How Adding a Blog to a B2B Website Boosted Traffic 562%

Nearly every marketing consultant is advising their clients to create a blog. Why? Because blogging is one of the best ways to increase website traffic and improve search engine rankings.

Blog-Keyboard2-e1302703976675-300x210But let’s be honest: Blogging can be a big commitment. A smart marketer has to ask, is it worth the time and effort? Can someone prove that it really works? And what can you do to increase your odds of success, especially if you’re in business-to-business (B2B) marketing?

Here’s how traffic to my website skyrocketed in one year thanks to the addition of a blog, and four lessons from this blogging case study for your smart marketing strategy.

A Year of Blogging Produces Eye-Popping Stats

I launched my Smart Marketing Strategy blog in January 2010. My goals were to share the best practices of marketing strategy, showcase my expertise as a marketing consultant, and generate new business for my Cleveland, Ohio marketing agency.

I’ve been blogging weekly now for more than a year. To see how the blog has impacted my website traffic, I compared my site’s Google Analytics stats from March 2010 to March 2011.

I knew site traffic was way up and I’d also seen a jump in web-generated new business inquiries. But even I was stunned by the one-month, year-over-year numbers:

  • Total number of website visits: Up 562%
  • Unique visitors: Up 583%
  • Page views: Up 195%

I set up my blog to repost automatically on LinkedIn and Facebook and I tweeted every post on Twitter. That strategy has paid off. LinkedIn referrals to my site are up 825% and Twitter referrals shot through the roof: a 2,933% increase. Google referrals also are up 500%.

In addition, I’ve gotten global exposure from my blog. In March 2010, my website had visitors from 21 countries. A year later, visitors came from 82 countries.

What Site Visitors are Reading

Google Analytics shows that visitors are reading my blog to learn about what’s working in marketing strategy and creative. The most popular posts were:

But visitors aren’t just reading blog posts. They’re also checking out our capabilities and contacting us for new assignments, which is the ultimate payoff.

And search engine rankings are just as important. We’ve gained page-one prominence on Google for multiple keywords related to our business, thanks to Google’s indexing of blog content.

4 Lessons for Your Smart Marketing Strategy

Publishing a blog is bringing thousands of visitors to my website every month. Here are four valuable marketing lessons I’ve learned from this experience:

  1. Content marketing – especially blogging – is one of the most powerful marketing tactics you can deploy. Generating a constant flow of high-quality content linked to your website can dramatically impact site traffic and your search engine rankings. The results are measurable and real.
  2. Promotion is crucial for success. I promote every blog post via social media, email, and my website, and I’ve been fortunate to have marketing colleagues around the world share the blog with their clients and friends.
  3. Once you start, don’t stop. Starting a blog is much easier than sustaining one. You need to keep at it to build readership and momentum. Plan to devote a few hours each week to producing high-quality content your readers will value. Writing a few posts before you begin can help during the introductory phase.
  4. If you don’t have the internal resources to publish a blog, get external help. I have a writing background and many years of experience in creating marketing strategies and campaigns, so creating content was not my challenge. But I needed help setting up the blog and optimizing it for search engines. Look for content marketing and web consultants that can speak to you in terms you understand – and ask lots of questions to keep them on their toes.

The bottom line: Blogging is worth the effort. Publishing a quality blog takes time, effort, and thought, but the payoff for marketers can be huge, whether you’re selling to business decision-makers or consumers.

Here are more lessons from my first year of blogging.

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Comments

  1. Hi Jean,

    I found this post of yours when reviewing tweets from my twitter stream, and glad to discover your blog and follow you on Twitter.

    Personally, I was a bit alarmed yet secretly glad when the company I do B2B social media and marketing for asked me to get their blog rolling among other things I’m doing for them. Overall I’m gratified for the venue to flex some writing skills that are allowed a little more creative muscle than I can exercise in press releases.

    Any marketer worth their salt today knows SEO and inbound marketing is key to building clients and brand visibility; and blogs, especially on WordPress are a ticket to that. Yes, it’s a big time commitment, but like starting any positive, healthy habit, it just takes regular commitment. As someone fairly new to the industry I’m doing marketing in (eLearning and Training & Development), I find Twitter (especially scheduled Twitter chats) and LinkedIn groups both lead me to the best of active bloggers in the field. I enjoy reading what they have to say on new trends and these blogs are a wealth of active and talented writers that I can reach out to as potential guest bloggers for our own blog (shameless plug here: http://www.quicklessons.com/blog/ )

    Having guest bloggers gives a welcome variety of perspectives and depth of experience on topics of interest to readers.

    Another discovery I’ve make is that bloggers are some of the friendliest people involved in social media, truly grateful to share with others who are committed to the science and art of writing for a virtual audience. There is a LinkedIn group for WordPress fans that has been very helpful me to ramp up my understanding of things like plug-ins, etc. I recommend for beginning blogger to make some online friends there or through a meet-up to help guide them on the journey and provide motivation.

    A pleasure to share you as a resource, Jean, and look forward to learning more from you.
    Ann

  2. Hi, Ann, and thanks for your insights and thoughtful comments. I think your analogy comparing blogging to any healthy habit, like exercise, is right on target. That’s a great way to view blogging. I agree that bloggers are a friendly bunch; they really want to connect and understand the power of community. It sounds like you are doing well as a blogger and blog provider for your clients; good luck to you! I’ll follow you back on Twitter and subscribe to your blog as well. Thanks for getting in touch.

  3. By maintaining a blog, you can develop thought leadership and engage with your customers, all the while generating valuable leads for your sales team. Check out some of our best resources on how to start and maintain a successful business blog.

  4. Thanks for the comment and for sharing your resources on blogging. It’s a great tool for business-to-business marketing.

  5. hello all…
    This is the one of the best way to assign your business in global market places…….
    thanks…..

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  1. [...] feeds that share content on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook should be set up. Take a story from Smart Marketing Strategy, who boosted traffic 526% with a blog that reposted content, “automatically on LinkedIn and [...]

  2. [...] blog feeds that share calm on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook should be set up. Take a story from Smart Marketing Strategy, who increased trade 526% with a blog that reposted content, “automatically on LinkedIn and [...]

  3. [...] and Facebook should be set up. Take a story from Smart Marketing Strategy, who boosted traffic 526% with a blog that reposted content, “automatically on [...]

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