If you want “easy” marketing, place an ad in your local paper or train a monkey to pound the neighborhood with door hangers.
As I’ve said before, these in-your-face “quick hits” are short-lived and unsustainable. This is outbound marketing that, as consumers, we all loathe.
Inbound marketing is different: Remember sleep, creep, leap? (Read it!)
Embracing and implementing inbound marketing is a long-term play. You’re building for the future!
I acknowledge that the first steps down the inbound marketing path can be frustrating for a landscaping company. It can take months before you begin attracting more visitors to your website, connect with more people on social media and actually begin to generate leads.
It’s a process, folks. Ever watch an airplane take off? It takes a lot of energy to get that big hunk of metal off the ground, but once in the air, flight almost seems effortless.
Inbound marketing starts with getting more eyeballs to your landscaping company’s website. Afterall, you can’t generate leads and sales from your website without first attracting a consistent flow of monthly visitors.
In this post we’ll explore four basic sources of website traffic with an emphasis on long term impact. In other words, what you can expect with a little sticktoitiveness on your part.
We’ll be citing real data from our e-book, “Lead Generation Lessons From 4,000 Businesses”. This data was compiled from a HubSpot study of their 4,000 customers, many of whom are small to medium-sized businesses like yours.
Let’s jump in and start with blogging.
Blogging’s impact on website traffic
In July and August of 2012 our website generated 82 leads each month. In the following four months September through December the site generated 35 leads each month. Our traffic numbers mirrored that. Why the sharp decline in leads and traffic? Easy: We published 25 blog posts in July and August combined and only 10 posts the next four months combined.
While blogging is important, consistent blogging is even more important. For the past two months we have averaged one new blog post each week. While that’s not exactly setting the world on fire, the consistency has slowly increased the number of website visitors month over month.
Now would be a good time to state the obvious: The more content you publish the more people come to your website.
When it comes to blogging, you have to think long term. Check out these findings from HubSpot and our e-book:
Businesses with over 200 total blog posts got 4.6 times more traffic than those with under 20 blog posts.
Do the math: If you average one blog post per week it will take you nearly four years to reach this milestone. Are you willing to put in the effort? Our clients are, because we know their competitors won’t.
Web pages and traffic
While conducting our Inbound Marketing Assessments, we’ve analyzed hundreds of landscaping websites. I would estimate that the average landscaping website has between 10 and 25 unique pages.
Now, back to our study (you might want to sit down for this). Here’s what HubSpot found:
Businesses websites with 401 to 1,000 web pages have nine times more traffic than those with 51 to 100 web pages. (Note: Each blog post is considered a unique web page.)
As you can see in the graph below, even reaching 300 pages is a realistic milestone that would put your landscaping company waaaaay ahead of your competitors.
Facebook reach and traffic
Facebook, and social media in general, is a great way to communicate with your customers. From a more pragmatic standpoint, it can also be a terrific way to drive more eyeballs to your company’s website.
We’ve seen so many landscaping companies eager and excited to start a Facebook Page for their business only to get frustrated and give up within a few short months. It’s too bad because, as I’ve tried to illustrate, it takes time to build momentum! Did Rocky Balboa throw in the towel after he got punched in the face by Apollo Creed? Hell no! He kept fighting!
Here’s what HubSpot found in their study:
Businesses with 501 to 1,000 Facebook fans had 3.5 times more website traffic than those with 1 to 25 fans. Businesses with over 1,000 Facebook fans had 22 times more traffic.
I’ve noticed this trend with our client’s Facebook Pages. The closer we creep to that 1,000 fan milestone the more dramatic the increase in website referral traffic from Facebook.
Twitter reach and traffic
Your company’s Twitter reach impacts website traffic in a similar way as Facebook, only less dramatically.
Businesses with 301 to 1,000 Twitter followers had over 5 times more traffic than those with 1 to 25 followers. Businesses with over 1,000 Twitter followers had over 6 times more traffic than those with 1 to 25 followers.
Nothing too earth shattering in these findings related to Twitter.
Blogging on a consistent basis is the most impactful thing your landscaping company can do to increase traffic to your website. Each blog post is a new web page!
Remember, implementing an inbound marketing strategy is a long-term play. You’re building for the future! You can’t do it all at once so don’t get overwhelmed.
If you found these stats to be relevant to your landscaping company, be sure to download our FREE e-book, “Lead Generation Lessons From 4,000 Businesses”. There are many more interesting findings in the e-book, especially related to lead generation. Grab your copy by clicking on the image below.
image credit (top): epSos.de