For years, marketing managers used website traffic stats to demonstrate ROI, but this stat isn’t nearly as important in the B2B world. Like B2C companies, your main goal is to get and keep customers. But unlike B2C companies that sell products to the masses, only a small percentage of online searchers are potential customers for your products. This means a general push to increase website traffic misses the mark. The only traffic a company should be paying good money to increase is customers, potential customers and others who can help your business.
Many SEO companies and even Google Adwords reps don’t get this critically different inbound marketing strategy for B2B marketers. Because long tail keywords have a lower search volume, they continually focus on targeting broader terms. SEO companies hate “low search volume” because they want to increase B2B website traffic. They aim to attract the highest number of clicks and visitors. But in the B2B world, quality is often more important than quantity.
Quantity vs. Quality Website Traffic
For both consumers and marketers, the ultimate goal is a sale, but consumer sites normally go for the immediate conversion. This is rarely possible for B2B websites. The B2B buying process is longer, more complex and involves many more people and purchase considerations. “You can’t kiss your customer on the first date,” explains Adam Lundquist, CEO of Nerds Do It Better.
A more realistic goal for B2B inbound marketing campaigns is to be “found” by potential buyers and to get on their consideration list. In website talk, this is called “stickiness” because you’re trying to get legitimate prospects to stay on your site rather than click away. The key point is that you’re trying to attract quality prospects, not general web traffic. Otherwise, you’ll increase B2B website traffic, but also see high click-away rates. It only takes a few seconds for visitors to realize a site doesn’t offer them anything they want.
More Than a Slick B2B Website Design
You also encourage “stickiness” by creating landing pages that offer valuable content that speaks to your target buyers’ pain points. Again, these pages aren’t supposed to appeal to everyone. They’re supposed to appeal to your key buyers. They won’t attract high volumes of web traffic, but they will attract quality prospects.
Web copy is more important in B2B because it must do more than just rank well in search engines. It must persuade business people to make business purchases, which is often driven by risk avoidance. Prospective buyers must be convinced you’re a quality brand and have credibility.
Building an Online Relationship Through the Buyer’s Journey
Another important web stat missed when you try to increase site traffic is Repeat Visits, since most SEO companies focus on Unique Visitors. In B2B, the goal is to build trust and credibility. You focus on moving toward a conversion over time, so the same prospects make multiple visits. This is called the Buyer’s Journey.
At the beginning of their journey, prospects come to your site to research alternatives. Later in the evaluation stage, they focus on researching specific issues such as performance and efficiency. You must integrate long tail keywords and content that speaks to their needs at all points during their journey. And you must offer opportunities for them to engage with you every time they visit your site.
So for B2B marketers, increasing website traffic should NOT be your main goal. Instead, take time to understand the needs of your buyers. Create content that makes their job easier and in turn makes your company a valuable resource. Then identify specific long tail keywords to help target buyers find your valuable content when they’re searching the web. Your overall web traffic might not increase that much. But it will be the right traffic, and your conversion rates will certainly increase.
All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all tactics, the programs become more effective and cost efficient. An Integrated marketing communication plan helps you meet real business objectives – generate leads, grow revenues, gain market share, and become the leading brand.
Chris Henneghan is one of Schubert’s longest-standing employees, starting with the agency in 1987. She now serves as Senior Vice President and Brand Strategist. Chris is a Notre Dame grad and enjoys tennis, golf, hiking and reading.