What Is Inbound Marketing – 2022 Edition

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Table Of Contents

What is Inbound Marketing SEO and how to improve it

As we begin looking at the fundamentals of Inbound Marketing, the first step is your website’s...

Inbound Marketing
Blogging Basics

In terms of making or breaking your Inbound Marketing strategy… Content Generation is a...

Creating Web Content for Inbound Marketing

When your creating web content and posting it around, Google sees that as new, fresh, interesting and...

Inbound Marketing Basics: Social Media Strategy

In some certain scenarios, some companies really don’t need...

Lead Generation From Inbound Marketing

The best thing you can do is have a unique page and unique form for each...

Inbound ROI And
Google Analytics

Every website should have Google Analytics, Web Search Console, and...

What is Inbound Marketing and Why is SEO Important?

As we begin looking at the fundamentals of Inbound Marketing, the first step is your website’s SEO.

Search engine optimization has always been a big buzz word on the internet. There is even good and bad SEO. White Hat and Black Hat. Each search engine has its own set if rules though.

The three primary elements of SEO can summed up as:

  1. Site speed
  2. relevance
  3. authority

People may use different terms to describe these elements. However, these can change in nuance every day, week and month. At time of writing, we have seen Google wreak havoc on holiday shopping results due to “updates” that were meant to “help” small businesses.

Speed

This one is the more complicated elements of SEO, but it is not that bad. Most simple websites only have to worry about the size of their photos. “Dynamic” websites that have a lot of moving elements, sliding photos and an interactive navigation require more attention.

You can use Google’s PageSpeed Test and Pingdom to rate your site speed. If the images need resizing, that is generally something you can do just by re-sizing some images and uploading them. Other elements such as browser caching or gzip compression I would be more than happy to help with it:

why:

when Google sees that it takes a long time to load your site, that sends them two red flags. The first being that if a website has a long load time, it might have viruses, malware, or other malicious content. The second is sometimes there will be keyword keywords or links embedded on the web page. Even though these may not visible to a user, it can affect your rank number.

Relevance

This encompasses how relevant your content is to the user. Is your fishing lure how to article relevant to fishermen? It also speaks to somewhat invisible page elements known as meta descriptions, focus keywords, and Title/Header.

Using the fishing example, your keyword might be “trout fly fishing” (I seriously know nothing about fly fishing and trout). Well, Google will scan your page Headings and look for “Trout Fly Fishing.” If the name of your article and your headings resemble, “Catching the Big River Fish,” Google won’t think the article is about “Trout Fly Fishing.”

Meta descriptions in some Content Management Systems can be defined, but typically Google just pulls content from the first paragraph underneath your headings for that information. If you don’t even mention the words “Trout Fly Fishing,” Google won’t think your relevant for that term because you never mentioned it. Even though your article really is about fishing for trout with a fly fishing rod, Google won’t think it is.

Take Away Point

Make sure you know what keywords you are wanting to rank for and actually use it. Don’t be obnoxious about it though. Write content that humans genuinely want to read, use the appropriate keyword, and Google will think your pretty relevant and awesome.

Authority

Authority can be one of the hardest things to build in SEO for small companies and blogs. Authority in the traditional sense of the word is typically given to someone by another and commonly associated with power. What Google looks for is how many people or websites link back to your website, e.g. how much authority/credibility has been given to you. This is commonly known as Backlinks.

One primary way that you can build authority is Social Media. When you have Google+ setup with your website, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. all pointing to your website, search engines see at as credibility sources and ranks you higher.

Other ways you can build credibility is getting links from vendors, newspapers, and Wikipedia. Getting links from highly credible companies or somehow a link from a .EDU domain can really boost your ranks.

Getting Started With Inbound Marketing

Blogging is a difficult subject. A lot of people really do not like writing. Those that do like writing, not everyone is great at it. In terms of making or breaking your Inbound Marketing strategy… its a focal point. Here are the inbound marketing blogging basics:

What to write about
Finding Content and what to write about can be a difficult task but here are three tips / topic finders that can really make a difference.

  • Start with your customers top questions, and write an article to answer each one.
    • E.g. Customers ask if your coffee is fair-trade. Write an article about why your coffee is fair-trade
  • Write about the problems you solve for your customers.
    • E.g. An IT Consultant may write a blog about the importance of updating away from Windows 7 or even windows 10 and how you can help with that process
  • Use HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator
    • E.g. Type in three nouns, and it generates ideas for you. I typed in Fair Trade, Coffee,  and tea – These are the results:

      1. 20 Myths About Fair Trade
      2. Miley Cyrus And Coffee: 10 Surprising Things They Have In Common
      3. The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Tea
      4. 14 Common Misconceptions About Fair Trade
      5. The History Of Coffee

How To WriteBlog SEO Basics

Writing can be difficult for some people, but we find answering questions to be much easier. Just type like you are answering a friend, with proper spelling and grammar. If you feel like you might have trouble with spelling and grammar, feel free to type it in Microsoft Word or Grammarly first. Use the tools you have to help you work through it. Make sure that it is at least 300 words too. Google really likes to see that. If you are long-winded, even better! 1500+ words is a big win.

 

Why it Works

Blogging helps show Google that you have fresh content, your website is updated regularly and that you can be found via new search terms. You can then post to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc. your new blog article, and that create links back to your blog (which Google also likes).

Even though SEO may be our goal in blogging, the bigger goal needs to be providing a service to your customers. Even though the side-winds are nice, if you write to improve customer experience you will create profoundly more substantial and useful content.

Creating Web Content Regularly

Making web content…What?

I worked for a business in downtown Pullman called “Bagels and Brew” for about 3-months and the practices were sub-par. The owner would randomly close the business when he felt like it, and would take naps. People would stop by for lunch at 2:30 pm (weird I know), and it would be closed during business hours.

People thought it was out of business and would never come again. Likewise, potential clients who do not see content on your website, social media, or anywhere, will assume you are not open.

When your creating web content and posting it around, Google sees that as new, fresh, interesting and relevant to the searcher. When a client visits your Facebook page and sees new content, they will be more likely to come back. If there is no new content for months, people might think you went out of business.

When we talk about Inbound Marketing Content, all we really mean is web content. Content that relates to your inbound strategy. We could go on forever with vague descriptions but it can but it can be summed up as:

 

“Anything you would put in your blog, website, or Social Media”

Creating content is a daunting task to most business owners. It can take a long time to build really awesome looking graphics. Or try and get a photo just right, and then Photoshop it, and then caption it, etc. Last post we talked about writing blog posts.

As a business owner, creating content will tend to be the last thing on your mind or it will be on your mind but be your lowest priority.

So what can you do? Here are a few practical ideas:

  • Take pictures with your phone and post to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  • Block out 1 hour for writing blog posts
  • Share industry news
  • Ask a spouse to help
  • Ask an intern or find a student club to help
  • Hire a content creator for your business
  • Hire your friendly neighborhood Marketing Agency to do it for you 🙂

This all  may sound weird, vague, and time consuming, but that’s has been the business standard for more than a decade now.

Keeping It Brand-Centered

When you have a brand strategy, the content generation process is focused on the customer and their day to day life to maximize impact and joy.

Developing Social Media Strategy

What we mean by Social Media Strategy

“Not all companies or departments need social media,” I said.

A manager for a department at the local university did not fully believe me and to this day may not. It was a department that handled specialized visa forms. As a part of a website upgrade, they were wanting social media. They did not have regularly occurring content, updates, announcements or deadlines. No one was even scheduled to manage it if it was created.

In some certain scenarios, some companies really don’t need a social media strategy. Its good to have a Google My Business Page to help with your local search rankings, but otherwise it may actually hurt your companies brand and image. More information on this topic can be found in the previous blog post: Inbound Content.

You would not believe the amount of people that I hear saying, “social media is the future, you have to have a social media strategy!” But not everyone knows what exactly that means. Even Microsoft had a little bit of trouble at first with one of their products known as “Dynamics” a Customer Relationship Management tool. They found that the teams for the project had made over 40 social accounts and blogs (more info). They are now down to 23 and increased  their social media following by 700% overall. By having a social media strategy that has all of the accounts working together, they are now functioning really nicely and building engagement all over the place!

So what does this look like for your small business? 

What people think happens:
People follow social media accounts and blogs so that they can get something from them. Anything is given from funny content, coupons, special insider information, etc. You want more sales and customers so you post what customers want. Customer buys and then tells the world how awesome it is on social media and then your business sales increase.

This is partially true. People genuinely want something from you. But they wants deals and freebies.

So how do we get you sales? By targeting the clients and customers that you want.

Example: You are in the cell phone case business. 80% of your clients will buy the cheapest rubber cases for $5. 10% will buy the fancy patterned ones for $12 and the other 10% will buy the rugged-drop-from-an-air-plane-survival cases for $40. In reality you want to sell the rugged cases because you probably have a huge mark-up on those and can make more money if 20%-35%  of your sales were the rugged cases.

So you enlist Social Media to help. Film yourself throwing your phone with the rugged case off of buildings, getting run over by cars, etc. Then run the video with Facebook ads and a coupon for the rugged cases being on “sale.” If you have the social media content reflect your store, Pinterest, Blog, etc. you can increase your sales very easily.

Why does the above model work? You are giving people good fresh content of phones being thrown, your offering coupons for your super awesome product, and people can actually tell their friends how awesome it is by sharing it. Your setting up your audience and ads to succeed instead of just saying, “buy my product.” This is what we mean by a social media strategy.

Lead Generation

What is lead generation and how to do it

Lead generation is a jargon term that actually has a simple meaning. Lead generation is when you have someone submit their name and phone number or email address and typically are asking for more information. The lead has been generated and now the person who gave their name and number is the “lead” or potential sale.

The hard part of this becomes ensuring that you know where exactly that lead came from. A traditional model of this is TV advertising and radio advertising. An advertiser who is wanting people to call in and buy a product, will use two different phone numbers. This helps the advertiser know how many people responded to the tv ad vs. The radio ad.

When it comes to the web, it gets a little more complicated.

On a basic level you can install Google Analytics to your website. You then tell Google what the first page a user should see and what the last page you want the user to see. For example if you want more people to sign up for your email newsletter, you tell Google what page the form is on and what page is the “thank you” page. Google is then able to tell you how many people visited your web page and how many people actually filled out your form and became a “lead.”

At the base level, best thing you can do is have a unique page and unique form for each product and service or for each niche your advertising to.

 

Generate Leads Faster With
Pay-Per-Click Advertising

In the context of Inbound Marketing, Lead Generation is a way of showing that the other Inbound Marketing techniques you are using are working and creating potential sales. You have to have trackable benchmarks though. Leads are one of the best benchmarks along with how many people are visiting your website and social media engagement.

Now that we talked about tracking your leads in a basic way, here are a few ideas on how to get some new leads that you can practice tracking:

  • Offer a free service, product, or consultation with form capture

  • Do a $5 Facebook Advertisement & track leads in Facebook or send them to a page with a form

  • Do Google Ads for $1 a day and have it go to a form or unique product page with analytics tracking it

  • Do Bing Ads for $1 a day. Have it go to a form or unique product page with analytics tracking it

  • Build a unique page and give the URL out to a key partner. Rinse, lather, repeat for each key partner. This allows you to see if your partners or vendors are sending you good leads who are more likely to purchase.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great tool for businesses. Any website should typically have this. Why? its a lot of free information on where your web site viewers are coming from, what they are looking at, for how long, and much more!

There are some super powerful elements of it but for today we’re going to look at some basic terminology.

To get started, take a gander at the chart below:

Google Analytics for Inbound Marketing | Pullman Marketing

So here is a quick glance at my websites visits by content. This enables me to look at what my most popular pages are and understand what is going on in my website.

To understand what the chart means, here are some definitions of keywords:

PageViews:
The total amount of times the individual page has been viewed.

Unique Pageviews:
The amount of individual IP addresses (desktop, laptop, mobile phone, etc.) that have viewed your web page.

Avg. Time on Page:
The average amount of time someone stayed on your page, regardless of activity on that page. This means they could have viewed the page and walked away from their computer and the timer is still counting.

Entrances:
The number of times people entered your website from a specific page.

Bounce Rate:
The percentage of  individual page visits. This can be if someone visited your home page and then immediately left. A “healthy bounce-rate” is actually between 30%-35% for most applications. However there are times it makes sense to have a high bounce rate which we will address later.

% Exit:
The percentage of people exiting your website from a page divided by the number of that page’s views. “It indicates how often users exit from that page or set of pages when they view the page(s) (Google).” An example of this is my Home page from the above chart. The individual page has a 10% Exit. This means that six times out of 60 page views, a person left my website.

Page Value:
In Google Analytics, you are able to set a dollar value on each individual page, a value you set based upon potential transactions and revenue. We won’t be addressing these today since that is an advanced feature in Google Analytics.

Don't Get Lost On The Internet

Check Out Our Ultimate Digital Marketing Terminology List.

So what does it all mean?

I’ll be honest… it depends.

For example, some websites you really don’t need people staying on your website for more than four minutes. But if its a blog with some great articles, then sure 5-12 minutes is appropriate. If your blog has an average less than two minutes, then there is a problem and you’ll have to dig deeper to either fix your content or the way its presented.

Another example is your bounce rates. A landing page may exceed 70% and that is perfectly normal. A web store might experience a lower one around 20%. It just kind of depends. Some people may disagree with my statement that 30%-35% is a “healthy” bounce rate. However I feel if you have good engaging content and a good product, than you should not have a landing page that skews your site average above 50%.

So what does Google Analytics actually do for me?

Google Analytics wont fix your site, but it is a tool that allows you to know whether your site is healthy or not. If your noticing an extremely high bounce rate on your home page, then you need need to fix your content, design or both. If your blog articles have an average of 45 seconds view time, and they are 5 pages long, then there is a problem with the content.

Google Analytics helps you identify problems and build a better website for  your customers.

So What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is the holistic strategy that includes content, SEO, Social Media, Video Marketing, etc. 

At Pullman Marketing, we work with you to ensure the right strategy for your brand and business to move forward. 

We’ve spent years working with clients and growing their traffic, leads and sales. If you are interested in similar results, please reach out with the form below and we would love to work with you to achieve your 2022 goals.

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