There’s nothing more frustrating than a web page that just isn’t working for you. It’s especially frustrating when it’s your content pages that are falling flat…
They represent significant time and energy in content creation, editing, and more.
But as frustrating as it may be, it happens. When it does, the only answer is to start from the beginning and examine every aspect of your conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy.
Here’s a guide to how to do that.
Step 1: What are Your Goals?
CRO is all about hitting the goals for your web page, so the first thing to do when troubleshooting conversions is to review those goals. And there are two aspects of this to think about:
First, have you set any conversion goals for your web page? For each of your key web pages, consider what you want people to do when they land there and where you want them to go next. This will help you identify both conversion goals and a conversion funnel.
Next, think about how these goals support your overall goals for the website and for your business. As Crazy Egg editor Kathryn Aragon points out, while your main conversion goal may be sales, there are also many micro conversions that support the overall goal.
Once you know your goals and have a clear picture of whether your pages are bringing the business and attention you need, it’s time to turn to other aspects of conversions to see what’s working and what’s not.
Step 2: Audit Your Content
Once you know your goals, it’s time to see how your existing content supports those goals. That means doing a content audit. While you could simply go through your site map, that’s not really practical for a large site, so you’ll need a tool to grab all the URLs so you can analyze them.
Both Moz and Buffer favor Screaming Frog, where you can filter out all the URLs that are less important.
However, there’s an even easier way recommended by Neil Patel. Use Google Analytics and navigate to “site content” > “all pages.” That immediately identifies the most important pages on your site, making it easy to find the most popular and shared posts, the average length of a popular post, when you usually publish content, which URLs and page titles are working and which are not.
This step helps you figure out what content is already supporting your goals. But you can’t stop there.
Step 3: Grab Data from Other Sources
For best results, don’t just rely on Google Analytics data from your own site. Grab the data you are collecting from your other interactions online. Every piece of content you share can provide valuable information that can help you tweak your marketing and improve conversions.
For example, Buzzsumo is an excellent tool for giving an overview of top content and social media shares. It also helps with finding influencers who can improve the reach of your content and can provide inspiration for enhancing your content.
Meanwhile, the analytics provided on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn can tell you how your content performs on those sites. Marry that with Google Analytics data and you can see whether your social media strategy is supporting your conversion goals.
Step 4: Make Your Content Work Harder
Analyzing data won’t just tell you what’s working and what’s not, but it will also tell you where your audience is and what kind of content they are looking for. Then all you have to do is provide it.
If that sounds like hard work, then consider this: You don’t have to create every piece of content from scratch. You can make your content more effective by repurposing what you already have (another reason for the content audit in step 2) to make new content that will help serve your conversion goals.
As the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) points out, repurposing lets you focus on different areas of a topic and allows you to cross-promote content, giving you more chances to get your audience’s attention.
How do you repurpose content? Your blog posts can become podcasts and slide shows, your webinars and slideshows can become blog posts, and your research can be turned into infographics. The CMI gives examples of 8 formats you can get from the same basic content.
The key thing with this strategy is to avoid repurposing blindly. Instead, use the information you have about your audience to give them content they will respond to. That’s the best way to serve your goals. (Don’t forget that Buzzsumo can help you identify top performing content of different types, such as blog posts, videos and infographics.)
Tools you can use for repurposing include:
- One of these free presentation tools for slide shows (or just use Haiku Deck on Slideshare)
- SoundCloud and Spreaker are popular podcast creation
- Piktochart is one of several useful infographic creation tools.
Step 5: Test your CTAs
As always, you can’t improve conversions without getting your calls to action (CTAs) right, so do an audit of the ones you are using now. Some questions to ask include:
- Does your call to action speak to people directly? Localizing CTAs or tying the landing page copy to the referring site is a good way to build trust.
- Does the call to action point directly to where you want people to go and make it clear what benefit they will get when they get there? The data you collected in previous steps should help you customize CTAs for your audience.
- Do all your CTAs work together? You may have CTAs in many places on your site. It’s important to make sure the messaging and branding are consistent.
- Have you got the buttons right? Color and text can have a huge impact on conversions.
Follow these five steps and you will always know whether your content is serving your conversion and business goals. What steps have you taken to improve conversions from your content?
Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sharon Hurley Hall.