Most businesses start getting their initial batch of clients from networking and other outbound means.
And because generating more leads for your business will not happen overnight, transitioning to an inbound / content marketing system is even more difficult.
For most businesses, results are earned gradually over time with patience and focused effort.
Right now the AutoGrow blog and website is approaching an inflection point in its traffic and email list growth (see a graph of our organic traffic below; it has grown by 326% in the last 4 months, much if that occurring in the last month).
Through a process of trial and error I’ve taken a relatively dormant website and turned it into a marketing asset that produces new emails opt-ins and leads daily.
Our conversion rate has grown from 0.5%, to 1%, to 1.5%, to 2.5%, then to 4.5% where it is now.
How am I doing it? In the video and the step-by-step guide below I’m going to breakdown for you one critical marketing formula I call “The Spider Web Technique” which continues to produce compounding, long term growth gains.
(video coming soon, check back in a bit…)
Here’s what you’ll learn in the guide I lay out below:
- What spiders have in common with my content marketing strategy…
- Step #1: Why you should turn every page on your site is a landing page (and therefore, a full time salesman)
- Step #2: Plan for residual, long-term traffic: why research beforehand helps your Google search rankings
- Step #3: Why publishing consistency (and quantity) is key
- Step #4: How to identify and strengthen the pages of your blog or sales funnel that are most effective
- Bonus download: 4 recommended tools you can use right now to collect more leads
Let’s dig into it…
Think of your website as a spider web…
If you want to learn how to build a strong business with a steady flow of clients coming in the door, there’s often no better teacher than mother nature–and in this case that’s the spider.
When building its web (if you’re afraid of spiders don’t click), the spider will create an initial set of wide circular rings that serve as the basic framework for the rest of the structure.
It will then maneuver around the circular frame (which is divided into “columns,” or better described as slices in a pie chart) and turn the relatively wide open slices that point towards the center into tiny “ladders” with many “rungs.”
It does this because by growing a wide surface area covered by the webbed lining AND making the openings between each “rung” smaller, this increases the rate at which the spider is likely to capture a meal (i.e. a fly or some other kind of insect).
Your website needs to be thought of in the same way.
- The way the spider makes his web, you should create an interconnected “web” of blog articles and web pages that are educational and relevant to your core business.
- The way the spider works to grow the surface area of his web, you should continuously create new content to expand your reach. Creating more quality content increases the likelihood that people in your target market will discover you organically in Google search.
- And the way the spider works to shrink the spaces between each opening in his web to maximize the chance of catching a meal, each of your web pages must be continuously studied, updated and strengthen so as to nudge new visitors towards an email opt-in conversion.
The following four-step formula goes into greater detail on the exact tactics involved here.
Step #1 – Plan your SEO to get long term organic traffic from each piece of content you create
Now that you understand the basic idea (continuously create an interconnected web of content that attracts and converts) it’s time to understand the organic traffic attraction part of the equation.
For each piece of content you create, you want to make sure that after it’s published, and it’s “just sitting there” that it’s still “working” to promote your business even if you’re not actively promoting it. You want it to attract long term, residual traffic.
The way to get this is before you write your content (whether it’s a landing page or a blog article) do plenty of research up front on what people are searching for in order to find resources or answers to similar questions.
Before I write an article each week on this blog, I spend about 1-2 hours researching what others have already written on or around the same topic.
I look to see how many people are searching for keywords related to that topic each month, which keywords are most competitive, and which ones are new and rising in search volume.
I’ve written a bit about how to plan properly for long term residual traffic in another recent article.
The key tools you’ll want to use to do this are:
- Google’s Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Google Suggest
- Google Search
- (and, in general, studying a competitor’s SEO)
This is probably one of the least implemented tactics even though it produces a majority of the results.
The way that you use the information to get during your research is to incorporate it into your on-site SEO.
- Choose the words included in your H1, H2, and H3 wisely (make sure not to stuff keywords and to put your reader’s needs first)
- Fill in your meta description and keywords
- Carefully craft a winning title for your page / article (probably the most important factor for on-page SEO)
- Be sure to use variations of the keywords you’re trying to rank for within the text of your content (again, do not keyword-stuff, put the needs of your readers first, and use variations of the target keywords as well)
By doing this consistently as you create new content, the results are cumulative as you can see from the Analytics screenshot I pasted at the beginning of this article.
Over time, you capture more search traffic and because those people are coming in from search engines (i.e. they had intention behind how they arrived on a specific page on your site) they are more likely to convert.
This brings us to the next step which is equally critical to the successful implementation of The Spider Web Technique — yet just as often ignored.
Step #2 – Get more leads when you treat the design of every page of your website like landing page
In our free, “Double Your Leads in 30 Days” ecourse, I refer to this strategy as bit of a “mind hack” for you because it should foundationally change the way you think about how your website is constructed.
This took some time for me to fully grasp so I’m glad to present it for your benefit here. Read the following carefully:
Every page on your website, is a landing page.
Again: every page on your website is a landing page.
If you are serious about growing your email list or in general getting more conversions in your sales funnel, you need to understand that every page might be the first and last opportunity you get to capture someone’s contact information so you can then build a relationship with them over time.
Here’s what this looks like.
On the AutoGrow blog, if you’re a first time visitor not yet subscribed to my email list, you’re probably not going be able to spend more than 30 seconds on this website without making a decision about whether or not you want to join our email list.
On each page of our blog, there are at least 8 “asks” or offers that could lead a visitor to joining our email list.
- The by-line
- The free course (shown 2x, once at the top of the sidebar and once after the bio when you scroll down)
- Generic newsletter opt-in in the sidebar
- Generic newsletter opt-in at the bottom of the article
- Pop-up widget
- “Read later” widget
- The downloadable article bonus in the conclusion
At this point, some might say “Hey Matt, I hate pop-ups, you’re a jerk… and all this is too aggressive.”
To which I would respond, “I love you man, thanks for reading to this point, but I believe in my business and the products and services we offer so it’s my moral obligation to do what’s in my power to more effectively build relationships and sell to someone who might.”
Of course, there are ways that the experience can be better optimized, but that’s an article for another day.
The key take away from this step is that in order to maximize the short and long-term productivity of every webpage, it should have multiple forms, offers, and clear calls to action (i.e. the same tactics you use to build a high converting landing page, you should use on your blog articles and other generic web pages).
Step #3 – Fresh content helps you get more search traffic
Other than researching and doing on-page SEO as I discussed in step #1, by just publishing consistently you can can an additional lift in search results.
According to search engine expert, Neil Patel, if you publish detailed content regularly (1-2 per week at least) Google is likely to recognize you as a news source. Therefore they will crawl and index your site more often as well as place you in the results under the “news” tab of Google search.
In addition, while studying the data in my Google Analytics dashboard over the past several months, I noticed a direct correlation between the number of times I published new pages or blog articles, and rate of inbound search traffic I received.
For example, one week I tested this theory and I wrote 3 articles instead of one. Sure enough, the search traffic ticked up for that week. The next week when I went back to writing just one article per week, the volume of search traffic decreased proportionally.
This is further supported by an article written on Moz.com a few years ago where they listed 10 “content freshness” factors that can influence search rankings:
- Freshness by Inception Date
- Document Changes (How Much) Influences Freshness
- The Rate of Document Change (How Often) Impacts Freshness
- Freshness Influenced by New Page Creation (image below)
- Changes to Important Content Matter More
- Rate of New Link Growth Signals Freshness
- Links from Fresh Sites Pass Fresh Value
- Changes in Anchor Text Signals may Devalue Links
- User Behavior Indicates Freshness
- Older Documents Still Win Certain Queries
Points 2 and 3 (changing and updating content) are related to the next and final step of this technique…
Step #4 – Identify high performing pages & strengthen them!
After building a good marketing habit around creating great content and you have some traffic flowing in to your website you going to want to start looking back regularly at your pageview, email opt-in, and social share data to see which articles are most popular.
For example, even weeks after I’ve written an published them my articles on getting Facebook fans (without advertising), sales funnel examples, and how to create landing pages account for nearly 30% of our total pageviews in the last month.
A good portion of that traffic comes as a result of me linking internally to those pages (like I did above), but the majority of it is organic search traffic.
When I noticed this trend, I started the habit of going back to examine the on-page SEO factors that might affect how and where these pages would be listed in search.
For example, I noticed I must had been in a rush when I published the Facebook page article because I had forgot to include a meta description. In addition, on these and other pages, I noticed — although they were popular — they were missing some email opt-in offers, like a downloadable bonus in the conclusion of the articles.
In the case of the Facebook article, I tested my theory by adding a opt-in call to action and immediately saw visitors converting on it.
Furthermore, other than improving these pages with on-page SEO and calls-to-action, in several cases I strengthen the content. For instance, I would proof read the blog article and add new text to it and correct minor typos to improve the reading experience.
Conclusion & Bonus Download
Nature has many lessons for the savvy entrepreneur, small business owner, or marketer — if you just know where to look.
The spider, a simple creature that has been around for much longer than the human race has had time to perfect its instincts around how to capture a meal.
In business our “meal” is website traffic, or a conversion on a form.
- Plan for long term traffic by understanding what people are searching for; incorporate what you learn into the construction of your content.
- Treat every page of your website like a landing page.
- Publish new (quality) content regularly for an extra boost in search traffic.
- When you’re done, go back regularly to optimize past pages for even more traffic by improve the on-page SEO, content, or conversion related elements.
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What’s your biggest challenge or difficulty when it comes to getting more relevant traffic and leads? Let me know the comments.Image credits: http://www.pestproducts.com/spider-webs.htm http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-c-senelick-md/swearing_b_3673235.html