It has been said again and again; Content is King, and I couldn't agree more.
Although this might seem like just another one of those articles chatting about the necessity of content, I am going to look at things a bit differently. I am going to share some insights into how I drive traffic directly to my site, and convert visitors based solely on my blog.
I was challenged to increase traffic for an online insurance comparison site.
Let’s face it; insurance is boring! It is not sexy. It is dull. And the biggest challenge came in that once someone does a comparison, and doesn’t get a lower premium, they leave your site, never to return.
The site is forgotten as quickly as it is found. So, I was put in a position to create a blog that brought people to the site and kept them coming back. And that is when the newsroom was created.
Luckily, there are plenty of very newsworthy, and evolving topics that you can link to insurance and saving money, you just have to look for it, and be a bit savvy! So, here are my tips!
Trendy, Topical and Trusted Topics
Looking at the industry, it was important for me to create trust with my readers. They need to know that they can come to the site and actually learn something! But with a topic as limited as insurance, I knew that I had to be a bit more daring and think out of the box a bit when it came to the topics.
So, I did an analysis of the brand.
- What are our philosophies?
- What are we wanting our clients to achieve?
- What is our brand about?
I came up with terms like “saving money” “being trusted with their finances” “assisting with really important money issues”. That was when the blog expanded from boring old “How Do I Claim” to “How Will This Month’s Fuel Hike Impact You”.
Trending, controversial and educational content that were causing a stir in the country started being linked back to being more money wise and finding the best deal. Which then linked back to “Why don’t you lower your monthly insurance premium?”
My advice here is to brainstorm.
Create a massive working board with your strategy, marketing and operational guys and note everything related to your brand. Mission statements, client feedback, brand identity. This will all create the massive picture of who you are and you would be surprised at the kinds of hidden information that you will find.
Clickable, But Not Clickbait Titles
This, I actually learnt the hard way! We had a great article that compared the best and worst companies in the industry.
Instead of just using that as a title, we inserted “The Dodgiest Companies in the Country”. This title crashed and burned. The readers hated it and comments flew in rebuking us for an inaccurate headline. We lost a number of mailer subscribers and social media was ablaze with our inaccuracy.
I changed the headline back to “Best and Worst” and the article, to this day is still one of the highest traffic drivers AND lead generators, one year later.
Lesson learnt, if someone can trust your information, and know that they can share it, you will gain more traction and readership. You can work with your titles to be interesting, hooking and accurate all at the same time, if you put some thought into it!
Content: Is It Worth It?
People need to actually WANT to read your content, and keep coming back to read it! This is what I found was the most prominent factor in my site; creating authoritative content.
Our type of service is usually a one-off type of service. You visit the site once, and either get the quote that you are looking for, or don’t.
The trick here was if they don’t get what they are looking for the first time, how do we hook the visitor to come back? This is where the devil is in the detail for the blog. All content has to be accurate and worth keeping in mind to come back to visit. We include best buy articles, product comparisons and price breakdowns of vital products and services that people use every day.
Another hint here is to use a bit of controversy and a subject that is directly going to impact your reader. Some of the best-performing articles are the ones that talk about service providers increasing the fees of the customers and the impact it will have on their pocket.
Your reader wants information that will make them feel something! Whether it is empowered, angered, shocked, educated or made to feel really good about, average content will get an average response.
Know What Your Visitors WANT To Read!
I have a few ways of coming up with topics that I know, will get the clicks that I am looking for. These will, in turn, get the conversion to leads, so I am very particular when it comes to the research of the topics.
- What are people sharing on Facebook? Facebook feeds are vital to see what kinds of articles the general consumer is reading. I have often seen two or more people sharing an article and jumped on the topic to add to my site. Most importantly, I put a spin on it to make sure it is unique. Remember, controversy sells, so if it is something that is controversial, that you can spin to sell your product, do it;
- Read the comment section of your competitor blogs. What are people asking? What are their opinions? For me, to simply copy a topic is sacrilege, so finding a spin on it is vital. I trawl comments to find the one question that someone is asking or the opinion that I can create into a totally different article and spin the topic;
- I ask them! It seems really logical, but sending out surveys are one of the best ways of finding out what people want to read about. I use my weekly mailer with a series of NPS questions and through this way, see what people are most interested in. I have often been surprised as they have come back with topics I did not expect. Polls are also a great way of finding out where the majority of your audience is leaning. I have recently included a poll in one of my mailers about the fuel price increase. I asked what they would be cutting down on, and sent them to a survey screen. The results were actually surprising and helpful to us! It also assisted in generating a whole lot more content. The survey graph was shared on social media, and we wrote two more articles based solely on the results!
- Using the website tracking tools like GA with our tracking codes, I can measure and track what articles are the most popular. Based on this data, I can create similar articles that I know will generate as much traffic.
Effective, and Worthwhile CTA’s
These are possibly the most important elements within the blog to push for leads. I make sure that my CTA’s are attractive and punchy enough to reduce the bounce rate and get people to click through for a quote. There are various ways of doing so:
- Make them simple yet attractive. Bright colours that still work with your branding is key. A word of caution here. Don’t make them look too cheesy or too obvious. People know that you are trying to sell them something. We have recently done a total rebrand of the site and all the CTA’s needed to change. Because we are a lot more lifestyle and slicker, I have had to make sure that the CTA’s are too. What works amazingly are actual images of people! One example is “This is Ryan, he is 35 and we have saved him USD45 on his monthly car insurance. How much could we save you?” These CTA’s get clicked on 38% more than the other generic CTA’s;
- Ensure that they are personable. Relate them to what the reader can relate to. In my case, life is getting more and more expensive, your car insurance doesn’t need to. Or save on your insurance next month and put that toward your groceries;
- Tie them into the flow of the article, make sure that it is conversational and relates to the topic. Randomly placed CTA’s get 56% fewer clicks than if you are tying it into something that is written in the article. A great example here is an article about the fuel price increase. A great CTA will say “With fuel increasing, save on your insurance and put that toward your fuel tank”;
- Highlight specific words to draw attention to them. Sale, save, reduce. These kinds of words draw attention and people will gravitate toward them. My trick is to capitalize on them. SAVE. SALE. How far up in the article were you when you saw those words. Now imagine them in a different colour;
- Make them an offer they cannot refuse. If I promise to not only reduce your car insurance but also assist you with your claims, all in under three minutes, it could just be a sale!
- Send them directly to the contact form and quoting page. This way, you reduce the steps of getting the information and the chance of them bouncing!
Right, the reader has gotten halfway through or even finished your article. Why lose them there? If you have written this great bit of content, surely you have written more. If they haven’t clicked on one of your great, quirky call-to-actions, send them to another article where they could!
When I am editing, I go through the article with a fine tooth comb, and my full newsroom open on the second screen. And, what is important for me, I don't just link a few words to the next article. I highlight that there is something great to read below. Directly under, I include a “Read More” button which is bold and attractive.
So, you are reading about how this network giant has been stealing data from you for the last three months and getting really worked up about it. You scroll down another paragraph and in orange, I have included a statement like “Need to change network providers? Read more about who has the best data deal here!”. Cue the big orange button calling them to click on it.
My bounce rates decrease, my traffic increases, and in that so do my leads. But now, the trick is, how do I relate this to insurance?
This is where creativity is king! We are wanting people to insure through our site. So I include a CTA with copy like; “Tired of your insurer ripping you off? Compare and swap today in three easy steps”, or “Spending too much on your data bill every month, drop your insurance premium and have more spending money at the end of the day.”
I can create an entire article maze should the reader not click through to the first CTA, and so should you! Be smart about how to keep your reader on your site.
Keep in mind that people on the net are faced with millions and millions of sources every day. There is endless information out there for them to read. You need to give them a reason to visit your site, feel that they can trust you and become a sale. Your ways of attracting them will be by making something personable, attractive, shareable and trustworthy.
If you wouldn’t click on it, why would they?