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Great content is just the first step

If you’ve got a great piece of content on your site, and you’re doing what you can to attract people to it, the next step is to convert those people to enquirers.

A popular way has always been to ‘gate’ the content, so that visitors don’t get the full experience unless they register. As I’ve written many times, this has two dramatic disadvantages. First, many people will just drop out, rather than register. Have you followed a link to a news website recently only to find it made you register to read the story (even if it’s free)? Did you dutifully do that? No? Do you think your content is somehow more attractive?

Second, what are you going to do with the visitor’s contact details, even if you do get them? Send them loads of emails and hope? These were people who just wanted to read an article or watch a video. If they didn’t make an enquiry straight away, are your unexpected, intrusive emails really going to make a difference?

I believe the best approach is to display the content freely and in full, and to combine the content with compelling calls to action. What’s more, these calls to action need to be everywhere – at the top of the page (also known as a ‘hello bar‘), within the post or in a moving sidebar, and of course at the end as a ‘next step’. Make them an offer too.

Also, if you’re driving people to the page from a specific campaign, think about the profile of those people and how you can appeal to them. There are also strategies such as exit pop-ups, and the use of retargeted Google Ads.

Writing a great blog post or white paper is just the first step in creating an enquiry.