Generating website traffic is one of the keys to attracting new business. In manufacturing, investing in generating inbound leads can help shorten sales cycles and can be quite cost effective. However, investing in digital ads can be quite expensive - if done internally you may lack the expertise to manage campaigns efficiently whereas if you hire an Ads Expert, you’ll pay a premium to reach your target audience.
Here, we look at the low/no cost ways you can increase traffic to your website as a starting point to begin pushing traffic over to your site.
Before you begin investing any time or money into generating website traffic, we should outline the importance of Create Buyer Personas. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. Most companies have two or three personas that they want to attract. Understanding who your target audience is will help you identify their needs and where and how they get information so that you are spending your time and resources in the right place.
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Now that you know who you are trying to sell to, let’s look at how to attract them to your site.
1. Create Evergreen Content
Many experts will tell you that a blogging or content strategy on your website is essential in ranking on search engines and getting found by your target customers. It is critical. However, many manufacturers struggle with the internal resources to create content on a regular basis. However, creating Evergreen Content will take much of the pressure off of having to feed the blog machine as the content is relevant no matter when it’s consumed. Buyers Guides, Maintenance Schedules or Plans, Reliability Calculators are all examples of evergreen content. Generally your Engineers and Technicians have the working knowledge to create these tools and once they’re published they often don’t require updating.
Pro Tip: Be sure to add keywords and industry links to these pieces to further help with SEO.
2. Social Media
Looking back at your Buyer Personas, identify which platforms make sense for you to invest your time on. Many manufacturers are finding that LinkedIn is a great audience to build a following on because of the B2B nature of it. Regardless of the platform, choose one (or two) and do them extremely well. Develop a publishing cadence so you are consistently adding fresh content to the platform. Take some pressure off yourself by mixing your original content with content from other, industry-related providers. You can also re-share your content as time goes on with a slightly different message.
Pro Tip: Tag your staff, business partners and associates in your posts so they will be inclined to share it on your behalf.
3. Guest Blogging
Once you have some evergreen content on your site, reach out to industry partners and offer to provide some guest blog content on their site. Offer to reciprocate if they have some content that is relevant to your Buyer Personas as well.
Pro Tip: Keep your guest blog relevant to their audience but make sure you are writing about areas within your industry that you have expertise in and want to be known for.
4. Optimize Website Visuals
Not only does a picture tell a thousand words, it also helps with rankings. Add images, infographics and even video elements to your website to increase your rankings in search. Large photo sizes will slow down your site and can negatively impact your search rankings. Using an app like “Squoosh” can help you reduce the resolution so the photos don’t slow down your website.
Pro Tip: Pay close attention to the file names when you upload them. “Camera9345” isn’t going to help. Name the image what it is “Operator Working at A Conveyor” is specific and will help increase traffic.
5. Email List Building
Promote your content to your followers for a quick traffic boost. Repeat visits to your site by your existing customers and followers will help with brand development, conversions and lead generation.
Pro Tip: Add social sharing buttons and a subscribe button to your content so people can easily share and subscribe.
6. Internal Linking
When a visitor comes to your website your goal is to get them to stay on your website and explore more about your company and your manufacturing capabilities. Don’t just rely on your navigation to help visitors find what they’re looking for. Take opportunities to cross promote other products and services on each of your pages by simply linking to those related items in the content.
Pro Tip: Test different links to see what works best for your audience. Use a combination of buttons, in line text and call-outs to see what generates the most engagement on your site.
Manufacturers are working harder than ever before and it’s time your website do some heavy lifting to help your sales teams focus on the right customers. Investing some time and energy in ensuring your website is able to generate traffic is an important piece of the marketing mix.
Once you get them to your site, the next critical step is converting them from being simply a visitor to a lead. To do that, you’ll want to have multiple opportunities for visitors to identify themselves through forms, chat and other calls to action.