As the year draws to a close, The Kingdom is closing in on the 35,000 web hit mark for 2015. This is up from 6000 web hits last year. A huge 522% increase. We thought we would give away our secrets so that you can benefit from our story.
What have we learned from a 522% increase in website traffic in 2015?
With such remarkable numbers, you may think that The Kingdom is a start-up business, with a low base of website hits to record such growth.
Not so, as The Kingdom has been established since 2009 and was a well-known advertising agency in Adelaide, up until January of 2015. So much so that we were ranked by Creative Brief last year as the second most creative agency in Adelaide.
In 2014, we were averaging just 400 to 600 clicks per month, now we are pushing 4500 a month and on the way up.
So how did we do it? Here are 13 reasons...
1 . We stopped talking about ourselves.
We got rid of the egos in the building. The former creative directors were chockablock full of self-importance and ego. Their goal was all about making "creative" art to win awards. Awards were more important to their egos than solving the customers problems.
This was reflected in the pre-2015 website. It was all about how great we thought we were, not about how we help solve our customer's questions.
Lesson Learned: Get rid of the people in your organisation that think they are more important than the customer.
2. We began helping customers.
Your website is the tool that helps a prospect make an informed purchasing decision. Websites are for teaching. Websites are for educating your future customer.
Your website content needs to be all about how you help your customer.
Lesson Learned: Make sure your content speaks to your customer's problem first and foremost.
Top Tip: Go through your website and remove all the vanity and replace it with all the ways you help your customer.
3. We went on a mission to boost page counts.
We went on a mission to increase the page count of our website. It was too cool for school in the past - but with not enough pages, nor information. We typed up a frenzy in 2015, making pages and blogs on a daily basis. In doing so, we were able to increase our footprint for Google and search engines to find us.
It stands to reason that the greater your range of information you serve up to the inquiring public, the more likely you are to get website traffic from search engines.
Lesson Learned: Get writing. Write a blog/page a day and aim to get your website over 200 pages. That’s when the Google hits come to you organically.
4. We focussed more on what happened when people got to the website.
How often do you act like your customer? When was the last time that you were on your website acting as a prospect trying to buy your product?
Most people quickly realise that their website is ordinary when they do this.
When we did this as a team, we came to the conclusion that we ALL would have gone and searched again for a better result and not bought from us. Time to get a new site!
Lesson Learned: Act like a customer, be highly critical of your website. Then fix it.
5. Practice makes perfect.
We redesigned our website twice in 2015. The first effort was created in WordPress. We then reworked the site in the HubSpot website pages CMS.
Having a second go at it in short succession was very helpful. Refinement was much easier the second time - much like writing a draft of a novel, and then going back and editing.
A key part of this process was to be brutal on content that is not relevant or is self-indulgent. If it was not helping the customer, it went.
Lesson Learned: There is no finish date for a website. They should be changing and evolving every day, improving based on the lessons of the past.
6. We focussed primarily on the mobile experience.
Our second and current website was designed for the mobile device. We wanted it to be easy to use and super responsive. We built it light, with limited flashy graphics, but tried to make it fast and easy for the mobile user.
Mobile usage is growing off the charts; the desktop is now very much second consideration when building a website.
Is your website designed for mobile or desktop?
By focussing on speed and mobile, we quickly realised it was much easier to design a website. It's more about the content and the solution, not the pretty pictures that slow the process down.
Lesson Learned: Test your website on mobile. Act like a buyer and be honest about your experience. If your website does not work well on mobile, fix it.
7. We dedicated ourselves to an inbound marketing methodology.
Inbound marketing is powerful, we quickly discovered that.
We started by applying categories to our pages. We grouped them into Top of Funnel, Middle of Funnel and Bottom of Funnel to match the buyer journey. This gives you purpose and reason behind the creation of each page.
By going through an inbound marketing audit, you appreciate your buyer journey and how well you are assisting them along the way.
Lesson Learned: Our 2014 site was terrible. The site didn’t help the customer and was a confusing journey that lead nowhere. You need to pay close attention to how your prospect is going to use your website.
Second Lesson Learned: It was not until we got the page count up, that we were able to categorise web pages. High page count is really important.
8. We went to a weekly email out and tried different days.
One of the great benefits of trying to help and provide knowledge to our subscribers is that you can do email outs more often. Sure, people will unsubscribe. We used this a constant reminder that we need to be interesting, engaging and helpful with our content.
Once you stop adding value, the unsubscribes go up.
Lesson Learned: Try different email sending days, including the weekends. We discovered Friday afternoon and Saturday were effective times to email. This went against our pre-conceived ideas.
9. We learned that sales nurturing took a long time.
All businesses want instant sales gratification. But, you need to play the long game for marketing to work effectively.
Web marketing requires patience and loads of content to help your customer reach their conclusions before they are ready to buy. Your customers need to trust you. This takes effort and time.
Lesson Learned: Forget about the quick fix. Play the long game with web marketing. Investment and patience are needed for marketing to work.
10. We embraced social media in a big big way.
The Kingdom outputs over 2500 social media messages in a month. Social media is by far the number one driving force of website traffic to our business. Without a full social schedule, we panic, as we know there is a direct link to activity on the website.
This surprises many businesses, who often are too timid to post more than 2-3 posts on any platform per week. We cultivate social hard, and it's a big reason behind the growth success.
Lesson Learned: Get serious about social media. Do social properly, and treat it like an important business division.
11. We got rid of Pay-per-Click.
With a high page count and dedicated social media effort, we have eliminated the need for Pay-per-Click advertising.
Pay-per-Click is cheating. By eliminating it, we realised we had to work harder to get the right content working.
Pay-per-Click is fools gold. It is building little equity and is just throwing money away, masking your website content deficiencies.
Lesson Learned: Pay-per-Click may get your prospect to your website, but what happens after that? Great content is needed for search and the buyer journey.
12. We got the employee's writing.
We ran blogging competitions for our team, providing an incentive for them to write. We then tracked their hits and made it competitive. The team pushed their articles to their personal social media and the hits rolled in.
Lesson Learned: Employee advocacy is energising, and we got some great blogs our normal writers would never have thought of.
13. We implemented HubSpot.
None of these benefits would have been possible without HubSpot in place. HubSpot gave us all the tools to get our business growing. HubSpot increased our marketing productivity. HubSpot provided the mechanisms we needed to publish, analyse and nurture.
By watching the analytics on a daily basis, we can see exactly what is working on our website, and it gives us the tools to fix what was not working.
From a sales perspective, it is a remarkable tool, as HubSpot provides insights into who is clicking on your website and which pages. This results in warm leads, more sales and a growing business.
Lesson Learned: The investment in HubSpot was worth every cent. Dynamic businesses spend money to make money. By investing, you also discover that you can't timidly dip your toes in the shallow end of the pool. You need to jump in and swim.
If you told me at the start of 2015 we would have gotten 35,000 website hits this year, I would have laughed. Alot. But, as the year draws to a close, it is reality, and better still, from the investment of effort in the website we now have, we can confidently aim for 55,000 next year. Stay tuned...
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