Category

Search Engine Optimization

Transition From an Outbound to Inbound Marketing Strategy

Yoga On A Cliff

Having an Inbound Marketing Strategy is a Recipe for Success!

We all know that change can be hard and many people will avoid it or try to resist it. In reality, for any organization, if they want to keep up they have to embrace change in order to make sure they are not falling behind the rapidly changing business world. Having an inbound marketing strategy will grow their company and keep up with the demands of your competition.

Having an inbound marketing program  can be critical to the success of your company. Inbound Marketing can help your business get found by people easily learning about your industry.  In order to do this, you need to setup your website  and marketing efforts to attract visitors naturally through search engines, blogs, and social media.   Nowadays, many companies focus on spending their time and energy in to outbound marketing like direct mail, flyers, and other forms of advertisement, but it is important to note that these organizations are missing out on a huge opportunity.

In order to succeed with your inbound marketing strategy it is best to come up with questions, plan, and think before spending your money on what is being offered for this type of marketing. Getting the fundamental elements in place first will help your get found, get leads, and grow your sales. Without this work, you run the risk of applying tactics that don’t directly target the right audience and are ineffective at generating leads. 8 puzzle pieces form a circle - SEO, Blogging, Nurture/Convert, Engage, Optimize, Analyze, Content Marketing, and Social Media.

Below is a list of questions and things to consider in order to begin the steps to achieve a successful inbound marketing strategy.

First, Create a Strategy

The first phase of a well thought out inbound marketing program, is the marketing strategy. This will build the strong foundation you need for success. For instance, what are your business goals? How much money do you want to make? How much money do you want to spend? Different goals often translate into a different inbound marketing program.

Before you get into tactics, asking yourself these questions will help make some difficult decisions you’ll have to decide on.

Initial Questions to ask:

You’ll need to establish a baseline for the business today. How many people visit your website each month? How many convert into leads? How many of those are actual sales opportunities? How many of those do you close? What is the average revenue for each of those new clients? How many Facebook fans, LinkedIn connections or Twitter followers have you accumulated?

Search Questions to Consider:

What keywords are people using to find businesses like yours? What other keywords should you be optimizing for? Will people find you by typing in those keywords?

Target Market Questions to Consider:

Who do you want to target with your marketing? What types of people are using your product? Why do people choose you over your competition? What makes you special, remarkable, different?

Content Creation Questions:

Do you have informative, detailed content? The more you think through and plan out your inbound marketing program, the easier it is to implement. Plan out your next few weeks of blog posts, emails, and content projects to make your projects easier for you.

Campaign Questions:

What campaign schedule do you want to roll out? How often are you going to run ads on social media, email, or blog? Are you going to run any integrated campaigns? What are they going to focus on, and who are they going to target? When do you want to launch your campaigns? How long are they going to run?

Budget Questions:

What budget do you have for inbound marketing? This is a very important question to consider when it comes on deciding what direction to take with your inbound marketing. The twitter bird animated with several bags of money - he's rich!

All of these questions are designed to help you develop a perfectly thought out inbound marketing plan that is aligned with your business goals, current marketing situation, and future business direction.

It is also very helpful to have set goals from the beginning to track your progress.  This includes establishing goals for website traffic, lead generation, conversion rates, and close rates. This will help you understand what types of things are working and what marketing strategies you can get rid of.

A good example would be that you are looking to improve website traffic.  If that is the case, then you would need to focus on blogging, onsite SEO, offsite SEO, content creation, content sourcing, and social media marketing. But if your business already has a lot of traffic but no leads, your program needs to include a website design upgrade, landing pages, and additional offers like webinars, demos, and videos. The tactics have to match the marketing strategy if you want to realize results.

Getting fast results can happen if you recognize the tactics that need to be done. With these questions, you will build a solid strategy that will help your inbound marketing efforts.

 

Is It Time to Update Your Website?

Timex Clock

As technology continues to evolve the way sites are being used is changing and the designs are becoming more and more advanced. Even things such as social media and community interaction are changing and shaping how websites should look and function. If you have been questioning whether your website needs a redesign or not, then it is important to look at the common signs and issues to justify doing so. Having a website that is merely online does not mean it will bring visitors to it or get you customers.  When visitors find a website difficult for them to use, think it is ugly, or have a problem finding what they are looking for, they will have no issue taking their money somewhere else. A website redesign can help your company gain the competitive advantage you need in order to attract new business and keep it.

Here are the most common signs that you might need to update your website:

 1. Information and Site Look is Outdated

When is the last time you updated the information and look of your website? It is very important that the content on your site be freshened up as much as possible. Websites need more than just accurate information to gain new visitors they also need regular updating and action. If you don’t update your site as often as you know you should, then a website redesign can be a perfect way to solve the problem. Possibly just hiring a web developer to install a content management system (CMS) so that you can update the site yourself may be the answer.  You may also consider needing to completely start from scratch and create a new website that will allow for easy updating and a new look. Search engines will also not rank you kindly in this case either, as they like sites that are constantly being updated with new content.

 2. Your Web Design is NOT Responsive.

Before, it used to be that you would only have to be concerned with the way your website looked on a regular old computer screen. As the number of people using smart phones and other devices to browse online increases everyday it is important to have a responsive design. Nowadays, with the different mobile devices that can access the web, you need to make sure your site’s design is accessible for all platforms, from a desktop PC to a smartphone. If your site is annoying and hard to navigate on smaller devices, it’s time for an update. With a multitude of various devices able to access the Web now, the web design community has made it clear that it is time to rethink the way we design websites. It is no longer good enough to design a website for a desktop or laptop computer, especially with millions of people accessing the Web on their smartphones, and tablets.

3. Load Times are Long.

A website that takes too long to load is a turnoff, especially with the smartphone crowd. It shouldn’t take more than five seconds for your site to load. Most web developers agree that if your site takes longer than five seconds to load, then you should look into optimizing your site. According to TheNextweb.com after about five seconds on slower bandwidths, people become disinterested and will leave your site. If your site is taking longer than five seconds to load, I first recommend hiring a web designer or developer to look into why your site is taking so long to load or consider a redesign that will allow for less loading of certain areas of the site.

4. You Are Losing Visitors.

If you’ve noticed that visitors never navigate past your home page, or if they’re declining in numbers, it’s time to revamp your site’s content. This is particularly true if your site holds no SEO influence. If you notice that you are starting to lose visitors, then you need to look at your homepage and see if there is something that needs to be changed or fixed so it attracts people to look around, or consider a complete redesign of your site to make those visiting your site intrigued enough to stay on it.

5. Seem to be Non Existent on Search Engines.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo like sites that have content that is up to date, consistent, and coded properly.  If you go to search your website and cannot be found on search engines, then it may be time for a new website to help boost your SEO and search engine visits. Since most people will find you through a Google search, make sure to follow the necessary steps that search engines will respond to so that they will find you and put you in their results. This will help get visitors to come to your site.

If you think that these signs apply to your website, then it is time to start thinking about updating it. It is important to use a company or web designer and developer who know what they are doing. A website can be a deal breaker for some customers, so make sure your website is as up to date as possible.

 

 

 

 

Why Every Business Owner Should Have a Solid SEO Plan for Their Website

Woman Playing Harp

It is crucial for businesses owners to have a solid SEO plan. Creating a business website online takes a lot of hard work and can be fairly expensive for your business. Getting it up and running is big step but now that your website is complete, what do you do next?  Many people think that people will automatically start visiting their website because it’s there. Getting a website created is only the beginning. What many people don’t know is that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results according to a recent survey. That means that it is crucial that you have a good SEO plan in order to make sure your website gets enough traffic to be seen and in order to make a difference for your business.

SEO Blocks
No matter how amazing and efficient your website is, if you don’t have many visitors, you will not realize the true potential that the internet has to help your business. Below are some frequently asked questions that many website owners ask when trying to increase website traffic by looking at all the search engine optimization options that are available.

The most common question people ask is, “What exactly is SEO and how can I make sure I have the best SEO plan for my business?” SEO stand for Search Engine Optimization, and describes the process of making sure your website comes to the top of the search engine results whenever people search for keywords that relate to your site. For instance, if you are a property management company, you ideally want someone who types in “rentals” or “housing” to find your website right at the top of the search engine when they hit enter. This will give you a far better chance of having that customer click on your website and use your services.

The next question you may ask is, “How does it work and is it easy to do by myself?” This is a pretty complicated question, but the simple explanation is that you need to make sure that all the keywords are recent and relevant  to your website and are mentioned somewhere in the content on your website in the proper ratios to alert search engines that your site is a good source of information about that keyword. Another major part of SEO is making sure that other websites out there are talking about and linking to your website when referring to the relevant keywords.

SEO takes a lot of work, and we’ve only mentioned a few of the ways to optimize your website for search engines. It is best to be handled by a company that specializes in this service to ensure that your business website is getting the best results.

How to Reap the Full SEO Benefits of Pinterest

Beautiful flowers

From planning your next vacation destination to designing your dream home, Pinterest is a great way to waste time online.  However, in addition to alleviating online boredom, the popular social bookmarking site offers many unique tools to boost SEO. Since Pinterest creates new ways of having your content found and shared, optimizing your Pinterest presence is a great way to improve your rankings in the search engines.  If you want to reap the full ranking benefits of Pinterest, here are a few tips for using the addictive social media site to increase your SEO:

  • Content is King: As with any other social media site, sharing new and unique content is the backbone of Pinterest.  Since the SERPS take into account how many times a piece of content is liked, re-pinned and shared, it is important you pin engaging material that’s relevant, interesting, or useful to your audience. Whether you’re sharing blog posts, shots of products, or images of your office, Pinterest is a great way to reach out to a massive audience without requiring a great deal of effort.
  • Build Backlinks: As mentioned above, Pinterest exponentially grows the viewership of content pinned. In the process it also creates a huge amount of backlinking to your website. Since search engines generate page rankings by taking into account the number of outside links that lead people to your site, a backlink is an invaluable thing to have. While a backlink is created every time you pin an image from your website, you can also insert links into the captions of your Pinterest posts so that a new backlink is created every time someone re-pins your image.
  • Add Keywords:

 

  1. a. Use hashtags and keywords in the description of your pins to increase visibility and exposure. Also make sure you have keyword-specific board names and keyword-dense board descriptions. If possible, it’s beneficial to include keywords in your username as well.
  2. b. If you upload your own image ad keywords to the file name and make sure it contains your targeted key phrase (for example DSC0119 won’t rank as well as Social-Media-Icon.jpg).
  1. c. In addition to providing a way for people to find your content, keyword targeting will bring your Pinterest page up in the rankings for those keywords – which increases the value of backlinks and ultimately further boosts your SEO.
    • Build followers: Assemble a network of Pinterest users who like and re-pin posts. Growing your followers will cause the content that you share to spread further and faster, which greatly increases the SEO of the linked website. Also, make sure to follow back anyone who follows you, as it will cause you to be recommended to other users and further help grow your number of followers.
    • Share your pins with your other social networks: Drive more people to your Pinterest profile and encourage engagement by letting your other networks know that you’re on Pinterest. Share your profile (and occasional pins) on your other social profiles and vice-versa.

    When optimizing your Pinterest presence, it’s important to remember to be yourself and keep it personal. Don’t pin solely business-related content, share images you like and re-pin images from others. Furthermore, though keywords are powerful on Pinterest, they should be subtly included into the captions of your pins without losing the pin description. If you opt for simply loading keywords into your pin’s description (rather than actually describing the image) it may come off as spammy, and turn users away. Keeping this in mind while simultaneously employing the above techniques will help you reap the full ranking benefits of Pinterest. Happy Pinning!