by Jonathan Wickham
Marketers need to be aware of the necessity of switching from SEO to inbound marketing. SEO is all about trying to “trick” Google into giving better rankings for a very narrow set of premium keywords. However, inbound marketing shifts the focus from the search engine to the user. This is the fundamental difference between the two tactics. This is why inbound marketing has more power and ability to reach the proper users.
Having been highly involved with the inbound marketing industry over the past two-and-a-half years, we’ve had the opportunity to talk to literally hundreds of business owners who are trying to increase their online visibility. Occasionally we come across a CEO or marketing director who doesn’t believe in the inbound philosophy.
After looking through their work and discussing their inbound strategy, we’ve identified the 4 main themes that highlight why their inbound marketing efforts aren’t working:
1. Lack of Remarkable Content
The lack of exceptional content is a monumental issue. People need to be rid of the idea that inbound marketing is only about producing consistent content. We’ve seen this from both external and internal agencies as well as company leadership. This kind of mindset is extremely detrimental for business.
Recommendation: Smart, innovative marketers understand that just publishing content outsourced to some offshore writing company is actually a liability for the brand. It is unbelievable how many agencies preach that just posting consistent, unique content is enough to get the organic improvement. If you’re working with an agency that has this mentality, run the other way!
It is important to create content that adds value to the Internet and answers common questions. You need to show your expertise by consistently publishing content that makes a difference. We promise if you will take this stance, Google will reward you for your efforts.
2. Fail to Give Users a Reason to Take Action
98% of business-related websites have the goal to get users interested in their products or services. However, they often fail to show users why their product or service is helpful or reliable. They don’t back up their product with seen results or maybe they don’t even make it clear what they do in the first place.
Recommendation: Strategically place content and include value propositions. Remember, it is human nature to want to feel like our efforts paid off. There’s nothing worse than visiting a site and not knowing how to proceed. Therefore, incorporating calls to action are vital.
3. Insufficient Quality Back-links
So many companies think that having back-links, no matter what the quality, is helpful. Nothing could be further from the truth. Google will penalize your website and users will not return to your site.
A bad linking profile includes:
- Black hats (trying to trick Google instead of adding value to internet)
- Over-optimized anchor text
- Low domain authority
Recommendation: In general, linking has proved to be better than on-site optimization. However, you need to be careful how you acquire links are acquired to avoid penalties. Given the vast amount of low quality backlinks, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Consider what makes a good linking profile:
- High domain authority (where it’s coming from)
- Relevancy of the page that its linking to
- Anchor Text of Link (30% exact match, 30% URL, and 40% brand)
Using this information will assist in creating an outstanding linking profile.
Being aware of the differences between good and bad linking profiles will help you develop a linking profile of professional quality and standard. It’s time to turn those low quality links upside down and boost credibility and domain authority!
4. Un-nurtured Leads
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to nurture your leads. If you’re taking care of everything else except for
Recommendation: In order for your inbound marketing efforts to actually work, you need to be nurturing your leads through 3 phases:
Leads have either become aware of your product or service, or they have become aware that they have a need that must be fulfilled.
Example: You create an offer (free eBook) about a common issue you have identified that is relevant to your target audience’s interests and/or problems. In the eBook you provide solutions and tie in your product/service that could potentially be a solution. You promote this offer via social media and your website.
Leads are aware that your product or service could fulfill their needs and they are trying to determine whether you are the best fit.
Example: You have an industry report that showcases all the unique features of your product. You build a compelling case about why your product is superior to the other options that are available. You send this report through email to all your leads who have indicated they are interested in more than just information (lead nurturing).
Leads are finally ready to make a purchase.
Example: You call your prospective customer and provide a detailed product demonstration. What happens next? Your sales person closes the deal. The better you get at this process, the more customers you will win.
Note: In order for your inbound marketing efforts to achieve maximum potential, unique content must be created for every stage of this cycle. Content must also be posted to the most appropriate online platforms and distributed the right way.
In a nutshell, you cannot “skimp” or take short cuts when it comes to your inbound marketing tactics. But don’t feel intimidated by the necessary content creation and lead nurturing. This is because, if anything, you will soon feel invigorated by your inbound marketing results. Your efforts will no longer be about just making a sale, but will grow your brand, your credibility and bring long-lasting customers. Inbound marketing will build your company in more ways than you realize.
Marketers need to be aware of the necessity of switching from SEO to inbound marketing. SEO is all about trying to trick Google into giving better rankings for a very narrow set of premium keywords. However, inbound marketing shifts the focus from the search engine to the user. This is the fundamental difference between the two tactics. This is why inbound marketing has more power and ability to reach the proper users.
Jonathan Wickham has been in the online marketing industry for over 7 years. He is the founder and CEO of Digital Flavor Enterprises. It has quickly become one of the fastest growing content marketing agencies in the nation. You can read more of his writing by visiting DF’s blog at digitalflavor.com/blog.
Rich Brooks | Courtesy of Jonathan Wickham