Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing: 9 Ways To Improve Your Strategy For 2016

If you don’t already know it, you’ve probably at least had a hunch that inbound marketing is rapidly overtaking outbound marketing. A less expensive marketing strategy that provides plentiful opportunities for building relationships with potential clients, inbound marketing is becoming the strategy of choice for many businesses.

But in addition to overtaking outbound marketing, inbound marketing itself is quickly evolving, meaning that many old inbound marketing techniques are becoming outmoded. With marketing techniques rapidly changing to keep pace with technology, it takes effort to keep up with inbound marketing.

To make it easier for you to keep up this year, we’ve outlined nine ways to give your strategy an edge:

content marketing

Content is King in Inbound Marketing

In the grand scheme of things, the internet is one gigantic pool of content. No matter what you are looking for, you can find it on the internet, which is really great if you think about it. In the old days, it would take months to find the same amount of information that is available from a simple web search.

When it was first invented, the internet held very little value for businesses. But, it did offer a great amount of potential. It’s only today when we are beginning to learn the true value of the internet and the content found there. Now, businesses of all shapes and sizes are able to use content to create an inbound marketing strategy. Because of this, it is extremely simple to reach customers from around the world with the attempt at sharing web content with them.

The problem that this poses is that there is now an overwhelming amount of content available. This makes it crucial for businesses to discover the right type of content that will help them convert readers into customers. Here are a few tips to help with this process.

SEO Notebook

Forget Everything That You Think You Know About SEO

SEO is an important part of marketing your business. If you want people to find your website, you have to ensure that they can find your website when they’re using Google and their other favorite search engines.

However, what you have to realize is that search engine optimization has changed a lot over the years. Gone are the days when stuffing your content full of the same keywords over and over was actually a successful method of optimizing your site for search engines.

Honestly, SEO is now easier than it has ever been. However, before you can be truly successful at it, you’re going to need to forget everything that you think you know about SEO. Sticking to the same bogus forms of search engine optimization is only going to harm your site and isn’t going to allow you to get ahead.

Forget Keywords

The main and most important part of search engine optimization is using keywords, right? Wrong. All of those fancy keyword tools aren’t going to help you now like they once did.

The truth is, people are searching for things differently now than they used to. No longer are people typing in awkward keywords. Now, more and more people are typing in entire sentences, such as questions that they might be curious about the answer to. Some people are even speaking these questions into their mobile phones and other devices.

Now, Google is on to all of us. That’s right — Google knows about all of the silly keyword tools that you’ve been using. It knows about all of the clever ways that you weave keywords into your content. The gig is up.

This isn’t a bad thing, though. Now, as long as you focus on creating interesting and informative content about your industry, you’ll do well. You can use content targeting — such as by finding out what people are searching for on search engines — to help point you in the right direction, but there is no need to weave keywords into your sentences. Just write normally, and Google will figure it out.

Stop Worrying About Backlinks

Once upon a time, people paid to buy backlinks to their sites. Then, people started figuring out that Google didn’t like that, so they started creating their own, usually in a semi-clever way, such as through guest blogging or article directories.

Stop focusing on this.

In fact, guest blogging can even be harmful to your site’s SEO if it’s done the wrong way. For example, if you post a guest blog with a link to your site on a website that is totally unrelated, Google will know what you’re trying to do, and it won’t reward you for it.

However, you can build natural backlinks — just don’t think about doing it. Instead, focus on building a natural following through forums, social media and websites that are related to yours. Stop counting backlinks and thinking about Google; instead, only post links to your site from other sites that might bring in an audience the natural, old-fashioned way.

Stop Focusing on Computers

Obviously, people search for things and look at websites on their computers. You might be using a computer right now. However, you shouldn’t assume that all — or even most — of your viewers are using computers to access your site.

The truth is, more and more people are getting online, searching, browsing, reading and interacting on social media from their devices. People love their smartphones and their tablets and their other similar Internet-ready devices.

You have to be ready for this, or Google will penalize you. In fact, Google’s latest update was all about targeting websites that aren’t catering to a mobile audience. If your website isn’t mobile-ready, it might not show up in the search engine rankings at all. Obviously, this is the last thing that you want to happen when you’re focusing on search engine optimization.

Stop focusing so much on computers. Obviously, you’ll want to check your site on your computer and perhaps on a few different browsers, but most blogging and website platforms like WordPress will work just fine on computers.

Instead, put some focus into making your pages mobile-friendly. This isn’t just about ensuring that your page loads and can be navigated on mobile devices, either. It’s also about things like breaking up your content into smaller paragraphs that can be easily read on mobile screens without people feeling overwhelmed. Keep your images at a smaller size that will look nice on mobile devices. These types of things can make a big difference for your mobile users, and believe it or not, Google will appreciate it as well.

Get On Board With Other Marketing Strategies

In the past, search engine optimization was probably the single most important way of marketing a website. You might still believe this, but you shouldn’t. Search engines are obviously still important, but if you’re building and marketing your site properly, then the search engine rankings will come. That is the beauty of Google’s newest changes — natural sites that are doing it right are going to rank, and sites that are trying too hard to rank aren’t. It’s that simple.

This means that you have more time to put into things like social media marketing, blogging, building ad campaigns and more. In no time, you’re sure to dominate all of these marketing arenas.

As you can see, things are changing fast, and they’re changing drastically in the world of search engine optimization.

3 Secrets of Innovative Business Blogging

Although businesses are always chasing after innovation, the way they approach business blogging, ironically, often lacks innovation. It’s not hard to see why. We all do it: when we’re tasked with doing something repetitive — whether it’s scheduling and writing a blog post every two days or washing our car — we tend to fall into a comfortable routine that, by nature, resists innovation.

 

One way to infuse your business blog with innovation is to leverage outside topics that already have massive appeal, and apply those topics to your business in unexpected ways.

Online Marketing Mistakes You Simply Must Avoid

Online marketing is a powerful way of getting your brand image and message out there. When it is done right, you will see amazing results. Unfortunately, too many business professionals don’t know what they are doing and end up making rookie mistakes. This post will discuss three common online marketing mistakes that you want to make sure you avoid.

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Foxtail Marketing is a digital marketing firm that provides content marketing, digital marketing, and lead generation services for small and mid-market companies.

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