Online Marketing Truth: More Content Equals More Leads

More Content Equals More LeadsSometimes, less is more–except when it’s not. And, when it comes to online marketing and lead generation. It seems like a no-brainer, but research from HubSpot reveals a simple truth: more content equals more traffic, and more traffic equals more leads.

I don’t know any business that doesn’t want leads – which are essentially opportunities to close more business – do you?

Your website in general, and your corporate blog as an adjunct, are both marketing tools that, when used correctly, can result in leads and sales. Badda bing, badda boom. Yes, Virginia, it really is that simple.

If you share my slight obsession with numbers and statistics, consider these benchmarks as identified by HubSpot’s research:

*Company websites should have a minimum of 400 indexed pages

*Company websites should also include a minimum of 31 landing pages

*Companies should blog a minimum of 20 times/month (psst, a blog is a great way to regularly add fresh, indexable content to your website.)

If you don’t know how many pages of your website have been indexed by the search engines, you can do a quick assessment here.

The numbers are helpful, but they lead to a big question: what’s the best way to go about creating more content?

Take it from us: don’t try any tricky shortcuts in order to beef up your content pool. It might be tempting to split existing posts into smaller pieces, but you’ll end up with a sparse, unsatisfactory website that doesn’t deliver a productive user experience–and it will take its toll not just on your traffic, but on prospective leads, too.

Instead, look at ways to maximize content that you already include in your blog. Try a tactic recommended by Patrick Shea in his post about the recent HubSpot research and approach blog content from a positive and negative angle.

Let’s say there’s a new service that’s relevant for your business and industry. You’d probably write a post on the benefits of the service and how users can capitalize on the tool. But as Shea writes, don’t be afraid to approach the negative side, too. Maybe the service has some weak spots or could use some improvement. Blog about these things, too. This sort of constructive criticism will demonstrate your knowledge about the topic, and also give you a chance to subtly display how your company could help users circumvent these potential pitfalls.

More Content Equals More Leads

And when it comes to increasing your site’s number of indexed pages, take a few minutes to establish an inventory of what you already have. We agree with Shea’s recommendations that it’s always a good idea to pursue the “low-hanging fruit” by doing simple things like creating individual bio pages, separate pages for each region/city/state/country you service and individual pages for each of your company’s services or solutions. That way, you’re not shortchanging yourself–or your company–when it comes to increasing your online content. Instead, you’re pursuing a more productive approach to outlining existing information, leaving you time to create more time-consuming pieces like white papers and demonstrations.

When it comes to creating more content for your site, how do you do it? Stay tuned for more ideas on best practices for corporate blog content – and it won’t even cost you $9.99 a month (industry joke – ignore me).

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  • Anonymous

    Great thought-provoking post — but these counts: 400 pages, 31 landing pages, blogging 20 times a month must be averages and/or only represent a particular size of company. Generally: 1) I believe the data in the Hubspot survey 2) It’s great material for customer discussions 3) It represents correlations – not necessarily cause and effect.  We don’t know if their revenue got larger because they added more pages or if they added more pages because their revenue (and therefore their product lines, geographical reach and web development budgets) got larger.

    My market focus is on small businesses — generally revenues ranging from $1.5MM to $5MM a year, staffs (on average) ranging from 1 to 8 people. Three things would prevent them from going to a 400 page count: 1) The investment, 2) The ability to create this much content with a small staff, and 3) (Hard-to-believe but important) The need to scale more slowly. Even a first-time 12 page SEO-optimized website can raise volume beyond a 6-person business’s ability to scale to it. This affects service with existing customers. One of the fundamental drivers of start-up failures is scaling too quickly.

    I’m convinced that companies with 400 web pages have more revenue. I’m just not convinced that the building a site with 400 pages is the right decision for every size business.

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  • Anonymous

    While I totally see your point Glenn (and I apologize for the delay in responding – somehow your comment escaped my notice), I have to disagree. Using my own business as an example, with a relatively small staff, all of whom are focused on other things, we have managed to regularly be committed to corporate blogging.

    Simply by committing to writing regular blog content, we have grown our number of indexed pages of content from 0 three years ago to over 1,700 today. For me personally, carving out time to write for our corporate blog is my greatest weekly challenge, but I continually remind myself that that exercise is nothing less than me committing to paying myself first. In addition to serving our clients, it is critical that I serve the needs of our business. And, for us, corporate blogging is part of our marketing strategy. And, because of our continued commitment to practice what we preach, our blog most definitely drives not only brand awareness and credibility in the marketplace, but also regularly drives leads and sales.

    I’m a big fan of scale – and we focus on it a great deal. And for my business, if we find that we can’t serve the needs of our customers effectively, we either modify our offerings or we add staff so that we can do so. Which I assume is probably what just about any business would do.

    You raise great points – and I very much agree with your thinking. But I have to also be honest and tell you that I have worked diligently to follow my own advice and it has paid off, in spades, for our business and for our clients’ businesses. And it’s not as difficult to do as you might imagine – even with a small staff. You just have to want to do it. And commit to making it happen.

    And you’re right – committing to growth is not right for every business or for every size business. But our experience has been that more businesses are interested in growth than not, and this is one way to do it. And one that we know, from our own experience, works.

    As you know, I do so love a good discussion – and very much appreciate you not only coming by, Glenn, but also sharing your thoughts.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Catherine. I actually find just the opposite – I love social media sites and have less of an affinity for forums, whose anonymity I find uninteresting.

  • Steve

    Great insight and notes taken. I am a very small start up with a lot of competition. The business is mostly referral based by real estate agents. My dilemna is coming up with enough content to write 3 times per week, circling around my home inspection industry. Any thoughts on how to tackle this? Does anyone recommend writing about stuff other than what’s happening in the industry? Your comments are appreciated.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Steve,

    Absolutely! There’s so much to write about when you are in the real estate/housing market – I’d branch way out from the home inspection industry and write about things that not only would interest realtors, but also homeowners, prospective homeowners and a myriad of other things. A great blog is one that’s informative, resourceful, entertaining and interesting. I’ll bet you can do that with no problem!

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  • Anonymous

    Me too! I have only been using Twitter for a few weeks but I already feel part of a community. I love it.

  • Anonymous

    I nearly fainted when I saw those stats, but I already got some good ideas on expanding my meagre ten page site!

  • Anonymous

    Glad to hear that, Valerie!

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  • Anonymous

    Haha. Good. Small sites have great opportunities when it comes to smart content marketing. Go get ‘em!!

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  • Steve

    I’ve signed up with Hubspot to try and improve on my overall web presence.  So far I’ve been impressed.  For my company, which is just me, they have stated that on average in one month, I will see 3133 visits, 60 leads and 17 paid customers.  This of course is if I put in a minimum of 3 – 5 hours per week in to the content of the site and follow their guidelines to a “T”.

  • Anonymous

    We’re big HubSpot fans, Steve. It’s not the only solution (we do a lot of what they do, too), but for someone looking for a DIY solution, they are definitely one to look at. Thanks for sharing!

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  • Anonymous

    Well – I’m always open to being educated. Your counts and Steve’s counts are very impressive and worth thinking about. I get a lot of resistance to increasing page counts with these (very) small businesses. (Although I did get some wonderful data from a client last week, who gave figures on the revenue that he believed was driven by the website/SEO. Knocked my socks off – almost 10X payback in 5 months on line. Never heard of such a thing. He might be willing to add a few pages :)  )

  • Steve

    I’m sooooo hoping the stats are correct as I could really use an upswing in my business.  Being referral based is very tough in an industry that’s hard to break into in the first place.  There is the 80/20 rule.  80% of the agents arent selling while 20% are.  It’s hard to crack into the 20% that already have their people that they use.  My hope is that most people will go online to check out the agents recommendation and see me landing on the top spots of google.  What is your client’s business that was increase 10x?

  • Anonymous

    Just to clarify – his business didn’t increase by 10X but the revenue that he thinks was driven by the website paid for the website and SEO 10 times over.

    He is a mechanical (valves, pneumatics, etc.) parts and services provider. Came to me originally because all his business was more or less “word-of-mouth” and he wasn’t ranking on Google even for the items he manufactured. I’ve got 3 customers who are more or less in this general niche and I’m looking for more. He’s the first to actually call and give me this kind of feedback. Since I have a lot of manufacturing background myself, this niche is a very good client/consultant fit for me.

  • Anonymous

    Good advice by Shelly.  Some of your blogs should focus on pain points for homeowners (and buyers), especially things an inspection might turn up. A few “how-to”s to avoid problems might be good also – carpenter ants, mold, water damage, termites, unsafe electrical.  (Example: if you put coffee grounds around your house, carpenter ants WILL NOT cross that line. True.  Great title possibilities: “Serving Coffee to Carpenter Ants” :) )  … how to assess housing value, advantages of tax reassessments, figuring out if you are in a flood plain, etc. etc… 

    Remember that you are not only reaching out to potential customers, you want rich content that will be linked to by a range of domains to help drive your page ranks. I also recommend (to my clients) building pages with unique tools, specialized calculators etc. that might appeal to students as well as potential clients. Love doing this. The reason you do this is to drive links from a wider variety of domains (.edu domains, etc.). This helps increase site authority which, in turn, helps your page ranks. There are tons of possibilities in construction/real estate. There may even be some good ones from the HVAC / mechanical arena.  (Architecture and Mech. Eng. were my 1st degrees before I went into CS :)   ).
    Need to do your keyword research too. “What is a home inspection ?”, something about “home inspection checklists”.  Although, if your are smaller, you generally focus on long-tail key phrases, don’t ignore the high competition keywords. Google is becoming more and more friendly to local search which makes it possible to rank in your area for some of these phrases that used to be impossible for a small shop to score on.

  • Steve

    Thanks!  I’ve done the keywords and long tails focussing in local areas as I really don’t want to fly across the country for a home inspection!  :)  You made some great points about expanding the relm of possible topics.  I like your idea of adding calculators etc to the site.  Anything to add to the links.  I’m curreintly working on adding video testimonials, because not only is it personal and puts a face on it, but video is also one of googles search criteria that ads to the site rank.
    Thanks for all the input.  I appreciate it.
    Cheers!

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