A lot of business websites make the same mistakes that mean their content and blog posts aren’t working as well they should. Here are eight common blunders you should avoid at all costs:
1. No call to action (CTA)
You have put a lot of effort, time and money into creating your content. Years of experience and industry knowledge, not to mention the effort put in to promote your site and content. So why would you let possible customers visit and just walk away?
Your call-to-action is one of the most important aspects of your blog. If you have no CTA then you are missing out on a vital opportunity to gain information on your readers and potentially turn them into leads.
A reader may not be ready to buy now. Depending on the stage of the buyer journey they are at then may just be beginning their research. A purchase may come later. But if you let them go you are unlikely to ever see them again.
70 to 96 percent of the visitors abandoning your site will never return.Bounce Exchange
If a reader likes what they read in your blog then it’s probable that they will want more. Having an option to download an e-book or some other kind of information means you are much more likely to turn the reader into a lead, and push then through the sales funnel on the way to becoming a qualified customer. Without a CTA, you only get a few clicks on your blog and a lost opportunity. You then need to pay and work to attract that lead again.
Tip: The closer your CTA is to the content the visitor has just read, the more likely they are to sign up.
2. Typos and bad writing
I am guilty of this one. thank god for spell check and Grammarly. Nothing says ‘unprofessional’ like misspelt words and bad grammar. Spelling and grammatical errors make your post difficult and unpleasant to read and will instantly turn your potential customers off.
And it’s not just bad spelling or a misplaced apostrophe that can cause this. Writing that is unclear and messy will make a customer click the ‘back’ button faster than you can click your fingers.
But there’s an easy way to avoid this and it’s as simple as editing. Just taking the time to go through your blog post before you publish it, using a spellchecker and making sure it’s easy to read and understand will make all the difference.
I have found that it is best to have two different types of people for editing. One should look at structure and clarity of your message. The other should look at spelling and grammar. It is difficult for most people to do both of these effectively at the same time.
Tip: Review your text in a different format than you write it. If you were using an editor on your screen then print the document out when reviewing. You will spot different things.
3. Not using visuals
Research has shown that people are 80% more likely to read a piece of content if it contains visuals. And people can remember 65% more of the information in your blog post if it has relevant images attached to it. Your reader is going to scan your post before they read it thoroughly and if it doesn’t appeal to them visually they probably won’t bother sticking around.
Using visuals stimulates the reader and makes the whole process much more enjoyable overall. You will hold their attention for longer and will be more likely to make them want to read more from you, and maybe even become a customer if they like what they see.
4. Too sales-y
This point is a little less clear cut. The real point is that it depends on what stage of the buyer journey the reader is at. But as a general rule of thumb, your blog is not a sales pitch. It’s there to give your reader information, to show you as a thought-leader in your field, not to sell your product. Filling all your posts with product information and sales talk will only work to turn your customers away, especially those at the top of the sales funnel.
Something to note as well is to make sure you’re not filling your posts with too much sales jargon. If a reader is new to your blog, if they have just happened across it on social media and so are still in the very top of the sales funnel (if they’re in it at all), then you don’t want to alienate them with too much technical speak related to your company or industry. Keep your posts, especially the ones aimed at top of the funnel prospects, easy to read and understand.
Not releasing content consistently is a big mistake that a lot of companies are guilty of, especially when first starting out. If you post four blogs one week then only two the next, three the week after, and one the week after that, all you’re going to do is confuse your readers. It’s also bad for yourself as you’re not getting into the habit of blogging regularly.
The key to making sure that you’re posting regular content is to have a content calendar. This is a place where you can keep track of ideas and posts and plan when you’re going to publish them so that you always know what will be posted and when. There are many options online for content calendar templates, or you could come up with your own on an Excel spreadsheet.
Content should be a key part of your digital selling strategy. If it’s done wrong all you have is a lot of words on a page. Done right, however, and you can gain a lot of traffic to your website, a lot of customer information and a lot of potential leads. I know which I would prefer.
6. Not promoting your content enough
The big worry from most companies is that prospective companies will get sick of them if they promote too much. That they might appear spammy or too sales-y. But in reality an ad or social media post will only appear on a persons stream for a few minutes at most. And that is IF the person is online at the time you post and IF they are looking during those few minutes. The chance of anyone seeing your promotion is very low.
As a general rule of thumb, it is only when your internal team is starting to get sick of your content that your audience is just starting to notice it.
I have had the most success with content when I follow a set and repeatable promotion plan. The repeatable is important because it allows you to see what content is actually working best , not just what you happened to promote more that week. What you measure, you can improve.
Better promotion allows to actually write less, which is often the most time and resource hungry part of the process. Better promotion results in achieving much more with much much less. The ideal ratio I have found over the years is 30/70. Spend 30% of your time producing content and 70% promoting it.
7. Not revisiting your content
Most companies view content as a static thing. Once they hit publish the content is done and they need to move on to the next thing.
But the reality is that you can keep refining, editing and improving your content. There is no punishment for republishing your content again and again as long as only one version of that content exists.
I have had one website with just 10 blog posts that would generate thousands in leads each year. And each year that number would improve.
I would look at the analytics for each piece of content and improve it again and again. Update the headline based on what people are searching for and add a better call to action. Clearer sections and adding missing keywords.
Look at each piece of content you produce as an ‘Ultimate Guide’ on the topic. Every few months tweak it and improve it as a live living document.
8. No CTA
I am adding this point again because it is so important. The whole purpose of your content is to attract leads and business. Do not let them walk away without at least asking.