TABLE OF CONTENTS
- The Traffic Challenge
- How to Increase B2B Website Traffic
The traffic challenge
We have a website but it doesn’t get any traffic.
Sound familiar? If I had a penny for everytime I hear this when talking to a prospective client… (well, I’d be rich).
Gone are the days when simply having an online presence was enough to drive brand growth.
These days B2B websites need to be a key touchpoint in the buyer journey, helping prospects make purchase decisions and converting them to customers.
So a B2B website and accompanying social channels all need to be working towards the common goal of helping the buyer, educating them, and providing them with information they need to make a purchase.
Having a website that gets no traffic is about as useful as opening a shop on the moon!
How to increase B2B website traffic
Before we examine ways to generate more website traffic, it is important to first establish where potential customers hang out online.
So we can draw from the source of online prospects so to speak.
The best way to understand where your customers are is simply to ask your current customers.
The foundation of any good digital marketing strategy is thorough research on who your customer is, what their pain points are, and what work oriented goals they aspire to achieve.
Having an in-depth knowledge of your target audience provides the insight needed to understand which channels – be it Google, Social Media, an industry specific website – to use as sources of traffic.
This blog explores some common channels to consider in order to drive more traffic to a B2B website.
Method 1: Google Ads
For B2B businesses, Google Search Ads are a quick way to gain visibility in Google for keywords that are important to your business, and an effective way of generating relevant traffic – especially if you’re not yet ranking for key terms organically.
It is a form of Pay-Per-Click advertising meaning you are only charged when a user clicks on an ad.
Campaigns are centred around keywords that advertisers bid on in a real time auction each time a user enters a search term in Google.
The advertiser with the best combination of ad relevance, a strong landing page experience and competitive bid, will win the top ad position.
This form of advertising is excellent for driving traffic that has buyer intent to a website, provided that only ‘buyer focused’ keywords are added to the campaign. Bottom of funnel keywords should be your target for paid search campaigns so that you’re spending ad budget on terms attracting customers with high propensity to buy.
For example, if your business sells password recovery solutions, a good ‘buying’ keyword might be password recovery tool.
I wouldn’t recommend bidding on ‘non buyer’ keywords unless you have money to burn.
Remember, with Google Ads you are paying for traffic. So you need to be sure you can get some kind of return for the advertising budget spent.
Method 2: SEO Blog Strategy
We discussed paying Google for traffic in the previous section.
But the trouble with Google Ads is that once you stop paying, website traffic stops.
SEO covers a range of disciplines which work together to increase organic (free) traffic to a website.
See this post for an in depth look into a complete B2B SEO strategy.
For the purposes of increasing traffic to a B2B website, we are going to solely focus on blogging, as this is by far the most effective way of generating traffic from Google.
The image above is taken from a client’s Google Analytics and demonstrates the impact of a consistent blogging strategy, 4 times a month, on organic traffic.
The blue line shows organic traffic from the current year vs the previous year (orange line).
Traffic increased by 240% in one year and lead volume off the back of this traffic, increased from 0 to averaging 20 per month.
Blogging as an investment in your business
Lack of content resource is a common challenge that impacts many B2B businesses.
The table below shows the results of a 2021 Content Marketing Institute survey that asked respondents to give the size of the content team in B2B businesses of various sizes.
It paints an interesting picture.
There is a high proportion of large companies (over 1000 employees) that simply don’t resource content marketing adequately.
Perhaps a reflection on the lack of importance given to content in general?
There are a myriad of reasons for this, but a common one I hear is ROI from content isn’t realised as quickly as some other marketing strategies – for example paid advertising.
However, content should be regarded as an investment in the business with long term benefits.
Without this investment, the alternative is an over-reliance on paid strategies, which leaves you vulnerable to the whims of Google, Facebook or whichever advertising platform is being used.
Simple tips to alleviate the resource issue
Good content that helps B2B buyers make purchase decisions is at the heart of any SEO strategy designed to increase organic traffic to a website.
So given that producing quality content consistently can be a challenge, here are some tips to ensure consistent content creation.
- Produce the Right Content. Focus limited resources on content which is of value to your prospects. This may sound obvious, but I see many B2B businesses publishing ‘news’ content that tends to be very insular and only talks about what is going on within a business. Interview your customers and conduct keyword research to understand what topics they’re interested in and will drive more relevant traffic.
- Outsource. If lack of budget is an issue, outsourcing will remove the need to hire a full time content professional which will save on the associated costs of a full time employee.
- Repurpose Old Content. Web content degrades in terms of its ability to to keep high keyword rankings and thus deliver organic traffic. If producing new content is a problem, consider updating old content and republishing. This often results in a boost in organic visibility.
- One Topic, Many Formats. When creating new content, try to anticipate what other formats the content could be used in. For example, for your next blog post, consider how it could be used for social media snippets, promoted on a podcast, used in a video etc. Content ideation is often the hard part. Ensuring that each topic is split across different formats and channels minimises the heavy lifting and maximises traffic generating potential.
Method 3: Social Media
As well as being a valuable channel to generate brand awareness amongst your target audience, social media is a powerful tool in your website traffic generation arsenal.
Blog content as described in the previous section and the promotion of said content via social, work in tandem to attract more website traffic.
In fact 90% of marketers surveyed in a Social Media Examiner report say that increased traffic is the second most common benefit of social media marketing after increased brand exposure.
For B2B companies looking for strategies to generate website traffic from social media, it’s best to focus on one or two channels to begin with, measure performance then scale whichever gets the best engagement whilst ditching those that flop.
In the B2B world, Linkedin is an obvious choice to begin with, but be aware that it’s a crowded space these days, and unless you publish regularly, you may struggle to get the reach you want.
If you are starting out from scratch on Linkedin, post content that is valuable to your audience at least 3-4 times a week, whilst commenting on others’ posts, particularly from those members who already have a high following.
This will enable you to piggyback off their audience.
However, don’t forget that B2B buyers are also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok etc. They are, after all, people with personal lives!
So what can you do to enhance the website traffic potential from social media?
Here are some tips:
- Optimise Social Profiles. Include a description of what your business does along with a link to the website. This will make it easier for your audience to click through for further information if their interest is piqued.
- Engage With Your Audience. Social media is a means for brands to engage in conversations with their customers and prospects. It is a two way street, so ensure you aren’t simply talking at your potential customers, but also listening to what they may be saying, and responding. Monzo, Slack and Innocent all do a fantastic job of this and they’ve amassed huge followings.
- Make Content Sharing Easy. Place social media sharing icons close to your website content and engage in digital PR to get relevant industry bodies and sources of news to share your content through their social media channels and eNewsletters. This will entice readers to share your content on their social channels, thus driving website traffic.
- Share Visual Content. Visual content such as images, memes, video and infographics tend to catch the eye on the infinite scroll, and are therefore likely to be shared and liked.
Method 4: Interact on Industry Forums
These days, Linkedin and other social media channels are very saturated, making it more difficult to get your message across.
Especially if you’re relatively new to posting on the channel in question, and their algorithm deems you ‘not worthy’ of exposure!
With the prevalence of Linkedin over the past few years, marketing on industry specific forums often gets overlooked.
However, industry specific forums can be an excellent way of getting noticed by a relevant audience and driving targeted website traffic.
So how do you go about generating relevant traffic from forums?
- Find Forums Relevant to Your Industry. The Google searches below will bring back a list of forums you can inspect. Replace “keyword” for any industry specific term to return relevant forums.
- “keyword” + forum
- “vBulletin” + “keyword” (vBulletin is a common forum software)
- Determine How Active it is. There is no point getting exposure on a forum if nobody is listening! Check dates of posts to ensure they are current and make sure forum members post and engage regularly.
- Register and Create a Signature. When registering, use the brand name as the username. This promotes brand awareness once you start interacting on the forum. Also, remember to include a link in your signature. This will be a source of traffic generation.
- Participate. The rule here is quality over quantity. Make sure you help forum members by sharing content that delivers value to them (rather than just promoting your business). Share knowledge and answer their questions. Over time this will build trust with forum members who are likely to visit the website to find out more about you, and perhaps enquire about your services.
Obviously, generating a regular source of traffic from forums isn’t an overnight matter. It takes time to build trust. However, forums are a good way to get under the radar of potential prospects in a far less crowded environment than some channels like Linkedin.
Method 5: Develop and Promote a Tool
Those of you who have seen the 1989 film, ‘Field of Dreams’, will be familiar with the phrase build it and they will come.
If you want traffic to visit your website, you need to give them a reason to come.
Ultimately all traffic generation strategies distil down to this simple axiom.
Building a website tool that provides value to your target customers, is one such way to achieve this.
A project to develop such a tool might look something like this:
- Customer Research. Talk to your customers to gain a deep understanding of their unique pain points.
- Ideation. Use customer pain points to brainstorm different ideas for website tools and widgets that help solve customer challenges.
- eg: a calculator that shows website visitors how much money they could save by adoption your SaaS product
- Development. A developer or team of developers would be required to make the tool and test it.
- Promotion. Out of all the traffic generation methods discussed so far, this method is channel agnostic and can be promoted wherever potential customers hang out, whether that be on Google, Social Media or Forums.
Developing and promoting a tool is probably the most resource heavy traffic generation method, so there may be pushbacks from internal stakeholders for such a strategy.
Especially when a blog strategy works well at attracting website traffic and demands far less in terms of resources.
My counter argument to this push back can be summed up in one phrase – competitive moat.
Developing a tool that is valuable to your target audience is difficult for competitors to replicate.
It will set your business apart from the competition who will be more than likely solely relying on a blog strategy based on research (from keyword tools than any business has access to).
Developing a bespoke tool, based on customer research, takes time and resources which most of the competition won’t be prepared to invest in.
And if the tool is designed around customer needs, it will build valuable trust in your brand.
A B2B website should be regarded as a key sales channel.
But in order for it to be an effective driver of revenue, it first needs a steady flow of the right traffic.
Hopefully this post has given you some ideas on how to increase web traffic and you now have some traffic generation ideas to test out.
The key thing to remember however, is that it’s essential to understand your customer in detail, particularly their whereabouts and behaviour online.
This will ultimately dictate how traffic should be generated.
As with all successful digital marketing, let your customer guide your strategy.