Boosting website traffic is a top priority for many marketers.

According to the 2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report, 78% of B2B marketers use “website traffic” to measure their content’s success.

While traffic is an important measurement, it often doesn’t correlate with how well your content actually performs. Who is visiting your website and viewing your content? Are they qualified leads or random people? Just because people land on your site, it doesn’t mean you will convert enough of them into customers.

If your traffic isn’t turning into revenue, you may want to focus on other areas.

Understand Your Buyer’s Journey

The B2B buying process is long and complex. Today’s buyers won’t go directly to your site and contact your sales team.

In fact, B2B buyers don’t trust what vendors say about themselves on their websites. They know that your website content will present you in the best light and won’t give them the full picture.

That’s why they turn to other channels before they make a purchasing decision.

According to a LinkedIn study, B2B buyers mainly perform online searches, use social media, and share information across their organization when they are in the pre-purchase phases of the sales cycle. Vendor websites don’t come into play until after customers have made a purchase and are implementing a product.

The Types of Content That B2B Buyers Really Want

B2B buyers use social media and internal information sharing to gather recommendations from their peers.

According to Google, 60% of B2B buyers search for peer reviews and testimonials before they make a purchase. Meanwhile, online reviews firm Software Advice found that buyers who sought feedback from customers before purchasing software were 2.5X more satisfied with their decision than those who failed to take this step.

Since B2B buyers rely heavily on peer recommendations, it’s not surprising that 78% of B2B marketers call case studies their most effective marketing tactic. Customers want to see how their peers use your products and learn about the results they can achieve. When buyers read a case study, they envision themselves in the role of your happy customer.

But buyer’s don’t always want to see these success stories on your website.

How B2B Buyers Perceive ContentHow B2B Buyers Search for Case Studies

When B2B buyers look for customer success stories, they turn to Google.

They often enter the name of your product or company, followed by “case study,” “testimonial,” “review,” or “customer success story.” These search terms are buying keywords. Leads who enter these phrases are in the late stages of the sales cycle and are already aware of your company. At this point, they are either making a shortlist of vendors or a final decision about your product.

Since these late-stage leads already know who you are, they don’t need more content from your website. They need validation from third parties that your products will deliver results.

Sharing your customer success stories across other platforms, such as a third-party case study directory, is key to getting your content in front of the right leads at the right time. Here are three reasons why a third-party customer success site can help you raise brand awareness and convert more leads into customers:

1. It gives you credibility.

You can post a case study on your website, and buyers may dismiss it as “sales content.” But when you put the same story in a case study directory, you gain the benefit of third-party validation.

In case study directories, readers can view your content and give it between one to five stars to rate its helpfulness. A TrustPilot study found that content with stars gets a 30% higher click-through rate than content without stars. The more stars you get, the better your conversions.

2. Your content will perform well on Google.

Buyers trust that Google will deliver high-quality content that is relevant to their searches. In fact, the first organic search result gets 30% of all clicks, while the third position gets 12% of clicks. Click through rates drop off dramatically after the top three results.

The higher a case study directory ranks with Google, the more late-stage leads will find and read your content. Look for a site that can put you in the top three organic results for your keywords.

3. You will get more value from your case study investments.

The average case study can cost between $1,500-$2,500. If you post 40 case studies on your website, you could have $100,000 worth of content waiting for leads to find it.

Using another targeted channel, such as a case study directory, can help you get your case studies in front of leads who are ready to buy. This can exponentially increase the value from your investment.

As you can see, if you put too much effort into increasing your website traffic, you can miss opportunities to engage late-stage leads who want to learn about you on third-party sites.

While it’s important to post success stories on your website, you should also consider other distribution channels. A third-party case study directory can put your content in front of the right leads at the right time, helping you convert more prospects into customers.