Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Nathan Vander Heyden
Converting blog traffic into leads or trials for your SaaS is difficult. Most of the times, SaaS owners don't know where to start or what frameworks really work—we break it down step-by-step in this blog post.
New trials are one of the most important metrics for a SaaS.
Yet, your blog doesn’t bring in any new users. Or at least, at a much lower rate than you’d expected.
Watching visitors leave your website without ever checking out your pricing or sign up page... it's frustrating.
Now for the good news: converting your blog traffic into fresh new trials is not that hard.
A couple months back, I doubled the conversion rate for one of my client’s highest traffic blog post:
It’s all about figuring out three things about your visitors:
If you have a reasonable answer for each of these three questions, you’re well on your way to a conversion.
I call this the “MATCH INTENT-RESONATE-SHOW OFF” framework.
With this post, I’d like to explain how to use this framework. Plus, I’ll provide actual actionable steps you can follow to improve one of your blog posts today.
You’ll learn how to:
Let’s dive right in.
Novice marketers (and their clients) obsess over search traffic.
You’ve heard this before: “go for high traffic, low competition keywords”.
Maybe you’re following that advice right now.
It makes sense in theory. The more people on your site, the more chances one of them will click on that “sign up for a free trial” button.
For example, let’s imagine your SaaS does video testimonials.
You do some keyword research, and you come across these two:
It’s tempting to go after that 3,300 monthly traffic keyword.
It might even be easy to rank for!
The problem here is a factor that Ahrefs cannot measure: intent.
When choosing keywords for a new blog post, you need to picture the entire customer journey:
But, most importantly:
How does my ideal customer go from typing [keyword] in Google to signing up for my tool?
Chances are that after getting their “testimonial definition”, they’ll leave.
They got what they came for: no reason to stick around and try yet another tool.
This seriously reduces the amount of keywords worth targeting.
Another thing to consider is that one keyword may have several intents.
For this example, let’s assume you’re working on a CRM tool. Naturally, the first keyword that comes to mind is “customer relationship management”.
If someone types this in Google, they might be looking for:
It’s a vague query with dozens of different intents. That’s why the search volume is so high.
Sure, you might write the best post on customer relationship management out there and you’ll attract some people interested in your solution.
But more often than not, you’ll have spent time (or money) on a high-quality post that doesn’t convert all that well.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have “clear intent” keywords.
With those keywords, there’s no doubt what the searcher is looking for:
So what’s the takeaway from this?
Forget about “high traffic” keywords. As long as the keyword has a decent chance to lead to a conversion, it’s a good keyword.
I’d even argue that competition/keyword difficulty is not a big deal (as long as you have the best content!).
For SaaS specifically, some keywords work better than others:
I recommend targeting keywords that cater to problem-aware and solution-aware searchers. Those are the most likely to convert.
Another way to convert more visitors is to make sure your content resonates with them.
Most companies hire freelancers and tell them to write a piece about [keyword].
Then, they receive the deliverable and hit “publish”.
The problem with this approach is that you’re just duplicating content from other sites. In other words, stuff your reader has already heard before.
When freelancers do their research, they’ll look at other high-performing posts.
Then, they’ll just present whatever they’ve learned under a new light—or reorganize the information in a creative way.
Look at the top 10 results for any keyword right now and it’s unlikely that you’ll find a unique piece of insight in every article.
Case in point:
Out of these six results, five of them say “adding CTAs or lead magnets are a great way to convert blog traffic into customers”.
And I didn’t even have to click through.
There’s no uniqueness or originality here. If I hired a freelancer to write this piece, it’s likely they’ll have come up with something similar.
And for the end reader, the experience is even more frustrating:
This is a perfect opportunity to capitalize on that pain, and create two emotions:
“Relatable” moments. If you can get your reader to nod their head in agreement with you, or go “this guy gets me”, you’re halfway there.
“Aha” moments. Prove unique insights or show your expertise. The idea is to get the visitor to think, “this is news to me” or “this person might have something interesting to say”.
Here’s another example from an article I wrote a few years back:
If you’re hiring freelancers for your content, you might be wondering—how can they create these “aha” moments?
The best way to write something truly unique: have them interview you (yes—for every blog post).
You’re the industry expert, and you know your customers the best.
You just need to put it into writing.
I see this in every SaaS blog out there.
They might do everything right:
But there’s no “logical next step”.
I read the post, I learn something new, and the writer concludes with “I hope this article was useful”.
At no point in the article do they try to get me to sign-up for their tool.
The whole point of a blog is to get new customers.
As a SaaS, you achieve this by proving that your product is the best solution to the problem your visitor is facing.
If you expect:
/pricingor “free trial” page
You’re in for a rough time.
When the reader goes through your post, it should become clear to them that signing up for your product is the next logical solution.
Testimonial.to, in their article on how to collect testimonials, does this really well:
If you read this far into the article, you’re already highly engaged with the content.
Then, you encounter the solution and go “ah, that sounds like a reasonable way to fix my problem”.
Another example is Ahrefs. I’m a big fan of their blog because they do everything right.
If you were a novice SEO looking to learn more about keyword research, you might land on something like this:
Notice how both sites elect to show their tool in action.
That’s not random, and it’s exactly what I mean by “show off”.
You want the reader to think “hey, this looks nice—let me try this out.”
Finally, measuring each article’s performance is paramount.
When you publish a new piece of content on your site, you expect readers to consume it in some way.
For example, a common blog post structure looks something like this:
With so many clickables elements at play, I want to know stuff like:
Google Analytics, Plausible and other “big picture” analytics tools will give you a good overview of what’s happening.
But I highly prefer looking at this stuff on a granular level. For this, I use FullStory.
For example, I can replay the sessions of people who visited a specific page then started a trial…
…or look at all visitors who visited blog post XYZ and clicked to the second section of my post:
For every event, I can retrace their specific steps. Where they stopped, what text they highlighted, what page they visited next, etc.
This helps understand where they get stuck or what makes them tick.
Then, I take action:
That’s just what I do in general, but if you start measuring, you’ll notice that each page needs their specific changes.
FullStory gives unique insight on how people use the page and makes it easy to analyze users in subsegments.
The framework described above (intent, resonate, show off)—I use for every single SaaS blog post I write nowadays.
When measuring blog performance, one tip I always go by is this:
How does the reader go from reading this page to signing up for the tool?
If you’re reading this post, you’re probably looking to improve your blog conversion rates yourself.
I’m happy to help: feel free to book a call with me anytime or shoot me an email with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.