Inbound Marketing: Make Your Website Work for You

By | September 25, 2012

Every day the average person is bombarded with marketing messages. This happens from the time they wake up and turn on the radio or television, look at their smartphone…and then later as they drive by huge billboards, buses with ads on the side, and so on. There are marketing messages that seemingly come from everywhere.

There is absolutely still a need for these types of marketing efforts.

But more than ever before, companies must expand how they attempt to attract interest into their products and services. This can be done with inbound marketing.

With inbound marketing, you don’t have to bombard your audience with your marketing message. You don’t have to grab their attention with a 15 second radio ad, or a catchy slogan on a direct mail piece. Inbound marketing is all about getting your audience to willingly come to you.

The Key: Your Website

Your website is really an integral part of your inbound marketing strategy. If you want people to come to you, you need to have a place for them to visit, right? And it shouldn’t just be some web page slapped together for the purpose of providing some contact information.

Your website should be a resource that anticipates your audience’s needs and then fills them.

Need a visual? Think of a funnel.

Graphic Courtesy of Grow Socially: Inbound Marketing and the Sales Funnel

  • At the wide end of that funnel is your website.
  • As you get those visitors to your website, you want to send them down that funnel, converting them into leads.
  • And these leads are typically warm, as your visitors should already be made aware of your extreme awesomeness by all the cool content on your website.
  • And, as you continue to address the needs of your leads, they will transform from leads into customers.
  • (Score!)

Getting People to Your Website

Of course, to get those visitors, your website needs to be optimized for the keywords and phrases that your audience will search for.

This means that the information on your site should have these keywords and be found by search engines.

Search engine optimization (SEO) should certainly be given proper attention by your marketing team, but it shouldn’t be about trying to outwit the search engines and their crazy ever-changing algorithms. If you provide the content and make sure you use the correct keywords and phrases, and add fresh content on a consistent basis, you will be able to rank high in those keyword searches.

Using Content to Generate Leads

A regularly updated blog is a great way to work your inbound marketing plan. Blog posts don’t have to be long or arduous. They can be short and to the point.

They can be fun or witty. They can display personality as well as expertise. And they can provide valuable links to other information that you provide on your website. If your website doesn’t currently include a blog, ask yourself “why?”

A blog is really a great (and low cost) way to show off and also invite interaction via comments.

An important part of converting those visitors into leads is by providing them something they want. Your audience has questions and problems.

What can you provide for free that they would easily “trade” their contact information for? A white paper? Some worksheets? The idea is to offer something of value for free. All you ask in return is perhaps a name and an email address.

Integrate Social Networks into your Website

One great way to make your website engaging and interactive today is by integrating it with your social networking profiles.

You should have clearly marked buttons on your web pages that link to your profiles on everything from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and so on.

Also, make it easy for your visitors to share the wealth. Make it a one-click proposition for a visitor to share that really cool blog post on their Facebook page, or to share that funny office video via Twitter.

Final Thoughts

Remember, inbound marketing is a lot like hanging out, being your ultra-helpful (and smart) self and having people come to you.

If you do that, prospects and customers will come to you via search engine results, social media and other incoming links.

As you build your website and create great content, you will find that the time and effort is well spent. You don’t have to bend over backwards to convince anyone of your expertise and know-how…it’s all there on display and your audience can see it for themselves.

P.S. For more tips like these, download our free Inbound Marketing White Paper!

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