6 Reasons Your Content Drives Traffic But Not Leads

January 23, 2019 Dominique Jackson

Gaining traffic might help with awareness, but when that traffic fails to generate leads, something isn’t right.

Driving traffic and generating revenue aren’t necessarily the same. If you play your cards right, these two concepts will overlap, but often companies struggle with a disconnect. People might click on a blog post but bounce (aka leave the page) without taking any action.

Often, this disconnect boils down to a failure to meet expectations. There’s something that just isn’t clicking in the process, whether it’s reading a blog post to signing up for a newsletter, webinar, or free trial.

This article will dive into six of the most common reasons why content that drives traffic will still fail to generate leads.

1. Your Content Isn’t Relevant to Your Audience

When you sit down to write a blog post, you should first outline precisely what your goals are for this piece. The crux of your content strategy needs to be about building relationships with the right people: those most likely to become customers.

As such, it’s important that you: A) know who you’re dealing with, and B) create content that resonates with this group.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea that you revisit a Marketing 101 concept: buyer personas.

Creating these fictional personas—based on real behavior and demographics—allows marketers to push out targeted content at different stages of the buyer journey.

To understand that target audience, you can head over to Google Analytics to learn more about the people who visit your website. You can find this data in the audience demographics report.

Let’s say you sell social media marketing software. Your audience report might look something like this:

  • Age: 25 to 55
  • Gender: 65% female
  • Location: U.S.

Now, that’s not super specific. Younger to middle-aged women in the U.S. is a pretty broad audience. So, you’ll want to dive a bit deeper to understand what attracts users to your website.

Your goal is to develop a clear picture of the various factors that drive them to make a decision. This part is trickier than making assumptions based on demographic details.

Your site might feature articles about increasing Instagram engagement, analyzing social media campaigns, and maybe some video tutorials. You could use a heat-mapping tool to see where people click most often, or a video recording that helps users move through the site.

Conduct surveys, call customers for one-on-one interviews, ask for written reviews, or post an exit survey on your site. In some cases, you may need to incentivize participants with a discount code, a free gift, or a chance to win something.

However you choose to gather your intel, you should try to answer relevant questions like these:

  • What are the obstacles to purchasing?
  • What expectations do visitors have when they visit your site for the first time?
  • What is the average income?
  • Are these people new to social media marketing?
  • Is this crowd interested in specific networks like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter?
  • Where do they work?
  • Do they have families?

Before you start writing, consider what your content should include:

  • What problems do you solve for your target audience?
  • Identify what it is about your brand that makes you the expert in your space.
  • How is the competition explaining these topics, and how can you do it better?
  • What content does this audience read online? Does your content take a similar tone and address similar concepts?

Content should aim to be useful and represent what your audience wants to see.

Addressing creative marketers with a scholarly article, for example, isn’t the right approach. Instead, you might want to make a “how-to” video that shows how to create an effective Facebook Ad from start to finish.

2. You’re Not Leading Users to the Right Place

If you’ve read a marketing blog before, you’ve likely heard of the conversion funnel or the buyer’s journey more times than you can count.

The reason for this? They’re a vital piece of the puzzle—and will keep you from churning out content that gets lots of eyeballs but fails to capture the lead.

When you create a sales funnel, you’re essentially creating a map that represents your ideal path.

It’s important to understand that each journey starts from a different path, and those paths might not match what you had in mind.

Some might come by way of social media, others from pay-per-click, and others still from a Google search. Map out these engagement paths visually and try to come up with as many of these scenarios as possible. Along these various paths, there should be several different asks, each relating to where your audience is within the buying cycle.

From there, consider, how you shepherd your visitor through the site. How does someone get from one piece to another, to another, to an eventual conversion—perhaps on a lead form?

3. You Haven’t Included Any Links or CTAs in Your Content

If you have persona-focused content and it matches the stage in the funnel, the problem might be the way you’re presenting your offers.

Make sure there are enough opportunities to convert. Opportunities include things like newsletter signups, and downloads, as well as calls-to-action (CTAs).

Luckily, there is an easy fix.

Conduct a quick audit of all web pages and make sure each page makes some kind of "ask."

If you find that each page already has a CTA, the next thing to consider is the presentation.

CTAs should stand out against the rest of the content—add an accent color, make the font larger, and make sure it’s obvious that links are clickable.


Finally, the answer might lie in the copy. Saying, “If you’d like to learn more, check out our ebook” isn’t compelling. Instead, make sure your CTA contains actionable language: download, get, register, etc.


Consider the customer’s point of view. When they land on the website, how will they view your offer?

The CTA should mention—or at least clearly connect to—the lead magnet you’re trying to get someone to convert on. If the goal is to download a case study, you could say “case study” in the CTA. If it’s signing up for your weekly newsletter, you might want to have “sign up” in the button copy.

4. The Engagement Path Isn’t Relevant to the Initial Entry Point

Often, a brand’s idea of its users’ engagement paths doesn’t reflect the actual experience.

Consider where you want the reader to end up first, then look at the steps it takes to get there.

Then, look at the original intent—what might have driven someone to click on a particular article?  
For example, if they read an article about content marketing strategies, are you pushing them to a landing page for something highly relevant like a content planning template? Or, are you presenting them with a general marketing guide? The former example gives users something that matches buying intent, while the latter feels like an attempt to gather that person’s information. A content experience should feel personal.

Pushing generic content toward users seeking specific information creates that disconnect we mentioned above.

5. The Content You’re Promoting Doesn’t Match the User’s Stage in the Buyer’s Journey

Every business has a unique buyer’s journey. No matter what your company does, this process refers to the process from going from stranger to customer.

With that in mind, you should approach each stage a bit differently. Your content is a place for you to provide value, but each group will have a different definition of what value means to them.

For example, someone reading an article about the top 10 social media marketing tools would be more likely to sign up for a free trial of a social media analytics software than someone reading an article about how to get more Instagram followers.

The person looking for Instagram followers is higher up in the funnel so you’d probably want to push them to a free guide or webinar on how to grow their follower count.

The very bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is where people are looking to make a buying decision. Here is where you can go in for the big ask, sealing the deal with a strategically placed CTA promoting a case study, demo, or details about the product.  

Long story short, you’ll want to make sure your calls-to-action cover all the bases. Keep the demo requests and free trial CTAs, but save them for BOFU content only. General blog posts should keep the same tone in their calls-to-action—think newsletters or educational resources instead.

6. Or, It May Be That the UX Just Plain Sucks

User experience matters a lot, and it has a massive impact on your conversion rate.
For example, if you’re choosing to greet your customers with an aggressive pop-up video, they'll likely bounce away before they know what you have to offer.

You might have well-written content and a compelling offer, but that doesn’t matter if you make things too complicated for the visitor.

Today, users expect a frictionless, optimized experience that makes it easy for them to find the information they need or make a purchase.

Some things to consider:

How Are You Presenting CTAs?

Where you place your calls-to-action has a considerable impact on whether your users convert or not. When buttons are hard to see, people are less likely to click them.

Again, make sure you highlight opportunities to convert—be it on-page or as a pop-up. You might want to experiment with overlays to promote gated content. It could potentially 7x your conversion rate.

Is the Website Slow?

Speed is critical. Forty percent of customers will leave if load times are more than three seconds, meaning you could be killing a good chunk of conversions before users even see what you’re all about.  

Check your speeds using Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or something similar to see if your website is a slowpoke.

Google’s free tool will give you a list of ways to improve your speed. So, whether you need to up your caching game, optimize photos, or finally get rid of Flash, you’ll have a list of actionable to-dos.

Consider Spacing and Font Size

Bigger font sizes offer more visual weight than little letters. Writing for the web doesn’t end when you’re done writing the actual content. You need to consider the reader’s experience from a usability standpoint.

It’s no secret that web users scan text rather than combing over every single word. Small fonts make it harder to visually sum up the content before deciding if it contains relevant information.

Checkout and Lead Capture Forms

Finally, you might be making it too hard to get the resource or buy a product. If there are too many form fields, unnecessary methods, or limited payment options, customers might get frustrated and leave. Instead, limit your forms to the bare essentials.

For top-of-the-funnel newsletter signups, just an email and a name will do. Purchases, on the other hand, should include address, email, name, and card information. Don’t add anything else unless it’s absolutely necessary.  

Final Thoughts

High traffic and low conversion signal a mismatch somewhere along the way. If you’re dealing with this issue, review the tips above and start making those tweaks.

Ultimately, creating a clear, persuasive engagement path, personalized to customers at each stage of the buyer’s journey, can both boost conversion rates and build better customer relationships.

See the latest demand generation experiences leading marketers are creating here

About the Author

Dominique Jackson

Dominique Jackson is a content marketer at Copper, a productivity CRM that helps companies build long-lasting business relationships. When he’s not coming up with new content ideas, he’s testing out new green smoothie recipes.

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