Inbound Marketing - How SEO, Linking and Blogging
Synergise to Bring More traffic to Your Website
The good old 20th century marketing relied on interruption - ‘butting in’ on a consumer’s personal space. With methods like the cold call, direct marketing, mass media advertising, and email campaigns you were pushing out messages to a barely receptive audience.
Today’s 21st century consumers are better at blocking marketing messages with tools like ‘tuning out’, ‘tunnel vision’ and ‘selective hearing’ along with their technical counterparts like caller ID, TV ad-blocking tools, and spam filters. Marketers realise the old ways just don’t work as well. The consumer may as well be a fortress surrounded by a moat.
With marketers having to stretch their dollar further it makes sense to encourage consumers to come to you. That’s where ‘inbound marketing’ comes in. It’s really a cousin of the ‘self-service’ idea which pushes out ‘customer care’ to the customer. With inbound marketing it’s more like ‘be my guest and help yourself’.
Three low-cost methods which you should apply to your website can produce a healthier response (ironically) than the expensive and less targeted marketing campaigns of yesterday. They are SEO, Linking and Blogging. Used in tandem they make a powerful marketing synergy that will accelerate qualified traffic to your site.
Now remember that a qualified visitor has sought you out because they have a need, a desire, or a job to do, that your product or service can fulfil. So they already have a propensity to buy.
Let’s look at the power of each in turn and why they attract prospects more ready to buy.
SEO – You’re lucky if your product or service appeals to a specialised niche market. Apart from having less competition, your target market uses more specific keywords and phrases in their searches. Getting good SEO results is a lot easier than for companies selling consumer goods or whose product has a lot of brand competition.
SEO is not less relevant because of the flight to social media marketing. Social media relies on keywords too. Most search is task-driven or fact-finding. So keep to a list of keywords around your product’s brand, what it is, what it does, and key personal benefits. Keep polishing and buffing, trying and testing. Take advantage of strong keywords and seasonal keywords to launch a limited-time PPC campaign and save the rest to slowly build traffic to your site from organic search.
For an overview of PPC versus SEO, check out:
Linking– Inbound links are those from other sites that link to your site. When you take the time to request relevant reciprocal links you give another doorway for pre-qualified customers to find you from related sites or sources. This includes social media and blogs too. Collecting inbound links is best done manually and hand-picked. Relevance is key. It helps build credibility and authority for your website.
This is where the ‘content is king’ principle comes in because if your website has great content others will happily link to you – and you’ll get links to your site that you didn’t even request. For your reciprocal links, try to include your best keywords in the hyperlinking URL - those that are directly related to the content in the page being linked.
Blogging – Along with articles and news blasts, Google indexes blogs almost as a priority. Do a search on any term and notice in the search engine results page (SERP) what proportion of those listings are articles, news releases, blogs, and product reviews.
In fact, a product review is a truly high-value low-cost marketing tool. It serves the dual purpose of providing useful information and show-casing a product.
Build content that gives solutions to everyday problems connected with your product. Tell your potential customer about your product’s uniqueness. Try to position yourself as a subject matter expert in your industry. Look at what your competitors are writing about and see if there’s a gap you can plug.
As Chris Baggot, CEO of Compendium Blogware, said in an interview with B2B:
“Because people don't search for blogs by their name but by their topic, title your blogs with the keywords you are targeting. And if you want to target lots of keywords, you should consider having your company author numerous blogs, all titled with specific keywords that you are targeting.”
Get these powerful three working for you and you’ll reap the rewards of a low-cost but highly effective marketing strategy. Don’t forget to be patient, you won’t get results overnight but you’ll have an inbound marketing framework that’s future-proofed and easy to maintain thereafter.
Tools for your keyword testing
Google Insights for Search – see the search volume for a keyword over a five year period.
This helps with seeing the shelf-life of the keyword.
Google Adwords Keyword Tool – to see variations on your keyword.
The stats show search count and advertiser competition.
Online Marketing Consultant & Copywriter