And How Long Should It Take To See Inbound Marketing Results At My Company?
Two excellent questions and two areas that are challenging to deliver on from an inbound marketing perspective. What numbers should we expect to see? How long is it going to take to deliver them? The answers might surprise you.
First, no one really knows. Any answers I’d provide you would be based on previous experiences with companies similar to yours, but I’m also going to tell you that your company is going to perform in a way unique to you and your business.
What I can do, and what you should ask any inbound marketing agency you’re considering to do, is make some projections. Just like sales projections, website visitor, conversion rate and lead goal projections are a guess based on the data available to us at the time of the projection. The more data you have, the better your projections. The projections are also based on your budget, so the bigger your budget, the more dramatic the improvements.
Finally, those projections are based on assumptions that you will follow our advice and let us run the campaigns the way we need to run them to generate results. If you delay approvals, if you tell us what to do and if you change your mind frequently (we understand, it’s your prerogative to do so), it will impact results.
However, most of the time, our clients let us be us, and here are some of the results we’ve generated for one of our current clients. By the way, beware of case studies and data that only show percentages. I can talk about a 150% improvement by going from two leads to six leads, but is that really performance? Here are real results from a real client!
We’ve been working with this client for just a few months. They came to us from another agency and felt like they didn’t have a clear marketing strategy, so they wanted to upgrade their messaging and see more dramatic results.
In just a few months, website visitors have increased by 53% from 4,550 to 6,937. We did that by improving the onsite search engine optimization features of their website. We added a number of new SEO-optimized pages to their site and reworked a number of current pages so they’d be more search-friendly.
In addition, we increased the number of blogs we’re writing for them, focused on a new set of highly prioritized keywords, keyword phrases and questions, and produced longer, more thoughtful and educational articles to attract more visitors, shares and backlinks.
Since we started working with them, visitors from organic searches have almost doubled and leads from organic searches have improved 10X.
Website visitors are a top-of-the-funnel metric. While it’s an early indicator of successful marketing and a metric that definitely points to the health of a program, it doesn’t pay the bills; leads pay the bills. To generate leads, we have to look for ways to improve the conversion rate across the site. When we first started working with this client, their site-wide conversion rate was .66%, well below industry standards.
In just four months, we were able to improve the site-wide conversion rate to 1.14%. That means we almost doubled the conversion rate, and we’ve consistently proven an ability to improve the site-wide conversion rate by about .3% month over month for the past four to five months.
If the same level of visitor and conversion rate growth continues (and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t), by July they’ll be getting roughly 130 leads a month from their inbound marketing program. Before we started working with them, they were getting zero leads from their website.
Speaking of leads, in the first month of our engagement we were able to make a handful of small adjustments to take them to 10 leads, and in March they finished the month with 64 leads from their website. To be fair, these are marketing-qualified leads, but total leads generated since November of last year is 218 and 35 of those are sales-qualified leads that turned into actual sales opportunities.
Perhaps most importantly, of the 64 leads in March, 40 came from organic search, meaning they were most likely new visitors and new leads. Of those 40 leads, four were qualified sales opportunities. With a four- to six-month sales process, we’re still collecting data on the potential customer and revenue opportunities from these highly-qualified leads.
This client is representative of what inbound has the power to deliver. Is this what you should expect at your company? That’s going to depend. Do you have the right amount of investment to produce results like this? Do you have the right experience? Do you have the right strategy and marketing assets? If you recall, this client came to us knowing they didn’t have the right marketing strategy, messaging, differentiation and stories. We helped them with that and then applied those assets into their inbound marketing tactics. The results speak for themselves.
This client is also wonderful to work with. They respect our opinion. We tell them what we think and then together we collaborate on priorities and plans every 30 days. We talk about what results to expect and let them know what impact their decisions will likely have on results. Now that we have historical data specific to this business, our ability to do projections and share insights on the future expected results is much better.
Through a partnership with this client, we (us and them) have been able to produce remarkable results in a relatively short amount of time. Given a similar situation, you could expect similar results for your business.
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