Have you ever gone on Google Analytics and gotten excited when you saw a sudden spike in traffic?  It’s nice to see, I’ll give you that. Well, enjoy the moment, because those visitors won’t be around long if you don’t actually do something with them.

In a HubSpot meeting today, one participant called this renting the audience. This resonated with me because we’ve had clients tell us that one of their top goals is to increase website traffic. The problem is, they haven’t really thought beyond the traffic. This means those visitors will probably just stop by, have a quick look, then bounce. Website visitors need a reason to stick around.

That’s when inbound marketing can be your best friend.

Inbound marketing is all about the journey of your prospect, from the very first introduction to your brand on a blog or social media site, all the way through conversion and beyond. At every step of the way, you should be providing your prospects and customers with content, educational materials and resources that will make them want to stay.

Here are a few ways you can keep your website visitors from doing the dreaded bounce:

1. Make sure your website is optimized for conversion. Your website isn’t just for show – it’s one of your greatest assets. Every page should have a purpose, whether to educate the consumer, provide them with a content offer or answer their questions. Your website should be clutter free and easy to navigate with a clear call to action on every page.

Image courtesy of HubSpot

2. Talk about them – not you. Focus on using customer-centric language on your website and in all of your content. About Money says that the word “you” is the most powerful word in advertising because it’s personal. Want to connect with your customers? Then stop talking about yourself and tell them what you can do for them. It may feel strange at first because you’re going to want to tell them all about your product or service, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll see how effective this can be.

3. Offer them well-crafted, easy to digest resources. You need to create well-researched, credible content that directly addresses the needs, wants and concerns of your ideal prospect. Online tools, data sheets, training videos, case studies, white papers and webinars are effective ways to nurture your prospect (without looking like you’re marketing to them), gain their trust and keep them coming back for more. Create powerful landing pages that are simple and don’t ask for too much information. I know I get bored and a bit suspicious when a a brand asks for my life story in exchange for downloading a content offer.

Inbound marketing requires effort, but it’s the most effective way to keep your website visitors from bouncing. Think of your website visitors as house guests and make their stay as pleasant as possible.

They say good marketing shouldn’t feel like marketing – and that’s just the kind of marketing your prospects want.