So you may not have come across "inbound marketing" before. Or perhaps you're a brand-new business owner taking your first steps into the world of online marketing. Either way, inbound marketing is an exciting new form of advertising, one which is focused on connecting you with new leads.
Before you hire any inbound marketing agency, you need to know the basics of what you're getting into. So, read on for a quick guide to how and why inbound marketing works!
The Inbound Marketing Agency Guide to Online Marketing
Modern Internet marketing is called “inbound” marketing because it's the reverse of most traditional marketing plans. “Outbound” marketing is anything that attempts to put an advertisement in front of people's faces, whether they want it or not. This can cover anything from direct-mail fliers, to phone campaigns, to outdoor billboards.
You're pushing a message at the public at large, and hoping some of them respond.
Inbound marketing is more subtle. The problem with marketing on the Internet is that potential customers have literally thousands of options out there for businesses like yours which are pretty much the same, at least from the customer's point of view. People have to be given a real reason to visit you, and not any one of dozens of other websites competing for their attention.
So, rather than being pushy about your ads – which many customers don't appreciate – you instead attempt to lure them into visiting you voluntarily, and them impressing them once they arrive.
How do you do this?
Search Engine Optimization Is The Key
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science of trying to get your website to rank as highly on search engines – especially Google – as possible. If you run a Denver hair salon, you want someone searching for “Hair Salon in Denver” to see your website before they see all of the others. That makes them more likely to visit you, if you make a good first impression.
This is done primarily through keyword strategies. You pick a number of terms that people might search on when looking for your business, such as “hair salon in Denver,” and then pepper them throughout your website so that Google associates those phrases with your business. The more people who click on your site through these searches, and the more outside sources link to you using similar terms, the higher you will rank and the more hits you'll get.
Blogs Bring It Together
So, what's the best way of getting quality keywords all over your website and getting better search results? Blog writing! Running a quality blog on your website kills several birds with one stone, and it's effectively the keystone of inbound marketing.
A good blog will:
Give you a space to put all the keywords you want onto your site, to increase your appearance on search engines.
Provide useful information for your customers that helps them, as well as convincing them that your business is both skilled and trustworthy.
Encourage other website owners to link to your articles, if they're high-quality, giving you another boost in your Google results.
And when it's hooked into social media, will give your visitors another way to spread news of your business and hopefully tell their friends about you.
Inbound Marketing Agency Advice
That's inbound marketing in a nutshell: You provide content, such as blogs, which are rich in keywords and useful to your customers, and they reward you by visiting your site, reading your content and, hopefully, converting into customers along the way.
Obviously, there's a lot more to it than that, but if you understand the basics of how SEO and inbound marketing work, your new online venture is already off to a good start! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to drop us a line!