Inbound marketing is currently the most effective way of marketing your company online. In the past, during the early days of the internet, marketing was essentially about getting the attention of potential customers and hoping for purchasing decisions made in your favor. This involved buying ads and email lists etc and then waiting to see how these converted.
Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that aligns with your customers interests and yours. This will bring the customer to you. Most importantly it will bring the right customers that you can more readily convert and keep happy over time.
So how do you attract these customers?
Here are four ways to get customers to your content:
It all starts with blogging. The plan is to create high quality content that your target market will be looking for that is aligned with your products.
Search engines are how most customers will find you. A proper SEO campaign will be needed to get your pages found. The right content will also help here as it will attract organic links.
The look and feel of your website needs to be on point. The design of a website, color schemes can all play into how a visitor responds to your message and products. The better the design and more that it is aligned to the image that you want to project, the more potential sales.
The great thing about the social networking era is that the best content often can be popularized without much of a history. Once they respond and share your content online, proper engagement here will be very valuable to building the right brand image.
Search engine ranking and SEO are key components of the planning process that goes into the creation of a new article or blog post. When you build new pages, search engine ranking is often critical for traffic and sales. The same level of planning should go into the creation of video content. Here are some important considerations when producing video content for YouTube:
The first 15 seconds are the most important of the video. The highest bounce rates for video are from content that does not hook the audience in that timeframe. A lot of YouTube channels lose viewers and have high bounce rates because of overly-long music and intro sequences.
Create longer videos that retain viewers for most of the video. The key to avoiding a bounce for longer videos is to craft the title of the video very carefully. Watch time is one of the main factors that affect how videos rank in YouTube.
Another positive engagement signal for YouTube is action taken at the end of a video. When a viewer subscribes to the channel towards the end of a video, it shows YouTube that the content was relevant and that the visitor wants to see more.
Also, use the video thumbnail to get viewers to start watching. You can’t use your first 15 seconds to hook the viewer without an audience. The title and thumbnail are the two elements that can drive higher click-through rates.
Finally, if there is a companion webpage for the video, then embed the video, and do so above the fold.
In a large and complicated field like SEO, it is easy to forget the basics and look for big wins. However, if you focus on the fundamentals, you can show immediate and tangible improvements to clients. Here are some easy SEO wins:
Over time websites shut down, are bought over, or simply move on to other things. The problem is that unless they tell us, the links to those sites remain. The problem here is that you can end up linking to a bad-actor or even questionable material. Avoid this by running regular broken link checks and remove links as soon as the website no longer exists.
Meta tags no longer have any bearing on ranking or keyword, which leads a lot of optimizers and marketers to ignore the tags. However, meta tags still determine what the visitor sees on Google in the search results.
Another easy win is to switch to a responsive layout. Responsive design adjusts the width, height, and dimensions of the website and its elements based on the size of the window. It is not a requirement or ranking signal for desktop search but is a ranking signal for mobile search.
Google looks at internal linking as an internal reference on what a page is about. If you don’t use internal links, you risk losing out on some free link equity and setting anchor texts for your pages.
Research shows that companies now need to compete more and more on customer experience. The primary differentiator is now the experience and not the product. Nowhere is this strategy clearer than with Apple, whose entire premise is the superior user experience of the company’s hardware and software. One strategy of creating a compelling experience is through an omnichannel loyalty experience.
The primary purpose of an omnichannel strategy is to build a proper understanding of your customer. The only way to do that is to gather and combine data across an entire spectrum of platforms and channels. The customer will reward the brand that credits the customer for actions taken across all platforms.
The key behind this is the loyalty program. It is not practical to track the actions of the customer across all channels at once without a single unifying tracker. The loyalty program is the single thread that combines all the data.
You can now provide a customized experience for the customer wherever they shop. When they enter a physical store, they can get offers as soon as they give the loyalty card at checkout. Also, you can send personalized offers for birthdays and other occasions across multiple channels at once. Other perks are discounts, free gifts, cash-back, or free samples to reward loyalty to the brand at different points.
Competition amongst brands is fierce, and the only way to remain competitive is to build brand loyalty and keep the customer happy through a superior experience.
Ask any SEO professional about short tail keywords, and they will tell you not to bother. In fact, even established large sites find it difficult to rank well for competitive short tail keywords. The advice is to go after the long tail where you can find some keyword phrases where you can rank well. However, there is a method of using the long tail to rank your short tail terms.
First of all, take one of your short tail phrases. Now use one of the many tools online to gather a list of related keywords. To capture all of the keywords you need for this to work, look at the intent and gather keyword phrases for all intents. For example, if the short tail term is “house paint,” then you need keyword phrases that cover buying, selling, types, brands, uses, and techniques.
The process now is to build pages for every single one of those keyword phrases. Each page should have comprehensive coverage of the topic and any and all sub-topics. All of these pages should link back to the main topic page which will rank for the short tail keyword.
You need to them build authority and backlinks to every one of the subpages, which will transfer authority and help improve the ranking for the short tail keyword. Be patient as this process can take time, but with the right content and focus, the main page will slowly rise in the search results.
It isn’t too much of a stretch to assume that Amazon has an outsize role in both discovery and completion of shopping online. According to a survey run by Kenshoo, we can safely say that Amazon has a large share of online shopping discovery market.
According to the survey, shoppers consult Amazon first 56% of the time when looking for products online. That is the largest by far and is much farther ahead than any of its other rivals. However, when it comes to shopping and discovery in general, Google is ahead of Amazon, 85% to 72%. 72% is still a massive percentage of all product discovery online. The number could be far higher when you consider that some of the destinations that Google will surface in a product search will be Amazon product pages.
The numbers are consistent across other countries where both Amazon and Google operate. The only difference in the US is that Facebook takes a larger role compared to other countries.
There are some other interesting facts in the survey results:
The first is that 22% of shoppers will not look anywhere else if they find a product they want on Amazon. The online shopping giant has a frictionless ordering process, and that ease of use and the convenience of Amazon Prime make it unlikely shoppers will look elsewhere.
Even more, worrying for other online retailers is that “even if they find something that seems right on another site, they will usually look on Amazon to find alternative ideas, compare prices or gather more information before making a purchase.”
Often, most users upload images without any consideration of size or disk space. Uploading large images was not an issue until Google made page load speed a ranking factor. One of the best ways to improve both loading times and page speed is to optimize your images. Image optimization is also something that non-technical users can do with very minimal software. Here we look at several tools that you can use to optimize your post and site images.
There are two advantages to using Optimizilla. The first advantage is a real-time preview that shows an approximation of how the image will look after optimization. You can use a slider to adjust the level of quality to a point you consider acceptable. Also, you can batch process up to 20 images at a time.
The interface is a lot like Optimizilla and also processes 20 images in a single batch. The only difference is that you can export directly to a DropBox account.
Not a great tool. It does the usual image compression but offers no batch conversion options. It is good enough if you want to convert a single image. However, when you plan to optimize an entire site, it will take too long.
Tests show that TinyPNG has the best compression ratio for roughly the same level of quality. The fact that it also processes images in batches of twenty makes it the best of the tools available for image compression.
In 2013 Google launched its Hummingbird update to the search engine’s algorithm. With the launch, Google began a transition to a focus on topics and entities from keywords. Moving towards topics and entities led to less emphasis on keyword research. However, there is still a lot of value that an organization can gain. Here are few:
Dominating a niche
Websites that serve a specific niche will find keyword research useful. There is no better way to cover every single angle of a topic than using keyword research to surface all possible permutations of each keyword phrase. There is no better tool to get topic ideas for writing exhaustive blog posts.
A lot of questions get ignored during keyword research due to the low search volume. However, there is still a large audience for answers to a lot of these questions, and Google does a good job of associating similar questions with an answer.
Use keyword research to expand the breadth and depth of your content. Do not rewrite your posts unless it requires some form of correction. Look at how people search for the same topics now and expand your posts to cover the new phrases.
Improve site navigation
The words people use to describe something can change over time. Look at how people search and change the anchor text links in your navigation to make them more relevant in this day and age. People look for words they use when describing something, if they don’t find it, they will go elsewhere.
B2B marketing includes several electronic marketing channels, including email marketing and content marketing. One area that B2B marketing teams have started to use recently is paid search. However, unless you are an experienced paid search marketer, there are some areas that can catch out a novice. Here is some common mistake to avoid when planning a B2B paid search campaign:
It is not surprising to hear how failed campaigns stuck to deadlines without all of the elements of the campaign in place. Even if there is a deadline, be willing to push the date until everything is in place. Elements like landing pages, conversion tracking and links to other marketing channels are critical to the success of a PPC campaign.
PPC is a massive industry because you can change a campaign while it is running. Another common mistake is to start making changes too early. There needs to be enough data before you make any changes. High-volume campaigns can make changes sooner than low-volume ads.
Many people think that bidding for your brand names keywords is not necessary. They expect their optimized website to show in the search results and assume that is enough. This is not optimal. When you execute a PPC campaign that includes your brand, you get better brand presence and much greater control of landing pages.
There are also instances where marketers will ignore certain ad channels, networks, and tactics. Maybe it is due to an unsuccessful campaign in the past. Just remember that with PPC, everything is changing, all the time. What did not work three months ago, might work now.
You can spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on tools for your SEO audits. These SEO tools will fit into your workflow and automate the bulk of your every day SEO tasks. However, if spending that kind of money is not practical, Chrome itself provides one the best tools you can use for you SEO audits. Navigate to More Tools > Developer Tools to open the DevTools panel.
Another useful tool is to find content that is hidden using CSS. Google does not count any hidden content and if this is a good way to find any important content that is hidden.
Using the inspect option the menu, you can verify the ALT descriptions of each of the images on the page.
Check the status of HTTP headers using the Network panel of the DevTools panel. You will see any error messages, the x-robots and other tags.
Probably the most useful tool in the list if the ability to use the Device Mode to emulate any device. You can use the device changer to emulate any type of device, like a smartphone or tablet and see how the page renders for those devices.
Everyone knows that page load speed is important now. Using Chrome you can see the page load speeds on your connection and how much each element of the page contributes to that speed, making it easy to identify the bottlenecks.