You’ve structured your client’s blog post for SEO and written a compelling article that follows blogging best practices. You’ve reached the end of your draft, wondering, NOW WHAT? It’s a good question. Because HOW to conclude a blog post is a skill, just like writing an engaging intro is. And that’s what we’re going to discuss today.
Below, I’ll get into . . .
- Why your blog post’s conclusion might be even more critical than the intro or body copy
- What a call to action (CTA) is—and why you need one (or more) in your blog posts
- How to write strong CTAs
- Should you end every blog post with a CTA
- How to conclude a blog post: four other ways (in addition to a CTA)
If you learn better by watching a video, scroll to the end of this blog post for my vid on this topic.
Why your blog post’s conclusion is SUPER important
If you’ve done an excellent job writing an optimized blog post around a keyword phrase that your target audience is searching on, chances are good that the blog post will bring in targeted traffic over time. Meaning prospective customers will land on the blog and begin reading it.
Whether they read the entire blog will depend on many factors like . . .
- Does the blog post deliver? They likely clicked on it because they were hoping it would provide specific info, like an answer to a question or a solution to a problem.
- Is the blog post written well? People don’t have patience for confusing prose.
- Is the blog post interesting? If you hold their attention, you stand a better chance of having them read to the end.
- Do they get distracted by something shiny? Listen, life happens even if we’re locked into an interesting blog that’s giving us the info we’re looking for. Like, the work meeting might be about to start, the dog needs to be let out, the kids need to be fed, etc.
But here’s the thing: If the reader makes it to the end of the blog post, that’s a BIG deal because it suggests they’re genuinely engaged with the topic—and quite possibly (or potentially) with whatever it is that your client is selling. Maybe not right away—but soon-ish.
They consumed the content you gave them . . . and now you need to let them know what you’d like them to do next. If you don’t tell them, they’ll do something on their own—which may or may not be what you had in mind.
Left to their own devices, the person might . . .
- Bounce off the blog post.
- Head to a page that might not be the next best step for them based on what they just read.
- Click on one of your social media icons and quickly get sucked into their own feed.
- Go to a competitor’s site.
- Decide to feed the kids or dog.
The person could do any number of things, right?
Your job is to direct them to the next logical step. In marketing parlance, this is called a “call to action.”
What is a call-to-action, and why does your blog post need one (or more)?
A call to action, or CTA, is exactly that: You’re calling on the reader to act. You’re asking them to take a specific next step.
You’ve encountered CTAs before, like . . .
- Download our guide.
- Book an appointment.
- Shop now.
- Call now.
- Read more.
- Get started.
- Register for free.
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel (no, really . . . please subscribe!)
How to write strong CTAs
CTAs use action-driven verbs, and CTAs are usually short and punchy. When you have digital CTAs, like the ones you encounter on websites or banner ads, the CTA should make it clear where people will end up when they click on it.
Not all CTAs are graphics, either. You could have what’s known as an “in-line” CTA, where a phrase is hyperlinked.
Think of CTAs like guideposts. They help guide prospects on their buying journey. When prospects finish reading your blog post, they should know where to go next, thanks to a CTA that guides them there.
A reminder about what blog posts are and how they serve your content strategy
JARGON ALERT! Blog posts are usually considered top-of-the-sales-funnel content. People at the top of the funnel are in the learning/research/educational phase of their buying journey. In fact, they might not even realize they’re on a buying journey.
Going back to our ant example . . . if someone is searching “Does Lysol kill ants,” they might not be on the market for a pest control company yet since they’re likely hoping they can take care of their ant problem with a home remedy.
Once they read your fabulous blog post, “Does Lysol Kill Ants: Our Honest Take,” some folks might be convinced they need a pest control company, but they’re not necessarily sure your client’s company is it. Some folks might want to know more about ant extermination, like what chemicals are used and if they’re toxic. Other folks might be panicking over the potential costs.
Your job is to determine the best CTA to include at the end of your blog post. No, it’s not always easy.
If I were writing the “Does Lysol kill ants” post, I’d probably include two CTAs. Something like . . .
- Need help getting rid of ants? Let’s talk.
- Learn how ant extermination works.
Picture two buttons (different colors) side by side. This gives people a choice, which I think is important. It enables the prospective buyer to decide where they want to go next after consuming your awesome content.
Should you end every blog post with a CTA?
I say yes. The CTA doesn’t always have to be a button or graphic. The CTA shouldn’t necessarily be pushing a sale (unless it makes sense). And the CTAs shouldn’t be the same. Thing. On. Every. Post.
Consider who you wrote the blog post for and why you wrote about that topic. Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes. Where should they go next? Create CTAs that guide them there.
Note: Sometimes, you might not have the perfect content to send them to next. That’s a great example of a content “gap”—a gap YOU can fill by writing a blog post that fills the gap. This is why having a blog editorial calendar and an overall content strategy makes sense. You can identify content gaps and natural linking opportunities between pieces of content.
MIND BLOWN POINT OF THE DAY: Your CTAs don’t always have to go at the END of your blog post.
Sprinkling CTAs throughout the blog post, especially articles that clock in over 1000 words, can be a great way to engage people, especially those thinking about bouncing away anyway.
You should also monitor your CTAs’ performance.
Pay attention to CTA click-through rates (CTR). Just as you monitor engagement with other pieces of content, like blog posts, you’ll want to pay attention to how well your CTAs are working.
- Which ones get the most clicks? Note: Good marketing automation software, like HubSpot, lets you set up A/B tests for CTAs.
- Do people engage with the content the CTA is sending them to? It’s not enough to have people clicking your CTAs if they immediately back away from the content they’re being led to.
Like everything else in marketing, you need to experiment, learn what works for a particular readership, and do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
How to conclude a blog post: Are there other ways besides CTAs?
In addition to including a call to action, here are four other ways to end a blog post:
- Tell them what you said. For long blog posts (over 1000 words), it can help to summarize your main points in a concluding paragraph before the CTA. (I used to teach a public speaking course, and the structure for speeches is the same as blog posts: Tell them what you’re going to say. Tell them. Then, tell ’em what you told them.)
- Ask a question. If your client leaves the comments section open on their blog, you could ask readers a question. For example, Have you had luck killing ants with Lysol or other home remedies? Let us know in the comments. Ensure someone monitors comments, removes inappropriate comments, and engages with comments.
- Encourage people to follow the company on social media. You can also encourage people to share your article on their social media feeds.
- Create a “You might also like” section. This could be seen as a CTA. But offering a call-out with something that says, “If you liked this article, you might also like these . . .” is a great way to share more helpful content and keep people on your site.
Drum roll . . . here’s how I conclude my blog posts. I usually use some version of the following . . .
Got a question for the Copy Bitch?
That’s me! I’m the Copy Bitch. I’m parlaying my 20+ years of experience as a freelance copywriter into helpful blog posts and videos. Reach out with a question or leave a question in the comments on one of my YouTube videos.