If you’ve read any of my other Business Blogging Basics articles, then you will already know the main point of this article. It is not really a “versus” issue. It’s an issue of finding the right balance between two important strategic approaches.
For the purpose of this article, “captivation” refers to the initial attraction of a site visitor. It’s just a less-clinical word for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or how someone finds your blog article in the first place.
“Conversion,” on the other hand, refers to the desired action you want to happen after someone reads your article. You got them to your blog, so now what? How do you use your blog to convert them into a paying customer?
In the grand scheme of things, captivation is easier than conversion. A well-done blog will be loaded with SEO appeal thanks to a depth of content, fresh content added on your site and all the targeted tags, links and titles you should be including within each blog post. The main reason any business would have a blog is to boost their organic SEO results and attract site visitors.
In other words, improved SEO should come naturally if you write a good blog, use all the right tags and post new articles frequently.
So, that leads us to conversion. How much of your effort needs to be put into converting a blog reader into an actual customer? This is where it gets tricky because even “conversion” can represent multiple goals:
- Buying a Product or Signing Up for a Service
- Filling Out a Contact Form
- Positive Brand Identification
Of course, #1 would be the ideal goal. However, it is also the toughest to achieve. Getting someone to buy something from you right then and there after reading a blog article or two is very difficult unless your product line is very inexpensive. Though you want to include at least one clear call-to-action in each blog article, you can’t go in expecting direct sales from your blog.
Numbers 2 and 3 are more attainable goals for most businesses. Positive brand identification is easily achievable with a good blog that provides interesting content and insight into the way you do business. If people walk away from reading one of your blog articles and feel a positive association with your brand, consider it a major victory—even if sales might not come right away. I don’t go rushing out to the store every time I see a Coca-Cola commercial, but I have a positive association with their brand that may affect my buying decisions later.
Filling out a contact form is harder to achieve, but it is a realistic objective. Someone may want to sign up for your newsletter/blog or get more information about a specific product or service being promoted. It’s a little less threatening to ask for someone’s contact info than to make a sale right then and there. They give you some info and then you can add them to your follow-up database. Ultimately, getting this lead is the first step in hopefully converting them into an actual customer. You may want to think of your blog as a lead generator rather than a sales tool. There’s a big difference.
SEO captivation should always drive your business blog and it is ultimately what is most important, but look at ways to spark customer conversions through engaging content and enticing calls-to-action. As always, when you find the right balance, you will have a more successful business blog.
For more information about business blogging, contact NextGear Marketing today.