Saturday, March 10, 2012

11 Ways To Kick-Start Your Inbound Marketing Strategy



11 Ways To Kick-Start Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

So you've finally made the decision to use inbound marketing to get your business started on the journey to lead generation. That's great news! Inbound marketing will help your business get found online, increase your website traffic, and generate more leads & customers. Below are 11 key takeaways to get you started:

1. Analyze Your Current Website Performance

Before you begin with your Inbound Marketing planning, you'll need to take a good look at your current website and conduct an audit. Things to ask yourself during your audit include:

- Are my website pages optimized for search engines?

- Do I have accurate metadata and keywords in place?

- Do I have a blog? If not, how can I incorporate one and what will I write about?

- Do I have any compelling offers or content available for my audience?

- If yes, do I have landing pages behind them?

- Are there buttons or links available for my audience to access my social media channels?

A good source to conduct your website audit: HubSpot Website Grader

2. Define Your On-Page SEO Strategy

Optimizing your web pages is important because it helps search engines like Google locate your website when people search for relevant keywords. Identify your audience and determine which keywords they use to search for your product or service. Then incorporate those keywords into your on-page content and meta tags.

A good source for your keyword research: Google Keyword Tool

3. Define Your Off-Page SEO Strategy

In order to get ranked higher and gain true recognition from the search engines, your website needs inbound links. There a few ways you can go about doing this. You can seek out business directories and submit your URL & company name, you can create lots of content with your blog and optimize it for social media channels & press releases, or you can network and find businesses who have authoritative websites and request to be linked to. I recommend all three.

4. Create a Blog for Your Business

According to HubSpot, companies that blog have 55% more website visitors than companies that don't blog. If you don't see the importance of blogging after reading this statistic, I don't know what to tell you. What I do know, is that blogging is the single most important element for driving traffic and capturing leads. Not only does it add more pages to be indexed by search engines, but it allows for you to become a thought leader in your industry. A few tips for success:

- Blog as frequently as possible (2 to 3 times per week)

- Optimize your articles and titles with relevant keywords

- Make sure your blog domain has your company name in it (i.e. blog.mycompany.com or mycompany.com/blog)

5. Create Remarkable Content

Now that you know how important blogging is, you shouldn't have a difficult time understanding why content creation is so important. If you want to get found online, you need to create valuable content for your audience. Whether an eBook, whitepaper, or video - it needs to be optimized and promoted. If you don't have enough time in your day to push out content, seek out a freelance writer or agency to help you out. Just remember, create as much content as you can, optimize it for search engines, and promote through social networks.

6. Design Call-To-Action Buttons

So you've spent all that time creating remarkable content, now what? How about creating an attractive call-to-action button on your website with your content offer. Make sure your offer indicates a specific action, creates urgency, is designed well, and links to a landing page.

7. Design a Landing Page

You've created the content, designed the call-to-action, and now its time for a well optimized landing page to capture your leads. If your doing Inbound Marketing right, you should have traffic coming into your landing pages from a multitude of channels and sources. This is especially true if you are trying to get your visitor to download some form of material on your website. A few tips for designing and optimizing your landing pages:

- Make it clear and quick to the point

- Don't over do it with your fields

- Limit distractions and remove navigations

8. Utilize Social Media Channels

You now know that Social Media is key for content promotion, but you should also realize the importance when it comes to engaging with your audience. Daily interaction with people in your industry will help you become a thought leader and a well known expert. Some of the most popular social networks include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Make it part of your daily routine to review what people are talking about, and answer questions where there is an opportunity.

9. Launch a Pay-Per-Click Campaign

PPC campaigns are a great way to boost your Inbound Marketing strategy if your just starting out as a new business or have some extra marketing dollars lying around. Google AdWords will allow you to bid on keywords relevant to your business. Choose your favorite keywords and design a campaign around them. If you want true return on your investment, I recommend directing people to a conversion form (landing page), that way you're able to capture the lead.

10. Create a Lead Nurturing Campaign

Now that you've captured all of these email addresses with your savvy Inbound Marketing skills, its now time to nurture your leads. Think about what kind of offer you want to promote, and then set up an email campaign to stay top of mind. Whether its a webinar, eBook, or whitepaper offer, make sure to direct your reader to a landing page where they can fill out a form to download or request. The more data you have about your leads, the better chance you have of closing the sale.

11. Analyze Your Results for Continuous Improvement

This activity is often overlooked by many marketers, mainly because it requires time, effort, and sour feelings when numbers are down. Reviewing your marketing analytics doesn't have to be tedious or time consuming. Delegating a couple of hours at the end of each week to review how much, and what kind of traffic your website is generating is all that needs to be done. If you find that 70% of your traffic is coming from Social Media channels and 30% from organic search, that should tell you to keep doing what you're doing in the Social Mediasphere; but maybe its time to improve your SEO. The more you analyze the better you become, and eventually the more you'll look forward to doing it.

Don Arceri, Jr
Founder & President
Limitless Imaginations
http://www.limitlessimaginations.com

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