounce rates. WordPress has a host of free and paid quiz plugins that can help you build custom quizzes to interact with your audience. Content, i.e., optimized for conversion beforehand is great for SEO and it can be easily done by taking careful stock of your content and how you present it.
In conclusion, content creators can easily optimize their content for conversions by intelligently using tools offered by WordPress and employing certain best practice methods.