One of the key metrics to measuring the impact of your firm’s website is traffic.
Building a powerful growth-focused website is a top-priority for B2B marketing and business development, and driving website traffic is a vital component of the process. Generating website traffic is not rocket science, but it does require the right approach and ongoing dedication.
By implementing just a few fundamental tactics and committing to them with consistency, you’ll start to see results. Here are four fundamental ways to start driving more traffic to your firm’s website.
1. Create quality content that is relevant to your target audience (and lots of it)
The ultimate key to driving website traffic is creating content that your target audience finds useful and relevant to their interests. It will help you earn search engine visibility (see #2), establish your people as industry experts, while also building a relationship with your audience and helping you achieve your larger marketing goals.
The ultimate key to driving website traffic is creating content that your target audience finds relevant to their interests.
Keep this in mind: users are looking for the best answers to their search queries and search engines want to provide them the best results possible. In order to rank highly for certain keywords or subject matter, your website must have sufficient content that speaks to those specific subjects. This means that your website has to have more content than just the typical company pages for services, markets, etc. For example, if your firm has expertise in design-build and wants to rank high for design-build, then having a page dedicated to the subject is essential. You need much more than just a blurb (or a bullet) about design-build on an expertise page, and ideally more than a page dedicated to the topic—while that is certainly a start.
Your site should strive to have a surplus of quality, relevant content that speaks in-depth about the topics that your audience is interested in. Here are a few examples of quality content worth considering:
Blogging is a cornerstone of content marketing and one of the best ways to create the kind of educational, long-form content that users (and search engines) are looking for. Blogging provides your firm the ideal forum to regularly publish keyword-rich content and then promote it on your social media channels (see #3). If you’re going to take content marketing seriously, and hope to rank for search phrases relevant to your industry, blogging regularly has to be a priority. One thing worth noting: don’t get concerned with the “blog” vernacular. Some firms have an aversion to the term, so if that is the case then don’t use it. Whether you call it a blog, article, insight or viewpoint, the point is to create long-form thought leadership content that is educational and speaks to the interests of your target audience.
According to research from Demand Gen Report, case studies are the top content preference for B2B buyers, with 78 percent using them when researching purchases or selection decisions. Back to the design-build example, while a design-build expertise page is a start, a case study that highlight a design-build project provide another opportunity to talk about the search topic in depth. Think of case studies as an opportunity to go in-depth about a particular subject-matter expertise, using a specific client project experience as the backdrop.
Research reports and white papers
Firms with highly technical expertise have a great opportunity to publish research reports, technical briefings, white papers and other long-form content that speaks to a particular subject matter. While white papers may not be the shiniest content format, they still have a place in your content mix. According to a recent survey, 76% of B2B buyers listed white papers as the content they’re most likely to share with colleagues. While many firms may choose to gate their white papers behind a form, posting an excerpt of the whitepaper will help with SEO and drive traffic to your website.
2. Perform sitewide AND on-page search engine optimization (SEO)
If Google can’t find your website, then neither will anyone else! Today, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo are the new yellow pages, so optimizing your website for search engines to get found by prospects should be a top priority. While content is the most important factor in search rankings, there are still technical SEO best practices you need to follow to ensure that your site is search engine-friendly. (For more information, see our article on SEO best practices or check out Moz’s Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet)
Once you’ve taken care of the site-wide technical SEO best practices, it’s critical to make sure that you perform on-page SEO on each and every page that you want to rank. At a basic level, you’ll want to make sure that you include the targeted keyword or search phrases in the title, headers and copy. Don’t title your article something generic and expect it to rank for a particular search phrase. But keep in mind, you should be writing to humans, not robots.
Other on-page factors to follow include:
- Use a clean, SEO-friendly URL structure, ideally with keywords
- Use internal links to aid with navigation
- Include quality external links to authority sites where appropriate
- Create a unique page title for every page using targeted keywords – the ideal length is 50–60 characters
- Create a unique meta description for every page with the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) in mind – use no more than 160 characters
- Use header tags (H1, H2, H3, H4) that include keywords
- Use social sharing buttons on blog content to encourage sharing
3. Promote your firm’s content on social media
Getting found in search engines is critical, but promoting valuable and relevant content through social media channels will also drive web traffic and increase demand for your content. As Jay Baer has said, “content is fire, social media is gasoline.” But when it comes to posting content on social media, what you share matters. Your social media content should be educational in nature, not aimed primarily at promoting your firm or the services you provide. Social media (and content marketing in general) is not about selling—it’s about sharing.
Social media (and content marketing in general) is not about selling—it’s about sharing.
While using social media only as a means to promote your firm will likely get you unfollowed, sharing blog articles, case studies, job openings, and other valuable content with your followers will drive more traffic to your firm’s website. Be sure to leverage keyword-centric hashtags in a manner appropriate to each platform. The more great content you share on social media, the more website traffic you’re going to generate through social channels.
4. Drive existing contacts to your website using email marketing
Website traffic doesn’t always have to come from unknown visitors—getting leads and customers back to your website should also be a priority. Using email marketing to promote content to your existing audience is also a great way to drive more traffic, and it can also be effective for helping nurture leads through the buying cycle. There are several simple email tactics you can employ—here are just a few ideas:
- Add a blog subscription signup and send out updates – Once you get a visitor to your blog, keep them coming back by adding a signup to your blog and send a regular update of the latest posts.
- Segment your lists – Don’t treat all your email contacts the same, instead segment a number of ways including: client vs. prospect vs. partner; market or industry vertical; service or product category; or other relevant categories. Then you can send relevant links to articles and content offers that will resonate with a particular audience.
- Start a monthly topic-specific enewsletter –As opposed to the traditional one-size-fits-all client enewsletter, consider leveraging your segmented lists to create a series of topic-specific emails that will be personalized and relevant to each segment. Keep your clients informed with what’s new in their area of interest and send them links to helpful information on your blog and website that they will want to read.
- Create lead nurturing campaigns – Send a series of automated “drip” emails to leads you’ve captured on your website that will educate and inform them at certain intervals throughout the buying cycle and drive them back to your website.
Other ways to drive website traffic
While these are four fundamental ways to drive website traffic, there are certainly other ways to increase your firm’s website traffic. These may include:
- SEM/PPC – Target certain keywords and search phrases, ideally with landing pages
- Social media advertising / promoted posts – Get more traction with your great content by paying to boost your reach
- Guest/contributor articles – Generating traffic through your firm’s blog is crucial, but publishing content on someone else’s platform can also generate traffic back to your website
- Conferences and tradeshows – Speaking and exhibiting at industry conferences is another way to generate awareness of your firm and drive people to your website
Success hinges on creating great content
Driving traffic to your website plays a critical role in your firm’s marketing and business development efforts. The more people that find your website, the more opportunities you have to build trust, generate leads and ultimately influence new business. And the best part about creating quality content that your target audience is interested in? Not only will you drive traffic to your website, you’ll attract the right kind of traffic—quality and quantity, and visitors will keep coming back for more.