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Organic growth: 6 ways to boost revenue without increasing ad spend
If you’re looking for the most efficient ways to spend your marketing dollars as a service business, organic business growth should be on the top of your list. If you don’t know what “organic growth” means, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered.
What you should know is that no matter the age or stage of your company, whether you’re a scrappy solopreneur or your business is large enough to have several departments, improving your business’s organic business growth will pay dividends for years to come. In this article, we’ll define organic growth and what it could mean for the growth of your company. No matter how small your team is, or how much money you have to work with, there are techniques to organically grow your reach, reputation, and client base to achieve significant results.
What is organic growth?
Organic growth results from the outputs of your team, such as the increased revenue from internal business operations. To grow organically, companies rely on their own resources, and most companies experience organic growth from success in addressing new services, process optimization, marketing strategies, and improved value for clients.
In contrast, inorganic growth results from mergers or acquisitions of other companies. Think of this type of growth as something you as a business owner or a team of senior executives can do, but it’s not something your team can directly impact. It might now be easier to grasp what organic and inorganic growth mean when we’re looking at growing your company online.
In terms of growing your business online, organic growth refers to the increase of sales and improved customer retention rates achieved by the continual work of your team. Organically improving sales could involve improving the sheer number of website visitors you get to your site, or it could involve improving the ratio of those who visit to those who convert from visitors to leads, or it could be both.
What are the benefits of organic business growth?
Let’s look at five reasons why both seasoned and new businesses should strive to achieve organic growth.
1) Organic sales are more cost-effective
Whether a client finds you through a Google search or through a referral, organic growth is more cost-effective than competing for advertising space, where effectiveness sometimes can’t even be measured.
2) Built for long-term results
One of the benefits of organic growth strategies, such as content creation, can be their long-term impact. Time invested in a thoughtful and well-performing blog post can pay dividends in new leads for years. Take the content performance research conducted by HubSpot, which found that over a piece's lifetime, a compounding blog post can create as much traffic as six posts that are considered decaying.
3) Attracts more qualified leads
When your company focuses on organic growth tactics, the quality of leads improves. Any company can spend money on advertising, but by focusing on organic growth, your strategies will be rooted in solving client pain points. Being a customer-centric company will show up in a new client’s experience right from the content they find through a Google search all the way through to their one-on-one relationship with your team.
4) Increases conversion
High-growth companies can be known for focusing on volume of new leads. But, ensuring your company expands by improving lead-to-client conversion rates and improving overall clients’ experiences are key takeaways of successful companies when aiming to achieve organic growth. It’s not always easy to see what will increase conversion rates, but organic growth tactics like A/B testing will take the guesswork out of it.
5) Improves company credibility
When you prioritize organic growth you end up becoming a company that helps people solve real-life problems, which positions you as credible in the eyes of your potential and existing clients. This can happen when you get more specific with your target audience, create helpful content and resources, and offer referral programs to clients. Think about it: clients only refer businesses they trust to family and friends since they’re putting their own reputation on the line in doing so.
Now that we’re on the same page about why you should focus on organic business growth, now let’s get into how your team can maximize growth.
Achieve organic growth by focusing on SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of following strategies that increase your website traffic by improving your site’s presence in non-paid search engine results. For example, when someone searches “local realtor” in Google and clicks on a top search result, you can be sure that the realtor company will grow organically through their investment in SEO strategies. In order to get that coveted spot on page one, that realtor did their SEO due diligence to ensure their target audience found them over other businesses.
If the goal of your organic growth strategy is to drive potential customers to your website, SEO should be a top priority. SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media! Where should you start? There are always good ideas with the low-hanging fruit search terms, such as looking at the keywords you already rank for and improving those rankings or the value the visitor gets from clicking on the link.
Leverage content to develop a long-term organic growth strategy
In pursuing organic growth, a content strategy should be a priority for your company. In addition to helping to improve your company’s SEO rankings, content creation helps your company generate awareness, convince potential and existing clients to take action, and drive demand for your services.
Creating content that addresses the questions of your potential clients will provide opportunities for organic growth, but a key component of a successful content strategy is a more long-term view and consistency. Like the formation of any productive habit, you have to commit to a publishing schedule and stay consistent with it. But, when companies pursue content creation to drive organic business growth, it’s worth it. Websites with an active blog have 55% more visitors than those without one.
Continually improve through A/B testing and conversion rate optimization
One way to continually drive organic business growth is through the power of A/B testing. A/B testing is an optimization tool that allows you to run experiments to learn what variations of copy, images, and CTA buttons perform best on your company website.
As the “A/B” name denotes, these experiments allow you to put two variations of an asset, such as different banners on your homepage, to see which one performs better. With A/B testing, you set goals, establish experiments, and record your findings. There are tools to help you get started with A/B testing, and tools you’re already using might have A/B testing built into them! The important thing to remember is to track key performance metrics so you understand natural growth drivers and where to optimize further (e.g., conversion rate, CAC).
Increase your market share through upsell/cross-sell opportunities
Did you know it is more cost-effective to sell to an existing client than net new customer acquisitions? Many new businesses think increased profits are from the acquisition of new clients, but seasoned companies understand the organic business growth opportunities in customer engagement strategies.
Organic sales growth can happen when companies cross-sell and upsell to their clients by educating them on the products and services that complement their existing service. Upselling is when you're offering an upgraded version of the product or service the client has agreed to purchase, whereas cross-selling is when you’re offering complementary products or services to what your client is purchasing.
Drive organic growth through referral incentives
One way to show existing customers your appreciation, and also drive organic business growth, is by developing referral programs. Referral incentives can act like internal sales, where your clients act as an extension of your sales team by recommending your company to their network.
Regardless of your industry, you can provide discounts when clients have provided a new referral. When launching into new markets or new product lines, you can hold giveaways for when clients share your announcement content through their social media profiles. Or, if you have the resources, dedicate a team member to developing a client loyalty program that leverages all referral ideas.
Truly understand your ideal customer audience and niche
It may sound obvious, but when embarking on website optimization, organic SEO, and content strategies, it’s crucial to understand the profile of ideal clients. Many companies falter in not getting clear on who their ideal new customers would be, what they’re struggling with, and what motivates their decision-making.
While your instinct might be to think in a “the more, the merrier” fashion when it comes to attracting potential business, being more targeted gives you a competitive advantage in growing your business organically. The more specific you get around who your ideal customers are, the easier it will be for you to identify your niche and concentrate your marketing efforts on them specifically.
Being specific instead of general will allow you to spot the shortcomings of your competitors, streamline your messaging, and develop more valuable services for new clients. Marketing primarily toward your ideal customer also reduces your costs and allows you to become more competitive.
Drive growth and revenue through an optimized website
A well-performing website is one of the strongest tools in your toolkit when it comes to generating organic growth. Your business needs a credible landing place for your online traffic, where you can educate potential customers on your services and show them exactly how to get started working with you.
We all have enough to figure out on any given day, so don’t make your website a guessing game for potential clients. Tell them what the next steps are on every page with strategically placed and precisely worded call-to-action buttons.
Leveraging a platform like B12 not only helps to launch your site fast, but it can help optimize your website copy and add conversion-oriented elements like banners and pop-ups. B12’s in-house experts help you with SEO, web design, and copywriting, while the platform includes online business tools like scheduling and payments.
Achieve success through organic growth
As inflation costs continue to rise and the reality of an approaching recession seems more probable, small- and medium-sized businesses need to get creative in how they’ll succeed. There are so many factors that are out of our control that it will help to look at what we can control as business owners. Organic business growth is in your control, and the companies focused on cost-effective organic growth tactics will be the ones with an advantage during difficult economic times and beyond.
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