Inbound Marketing Research: Content Publication Impacts Conversions

The More You Publish, The More Leads You Generate

Inbound Marketing Research FindingsAs the Chief Inbound Scientist, I run a lot of experiments. When our team comes to me with questions about client program performance, my answer is usually, “We should test that!” Inbound marketing is the only type of marketing that provides real-time access to data, so why not use that data to make decisions that drive improved business results?

The other day, we were looking at sitewide conversion rates in comparison to how often you publish fresh educational content. It seemed like the more you publish, the higher your sitewide conversion rates. It stands to reason that buyer behavior would contribute to this, but we wanted to see how dramatic this improvement was and whether it is worth the effort.

Here’s some data across about 75 client engagements stretching back into 2015, as well as active engagements currently in the shop today.

Zero To Something

A lot of our clients come to us with nothing on their website. I consider "Contact Us" or "Speak With A Representative" to be nothing. Who’s clicking on that, anyway? There’s absolutely nothing in it for them. It’s all about you. So, if all you have is "Contact Us" and you start publishing anything, you can expect, at any rate, to see your leads and conversion rate increase. Most companies in this situation typically have sub 1% conversion rates like .3% or .4% of total visitors on that page.

Once you start publishing, our data shows that most sitewide conversion rates move to slightly above 1%, so perhaps 1.2% or maybe slightly higher. This basically gets you to average. Most industry-wide studies indicate that average sitewide conversion rates are between 1% and 3%. Congratulations! Now you’re average.

Quarterly To Monthly

We see a lot of companies publishing haphazardly. When they have something, they publish it. This usually boils down to something like three to four times a year. We’ll consider that a quarterly publication schedule for the sake of this article. This, too, typically delivers about a 1% conversion rate. You might see something slightly higher or lower. Keep in mind that the website on which the content resides has a major impact on conversion rates. I’m going to talk about that in tomorrow’s blog article.

Companies that move from quarterly to monthly typically see another .5% improvement in sitewide conversion rates. So, if you’ve been doing 1.3% with a quarterly schedule and you bump it up to monthly, now you’re around 1.8%. It’s worth looking at the actual impact that has on leads.

If your site is doing 5,000 visitors a month, going from 1.3% to 1.8% means you’re getting 90 leads a month instead of 65 leads a month. That is a substantial increase. Play this out to see how important math and numbers are with inbound marketing.

Instead of 780 leads for the year, you’re looking at 1,080 leads. If 10% are sales opportunities, it’s 108 versus 78. And if you close 50% of those, now you just closed 54 new customers instead of 39. Big improvements can come from small changes.

Monthly To Weekly

Moving from monthly to weekly should involve a strategic conversation. Do your personas want information that frequently? How does your blog fit into your content publication strategy? Can you support weekly content publication? Make sure you understand the implications, both positive and negative.

The major factor in making the decision to move to weekly content publication (not including blog articles) is going to be total visitors hitting the site. When you have one million visitors to your site each month and three million subscribers, weekly publication makes a lot of sense. If you only have 10,000 visitors or less per month, a monthly plan is probably the right pace.

Remember that every piece of educational content needs a place on your site. It needs a CTA button and landing page. It has to fit into your story. Publishing that frequently would require you to retire some underperforming pieces in exchange for some of the new stuff. You would want to have those older pieces active long enough and with enough hits to be sure you have an underperforming piece before you retire it, and that’s why I’m using total visitors as a gauge for publication frequency.

However, if you have the traffic and you can support a weekly publication schedule, you should expect, based on our data, to add around .75% to your sitewide conversion rate, on average. Please remember that these numbers are based on aggregate data, and there are a lot of variables that impact those numbers.

Other Factors

Speaking of factors, the biggest is the design of your site and its pages. Tomorrow’s article is dedicated to those on-page factors. But, the design of the page, the flow, the messaging, the stories, the emotional connectors and the images all impact conversion rates.

In fact, we’ve seen sites with 1% to 3% sitewide conversion rates jump to 5% to 7% after a site redesign. This tells us that the site design is just as important as the content publication rates. This also validates much of our research that shows the secret to solid inbound marketing is not focusing on one single tactic like content or page design, but focusing on all the tactics and working to optimize them in an organized and orchestrated way. That’s how you drive business results with inbound marketing.

I also don’t want you to think that’s a reason to do nothing. I can tell you, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the more you publish, the more leads you’ll get. This is tested and supported in almost every single client engagement we’ve ever worked on. Yes, there are other contributing factors, but all of that aside, if you want more leads, create more convertible content.

learn-inbound-secret-recipe Start Today Tip – Run your own test. Benchmark your current lead flow against your publication schedule for both blog articles and long-form content on your site. Assuming you’re doing publication correctly, you should see an increase in results when you increase your publication. If you don’t, that might be an indication that you’re NOT doing the rest of it correctly. You might not be building compelling CTA buttons or awesome landing pages, and you might not be delivering the content correctly. If you think you might need some solid guidance, click our CTA for a few tricks of the trade.

Square 2 Marketing – Inbound Results Start With ME!

Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.

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