How to Increase Site Traffic Using The HubSpot Keyword Tool [Customer Story]
Expanding the traffic to our website and building a solid inbound online presence was the main reason that Leppert Business Systems decided to become a HubSpot customer about two years ago. At the time, our site traffic was very low (fewer than 150 visits per month) and we needed more exposure to our potential clients.
The result: We have seen a 550% increase in monthly visitors with over one hundred of our keywords ranking in the top ten.
Here's how we did it.
Step 1: Optimize your site and begin to blog
In our first year as a HubSpot customer, we achieved modest progress as we applied the recommended HubSpot SEO strategies to our existing website and started a related blog, Office Document Strategies, which we hosted on the Hubspot CMS. As a result, our traffic increased to about 400 visits per month -- a 160% increase over where we'd begun, but still only a good start.
At first, much of our dedicated HubSpot time was spent completing the weekly homework assignments assigned during Hubspot training. Through the course of this homework, we optimized all sixty pages that our site consisted of at the time. We eliminated some redundant pages and rebuilt some others.
We also wrote two blog posts per week while we worked on the SEO optimization. After about six months, we expanded that to a target of three times per week. Dedicating the resources to blogging and SEO was always a challenge. I am the primary person doing the work and I had to be very disciplined to make it a priority as other duties easily pulled me away.
While there was at first some skepticism on the part of some managers as to the value of this effort, and they were at first somewhat uncomfortable with moving so much of our small marketing budget to an inbound focus, we also knew that we could not afford traditional marketing at a level that would build our brand and drive enough leads to make us successful.
Learn how to optimize your website using HubSpot >
Step 2: Migrate entire site to HubSpot
After a year, we migrated our entire site over to the HubSpot CMS. Once we did this, we saw an almost immediate increase in visitors; over 50% in the first month and a year-over-year increase of 110%. We actually wish we had moved our site to HubSpot sooner, as the benefits have increased every month since we made the switch.
Migrating our site turned out to be a fairly easy process. The team I worked with from Hubspot Support used a very structured approach and together we accomplished the flip in just over two weeks.
The most difficult part of the process was making all of our DNS entries match correctly. We complicated the process by disbanding a separate site we had for our docUcapture.com hosted document management product and incorporating it into the new design. We did the work entirely in-house. Since we also provide IT support services, I had the advantage of being able to lean on our IT team to help us out.
We decided to change to the Hubspot CMS because we wanted to gain even more control of our site than we had in the past. Using the CMS to build our blog showed us that working with the tool for our whole site would permit better results and a faster ability to grow our site with less time spent on basics. We have seen that happen.
We moved our site to the Hubspot CMS in June 2011, and you can see the immediate jump in traffic from the prior months.
Learn how to use HubSpot's CMS>
Step 3: Optimize for mobile
Since the Hubspot CMS can automatically create a mobile version of each page and blog post, we get additional search engine page credit for every page we build. When we first migrated to HubSpot last June, our page count was 55 pages and is now 475 according to our latest Marketing Grader Report --more than an eightfold increase. But we didn't have to do any additional work to optimize all of this content for mobile, because this capability is baked into the HubSpot CMS. The ease of building new pages with the Hubspot CMS also encourages us to continue to add new information regularly.
At this point we have not been able to specifically identify the amount of traffic mobile is providing. We are considering developing a mobile focused campaign to see if we can get a better feel for the results it brings. But since a large portion of our target market is senior business managers or owners who access a lot of their information on the road, we feel confident that it is contributing to our bottom line. We have not tracked specific ROI from mobile but since it is built into the CMS we have not spent a lot of extra money generating mobile pages, either.
Learn how to create new website pages with HubSpot's CMS>
Step 4: Build local traffic with long tail keywords
As a technology marketing company, our target visitors can vary widely. But we're regionally focused and based in Canada, so we have been able to use long tail keywords to build a more focused response from local prospects. In some case, we have even outranked our own suppliers for specific topics.
Keyword ranking is an important measure for us. When we started this work, we ranked in the top ten or better for only ten keywords.
According to our latest Keywords report, we now rank in the top 3 spots for 109 keywords and in the top ten for 222, which is a 1,210% increase in number of top-ten ranking keywords. More importantly, we now rank for over 330 total keywords -- and this count keeps on growing.
The trend keeps being positive, so we keep up with our blogging and adding new pages to our website to keep it going.
Learn how to identify long-tail keywords using HubSpot >
Step 5: Increase Organic Traffic
Knowing what is happening with our visitor traffic and whether our keywords are growing in rank has helped to encourage us as we continue to build the Office Document Strategies Blog, which now boasts over 185 posts. As a result of this consistent effort at blogging, our organic traffic has increased by 200% over the past year alone.
Our current blog target remains at three releases per week. This can be a challenging goal to meet, as there is still only one person responsible for writing and editing all of the posts we publish. Engaging others in our organization to blog has been hard, although ideas are starting to come as we continue to promote the concept. An average blog post takes about 30 to 45 minutes to write, format and publish. Being able to schedule posts for later release has been a critical part of keeping to our schedule.
The time we spend blogging is well spent, because it creates the core of the new material in our site -- and this content is generating a large portion of our new traffic. We are using the material in our blogs to send to clients as part of our follow-up work. The new content generated is a valuable tool for our sales team. Articles written over two years ago continue to supply traffic.
In the five months prior to our move to the Hubspot CMS, organic traffic made up only 49% of our visits. In the period since June 2011 when we completed the changeover, our organic traffic increased to over 60% of our visits, peaking at almost 70% some months ago. That adds up to an average 22% increase in organic traffic over time.
Learn how to measure your marketing performance using HubSpot>
We are working on improving our CTAs and the conversion rates we get from them. Our conversion rates are actually fairly good in raw terms, as we have several CTAs converting at over 30%. Our leads-to-customer ratio is not as good however, as we have not attracted enough localized leads and therefore we are not closing the sale. We have several top-of-the-funnel CTAs which are getting results, but our middle-of-the-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel offers need more work. This is shown in our recent Marketing Grader report, which we run periodically to watch our score go up.
By improving our offers and making some of them more locally specific, we are looking to improve these results as we go forward and take advantage of the extra traffic.
We are also looking into how we can close the loop better using tracking URLs and customized links on our other marketing pieces and phone leads. We recently created an internal lead form that sits on a hidden page in our website so that our employees can use it to provide a lead to the sales team through HubSpot, so that we can better track the results or those internally generated leads.
Tools we used: The Hubspot applications we have used in advancing the above efforts include the HubSpot CMS, Keyword Tool, the CTA Button Builder, and the Sources Report. We check our Sources report daily.
Lee Kirkby is VP and the chief marketing person at Leppert Business Systems, a regionally focused office technology integrator in Ontario, Canada. Our business clients are primarily SMB companies where documents are a component of their core activities. We provide services and equipment dealing with the full lifecycle of documents.
Why I HubSpot
“I HubSpot because it has proven to be the most effective marketing force we can use and afford.” - L. Lee Kirkby, VP, Leppert Business Systems Inc.