We like to call inbound marketing the feel-good way to getting people pumped about your product. Psyched about your services. Bonkers about your brand.
OK; we don’t really say that, but a comprehensive inbound marketing campaign is a seriously effective way to increase website traffic because it starts with the customer in mind. That’s kind of the whole point of inbound marketing -- having quality traffic come to you via a more personalized approach instead of shoving your pitch down the world’s throat.
We’ve previously shown you how to increase website traffic with the compounding effect of content marketing. Inbound not only involves content marketing, but also meticulous promotion through social media and search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. Let’s look at three pillars of a solid foundation for a traffic-boosting inbound campaign.
To Increase Website Traffic, Provide a Reason to Visit!
Creating quality content is the key to any inbound marketing campaign, as well as the best way to ensure repeat visits to your website.
You need to publish content for all stages of the buying process. If done correctly, you’ll have shepherded leads from one waypoint to the next, bringing them ever closer to buying -- when they’re good and ready.
Content can take the form of
- Blogs (most common)
- Case studies (perhaps showing how a customer benefited from a product or process)
- Anything else creative you dream up
Remember that your content will not funnel people along to additional page views if it’s too high-pressure or sales-y, especially in the early stages of courtship. Above all else, your work should:
- Provide information and resources. Identify a problem your reader has. (It helps to research who your typical reader is ahead of time.) Offer potential solutions. Use your expertise to build trust in those who’ve landed on your pages.
- Be readable and entertain. Even manufacturing blogs about the weldability of different stainless steel types can be jazzed up to provide a modicum of fun. Be witty while maintaining authority and professionalism. Include images and bullet points to break up the monotony. You can even throw in a funny or wow-worthy YouTube link to lighten the mood.
Less creative but also important is marketing email writing. Sending a personalized follow-up once someone has downloaded an e-book or purchased your product serves as a gentle reminder of your existence. Including useful links related to their needs will nudge them further along the marketing funnel.
Tell the World About Your Content
Now that you’ve populated your website with pages ripe for high traffic, it’s time to leverage them. With little effort, you can increase website traffic through social media promotion and content maximization.
If a blog goes up in the internet forest and no one is around to read it, does it make a sound?. For better or worse, a huge chunk of the population gets its information fix from social media each day. In this age, won’t find more fertile soil for lead opportunities.
Make sure your Facebook and other social media posts are:
- Eye-catching: Use visuals, or even emojis if the tone of the post calls for it!
- Consistent: The more you post, the more traffic comes to your website. We find that about two posts daily for Twitter and one post per day for other social sites works well for most businesses. Regularly posting insightful material will also establish you as a thought leader in your industry and build trust that’ll keep ‘em coming.
Repurpose & Recycle Content
Returns on your inbounding efforts can grow significantly over time. The ideal content will stay relevant well beyond its publication date, resulting in continued traffic and lead generation.
That 3,000-word whitepaper you slaved over could later be parsed and reworked into three blogs, a video, and an infographic. Just like that, you’ve paved five more avenues for web traffic without building them from scratch.
Don’t feel guilty about repackaging. And don’t forget to trumpet some of your top-performing pieces from the past as part of the aforementioned social media push.
Design with SEO and Lead Funneling in Mind
There are seemingly a million little ways to give yourself a better chance at being noticed by web surfers. Building your website’s “authority” in a search engine’s eyes means interested prospects will find your campaign long after you stop actively promoting it.
SEO and PPC
Your site will rank better in search engines with practices like these:
- Keywords: Pick something you want to rank highly for with search engines. It’s actually OK to be specific, as businesses with limited manpower have a far better chance of achieving a high rank for “used commercial truck leasing” than they do for “truck leasing.”
- Alt text: Pictures should a semantic description of images for search engines, allowing for additional traffic inflow through Google Images and other engines.
- Anchor text: You can use this to reference other posts and pages on your site, allowing for an easy traffic bump that further informs the reader. It sounds counterproductive, but don’t be afraid to also include outbound links to other websites. They may even return the favor down the road and link to your site, providing web traffic another road into your realm.
- Pay-per-click: Google and others also allow you to buy advertising spaces that appear above the organic results leading page one of a search result. This is a crutch some businesses lean on heavily. Others don’t use it at all. It comes down to whether you’re willing to pay and how much you like the potential results.
Growth-Driven Website Design
Always be gently leading your prospects.
For example, have a call-to-action “above the fold” of your web pages so readers immediately see another traffic-boosting temptation. However, sometimes addition by subtraction is necessary: Are you removing website navigation and avoiding outbound links on your landing pages while reintroducing internal navigation and offering additional resources on your thank-you pages? (Yes, thank-you pages are a must.)
Even after your sale is final, you should be following up with a survey, smart content, or other helpful material. That’s a big difference with inbound -- seeking to delight the customer even after he’s handed over his hard-earned cash. An optimal website setup that avoids the “brochure” feel will encourage repeat visits.
Be Your Own Campaign Manager
Where is your traffic coming from, and how are visitors finding you?
One of the most important jobs you have as an inbound marketer is analyzing your results. Compile all those clicks, visits, SEO keywords, and everything else under your campaign umbrella to see what’s working and what’s not. If a blog topic or paid search engine placement isn’t performing well, be flexible and change it up.
And remember not to be too bonkers about your brand -- your satisfied customers will do that for you.
(Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in June 2017 and was recently updated.)