Inbound marketing uses online channels to distribute useful and engaging content that attracts prospects while building trust with customers in your sales funnel.
With inbound marketing, you position yourself to get found by people already learning about and shopping for the very thing you are selling. To leverage these opportunities, you need to set up your website as a content hub optimized for both search engines and the future customers who use them.
Inbound Website and Content Management
Consistently adding new content to your website is a critical component of any inbound marketing plan. The more content you publish on your website, you’ll get more pages indexed by search engines for a wider set of keywords, and you increase the opportunities for your business to be found online.
To make it simple to publish all your content, your website should be built using a content managing system (CMS) that allows you to easily add new content such as landing pages, static web pages, and blog posts. With that in place, you’ll want to do three things before you get started:
1. Review your website.
- Do you know how to add web pages and blog posts?
- Do you have a system in place for collecting email subscribers?
2. Look at your top three competitors’ websites.
- Are there any pages you should add?
- Are there blog topics that you should cover?
- Are there offers, lead magnets, or content types customers like?
3. Look at the list below to identify what you can add to build more pages on your website.
- Locations/Areas Served
- About Page
- Management Team/Employee Spotlight
- Customer Reviews/Testimonials
Improving your website structure and publishing content people can use to help make their buying decisions creates a strong foundation to support not just your inbound marketing campaigns but also SEO and paid marketing.
Content Upgrades and Inbound Leads
While adding new web pages to your site and consistently blogging attracts more traffic to your site, inbound marketing looks at doing more with content to convert visitors into leads. You’ll want to create some upgraded content that meets the needs of consumers who want quick, useful, and engaging answers to their problems. Examples of upgraded content are lead magnets, how-to videos, checklists, reports, and ebooks.
You may already have enough content and know-how at your disposal to create upgraded content on your website or in the form of a video-happy employee who can record short videos. Whether you create it yourself or outsource content creation, upgraded content and lead magnets are great ways to convert the traffic you’ve earned into leads. You boldly offer visitors something of value (your upgraded content) in exchange for their contact information on your web pages, in blog posts, and on landing pages.
Search Engine Optimization Checklist for Inbound Marketing
As a refresher for your inbound marketing learning, remember there are two main parts to search engine optimization: On-page SEO that happens on your website and Off-page SEO where you get other websites to trust and link to your website (backlinks).
Here’s a simplified SEO checklist to get your website ranking higher in search engine results:
- Keywords are used in the page title, headings, anchor text, alt text, and body copy on all pages and blog posts.
- Titles are unique on every page and 70 characters or less.
- Your meta-description tag should be 150 characters or less and contain descriptive text with keyword phrases embedded. (Not the first 150 words of your content)
- Use keywords in the link text, especially to link to pages on your own website.
- Make sure Google is indexing all of your web pages.
- List your website in free online directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, “best of” listings, and industry-specific online websites and directories.
- Organizational links like .org and .edu are considered to have greater value, so get listed on a chamber of commerce and other .org and .edu websites where you can.
- Partner link by exchanging links on your website with complementary (not competitive) business partners by creating resources people want to share.
- Create and optimize your social media accounts and review site business listings to point back to your website to create links from high authority websites.
Inbound marketing starts with providing valuable content and resources online. Whether your website traffic is a visitor, lead, or existing customer, you can become and remain a trusted resource and service provider.