“How do we get more traffic to our website?”

This is a common question marketers ask when they’re not sure if their business is where they need it to be. With everything so focused on digital marketing, it’s all about traffic, right? Or is it?

According to a global survey from Hubspot, inbound marketing is a predominant focus for 79 percent of marketers in North America. So yes, getting traffic to your website is important. But don’t get stuck there.

If no one’s coming to your site, that could be a sign that something’s amiss — but it may not be your digital strategy. There are a lot of ways to get “stuck” in business, even when you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong.

Let’s say you’ve got the skills, the products, the services, and the team. With this foundation, your business should be thriving. But it’s just not there yet. Your business isn’t growing like you want or expect. So, if you’re not moving forward and don’t know where to turn, here are some areas to assess.

Is there a problem with your pricing? For the sake of your long-term viability, it’s not a good strategy to be the low-price leader, or else you’ll be working harder for each dollar and end up losing in the long run. Yet if you’re positioning yourself for high quality and higher value, you do need to make sure everything lines up to validate that value. Your website can’t look junky. Your ads need to appear trustworthy. Your call-taking processes need to be courteous, and scheduling needs to be efficient.

Is there a problem with your products or services? If you’re selling what people don’t want, it wouldn’t matter how much you charge or discount. However, that’s not usually the case for residential contractors. Unless your market is Antarctica, the majority of homeowners where summer temperatures exist do want air conditioning. And unless they’re at the equator, they certainly want heat during the cold months.

It’s possible that you have something in your slate of products and services that homeowners, on the whole, don’t want. However, you could also have any number of products that they might not know they want, such as maintenance agreements that provide a variety of benefits for a small investment on their part — or IAQ services that improve their family’s health and well-being.

Similarly, when smart technology was first introduced for home systems, many of your customers had no idea that they wanted to be able to change their temperature settings at home while they were in another city. That required education — and still does for those who may have heard about smart home technology but aren’t sure how to get it for themselves.

This brings you to an analysis of your sales and marketing, which will introduce more questions — like the following — where you can dig for answers.

How are you telling people about the products and benefits they are missing out on? This is primarily your marketing program, including content marketing, that sets you up as an expert, anticipates problems your customers may be having, and tells them how they can solve those problems. Or, as in the previous example of smart technology, content marketing also tells customers and prospects about amazing new developments to consider (so they’ll learn they want those developments).

How are you communicating the easy way to upgrade to a new system? Much of this message can be conveyed in direct mail letters that promote benefits and push for a response, as well as online ads that click to landing pages where the call to action is clear, timely, and compelling.

At the same time, once you get the call or the click, you’ve got to be prepared to schedule the appointment — and send someone out who is prepared to close the deal. A terrific direct mail letter can’t overcome the inability to schedule an appointment or make up for inadequate communication skills from the one who’s providing the estimate.

And don’t forget. You want to make it easier to get more business from these same folks, right? Be sure your retention marketing helps you stay connected to your customer base so you can secure their return business and referrals for yourself.

Success is built on a system — sort of like a traffic system, but often called a funnel — that moves your prospect from education to interest to purchase to retention. Bring them in, serve them well, earn their loyalty, and welcome their referrals.

A lot of that “bring them in” activity points, first, to your website. And that takes us back to that word “traffic” again. How do you get more people to visit your pages, and what do you want them to do once they’re there? Let’s break this down to three words.

Pull. Use a mix of SEO and digital marketing strategies to pull people to your website as they open search engines or grab smartphones to search for the services you provide. Make sure you’ve got plenty of content that will not only provide a keyword foundation to support your SEO but will also give visitors reason to stay on your site and learn about your company. In search mode overall, it’s a rare visitor who will stay on a site past a few seconds. If you can keep them there a minute or two, you’re doing well. If they stay longer, you’re doing great. If they converted to a lead through your call to action, you’ve earned the gold.

Your website should provide a mix of formats, such as text, video, and images, so prospects have different options for consuming your content. Also, for searchers who are still on the fence, retargeting ads can help you get back in front of visitors who have shown interest through their digital activities. Obviously, don’t forget to share links to your content in your social media profiles and use email marketing as part of your campaign.

Push. Push prospects to take an action through your landing pages, whether it is to sign up for a freebie or schedule a service appointment. Never overlook the call to action. Your print media can also push prospects to visit a landing page. Almost all shoppers of home improvement services will want to conduct at least a little research before making a phone call, and that includes checking out your website after they read your direct mail letter or postcard.

Keep. You’ve created a well-tuned system to generate leads and earn customers. But don’t stop there. Your marketing isn’t complete until your system embraces these customers, serves them well, and stays in touch long after the initial sale. Customer retention is the path to free-flowing traffic that keeps your company humming. Without it, you’re stuck on repeat — trying to find your customers all over again.