Inbound marketing has really picked up in the last few years. For one, a lot of businesses are seeing the benefits inbound marketing can bring as suppose to outbound marketing. Its never been sweeter to bring in qualified traffic to a website, event or a physical location.
What is inbound marketing?
The whole concept is to bring in customers/clients to a place they are already looking for. Outbound marketing would be push advertising like TV, radio, cold calling or flyers through the mail. Outbound marketing is your traditional advertising, which is slowly either changing or completely dying out.
The three phases
There are 3 phases to inbound marketing and I’ll go over all 3 in detail.
- Have users/customers/clients find you through any means
- Analyze where your traffic is coming from and what they’re doing
- Convert through conversion rate optimization and track
It’s all about being found, which would be your core task. In my case, it’s all about SEO (search engine optimization). I rank my clients on Google, Bing or Yahoo. And in some cases, I have a budget for a client who wants to run an Adwords campaign through SEM (search engine marketing). In essence, I rank/improve a website for several keywords that yield a specific number for traffic through search engines. These searchers are actually called qualified traffic since they are already in search of the product/service my clients are offering.
Through Google analytics I can track:
- Where users are coming from
- What they are doing when they enter a site/page
- How long they stick around
- Where they are clicking
- What device they are using etc…
This is extremely important since you want to find out if your efforts are yielding results. In some cases, this process takes months so you have to be patient.
Sometimes what Google Analytics offers is not enough. You might have to dig in deeper with:
- Custom reporting
- Advance segmentation
- Campaigns with Google URL builder
For example, you might want to track what keyword/referral links are outperforming all the rest. You can setup custom reports to streamline this process for yourself and clients. Or for some campaigns you’ll have to create a custom URLs, which will be tracked by Google Analytics and let you know if that Adwords campaign is really converting those expensive clicks.
The best part of inbound marketing is your conversion rates. In most cases, inbound marketing is a lot more effective than outbound marketing. Remember those awesome keywords I ranked my clients for? Well, once they enter a page they have to:
- Believe what my clients are telling them
- Trust the website with credibility tactics
- Find everything with ease
So I always ask my clients if the page that’s ranked is worthy of ranking on the first page. If it is, we’ll go through the basic outline with great design, copy and call to action.
You might ask how I know they turned into a lead. I track my leads through Google Analytics. They have a section for tracking leads (Goals). You can track a whole bunch of things in this section from downloads to video plays. You can really dig in to what advertising campaign works best with Goal tracking.
Reform & Improvements
Here’s the thing, you don’t just set it and forget it when it comes to inbound marketing. We have to constantly track, analyze and improve all our marketing campaigns. I tell this to all my clients since some of them see results and want to stop SEO because of rankings being held.
The other part of inbound marketing that no one tells you about are the research hours that happens behind the scenes. See, inbound marketing is fairly a new field where we have to keep track of what others are doing and improve with each campaign we run. My research happens with industry leaders through their blog and Twitter.
I am going to include custom reports for you keeners in my next blog post. You can use them for whatever campaigns you have.
Hold tight everyone!