Inbound Marketing – Plop, plop, fizz, fizz... Oh what a relief it is!
Running a small business sure can be a headache. For most business owners it’s enough just to keep pace with the everyday tasks of staying afloat. You work sales and marketing, oversee production and stick your nose in finance -- all before you take your measly 15-minute lunch break. But, with minimal resources, it’s important to devote your time to the activities that yield the biggest return, which usually puts marketing on the back burner.
But then along came “inbound marketing.” Now marketing doesn’t have to be a risky, laborious, knuckle-busting investment of time, money and energy anymore. Inbound marketing is cheap, effective, and really not all that hard!
Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh what a relief it is.
As a matter of fact, inbound marketing is pure relief for the small business owner. With a little effort you can fill the top of the sales funnel with prospects and real, qualified leads. All you need is a plan to get you started.
Instead of focusing on the (overwhelming) big picture, break your inbound marketing plan into phases. Place them in the order of priority that will create traction for your efforts sooner than later. As you complete one of the phases, you can then start working on the next phase. That way you have one of them working for you while you’re now on to the next. This strategy will take longer to ramp up, but once established it’ll provide you with a solid foundation as you move forward.
So what do you focus on first?
Focus #1: Collect your keywords
It all begins with keywords.
Let’s face it, when was the last time you searched for answers or a solution to something by looking it up in the Yellow Pages? Today, most business purchasers looking to buy a product or service start the process by using a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo) to find vendors and product information. You need to make sure you rank high in the search engine results, for as many search terms as possible.
The first step toward ranking high in the results for the most common terms that people search on is the have the right keywords as part of your inbound marketing online presence. HubSpot offer this:
• You have to get on the first or second page of search results. If you are not on the
first or second page of search results, it is almost like not being there at all.
• Shorter search phrases are searched for more often. Usually more searches occur for
“marketing” than for “online marketing” and both of those terms are searched more
frequently than “small business online marketing”.
• It is usually more difficult to get ranked on the first or second page for popular
searches. Because people know that “marketing” is searched more often than “small
business marketing”, more people are trying to get onto the results for “marketing” and it is
usually more difficult to get highly ranked for the more frequently searched term.
Focus #2: Content is king, it’s still king and it will always be king!
Is your website a little weak on content? If so, your second priority is to start building up your website with rich, useful content. Copyblogger puts it this way: “Your own content-rich site, on a domain you own, managed with good content management software, is where you’ll put about 80% of your content marketing time and energy.”
And, one of the fastest ways to create content on a frequent basis is through a blog.
You should also start to develop strategic offers that you can offer visitors to your website. These should be tied back in with your marketing strategy and geared toward your target client. The content offers could include, but are not limited to, ebooks, webinars, white papers, case studies, etc. HubSpot offers some pretty good advice on marketing quality vs. quantity – you may want to check it out.
Focus #3: Optimize your website
I call it “findability.” Once you’ve created some premium content through your blogs and downloadable content, you can move to the next phase, which is optimizing your website. As you add content, you’ll need to make sure you leverage the search terms and keywords related to your products or services. The specific search terms within each article can also be leveraged throughout the piece.
Optimize also your Meta data, including page title, headers, keywords throughout bodies of text, ALT attributes of image tags, include keywords in hyperlinks, etc. You put great effort into developing content, so you want to make sure that people find it. On-page SEO (search engine optimization) is extremely important to the success of your inbound marketing strategy.
SEO doesn't have to scare you. You can learn more about optimizing your website pages for improved search results in our free ebook, “A Super Easy Way To Optimize Your Web Page!”
This simplified, nuts-and-bolts inbound marketing strategy can bring relief to the small business owner in the form of more results with less time and money spent than with traditional marketing techniques. The support of an inbound marketing partner can bring even more soothing results. We can help with landing page design, call to action design, content development, blogging and all the other particulars that bring success.
Has your business found relief through inbound marketing – or are you still feeling queasy about it?
WhiteSpace is a Toronto Inbound marketing agency that helps small business grow with winning design and marketing, from website redesign and graphic design, to branding, social media marketing, and online marketing strategies . Call for a free no-obligation website consultation – 416-449-9559.
About Murray Sye – Hi there. I’m an inbound marketing evangelist, a blogger, and a social media enthusiast. I specialize in helping businesses grow and thrive by leveraging the power of the internet.