Exploit online inbound marketing
Online research makes it possible to find better and more information sooner. This is why every business in any industry must have a proper functional website that works round-the-clock and delivers its message effectively. The website will then generate new business as it can be found through several online marketing channels.
With traditional advertising, businesses need to push their message and reach people with their marketing message. It is debatable how effective such methods are in today’s environment where people are inundated with promotional material.
Studies show that people are trying to work out how to block these messages through an e-mail spam filter, for instance. This concept of traditional advertising is referred to as outbound marketing, which works by reaching a large group of people such as with a seminar, print ads, and billboards.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is more efficient and targeted at the right audience. Online users will discover you when they are searching online – and if they are interested they are more likely to convert. Moreover, the costs are more affordable. What the business needs to do is to make sure that they are found easily when users search for them.
One of these methods is through search engine optimisation. SEO makes your website rank higher on search engines. When searching, users are presented with a set of results and approximately 75 per cent of users never view the second page of results. This emphasises the importance of having high rankings on search engines.
First, you will need a proper website. An attractive website should map your offline brand and deliver your products or services. Second, you will need SEO, so the site is optimised and starts to rank higher on search engines.
A site that has good rankings will be found and gets traffic from search engines. Some keywords are much more popular since they are more frequently searched and ranking for those popular keywords will help the business attract more traffic. Still, ranking for business-generic keywords or irrelevant keywords are not going to be beneficial. A business residing and offering services in Malta would be better off ranking for ‘keyword Malta’ rather than just the ‘keyword’ without a location. In the latter case, it would be too generic and far more expensive to get good rankings.
Some types of outbound marketing methods are not as effective when compared to inbound marketing methods. Still, one should not brush aside the possibility of using such opportunities.
For instance, a popular outbound marketing technique is e-mail marketing. Although it is still useful, it must not be your main marketing channel. Newsletters or e-mails can be sent occasionally and have to be of benefit to the readers.
This is therefore a great opportunity to reach users. Mailing lists can also be used as a way to connect with readers on a site. A simple scenario for this would be for a user who ends up on the site through a search engine, achieved with good rankings. Unfortunately, this user who likes the company’s offerings is still not ready to buy at the moment.
Offering the user a means to connect by subscribing to a newsletter or following the company on social media is creating a connection. This connection might later expose the user to a marketing message and may result in the user converting this time round.
In essence, much more traffic will generate more leads and sales. Every business operating in the any industry needs a website. There are several creative ways a business can explore so as to create more inbound traffic to their website.
Mr Bugeja is an SEO and PPC consultant with the Alert eBusiness Internet Marketing team.