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How to Choose the Right Content To Drive Online Sales

Posted on Sep 19th, 2011
Written by Lee Odden
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    Lee Odden

    Interview Screen Grab from the 2011 Vocus Users Conference

    When I was at a client’s User Conference earlier this year, Steve Farnsworth caught up with me and asked a question about using analytics to refine content for increased sales. I’m a big fan of repurposing content and I’ve paraphrased the transcription and shared below.

    When people look at analytics from their website while developing content plans, what kinds of things should they look for to help improve online sales?

    To start with, a company can do some research to start developing personas that reflect the kinds of customer segments they’re after. That information can get things going in terms of an Editorial Plan and keywords used to optimize content and attract links, resulting in content that ranks well on search engines and drives traffic to product and services pages. As you attract that traffic from search engines, there’s some data to work with – to analyze and refine.

    Through web analytics you can see which search terms are driving outcomes that you want, like conversions.  You might see really broad phrases, if you’re fortunate enough to rank highly for really broad phrases, driving traffic that results in behaviors that are more indicative of “tire kicking” during the initial phase of a buying cycle.

    More specific phrases may be more characteristic of buyers that are further along in the search process. You can see that by looking at referring search queries for instances of pricing, specific nomenclature or model numbers. That kind of search can be more representative of someone who is ready  to buy.

    So in terms of your editorial planning for content, you can take a look at this sort of cycle and anticipate what people want, optimize and promote. Observe how they visit and behave on the site. Then identify and refine subsequent content creation, optimization and promotion to make the content even more relevant and valuable.  The result is a shortening sales cycle, more revenue per sale and a better experience for customers.

    Paid search marketers can refine their ads on the fly and see the effect on sales. What do you look for you in your web analytics to refined web site content to become more “findable” and more likely to convert visitors to buyers? Do you incorporate social CRM tools with web analytics? Any other tools?