10 March 2021 1152 words, 5 min. read

Inbound marketing: why your traffic is not an indicator of success

By Lorène Fauvelle PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
Is your website traffic an indicator of inbound marketing success? Is it necessary to make thousands of views on YouTube to attract customers? In this article, I explain why my most effective content is the one that attracts the least visitors (“long-tail” strategy). […]

Is your website traffic an indicator of inbound marketing success? Is it necessary to make thousands of views on YouTube to attract customers? In this article, I explain why my most effective content is the one that attracts the least visitors (“long-tail” strategy). I’ll also explain why I think SEO gurus like Brian Dean Neil Patel… are missing the point with their approach to keyword research.


91.8% of the requests are of the long-tail type. But they generate only 3.3% of the traffic.

credits: Shutterstock


This page of my website has only 60 visits per week (see below). And yet, 5% of those who visit it request to be contacted. Remember that my company sells research services to businesses. It is, therefore, B2B and the average amounts are 10.000€. Having a 5% conversion rate in B2B is rather good than the general statistic of 36% conversion rate on long-tail keywords.

By comparison, this other page has nearly 1178 visits over the same period, and 0.00% of visitors contact us for a quote.

In short, I have a page that attracts 20 times less traffic than another one and yet converts infinitely more.

The pages with the least volume are the ones that convert the most.

Generally speaking, I can say that it is my least visited pages that convert the most.

What does this mean in terms of inbound marketing and SEO?

First of all, it is useful to remember that I have been following a long-term SEO strategy for the last 15 years. The results speak for themselves.

Out of nearly 2000 pages published, 25% of the traffic is realized by 10 pages. This is a far cry from the Pareto rule, which predicts that 80% of traffic results from 20% of pages. I am accumulating hundreds of thousands of visits on pages that all respond to micro-needs.

And this strategy pays off. My French website traffic has increased by 96.71% over the last 2 years (it’s almost +200% in English and Dutch).

Why classic web editorial methods are obsolete

If you listen to the SEO gurus, all of them will tell you the following:

  1. Use a tool to identify exciting keywords (Neil Patel will refer you to Ubersuggest, Brian Dean to Ahrefs)
  2. Analyze each keyword according to the volume generated and its difficulty
  3. Choose the keywords that present the most interesting compromise (see here an example)
  4. Write your article

The problem with this method? The visitor’s intention is not taken into account, and you optimize your website for requests that are big but not converting.

To optimize your conversion rate, you need to focus on keywords that anticipate a real purchase intention. And sometimes, these keywords make ridiculous volumes.

You need to focus on keywords that anticipate a real intention to buy.

But what do you prefer: convert 0.001% of 1000 visitors/month or 50% of 10 visitors/month? The choice is obvious.

But how do I do it?

A concrete example: 10 searches/month, 100% conversion

One of my clients sells a software solution for managing the risk of financial flows. This solution is “grafted” on ERP. During a work session, we analyzed the keywords that could correspond to his business sector.

At a certain point, the customer thought of a “collection software package.” We did not even measure this combination of keywords in Ahrefs because it made less than 10 queries per month. Who would write a web page optimized for 10 queries per month? I would! Because this query can only be entered into a search engine by someone looking for a solution to a specific problem. The term “software package” is indeed so precise that it can only come from a professional looking for a solution. It is this type of query that will bring you leads and boost your conversion rate.

It is, therefore, necessary to sort through the keyword proposals to retain only those that correspond to a real intention to buy. Even if this query only makes 10 visits per month.

Long-tail SEO: definitions and statistics

91.8% of searches on the Internet are of the “long-tail” type, i.e., each request generates less than 100 queries per month. However, these long-tail queries generate only 3.3% of the traffic. Your inbound marketing strategy MUST be a long-tail strategy if you want to increase your conversion rate. But it has to be smart; the Internet methods have not helped me at all.

Here are some statistics about long-tail keywords:

  • they account for 91.8% of search engine queries
  • the conversion rate for long-tail keywords is 36%
  • they individually generate research volumes <1000/month
  • they represent 3.3% of online traffic
  • they are made up of more than 4 keywords

credits: Shutterstock

How to find the right keywords?

Let’s do a little exercise. Imagine that you want to promote your services as a market research agency in the English-speaking world.

Naturally, you will target the keywords “market research.” The volume is relatively high (20,000/month), but the difficulty is almost impossible (85).

Ahrefs suggests that we take an interest in “how to do market research.” The volume is less, but the difficulty is still immense. The problem with this research is that those who do it have no idea what market research is and are probably interested in doing it themselves. So, they have no interest in buying market research services, and the conversion rate will remain low or even zero.

The research that seems to be the most promising is the research that yields the lowest volume. I refer to it as a “market research agency.” The volume is only 150/month, but those who type these keywords are looking for something specific: a market research agency. They are not looking for what market research is, nor how to do it. They are looking for someone to do it. And that’s why this long-tail search is so much more relevant than the others.

A variant could be “market research firm.” Again, the volume is small, but the intention is clear.

In conclusion, the 2 pages to be created in priority are those that generate the least volume but have the highest probability of conversion.

credits: Shutterstock


Improving your SEO is essential to survive in the internet jungle. Whether in B2C or B2B, an inbound marketing strategy always pays off.

Optimizing your web pages is therefore essential to generate leads. But it is also necessary to identify the right keywords.

The classic search for keywords according to their volume and difficulty is not a suitable method. It is necessary to focus first on the keyword combinations that correspond to a willingness to buy.

One way to identify these keywords is to use your common sense first. Always ask yourself if this request is likely to be made by a future customer.
The other way is to ask your customers and prospects how they found you. It’s simple, effective, and reliable.










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