I hated carrots when I was 4. No matter how my mom served them––chopped up in stew, covered in ranch dressing, or even topped with butter––I wouldn’t have it. I just wasn’t interested. I came for the chicken strips, not distractions.
Are your blog CTAs distractions? Are they like those carrots? Are they just a vegetable that no one seems to bite at? If their performances are subpar, there’s nowhere to go but up. Modifying the placement, type, or ability to recognize a user may help get the clicks you want. Consider making one of these 3 changes to your CTA after you’ve already published it to increase engagement and conversion rates:
Movin’ On Up
18%. That’s the fraction of content your average reader will take in before he or she leaves your page. If your CTA isn’t in the top fourth of your total page, try pushing it up. This CoSchedule blog suggests a featured image, a 100-word intro, and then *bam*, related content CTA. If your readers are still interested in the topic, they’ll scroll right past. But if they aren’t, you might retain their attention with a similar subject and intriguing copy.
Here’s the trick, though: A CTA in the top ¼ of your blog post should be very simple, unintrusive, and right on topic. This example is a great use of the CTA (a share on Twitter) that is 100% related to the topic:
That’s something that a reader would expect or even want to see––right in that spot. It also has a faded appearance that doesn’t overwhelm the content around it. And the simple shape matches the width of the paragraph, so it allows a reader to see that there’s more content yet to see. Perfecto.
While a landing page is a great tool to convert visitors to leads and gather valuable information about your prospects, it’s not always the best solution. If your CTA is collecting clicks but ultimately doesn’t drive lead conversion, an inline form could help. For example, if your CTA has a conversion rate of 8%, but your landing page has a conversion rate of only 1%, the CTA’s performance is practically null. There’s something about sending a visitor to that landing page that lost ‘em.
An inline form acts as a mash-up of the two that could prevent this problem. It’s just a mini version of a landing page––built right into the post. It can help users understand they’ll be directed to another page only to receive their offer:
The “Download the eBook” prompt at the end tells the reader that the next page will be your offer. On the contrary, if a CTA was asking your reader to click through to another step where they will probably have to fill out information.
An inline form also allows you to use a little more graphic space to entice a reader’s eyes. Consider keeping this type of CTA at the end of a post, though, as it does take up enough vertical space to mentally cue an end to a blog post to a reader.
Web-savvy blog readers are smart enough to know that most of the processes on your site are automated. They’re no longer blown away when their real name pops up in an email subject line. But they do still appreciate personalization and smart content enough to click a whopping 42% more times when they see it. Smart content is more than just a personalization token (such as including a name or job title). It’s the process of teaching your software to recognize when a specific visitor conducts an action, like downloading an eBook or changing lifecycle stages. Smart content knows not to show that eBook again and to show this specific user content tailored to their newest lifecycle stage.
This example HubSpot gives on its homepage personalization is just a slice of what smart content can do:
Don’t serve your readers carrots if they tell you they want chicken strips. Give them highly relevant, expertly placed CTAs that offer content that will further their knowledge on the problem they came to you to solve. You can do so by boosting the offer to the top ¼ of the page where it’s more likely to be seen, combining CTA and landing page in an inline form, or making it all smart. As you test these methods, keep in mind that numbers can be tricky. After all, your goal is not just to increase conversions and lead-generation, but to increase the number of quality conversions and leads. But with these modifications, you’ll be serving up better-tasting content right away.