The essence of inbound marketing is you create engaging content and then make it easy for people to discover that content on your website using Google, blogs or any of the social media sites.
If you generate remarkable content, you will attract links from other websites and with a little fortune become the centerpiece of viral marketing.
With this in mind, you should work hard at generating an ongoing stream of truly remarkable and newsworthy content:
Get Found with Blogs
Blogs are great for a small business:
- They establish you as a thought leader in your market.
- You can have two-way conversations with prospects.
- You can build trust over time with customers.
Even more important, blogs can significantly improve your SEO ranking because lots of other people online will link to your blog if it contains remarkable content.
The main key which starts the wheel turning is to put together a blog article people in your industry want to read. Highly informative articles along the lines of “how-to”, analysis of emerging industry trends and discussions of industry topics. Make sure your blog entries have a catchy title that will engage people and get them interested in reading more.
Get Found with Google
If you aren’t being found in Google, you’re missing a major opportunity to generate leads for your business which is most likely going to your competitors at the moment.
There are two ways to get found by Google:
- Organic Search Results – You can appear in the organic search results that Google provides. There is no charge for this.
- Paid Search Results – You can pay to appear on the search results, what’s termed as “pay-per-click”.
Obviously everyone would prefer to get free traffic from Google by appearing in the organic search results. A whole area of specialization has sprung up around search engine optimization which focuses on precisely that. Long-term, you should be working towards establishing for yourself a high organic rating in Google. You might also run some short-term pay-per-click campaigns to fine-tune the keywords which would be best for you. Building a good organic rating will give you a better rate of return over the long-term and is much more defensible than using pay-per-click.
The things you can do to improve your organic website ranking in Google are:
- Pick the keywords you want to optimize your website for – Identify keywords which are relevant to your business and which also have a reasonable search volume.
- Start using these keywords on your website materials – Putthe keywords into your page title right at the front. Include your company name at the end of your page title, not at the beginning.
- Add a compelling and interesting meta description about your web pages.This will encourage customers to go further. These meta descriptions will not influence how Google ranks you but they will catch customer interest.
- Try to embed your keywords into the URL of each page – This is one factor Google considers when ranking your page by comparison to others.
- Also use those keywords in your page headings – Include keywords in your website content. Google scans the headings of each page to determine what the page is about.
Get found on Social Media
Using all available social media tools is an integral part of inbound marketing and you should do all you can to leverage them as best as possible.
The basic rules of success with social media for business are:
- Be genuine and tell your story because that’s what people will respond to.
- The more you participate by following up on comments, the better it will work for you.
- Build trust and relationships by being open and treating people with respect.
- Listen to what people are telling you and learn everything you can.
- Be patient using social media is a way of doing business rather than a campaign.
To make sure you get found by customers using social media, this is what you need to do:
- Create a business page and configure to redirect to your Facebook page to your website.
- Start using Facebook to invite people to events you have and to get them to RSVP.
- Look around Facebook for people you already know and invite them to connect with you.
- Reserve your company name as your Twitter name, even if you don’t intend to use it immediately.
- Complete your Twitter profile by including a brief bio and your location. Keep in mind Twitter users are always on the lookout for interesting people to follow. Make sure they can and will find you.
- Use Twitter search and the search features to find influential Twitter users in your industry. Start forging connections with these people.
- Set up a user account and profile for your business and keep it 100% up-to-date at all times. Within your profile, have links to your business website and blog.
- Use the group search feature to find the biggest groups in your industry. Join these groups and become an active participant in the discussions.
- Find the most relevant categories for your business and subscribe to their LinkedIn Answers RSS feeds.
- If you can’t find a good group for your industry, create a new group and invite people to join.