Social media and SEO experts Hubspot hosted a webinar this evening, explaining not only what search engines are really looking for with regards to content and how this has changed over the last ten years, but how to ensure that visitors to your website are engaged enough to become true leads.
I’m a firm believer that knowledge is power, and so this blog post has been created specifically to share with you the main points of the webinar; to act as a guideline for your own SEO and SMM activities and hopefully to give you some helpful tips which will truly deliver and have a significant impact on your bottom line.
First, some good news from the renowned Guy Kawasaki: “If you have more Money than brains, you should focus on Outbound Marketing. If you have more Brains than money, you should focus on Inbound Marketing.”
What is Inbound Marketing? Well, I’ll tell you what it’s not. It certainly isn’t about using social media to constantly push out promotional messages about your products or services. Instead, take full advantage of the channels of communication now available to you to LISTEN to your customers and target audience. Find out what you’re doing right and what you need to work on. Pick up on any changes in behaviours, trends and demand. What’s great for the smaller business in particular is that effective marketing doesn’t now need a large budget, just a never-ending supply of creativity.
Mike Volpe, VP of Marketing at Hubspot gave us this amazing statistic to support these claims:
Companies using inbound marketing spend on average 60% less in creating a lead than those using traditional, outbound marketing.
So, what’s the best way to not only secure a high ranking in the search engines but to engage visitors to your website?
- Make sure you use one or two relevant keywords in your page title and headings
- Don’t be tempted to stuff your text full of keywords – this used to work years ago but ranking criteria has since changed
- Organic link building (achieved by posting good, useful content) is also an important criteria for ranking. Try and obtain more than 7 per page to stand out
- The more content you produce and the better you publicise it, the better. Make full use of blogs, podcasts, videos, presentations, news releases and photos
- Statistics show that companies who blog achieve twice as many links than those who don’t, and achieve 55% on average, more traffic to their website
- Attract more links by promoting your blog entries in your social media posts
- There is absolutely no point in attracting potential customers to your website, if they simply leave it again. Use calls to action and landing pages (offering something of value if you can) to collate information and convert them into clients
- Search engines now not only look to online article, website and blog content. They now take into account how popular you are on social media sites and the content of your discussions, so how many followers you have DOES matter
- It is now virtually impossible to judge a site’s ranking, so be wary of anyone who tells you they can take your site to first position on Google. It depends on variables including who is searching, what they are searching for, and where they are. It has been shown that companies who regularly post to blogs, tend to have more social media followers
- Try to blog at least once per week
- 41% of companies using social media have obtained a client from both Twitter and LinkedIn, 44% from Facebook and 46% from their blog
- Use Twitter.grader.com and websitegrader.com to find out how authoritative your website and Twitter account is. Twitter.grader.com can also show you the most influential people in your industry to follow. Engage them by asking them questions and for their opinion on your blog posts in an attempt to persuade them to follow you back. This will increase your authority
- Don’t use more than 1-2 keywords on any page
- If you do decide to embark on an Inbound Marketing campaign using SEO and SMM, expect to invest in at least 6 months of activity. Remember that you will need this long to begin to build up your online profile and authority
- If, as a small business, you are unable to regularly commit to producing content, seriously consider outsourcing this particular function. Don’t simply ignore it – you’re effectively ignoring your customers and the long term competitive advantage of your firm
- Be careful if you’re considering redesigning your website – you could end up losing your links and keyword ranking
Many thanks to Hubspot for an engaging and educational webinar. They’re free, so why not sign up for the next one?