How do we know that taking the time to implement an active content marketing strategy works? We examined our Managed WordPress hosting clients’ Google Analytics data for the past year and the results are pretty compelling. Before we share the data, we just need to take a moment to define a couple of concepts first.
What is content-driven marketing?
Creating great content is the most reliable way to engage your website’s visitors. It’s the best way to position yourself as knowledgeable and helpful, and to differentiate you from your competition. It also has huge benefits for your search engine rankings.
When we say “creating great content”, we don’t just mean the words on your homepage and services pages. We’re talking about creating regular, helpful content on your blog, newsletter and social media. This can be just written content but can also include helpful infographics, videos or podcasts as well. You’ll sometimes hear this referred to as ‘content marketing’ and ‘inbound marketing’. These are just other terms to describe a well planned website content marketing strategy. The strategy will often includes advertising tactics on Google Adwords or Facebook to help drive traffic to the content that you’ve created.
Our hosting partner Kinsta has a fantastic overview of the mechanics of content marketing strategy in 2019.
We know this strategy works. Small, medium and large sized companies use this to great effect to grow their brands and win new clients. We’ve made decisions here at Avoca about companies we use based in no small part on the quality of their content in the recent past (Kinsta, for example).
Hang on, isn’t writing content hard and boring?
Content marketing is something that we try to get all our clients excited about. However, for many, the thought of trying to write blog posts, email newsletters or regularly engage on social media feels like a huge chore. We totally get it. We feel like that sometimes too.
That’s why we wanted to take the time to look at our client sites and see whether the extra effort pays off. So how much does it help your site to regularly create content?
TLDR; Your content creation efforts are totally worth it. You could get up to 5x more traffic to your website.
When is a client is actively marketing vs not active?
We took our Google Analytics data for the last 12 months from all our managed client websites and we segmented it based on how actively the client has been marketing their website or creating new content.
Here’s how we differentiated it:
Actively Marketing – The client has been doing two or more of these things regularly throughout the last 12 months.
- Creating blog content
- Publishing email newsletters
- Running Facebook or Google adwords campaigns to key content on their website (not just the homepage)
- Regularly engaging on social media and posting links back to their website
- Refreshing their site’s static pages or layout, adding new services etc
- Conducting ongoing SEO optimistation
- Creating videos or podcasts
Somewhat Active – The client has done one of these things in the last twelve months.
Not Active – The client isn’t really doing any of these things, the website is just sitting online and relying on it’s existing content.
The results were astonishing – more pronounced than even we expected
Here are the results averaged out across the groups of clients over the last twelve months.
We’ve excluded a number of sites for which we didn’t have the previous years data. You can see that there is still a reasonable sample size of sites in each category.
|Average Page Views||Average Visits||Average Bounce Rate||# Sites|
What about the growth from year to year? Here are the median changes in the same metrics from year to year.
|Page View Growth||Visit Growth||Bounce rate change|
Websites with an active content marketing strategy get 5x as much traffic as non active sites!
Let me say that again. Websites for which their teams are actively creating content and/or marketing material their website get over 5x the page views and visits than those who aren’t updating their content regularly.
Here are a few takeaways from the data:
- All sites grew in page views during the year at about the same percentage. So just because your website is doing nothing doesn’t mean it can’t grow. We can attribute some of this to speed improvements in the underlying WordPress website hosting platform in the last 12 months, which have decreased load times across all sites.
- The bounce rate of non-active sites is much higher than clients with active and somewhat active marketing strategies. Non-active sites also didn’t improve as much year to year. This makes sense. Less new client focused content means that visitors are much less likely to stay and read more on the website or take other actions such as filling out contact forms.
- There are many more page views per visit for the websites with active and somewhat active content marketing efforts. This again is an indication that sites with good content strategies are much better at engaging their audience to interact more on their website. They are therefore much more likely to generate leads and conversions.
- Even a little marketing could potentially double your traffic. Sites that are only somewhat active with their content marketing are still seeing on average more than twice the page views and visits of sites that are doing nothing.
Want more compelling evidence? Here’s what we found from around the web
- Small businesses who blog get 126% more lead growth than those that don’t
- Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages in search results
OK, I’m convinced. Where do I start?
Firstly you need to put a good strategy in place.
Just blindly writing any thing that comes to mind will not help you. Your content needs to be highly-focused on your clients/customers and help them overcome problems that they are facing.
Here are some pointers to get you started thinking about your strategy.
- Who is your target audience?
- What are their biggest challenges?
- How could you create helpful content that would set them on the path to solving those challenges?
- Don’t be tempted to write for you, write for them. If you are in a technical industry for example, writing about how your Health & Safety policies took you ages to work out, isn’t going to inspire new customers to come to you. Create content that is inspiring, helpful and client focused.
- How can you put your website at the centre of your online marketing efforts?
- Now brainstorm topics that you could write about. What questions do you get asked most by clients? Can you create any “how to” content about using your product or service? What objections do customers have before they buy from you?
Then it’s time to start creating new content. For tips on how to best do this, Kinsta’s article that we mentioned earlier has a great overview of the mechanics of creating a content marketing strategy for 2019
We can help you create a great content strategy
We hope that you find some inspiration to get creative. If you feel stuck, we’re happy to help you. We’ve partnered with Good Honest Content to provide content strategy workshops, full content strategy plans and training for your team.
Reach out if you’d like to chat about how we can help fast-track your website growth.