5 Strategies Proven to Boost Web Traffic

5 Strategies Proven to Boost Web Traffic

If you’re looking at your website traffic for the month and are disappointed by it, know that it doesn’t have to be this way. No matter what your product, service, or industry, there are things that you can start doing today to boost web traffic to your site. 

 

These 5 strategies are proven to boost web traffic and can help you turn around those disappointing numbers.

Write More Content

More isn’t always better, except that it is, especially when it comes to content on your website. The equation is simple: more content = more keywords used = more opportunities for searchers to find you. 

 

We can complicate that a little by adding that your search engine ranking will increase the more you use keywords in unique instances in your content (i.e., the more blogs and pages you have on a subject, the higher your ranking for the related keywords).

 

While average blog content length is between 500 and 800 words, we’re finding out that the optimum content length for blog posts is actually much longer—think in the thousands of words. Digital marketing influencer Neil Patel says that the best blog content (most shares, most engagement, etc.) is actually 3,000 to 10,000 words.

 

But aren’t people’s attention spans shrinking? I thought no one read anymore?

 

Here’s the deal: people aren’t necessarily reading all of your content. They’re skimming it. The more content you have, the more they’re going to get out of it, since they’re only seeing and digesting less than a third of the words on the page. 

 

Plus, it establishes authority for your organization—the more you have to say about something, the more it seems like you know what you’re talking about. 

Get Active on Social Media

Social media is one of the best tools for reaching potential customers and leads. Everyone (or nearly everyone) is using at least one form of social media, if not several. 

 

For those reasons alone, not to mention the advertising, sharing, and engagement capabilities of these platforms, social media is a critical part of any digital strategy, and for increasing traffic to your website.

 

So, first of all, have a social media presence on all of the platforms that are relevant to your industry, whether that be LinkedIn and Twitter or Instagram and Houzz. Ensure that your website URL is in your bio (Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest) or in the designated profile field (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Houzz) so that people can find it. 

 

You should also be using your social media to promote your content. Share your blog posts across your social media channels so that followers and their followers can read, like, and share them. You can also refer users to relevant content when they have questions about your company, products, or services. Those shares will bring users directly to your content on your site, boosting traffic.

Use Mobile-Friendly Design

Mobile-friendly design or mobile-responsive design is web design that accommodates different types of devices and different screen sizes, as well as the differences in the way that internet users interact with websites on different devices. 

 

A website with mobile-friendly design will have pages that adapt to various screen sizes, ensuring that design elements and text scale to the appropriate size for the screen they’re displayed on and that text, buttons, menus, etc. are readable and usable.

 

Additionally, internet users searching on mobile are going to have different behavior than those using computers. They’re less likely to read long content (scrolling thumb is realllll) and they’re also less likely to complete long forms. 

 

So, you may want to consider how your content presents to the mobile user, as well as shortening or autofilling forms. 

 

Over 60 percent of searches are performed on mobile devices, and, according to HubSpot, 63 percent of people expect a mobile-responsive website design. What this means is that website visitors want to view your site on their tablets and smartphones. If they can’t, you’re going to lose their attention and they’ll navigate away from your site.

 

More to the point though, mobile-friendly design is crucial if you want to boost web traffic. Why? 

 

The answer won’t surprise you: Google’s algorithm. 

 

Since 2015, Google has been using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for mobile searches. In 2016, Google began mobile-first indexing, meaning that rather than the desktop version of sites being what the algorithm uses to determine the value of the content to the user, mobile pages are indexed first. 

If your site isn’t mobile-responsive, you’re going to be penalized by the Google algorithm, which will affect the volume of traffic to your site. Click To Tweet

Use Google Ads

People are using Google all day, every day, everywhere. 

 

That means that people, all day, every day, everywhere are seeing Google ads. And that’s why they work. 

 

Google ads are a simple, comprehensive, and targeted way to reach your desired markets and direct them to your website and landing pages. Whether through paid search or the Google Display Network, Google ads can drive traffic to your website.

Write Guest Blogs

Guest blogging is the practice of writing blog posts that are featured on other blogs in your field or industry. 

 

You might be thinking, Why should I write content for someone else’s blog and boost their SEO and web traffic when I could post it on my blog? 

 

Well, guest blogging:

  • Builds credibility—By being invited or allowed to guest blog, you’re having other industry professionals vouch for your knowledge and experience. 
  • Reaches new audiences—The site you’re guest blogging for might have a greater or slightly different audience than your blog, and by writing a guest blog, you’re reaching a new audience for whom your products and services are relevant.
  • Gets your site a link—The site you’re guest blogging for is going to include some information about you, the guest blogger, and your organization. This will include a link to your site (or it should!). Google takes into account the number of inbound links to your site in search engine ranking, and higher search engine rankings equal more web traffic.
  • Doesn’t preclude similar content on your own site—Obviously, you can’t just copy one of your existing blogs and send it to another site as a guest blog, or they’ll get penalized for duplicate content. But what you can do is write on the same subject as a guest blog you wrote on your own site. Make sure the wording and formatting are fresh, but the ideas conveyed can be reimagined and posted.
  • More content to promote on social media—just because it’s not on your blog doesn’t mean you shouldn’t promote it through your social channels. Your followers may find the content interesting and useful and choose to engage with it and with your company. 

 

While you’re at it, you should have guest bloggers on your blog as well. The benefits of guest bloggers on your site include:

  • Building credibility by linking to other, credible industry professionals
  • More content and unique instances of keywords
  • Outbound links to reputable, relevant sites
  • Social sharing of the content by the author, amplifying your social media activity

 

Tried everything and still not seeing a traffic boost? Let’s chat. Inbound marketing is our thing, and we’re experts at driving the right, qualified traffic. We’d love to see how we can help

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PSA: Free HubSpot CRM Now Includes Email + Ad Management Tools

PSA: Free HubSpot CRM Now Includes Email + Ad Management Tools

We’ve got big news to share here in the inbound marketing community:

 

HubSpot has just announced that they are now expanding their free CRM to include email marketing tools and expanded ad management tools.  

Wait, one more time?

  • HubSpot CRM = Free
  • 2,000 emails/month + post-send analytics = Free
  • $1,000 of managed ads on Facebook, Linkedin, and Google = Free

What Does This Mean For You?

Well, if you were on the fence about the HubSpot platform (learn more about HubSpot’s software here), it means you get to try a whole host of some of their very best inbound marketing tools for free. 

 

It also means that if you’ve been using four or five platforms to manage your email, your ad campaigns, and your contacts, you now have one, free solution to handle them all. 

 

For small to mid-size businesses, this is a huge deal. 

 

Constantly navigating between MailChimp, Salesforce, and whatever other tools you’ve been using to keep costs low, still costs you time. Your team has to log in to many different platforms, and they have to reconcile information from one platform to the next, which is frustrating, and can hog up precious work hours. 

 

With these new extensions to the HubSpot CRM, you get some of the most important tools to grow your business, all in one platform, and all for free. 

What’s the Catch?

Obviously, HubSpot is hoping that when you see how great their tools are, you might be interested to upgrade as your company grows. But, there’s no pressure to do so, especially if your company is small and just not quite ready to upgrade. 

 

The HubSpot CRM is always offered for free, for the lifetime of your subscription. There’s no free trial or expiration date on the CRM or any of the tools that HubSpot offers for free along with it. 

Okay, So How Does it Work?

Whether you have the HubSpot CRM already or not, you’re probably wondering about the specifics of these new tools. So, what exactly do you get with their new email marketing and ad management tools?

Email Marketing

HubSpot has long been known for its intuitive email marketing platform. In the email editor, you can easily make edits right in the email template, changing text, adding images, buttons, and CTAs. 

 

It also gives you the opportunity to preview your email on a variety of different devices, and lets you send unlimited test emails to yourself and your team before you’re really ready to schedule out the post. 

 

There are a ton of features to take advantage of just in the email editor, from their handy optimization guide to their A/B testing tool. But what’s really key about this new, free offering from HubSpot is the post-send analytics. 

 

Now, once you send an email, you can see who opened it, how many people clicked through to your website, and much, much more. These metrics are what make this free tool such a boon to companies starting to grow. 

 

With the email editor and post-send analytics, you can easily see which messages are resonating with your audience, and which aren’t quite hitting the mark, yet. You can also see which contacts continue to engage with your content as the move further down the buyer’s journey, closer to a sale. 

 

Best of all, every contact’s interactions with your emails are saved in the CRM, on the same platform. There’s no jumping back and forth between your email manager and your contact list; everything you need to know about every contact, whether it’s related to email or an ad they clicked on is saved and logged in the CRM for you, and updated in real-time.

Ad Management

In the past, the free HubSpot CRM has only included support for Facebook lead ads. With this new upgrade, the CRM comes free with ad management and tracking tools for up to $1,000 per month of ad spend across Facebook, Google, and Linkedin. Users are able to connect a maximum of two accounts, so you can measure performance across platforms to see which channel is best for your message. 

 

Like email marketing, connecting your ad accounts to your CRM helps you better understand your consumers. These new tools allow you to see exactly which contacts are interacting with your ads, and offer performance metrics to let you know which ads are bringing in the most qualified leads. Click To Tweet

What’s the Bottom Line?

The bottom-line benefit of these new additions to the free HubSpot CRM is that you can have all data from your email and ad campaigns filter through one central system. This allows you to track the long-term performance of your ads and email marketing campaigns, showing you the concrete ROI you’re seeing from both efforts, right from your CRM. 

 

The HubSpot CRM is helping eliminate the hassle that comes with using multiple tools from multiple providers. 

They’re offering a full suite of seriously powerful marketing tools plus a CRM that helps you track the results of your efforts in real-time, and makes it easy to reach out to those contacts who are responding best to your marketing campaigns. 

 

In the end, the HubSpot CRM, with these new free email marketing and ad management tools, are great for any company who is looking to expand their marketing and growth capabilities but doesn’t yet have the trust or the budget to go all-in on an expensive platform. 

 

This expansion of the HubSpot CRM is big news for us in the inbound and growth marketing community, and for any small businesses out there who are working hard to get ahead. If you’re interested in learning more about HubSpot’s free tools, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

 

As a HubSpot Gold Agency Partner, we live and breathe this software, and would be happy to help answer any questions you might have or help smooth out any growing pains as your team transitions over to HubSpot’s tools. Just let us know how we can help

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What’s the Difference Between Sales and Marketing Strategies?

What’s the Difference Between Sales and Marketing Strategies?

The goal of every business is to sell something to someone. Whether it’s a product, service, or information, the business has something that it provides to its customers, for a price. For that reason, it seems like the point of sales strategies and marketing strategies are the same—to sell that thing. But in reality, the purposes, goals, and methods of sales and marketing strategies differ, by necessity.   What is the difference between sales and marketing strategies, and why does that matter to your company? 

What is the purpose of marketing strategies?

Marketing is what you do to reach potential future customers. It can be outbound marketing, which entails pushing your product/service/message to your audience through things like advertising, or inbound marketing, which includes bringing people in through content strategy and search engine ranking. At any rate, marketing’s purpose is to get your information in front of possible clients. To accomplish those things, marketing teams strive to:

  • Reach target audiences through various forms of marketing, including social media, PPC, content, and more, tailored to those audiences’ unique needs.
  • Provide visitors and prospects with information about your company’s products and services that is tailored to their stage of the buyer’s journey, their goals and challenges, and their specific pain points.
  • Provide the sales team with marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
  • Analyze and evaluate marketing efforts for effectiveness and return on investment (ROI).
  • Provide reports and analytics on the ROI of marketing efforts to relevant stakeholders.

What are the goals of marketing strategies?

As you can see, the goal of the marketing strategy isn’t to make sales. Particularly in the B2B world, there aren’t many cases of a person seeing an ad and deciding then and there to buy. Instead, it’s to reach potential customers and raise their awareness of your products, services, and company, and the benefits of all of those to them.

Marketing practices are designed to support sales, but not make them, necessarily. This is because not every visitor to your website or company in your target market is a good fit for your company/product/service. This could be true for a variety of reasons, such as they’re not far enough along the buyer’s journey to make a decision, their budget, or their pain points.  Leads that aren’t a good fit, for whatever reason, aren’t leads—they’re a waste of your sales team’s time. Click To Tweet

They’re not going to answer calls or email, and they’re going to (pun very much intended) lead you on. Good marketing filters out those bad prospects and provides the sales team with leads that are vetted, a.k.a, MQLs.

What is the purpose of sales strategies?

It seems like the goal of any sales strategy is pretty straightforward: make sales. While that is a goal, sales strategies are so much more complicated than that. Sales teams are tasked with managing relationships with prospective customers and guiding them to a purchase decision. In order to do that, sales teams must:

  • Connect with leads and prospects through various sales practices, including quote requests, pitches, demos, etc.
  • Provide prospects and leads with information relevant to their pain points and needs that helps them make a decision about purchasing your company’s products or services.
  • Determine whether marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are ready or eligible to become sales qualified leads (SQLs).
  • Guide new clients through the purchase process.

Why do sales and marketing strategies need to align?

Because if they don’t, you’re wasting time, money, and resources. You’re going to have a low ROI on both your sales and marketing efforts, and you’re going to be missing out on potential leads, sales, and revenue.  

Your company needs alignment of its sales and marketing strategies to be truly effective. In fact, according to Hubspot, misalignment between marketing and sales can cost companies 10 percent of revenue per year, or more If you consider the goals of marketing and sales strategies, even though they’re different, they’re in support of a bigger, common goal: increasing revenue. Click To Tweet   Aligning sales and marketing strategies can result in 36 percent higher customer retention, 38 percent higher sales win rates, and up to 208 percent more revenue from marketing efforts.

How do sales and marketing strategies work together?

How exactly your sales and marketing teams begin working together and collaborating on strategy is going to be unique to your situation. 

Sales and marketing alignment looks different for a company with already established in-house sales and marketing teams than for a company with no marketing team at all (or no marketing team, yet—we can help with that!) or for a company with sales and marketing teams spread out across various locations.

To align your sales and marketing efforts, communication between your sales and marketing teams is crucial. This ensures that sales has input on the kinds of marketing content that will be useful, that common goals are created, and that everyone is speaking the same language and understanding each other’s terminology. 

How can a CRM help sales and marketing strategies align?

Something else that’s necessary for cohesion between sales and marketing is that both teams are using the same tools and technologies effectively. Customer relationship management software (CRM) is one of the best ways to facilitate easy communication between sales and marketing teams and to move leads through the marketing/sales funnel. 

We are Hubspot Gold Agency Partners, so we’re pretty partial to Hubspot’s CRM, and it has some great features that enable quality sales and marketing alignment. These include intuitive communication, defined MQLs and SQLs, and useful, relevant analytics and reports, among other handy tools.   

Sales and marketing strategies have different goals, but when you put quality strategies from both teams together, you can see some seriously positive results for business growth. If you’re looking for help building quality sales and marketing strategies we can help

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Web Design Best Practices for Home Builders

Web Design Best Practices for Home Builders

There are some general best practices for modern web design, which you may already be aware of. But there are also some web design best practices for home builders to implement in their website design to ensure that their sites are reaching their ideal clients and converting them to leads. 

Images of Your Homes—Front and Center

Beautiful homes are going to be what’s compelling to your prospective clients, so put high quality, professional photography of some of your best homes right in front of their noses. 

 

Images of gorgeous homes are going to be attractive to your website visitors, since what they want to see, and ultimately, what they want to purchase, are gorgeous homes. 

 

Good photos of the homes you build should be the center of your design, and your content should support that, rather than the other way around. Plus, images are easy to share on social media platforms, which is the new word-of-mouth.

Social Media Integration

Ensuring that your site integrates social media can increase the buzz about your homes and can make your site more user-friendly. People are going to want to share images of your homes via social media.

 

Make sure that you not only have those attractive, high-quality images, but also social sharing buttons. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Houzz are all possible mediums that visitors might use to share your photos.

 

Additionally, if your company is on any of these social media platforms (and it should be, especially Houzz!) they should be integrated into your site so users can easily navigate to your company’s profile on any of those platforms so they can engage with you there.

Mobile-Responsive Design

Any site in 2019 needs to be mobile-responsive. More than 60 percent of all web searches are done on mobile devices, which means that there’s a big chance that your website visitors are looking at your site on a smartphone, tablet, or other small screen. 

 

If your site is difficult to navigate for mobile users, you’ll miss out on a lot of valuable mobile traffic. Google penalizes sites that aren’t mobile-friendly, and mobile-friendly sites are easier for users to share, getting your name in front of more potential future clients.

Quick Loading Time

Since people are going to be visiting your site on mobile devices, on the go, a quick load time is essential. While your visitors are going to want to see gorgeous images of your homes, they don’t want to wait for tons of pictures to load.

 

If it takes more than 3 seconds (just 3 seconds!) for your site to load, more than 50 percent of visitors will navigate away from your site to somewhere else. Click To TweetKeep them on your site and off your competitors’ with a design that facilitates quick loading. 

Explain Who You Are and Why You’re Different From the Competition

If there’s something you can do to ensure that your site isn’t just generating leads, but quality leads, it’s to explain who you are, what you do, and why your company is different from the other home builders in your area. 

 

Your niche and market need to be clearly outlined on your website. If they’re not, you’re going to miss out on calls from your ideal clients—and get a bunch of calls from people who aren’t good fits for the homes you build, such as people outside of your location or looking for a home that’s not in your price range. 

 

If you’re a luxury home builder in the Grand Rapids area, make sure you specify that clearly on your site in a place that’s impossible for site visitors to miss. 

Calls to Action

Calls to Action (CTAs) are crucial design elements for home builder sites. Why? Because you want visitors to your site to take action… by getting in touch with you. CTAs make it easier for people to do just that. 

 

CTAs are usually bright-colored buttons that invite website visitors to click on them. They usually have text that asks a user to do something specific, like “Request a Quote” or “Schedule a Consultation.”

Landing Pages

Landing pages are pages where a visitor “lands” after clicking on a CTA or a digital ad. It restricts their navigation options and allows the visitor to complete a form with their contact information in exchange for information that you provide them.

 

That information needs to be something of value to your visitor, to make giving you their contact info worthwhile. Things like ebooks and guides offering information about “How to Design Your Dream Home” or “Everything You Need to Know About Home Design,” motivate visitors to convert by completing the landing page form. 

 

Landing pages are a critical design feature for home builder websites because they can help you:

  • Convert qualified visitors to leads
  • Direct visitors to information relevant to them
  • Build your authority and credibility by providing valuable information to visitors
  • Track where visitors are coming to your site from
  • Capture analytics that you can use to determine marketing ROI and optimize your digital marketing efforts

 

Check out this blog for more information about optimizing landing pages.

Outline Your Homebuilding Process

Also, explain your process. Prospective home buyers are going to want to know how you build homes, how long it takes, and what else they should expect before they will put down any money on their new home. 

 

Outlining your process right on your website is transparency that your clients will value, and it can head off a lot of the initial questions you frequently receive from interested parties. Click To Tweet

 

Don’t Over-Focus on Content

Content definitely matters, on any site, and we’ll always say that, but content shouldn’t be the centerpiece of your home builder site. Images and calls to action are going to be center-stage on your site, so don’t write 2,000 word essays for each and every page.

 

Using good SEO practices and keyword optimization are essential, of course. But long blocks of text are going to turn away site visitors who don’t need to read in so many words that you build homes—they need to see what your homes look like, and know how to request a site plan or pricing. 

 

As a home builder, your website is your digital portfolio—it’s what potential clients look at to see if your houses are what they’re looking for. If you don’t have a stunning website that’s image forward, let’s chat. We can build you a site that’s not only beautiful but also functional. 

 

And if you’d like to know more about our experience with home builders and real estate developers, be sure to check out the case study below:

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