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How CTAs Convert Blog Readers to Leads

Pairing strong calls-to-action on your business blog is one of the most effective and affordable ways to pair traffic and lead generation.

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This isn’t a post about the effectiveness of blogging for your business, nor is it a post about how to optimize your blog’s content in order to improve visibility and reach. We’re going to skip to the part where you’re already raking in a steady stream of visitor traffic that both clicks and reads what you have to say.
Page views, likes, tweets, and comments are indicative of effective traffic generation, superficial engagement, and perhaps brand loyalty or industry expertise, but none of them inherently convert that traffic into leads. In fact, Forrester Research noted that about 97-98% of blog visitors anonymously leave without taking a single action, disappearing with your chance to convert as well.
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But the good news is that small to mid-sized (SMB) businesses that maintain a frequently updated blog of high-quality content experience 126% more lead growth than those that choose to sit on the sidelines.
businesses that blog see faster lead growth
Finding the middle ground between pushy salesman and too much subtlety is the secret behind combining both traffic generation and lead generation.

The Call-to-Action

If you’re inviting readers to leave a comment at the end of your blog posts but not asking them to sign up, download, click, read, subscribe, install, or contact you, then you’re leaving the decision to convert hidden beneath a passive hope that they’ll decide to do so on their own.
A compelling CTA is driven by action, visual cues, and a sense of urgency that clearly benefits the prospect. It also needs to exist in at least two of these easily visible locations:

  1. Top of the page
  2. End of the post
  3. Within the post
  4. Sidebar
  5. Floating or scrolling popup
  6. Sliding popup
  7. Full-screen overlay

Perform A/B testing to determine which location offers the best results while simultaneously testing visual effects such as colors, designs, copy, offer type, and sizing.
In-text CTAs
A truth to remember in making location decisions for your CTA is that 10% of visitors to your blog never scroll at all, while the majority stop scrolling while only 60% through the content.
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But an in-text call-to action that exists as a direct or indirect part of your blog post can improve your visibility odds, particularly when 1-2 CTAs are incorporated into the first 60% of your blog post.
Hubspot is a successful example of generating leads through what they label “anchor text CTAs,” linked text with larger font and varying color that offers additional content that’s relevant to the blog post the visitor is currently reading.
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Hubspot’s same analysis revealed that “anchor text CTAs” paired with internal link CTAs represent a 83-93% of their leads.
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The internal link CTAs exist within the blog post itself and transfer the reader to a landing page to subscribe or download content relevant to the topic they were currently reading.
Welcome Mat
Taking advantage of the initial seconds that you have visitors’ undivided attention upon landing on your site is best suited to the “welcome mat.” A full-page overlay that offers a compelling CTA prior to revealing the actual page might look something like this:
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You can customize your site visitors to act in any number of ways: join an email list, read the latest blog posting, download a whitepaper or case study, or take advantage of a new tool such as a “free automatic headline generator.” Whichever option you choose for your initial CTA, it requires that they actively choose for or against it. Many will bypass the offer, but some will opt in.
AppSumo found that a welcome mat was three times more effective for their company than any other page or tactic for specifically collecting email addresses.
Hello Bar
Similar to a “welcome mat” that greets new blog visitors upon arrival, a hello bar sits at the top of the page in an attempt to capture the attention of those who choose not to scroll down any further. The CTA sits in a thin, static band across the top of the page that remains motionless even if visitors decide to continue down.
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DIYThemes generated just below 1200 new subscribers in only 30 days through the placement of a hello bar. Just like other on-page CTA options, the bar can encourage email subscriptions, new products or services or promote social accounts for engagement.

What’s Your Goal?

Content marketing via business blogs offers reliability in the value it provides visitors, but just like an aesthetically appealing marketing site, it needs to convert visitors into potential customers. Project a goal to gain information from each visitor in exchange for free, actionable content.
Heres the real deal with converting readers to leads: The transactional relationship begins with a clear and well-placed call-to-action, taking into account researched visitor behaviors. It only makes sense to take advantage of your already engaged readership to make your blog profitable. At RLC Media, our experts integrate lead and traffic generation to achieve data-driven results. Learn more by contacting us here.