By Hansen Hunt

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Growth hacking is one of the hottest marketing topics right now. Simply follow the #growthhacking hashtag on Twitter and you will be inundated with tips and hacks for everything from growing a garden to building a billion-dollar business. However, not all of the content being shared is practical or easily actionable for a business. The content overload makes it hard to sift through what growth hacking tips you should actually implement today. A business should start with a goal, like driving more traffic to its blog, and then seek out growth best practices in order to accomplish that.

A business's blog is vital to its organic traffic growth and lead conversion, which makes for a great opportunity to focus your growth hacking efforts on. This blog post will give you 14 actionable growth hacking tips that you can quickly start implementing today. From CTA optimization to evoking emotions, these tips will help you achieve your blogging, traffic, and lead-generation goals.

Goal: Attract more visitors (SEO)

  1. Long-tail keywords – Start by identifying long-tail keywords with little competition on the first page of Google. And just because the AdWords Keyword Planner says your keyword receives 1,000 monthly searches does not mean all of those searches are relevant. Always check by adding your keyword back into a Google search and see what other content appears in the results. Do you understand the “intent” behind the search term? Are the results relevant to your content? Can you beat those top results by providing higher-quality content related to the term? If not, keep searching for keyword opportunities.
  2. Optimize images for SEO – Far too many blogs forget to optimize their images for SEO. Aside from alt text, you should be using your keyword in the file name, you should consider image placement near the relevant text, and you should reduce the image's file size, to name a few.
  3. Answer a question – Head over to Quora and find common questions that people are asking about your industry and topics. Write an entire blog article for each of the most relevant questions that you find. Google will reward you, because you’ve successfully given the visitor exactly what they were looking for. For more strategy on using Quora for SEO, check out Neil Patel’s blog post.
  4. Get more backlinks – Find out what websites with strong authority are linking back to your competitors or related blogs. Then begin building a relationship with those sources (e.g., follow and engage on Twitter) and connect with the right person at the organization. Ask if they would consider including your website in their links, if they would accept a guest blog post, or if they would share your blog content. They likely want to share great content with their audience, so if your blog meets their requirements, you should be able to get a quick backlink. The Ahrefs tools have some powerful competitor-tracking functions in order to help get you started.

Goal: Attract more clicks (social)

  1. Use emotional words in your title – The difference between a blog-article title that attracts clicks and one that doesn’t is likely due to the level of emotions that the title evokes. Words like “insider” and “unbelievable” evoke curiosity and will get people to click your link. See a long list of emotional keywords to use in your titles going forward.
  2. Social sharing frequency – Don’t simply share to Twitter and Facebook once and then forget about the blog post. Within the first couple days, share to Twitter at different times of the day, using slightly varied text and hashtags. Then schedule the post to be shared on Twitter several times over the next month. Any time a Tweet receives strong engagement, share it immediately on Facebook and LinkedIn. If the post sees strong results there, promote/sponsor the post in order to reach a wider audience with a proven piece of content. Check out how Buffer sets up its social sharing frequency.

Goal: Increase engagement and number of shares (Web UX)

  1. Related blog posts – Simply listing the five most recent blog posts won’t improve your visitor engagement, because visitors likely only want to read blogs related to the topic of the current blog they are viewing. On the blog sidebar, offer up related blogs based on the category/topic and use great images in order to attract their eyes to the titles. See an example of this growth hacking tip on Movoto.
  2. Embed shareable content – Use the embed tools from Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or more robust tools like ClickToTweet and insert easily shareable content like quotes and images within your blog post. The user can share the content with their audience in two clicks, and it’s nicely formatted for them already.
  3. Evoke emotions – Similar to using emotional terms in your blog title in order to attract clicks, you should write titles and content that evoke a specific emotion that is more likely to get a visitor to share your content. Here is an in-depth guide on how to measure and improve the sharability of your blogs by increasing the “emotional value” score of your blogs.
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Goal: Convert visitors into leads (optimization)

  1. Anchor text CTA – Not all visitors will read to the bottom of the blog post and see your beautiful graphic CTA. Instead, offer them an additional chance to click through by adding an anchor text CTA toward the center of the blog. Read how HubSpot uses anchor text CTAs in its lead-generation strategy. Below this is an anchor text CTA of our own (click it, I dare you!)
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  1. Relevant CTA to increase CTR – All too often, you will see a blog post about widget X and a CTA or content offer about widget Y. You have your blog audience only for a short moment, and the best way to convert them is by serving them more content related to the exact topic they have already expressed interest in (via organic search or social post click). You will know if your CTA is highly relevant if you are seeing a CTR of eight percent or more and the landing page is converting at a rate of 40 percent or higher.
  2. A/B test your CTA – Always be testing your CTA. Once you have enough data to choose a winner, create a new variation to test against the winner. Continuously testing will mean you are continuously optimizing your blog post for the highest possible CTR.
  3. Smart CTA – A/B testing is great if you don’t know who your visitor is, but as soon as you have more information on the lead, you should then dynamically display a CTA that is relevant to them and their relative stage in the buyer’s journey. Learn more about effective Smart CTAs.
  4. Exit intent subscription form – Blog visitors often enter your site directly through the blog and will typically leave from the blog unless you convert them into a lead. One easy way to catch them before they leave is to have a pop-up lead form when the user is doing any sort of exit-related action, like moving their mouse to the navigation bar. This technology exists, is free to use, and is called Leadin.
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Hansen Hunt

About the author

Hansen Hunt is a Senior Consultant at SmartBug Media. He has been a believer and practitioner of inbound marketing for 11+ years. He geeks out on craft beer, has an insatiable travel bug, and is passionate about helping people and companies pursue their purpose. His success across a broad range of industries and eagerness to solve the most challenging problems equips him to develop creative strategies and drive growth for clients. Read more articles by Hansen Hunt.