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Lucas Hamon Jun 11, 2015 4:15:00 PM 8 min read

How to Drive Less Website Traffic and Get More Clients


Why do you want more traffic anyway?

The traffic report was scary - but all of the money from real clients makes us feel better 100% of the time!

It was a sobering moment in my career as a marketer when I was faced with the question of, "why do you blog?" and I couldn't muster an answer that made amount of sense.

"More traffic" was the first thing to pop into my mind, as I'm sure many of you are thinking (that, or to "position ourselves as thought leaders), but at this point in the conversation, my head was already swimming with so many new ideas about what marketing actually should be, not just what is generally accepted about it, that the words, "more traffic" passing through my lips made the hairs on the back of my neck stick up and my cheeks flush brightly red.

To catch you up, I am referring to the conversations I was having when looking for answers on how to better serve my clients through social media marketing (prior to converting to an inbound agency). I had realized early on that although it's an incredible sales & marketing tool, social media, on its own, just doesn't have the thrust necessary to drive the kind of website traffic most businesses expect. I would always try to explain that it's the quality matters most, but even then, "quality" means very little since we're measuring something as vague as "traffic."

While blogging for more traffic, or doing anything for more traffic makes perfectly logical sense, it still isn't an answer that means anything if all that comes from our efforts are little blips on traffic reports. What good is a blip if it doesn't result in a sale? Why aren't we measuring it in terms of sales in the first place anyway?

In fact, without a proper lead conversion path in place and assurance that the traffic we're getting is meaningful - as measured by client conversions, these likes and favorites and surges in website volume are nothing more than distractions. They provide a false sense of security at best, which keeps us from making better choices with our outreach efforts.

So, I say, let's strip away the distractions and focus on what really matters: clients. Here are 4 ways to generate less website traffic and get more clients in the process.



One client is better than a hundred visitors any day of the week

I'd rather get one new client than a hundred new visitors to my website - if I have to choose.

As a disclaimer, if website traffic is at zero today without paid ads, then we have other issues to address before going down this road. Try more top of funnel-focused problems like gaining organic search traffic or that driven through social media marketing.

But it is important to remember that more traffic doesn't translate into more sales on its own.

1: Turn off the ads - or turn them down

This may be harder to accomplish than you realize. I remember a client that had relatively significant organic and social media based traffic visiting their website every month, with more than 1,500 new visitors. They were also placing a significant investment in paid search ads, which essentially doubled their total traffic.

In addition to more than 3,000 visits every month, they were converting upwards of 100 leads, the large majority, of which, were coming from the paid ads. But nobody was converting beyond that, meaning, it wasn't generating any actual clients, so although at the surface it seems like money well spent, after digging, it just seemed like expensive noise.

In this particular situation one might say that we should be focusing on nurturing those leads instead of turning them down, but after closer review we found that most of those paid leads are tirekickers looking for the lowest price quote, and what doesn't close right away is likely to not close at all. This cilent is not the cheapest in town, so attracting leads that only care about costs is already starting us off on the wrong foot. 

Now, if we were to turn down the volume on the ads generating all of the time-wasting tirekickers, we would reveal significant problems in their lead conversion processes that affect organic AND paid search. Paid ads were converting at nearly 7%. Organic were converting at less than .2%. That's POINT two percent... And here, we thought we were doing so well, but it turns out those paid ads were distracting us from the real issues that needed to be addressed.

The original thought was that they would invest in ads, not content. Now, I'm not saying that we should throw those leads away, but it is going to be an uphill battle to sift out the repeat users and change their minds about the value of "cheap." Remember, we have a decent amount of organic traffic coming in too, so if we were to divert those paid ad resources into building content, the results should be much better.

 

2: Perform a lead conversion path analysis

Sometimes identifying the chokehold isn't as easy as it was in this case, especially with b2b sales facing organizations with a longer sales cycle. But we can set the framework ahead of time so when the good traffic does eventually arrive, we have a system in place that keeps them from staying anonymous.

Let's start by visiting the pages that get the most amount of organic traffic but the least amount of conversions - and identify the problems.

Question - do you have calls-to-action strategically placed throughout the page? Are they relevant to the rest of the content around them? We want more than "learn more," "get quote," or "schedule appointment." How about something that doesn't require taking a leap of faith in what "learning more" actually means, going straight for the kill, or having to talk to somebody live? Why not throw out a piece of downloadable content, and plant an image-based CTA that provides a little more clarity on what it's taking you to.

If your accounting firm offers specialized tax credits like R&D, and you're trying to convince somebody to give you their contact information, why not have a CTA embedded in the page that takes visitors to a landing page where you have a gated calculator used for determining high level eligibility requirements? Or, if we're a little earlier in the buyer's journey, why not send them to a gated white paper that discusses the changes in law that affect the industries your firm is best at handling?

By creating this path, you are providing opportunities for your prospective clients to learn at their own pace while becoming familiar with your practice.

Generating more traffic is fine, but generating more high-quality leads is better.

3: Get your SEO on

It's possible that the keywords you are ranking highly for don't actually drive relevant traffic to your website. Are you going after short-tail or long-tail with them?

What do the words say about the people searching you anyway? Are they descriptive of problems that your business solves? A quick way to check this is by Googling them. What do the results tell you? Are the other answers that pop up in any way related?

Or, are you going after short-tail keywords with 10s of thousands of searches every month, and about a thousand different ways they could be applied? I'll take fewer hits of highly pointed long-tail kewords than numerous hits from something that generates traffic that is 99.8% fluff.

If you sold brown patent leather boat shoes, are you going to try and rank for "shoes," or something a little more descriptive?

Another good way to test this is to perform a keyword analysis through a software like MOZ or Hubspot. Here, you can "find alternatives" to a good keyword and from there see what other phrases accompany the words you've chosen.

(Assess your SEO strategy HERE)

4: Get inbound with it

When I flipped the switch for my agancy and transitioned from a social media firm to full-suite inbound marketing, I put thousands of dollars into ad campaigns to jumpstart the program. 

Watching the number of visitors go from a couple hundred to almost 5,000 in the first month was really exciting. Of course, I paid dearly for it, but it did generate leads that eventually converted in some cases.

But you can't build on ads - you can learn from them and get better at placing them - but it's not marketing you  ultimately own, because as soon as you shut them off, your traffic shuts off with them.

If you're thinking long-term (6+ months), and I believe you absolutely should be, then an investment in some inbound marketing tools is smart use of your resources.

This means taking your keyword strategy and applying it, along with all of the technical SEO requirements, to your website and landing pages... and then applying our lead conversion paths and a whole slow of other digital media marketing tools - like social media, blogging, email nurturing, and transparent analytics. What happens is we generate interest with one, qualify and capture leads with others, nurture them with still more, and close them with our knowledge and amazing personalities.

inbound_methodology

A great way to engage visitors to your brand (and attract them) is to write about the struggles they face, and that you ultimately solve. Bring in a blog writing service if you have to, because your story is what's going to generate interest in you and make closing the deal easier.

They say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," and to that I ask, what's more beautiful? traffic reports with lots of activities or revenue-inducing leads?

Interested in seeing how much your dream website will cost, but don't want to talk to humans or get pitched about what you don't need? Then, check out this calculator:

Calculate the price of your next website build with this handy calculator

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Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.

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