In this report we share findings from an analysis of 1,400 HubSpot customers inbound marketing activities. The study reveals that the following four factors have a significant positive impact on leads:
1. Indexed pages in Google
For every fifty to 100 pages of indexed pages in Google, leads achieved double digit growth. Lead growth experiences significant acceleration for customers with more than several hundred indexed pages.
2. The number of keywords for which sites rank in Googles top 100 results
Increasing the number of keywords starts to impact lead growth only once marketers achieve top 100 rankings for a significant number of keywords (in the teens).
3. Publishing and growing blogs
Customers with blogs gathered 68% more leads than customers without blogs. Growing articles starts to impact lead growth once 20+ articles become available.
4. Using Twitter and growing followers
B2C customers using Twitter generated two times more leads than customers without a Twitter account. Twitter users with several hundred followers had approximately twice as many leads as Twitter users with followers in the double digits.
In this report, we explore each of these relationships in more detail.
The significance of these factors to lead growth validates the importance of creating unique online content through many mediums. It also demonstrates the importance of distributing this content through social media outlets (e.g. Twitter) to maximize online presence.
This analysis focused on discovering the most significant and positive interactions between inbound marketing activities and leads. We analyzed 3 months worth of data on 15+ metrics for 1,400 HubSpot customers. Six of these metrics stood out, due to the strength of their relationship to lead growth. See metric definitions in the Appendix.
To control for company size and type, we evaluated differences in results for the following groups of customers:
Large customers (L): defined as customers with 50+ employees
Medium sized customers (M): 11 to 50 employees
Small customers (S): 1 to 10 employees
Large companies tend to have more pages indexed in Google versus small firms. But the graph below clearly shows that size is not a critical factor of achieving a significant volume of Google indexed pages. While large firms formed the largest group of customers with 311+ indexed pages in Google, small and medium sized companies together out-numbered large firms. In addition, small firms formed the largest percentage of customers with 176 to 310 Google indexed pages.
Marketing Takeaways -
Marketers are likely to ask: What are techniques for growing the number of Google indexed pages on my site?
Build page volume: consider starting a blog to quickly increase pages
Improve each pages optimization as per Googles methodology to maximize chances of having all of your web pages included in the index:
- On-Page Search Engine Optimization: placing keywords in the right places on web pages such that Google and other search engines know what each page of your web site is about, and what keywords to rank you for
- Off-Page Search Engine Optimization: building inbound links from reputable sites, thus demonstrating your popularity to search engines
It is interesting to note that the number of inbound links did not have a meaningful relationship with leads. Inbound links, however, did correlate well with unique visitors. This implies that for those interested in generating leads, quality of sites vs. quantity is more important when building inbound links.
Sites Ranking in Googles Top 100 Results for Many Keywords (15+) Acquire More Leads
Leads start to grow with the number of keywords ranking in Googles top 100 only once customers rank highly for a significant number of keywords (keyword numbers in the teens). Customers ranking in the top 100 search results for 1 to 14 keywords did not do better than customers who ranked for 0 keywords. In fact, median leads of customers ranking for 1 to 6 keywords were lower than for those ranking for zero keywords.
One reason for this difference is the fact that there were slightly more customers managing blogs in this first group vs. the 1-5 keywords group and that the percentage of traffic from referring sites was incrementally larger. It is possible that several customers in this group were relatively more successful at converting referral traffic into leads, as opposed to search engine traffic. Customers ranking in Googles top 100 results for 26 to 51 keywords generated twice as many leads as customers ranking for 6 to 13 keywords. Customers with 51+ keywords generated three times more leads than those with 6 to 13 keywords. Marketing Takeaways -
This analysis shows that spending time creating unique and interesting content that can be associated with as many distinct keywords as possible is worthwhile. Such content will maximize the number of keywords a site ranks for and, thus, increase lead flow.
Publishing and Growing a Blog
Marketers With Blogs Generate 67% More Leads
66% of customers in the sample have a blog. When comparing median leads of these customers to those of the 34% who dont have a blog, we find 67% more leads, or a median of 15 versus 9 monthly leads. The results are only slightly more positive when comparing the impact of blogs on B2C companies vs. B2B companies (88% increase for B2C vs. 67% increase for B2B).
B2C Twitter Users Generate 2x More Leads Than Non-Twitter Users
Twitters positive correlation to leads was statistically confirmed for B2C companies. For B2B customers, however, the results are less reliable.
The 56% of B2C customers who use Twitter generated two times more leads than customers without a Twitter account. The results were consistent across company size.
Growing Twitter Followers Increases Leads for B2C Companies up to 500
The graph below shows the relationship between Twitter reach and median leads. Median leads jump almost 30% once customers achieved follower numbers in the high double digits.
Consider leveraging Twitter to:
Build relationships with individuals who prefer shorter-format content and the interactivity Twitter enables.
Enhance relationships with individuals who are already blog subscribers by serving them blog content in a shorter, more digestible format that they can consume on the go through mobile devices.
Increase your presence in Google. Tweets can rank in Google on their own, and can help Google better index new pages on your website if you're tweeting new blog posts.
Follow to get followers. Build your Twitter reach by following companies and individuals related to your industry. They will likely follow you.
The findings in this report should encourage marketers to adopt the following four inbound marketing techniques:
1. Creating many pages of unique and compelling content to maximize the number of pages indexed in search engines
2. Identifying keywords for each page that are relevant and specific to maximize the number of keywords that a site will rank highly for in search engine results
3. Creating a blog and updating it frequently to grow indexed pages and keywords and to keep the companys community interested
4. Leveraging Twitter to build a community of followers eager to receive blog and web site content in a shorter, more accessible format
By implementing these practices on a weekly and, in the case of blogs and Twitter, on a daily basis, marketers are likely to attract more visitors who convert to leads.