25 May How We Grew Inbound Traffic by 300% in 6 Months
By Stuart McKeown
During the second half of 2015, we put together a plan to dramatically increase the amount of inbound traffic to our software as a service (SaaS) company’s website. In April we were averaging roughly 3,000 visits a day; all of this was coming via existing inbound marketing. We knew that if we could increase our traffic numbers, our daily customer signups would follow the same trajectory. But how could we do this?
Our initial goal was to double this number in just 6 months, so by the end of 2015 we would have roughly double the number of users hitting our site, and double the number of users signing up to use our product, Gleam. Our plan was to attempt to do this with entirely organic growth. No paid acquisition sources, just traffic that we could scale without needing to scale ongoing budgets.
But where do you start? What kind of activity do you focus on? How much content should you write? Most SaaS businesses have many different levers that they can pull to influence growth. In this post I’m going to share with you our favourite inbound tactics that helped us overachieve our rather optimistic goal by more than 50%.
Rethinking Our Approach To Blogging
When we first launched our blog we focused on the fairly narrow topic of sweepstakes marketing. Whilst meaningful to some, we ended up alienating much of the marketing world looking for actionable advice (and crossover into commonly used techniques). We made the decision to rebrand and focus on tactics anyone can use to grow your business. This instantly opened up to a much wider variety of possible content ideas, and really ignited a fire inside the team to build a blog that was both engaging and useful, and helped grow our business.
We didn’t write a large volume of articles, but set ourselves the task of writing at least two really epic ones per month. One way we thought about it was to create evergreen articles that would be as relevant yesterday as they are tomorrow — which means it will consistently bring value for years to come. Much of our new content was built around these 5 content pillars: Engaging, Inspiring, Emotional, Trusted and Simple. Our most successful articles got upwards of 100K views over several months!
So how do you get there? In addition to keeping the 5 content pillars in mind, here are some specific tactics you can use to determine a good topic:
- Use a tool like SEMRush to identify what users are searching for
- Write good long-form articles (at least 1500 words) addressing users’ search terms. Get tips on how to get the formula right here.
- Take the time to get your headline right — they say don’t judge a book by its cover but if your title doesn’t grab attention immediately you won’t get that click through. Use a tool such as CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to help you here. Here’s one we optimised:
- Make your posts actionable — give users something to do
- Use imagery: visuals break up your content and provide additional color to your content
The result of implementing these tactics drove 40k visits per month to our blog (and it’s growing by around 10% each month).