Today, businesses rely on inbound marketing rather than the “push” marketing approach used in the old days. Inbound marketing simply means your ideal clients are attracted to your company almost as though it were a magnet. Instead of businesses hitting their target audience over the head with heavy outbound promotion and advertising, an inbound approach draws a more targeted audience to the company’s website. Ultimately, instead of companies trying too hard to sell their goods and services, inbound marketing makes it possible for clients to find you – and feel that the decision to purchase is their own.
As a business owner, do you feel that your current website is optimized for inbound marketing? A great company website is a critical foundation for all of your content marketing efforts, and great content is what attracts potential leads and customers to your website.
What other characteristics are essential to a strong inbound marketing website?
Responsive design. What does this mean? Your website should be designed in a way that customers enjoy a consistent, engaging experience regardless of whether it is accessed using a laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or mobile device.
A solid content development plan. Think of content as the “gas” or fuel for your inbound marketing strategy. Fresh content should be created regularly, and can be in the format of social media posts, blog posts, white papers, videos, and more. Your website hosts downloads, landing pages, social media links, and is effectively a “hub” designed to distribute your content (which, by the way, should be compelling, informative, educational, entertaining, etc.) in a dynamic way.
Conversion opportunities. What is a business website good for, if not designed to convert visitors to leads and leads to paying customers? Websites that are truly the foundation of inbound marketing include plenty of opportunities to get more sales from your website, whether from new search engine optimization methods, to better landing pages, more effective CTAs (calls to action) or forms visitors fill out. The placement and design of these conversion opportunities is essential to their success.
Clear identification of your brand. Consumers are more attracted to brands who clearly identify who they are and what they do. Your website can attract potential customers simply through how effectively you portray your brand, and your message. As your own “online real estate,” your website is the ideal place to clearly identify your brand and portray your company in the way you want it to be seen and identified with by prospective clients.
Integration of social media. Sure, you can have a business page on Facebook and other social media accounts – but this isn’t the same as integrating social media into your website. Visitors to your website should be able to share your outstanding content from your website, and interact with your brand. If you have a blog (and you should,) set up the posts so they can be shared, or the comment platform in a way that integrates with commenter’s social media accounts.
Is your company website a solid foundation for inbound marketing? If not, you’re missing the boat in terms of increased leads, more customers, better conversion rates, brand awareness, and more. To reach the greatest possible level of success online, make sure your website meets the criteria for success with inbound marketing.
About the Author: Phil Singleton is a search engine optimization consultants and operates a Kansas city marketing company. Phil is also a Duct Tape Marketing™ Certified Consultant and is currently writing a book with four other Duct Tape Marketing Consultants called: The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Local Lead Generation. To get more tips and advice on how to get more sales out of your website and online marketing efforts connect with Phil on LinkedIn.