I work for a good company. Capterra does a lot of things right and takes its employees seriously. One of the nicest parts of working here, though, has been seeing success up close. While I’ve never worked for a failing business, I’ve worked for plenty that are just doing fine. That’s the most you could say of them – they were doing fine.
If you look at the traffic to Capterra’s blog – which I do with some regularity – you’ll see a trend line that looks like a rocket taking off, starting back in 2014.
The difference between the way we bring customers to our site and the way you bring them to yours isn’t so different. You run a trucking business, rely on search demand from Google, and you’ve got some brand recognition among local businesses and customers.
To grow web traffic, you’ll need to reach out to all those levers and make something happen. Once you get the hang of the basics, the rest is just down to consistency. Today, we’ll look at five things you can do to attract more customers to your website.
- Set things up for success
- Give the people what they want
- Localize your site
- Talk it up
- Don’t stop
Set things up for success
No matter how big your town is, it has at least two kinds of grocery stores – the one that’s good and that you like going to and the one that has the one brand of crackers your cat will eat.
The good store is laid out nicely and when you’re in the milk section you can see the cheese and the butter. You walk from aisle to aisle without getting lost, because there are signs hanging over the green, checked linoleum indicating what’s down each aisle.
When you need help, there’s a kid stocking the ‘dog food with gravy’ section who walks you over to the basters and shows you the wide range of options. The lady at the fish counter knows what tilapia is.
Imagine your website like that grocery store. Making the process of moving around as painless as possible and putting all the right structures in place is referred to as “on-page SEO” (search engine optimization).
A good website is easily navigated by anyone. In this case, anyone refers to people and to other computers. Do you need to watch a video or click on a moving rabbit or have some weird extension to get to the meat of your site? That’s not good.
People should be able to show up and find what they need as easily as you can find the melons in your favorite store. This is the foundation for a successful website, so don’t overlook it. If you work with a developer or designer, talk to them about making things as accessible as possible.
A shiny website with fun features is worthless if no one can figure out your phone number or how much you charge for shipping.
Give the people what they want
You might hate it, but you go to the grocery store that smells like cats because it carries that one brand you need. On a trucking website, content is the reason people put up with animations and videos about your first customer and all the other nonsense that fills an impenetrable page. If you can give people the content they want without all the distractions – you got rid of them in step one – you’re going to drive more traffic to your site.
The balance we’re trying to strike lies between SEO optimization – “trucking website,” “SEO optimization,” bulleted lists, and photos that add to the content – and genuinely useful content.
Forget the search terms and think about your customers. What are they always asking you about? International shipping, last mile solutions, pricing, LTL shipping, and all the other stuff that comes up in a day. Take those questions and write them up.
Even if no one were to ever find your website because of that writing, imagine how much time you could save. The askers of common questions can just be directed to your page on the topic instead of spending fifteen minutes on the phone each time refrigerated trucking comes up.
Behind the scenes, Google is looking for relevant content that also fits its ever-changing idea of what good structure looks like. There are companies that chase this moving goalpost and some do well, but you can do well without constant fretting about what Google wants. Instead, just write what the people want.
There’s always an element in Google’s rankings that takes traffic into account. As long as people are coming your way, more people will come your way.
Localize your site
The best small businesses of all kinds know localization is the key to success. If you mainly ship up and down the I-95 corridor, from JAX to RDU, focus on those customers. Add your location to your pages, talk about local issues on your site, and make things focused in on issues that affect that trucking lane.
When Debbie’s Donuts in Phoenix is looking for a trucking company, you don’t need to show up as the first result. But when Durham’s Counter Culture is looking for a shipping partner, you want to be right there.
While the web is open to almost anyone, you still have a target demographic. It’s impossible for everyone to be your customer, so stop writing content for everyone. It’s a lot easier than it seems.
- Instead of “Pricing for shipping” go with “Pricing for shipping in the Southeast”
- Instead of “How Intermodal Shipping Works” try “Intermodal Shipping in Jacksonville”
- Instead of “How the Infrastructure Bill Affects Interstates” hit it up with “How the Infrastructure Bill Affects I-95″
Not only will you get some good SEO bumps, you’ll also have a better target to write for. Explaining why eggs are good for you is kind of boring and aimless. Explaining why eggs are good for people on a high protein diet is a lot easier.
Pull your scope in and make your website about your business, not just any old trucking business.
Talk it up
Once you get some useful content and a nice looking website setup, it’s time to talk it up. No one has time to go on every forum and answer every question, so don’t add to your todo list. Instead, find a small handful of good sites (Quora, Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter jump to mind) and focus a half hour on them whenever you have the time.
You can also talk it up offline. Those customers with the common questions, folks you meet at networking events, heck, people you bump into at the good grocery store. Share your work. If it’s good, people will read it and share it.
Once you’ve got the bones in place and have filled your site with content, you can also look at some search engine marketing (SEM). SEM is paid advertising, usually through Google AdWords. Only do this once you’ve got everything else in place. SEM can be costly and, if you’re not converting, you’re just going to set cash on fire.
On the other hand, SEM can really help drive business through your site. As with your content, you’re going to want to focus in on your potential customers’ search terms. Longer keywords (“refrigerated trucking southeast”) are better converters and often have less competition.
Your website is like any other part of your business. It needs regular maintenance and attention. Add content on a regular basis, keep your contact details and pricing up to date, and keep talking it up.
Trucking – and the logistics industry, in general – is almost constantly in flux. New technology and trends make it a pretty easy one to think up content for. It’s also a complex industry, so you’ll always have questions to answer.
It’s a process, but it pays off
Capterra’s blogs have had great success, but it took a lot of work. We did on-and-off work for a long time before we buckled down and made blogging a consistent effort. Once we did, it then took another year or so for us to start seeing real results.
Now, we’re riding high on the back of those efforts. If you stick with it, you can get great results from your website, too.
If you need some tech to help you design a lovely website, check out our Website Builder directory. If you’ve already got a great site and just need some help making it more profitable, swing on over to our Web Analytics listings.
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