Looking to leverage inbound marketing to generate a higher ROI on your marketing spend? Follow these best practices and you will see results. This is not intended to be a 100% comprehensive list of all the inbound marketing best practices. However, the following is a compilation of what we believe are some of the best inbound marketing strategies and tactics you can follow to make it easier for customers and prospects to find your business on the web.
In order of priority:
- Develop a search engine marketing strategy and plan. Determine which search keywords are important to your business and your market. Build a top 100 keyword list for your business. Prioritize this list. Analyze your website traffic with Google Analytics to see which keyword phrases bring traffic to your website.
- Optimize your website content for organic search. Put important keywords in the html page title tags. Use keywords in the H1 tags. Put keywords in the URL. Make sure you don’t go overboard and stuff the page with too many keywords, making it unreadable for your audience. Remember, the goal is optimization and relevance---not tricking Google.
- Publish content on your website that gives users a reason to come back. Content is king when it comes to driving users to your website. Publish a blog, white papers, an FAQ, support information, how-to videos which you can publish to Youtube. Strive for deep, well-written (relevant and informative) content on your site.
- Selectively use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to drive traffic to your site. Open a Google Adwords account if you don’t already have one. Start testing the waters with pay-per-click adverting. Start small. Set up a campaign with your company name as a keyword. Set up your top 25 keywords in Adwords. Test your ad copy with A/B tests. Create custom landing pages for your PPC ads. Make the pages look credible so prospects will fill out the landing page forms. Don’t ask for too much information on the web forms or it will reduce conversions.
- Use Google’s conversion tracking capabilities. Create "Thank You" pages (displayed after a user submits a completed web form) with Google Conversion tracking codes so you can track the conversion rates of your PPC advertising campaigns.
- Push the data captured from all landing page, web forms and associated Google keywords into a database. The database can be a SFA, CRM, marketing automation tool or a custom database application. Create reports to analyze this data.
- Nurture your inquiries, prospects, leads and opportunities with email. Start simple and set up a monthly drip email newsletter to everyone. Evolve into leveraging marketing automation tools to create sophisticated customized email drips based on behavior and segmentation rules. Capture email open rates and link click-throughs in your SFA or CRM system.
- Develop a point-based scoring system for your inbound leads and inquiries. The criteria should be based on behavioral and demographic data. For example, is this lead in your target market? Where are they in the buying cycle? Did they click on your pricing page? Did they complete all the fields on your landing page? How many pages did they visit on your website (marketing automation tool required)?
- Start actively commenting on blogs related to your industry. Encourage your employees to publish blog articles on your company’s blog or their own blogs. Encourage your employees to write about their expertise in a personal blog.
- Set up a corporate Facebook and Linked in page. Have your employees who are willing publish company information to their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. If appropriate, blur the lines between work and play.
- Set up a Twitter account. Use Tweetdeck to manage your account. Have an internal employee dedicated to publishing relevant content on a daily basis. Cross-promote your Twitter account information on your website, your blog and in printed media.
Want to learn more? Try our Inbound Marketing Scorecard