Inbound marketing is attraction marketing by providing value for search traffic; it is the opposite of advertising. Generally, it attracts traffic to your site with useful information, which is optimized for search engine algorithms too.
Inbound Marketing consists of, among others:
- Search Engine Optimization – Keyword and site usability strategies that make sites findable and relevant to target audiences
- This can include interactivity with self-selecting prospects, potential customers who sign up via email for newsletters, downloaded whitepapers, or access to other more directed content.
- Calls to Action: Getting people to do something on a web page – fill in a form, order a product, register for a free newsletter, etc.
Closed Loop Analysis
- More commonly known as Web Analytics, it involves the implementation of tracking codes and statistical dashboards to describe traffic from site entry to the conversion process – the entire loop. Where did people come from? How did they click through the site? How long are they staying? Are they finding what they searched for?
Other areas include PPC (Pay Per Click), which can be useful for quicker launches, but it has a high learning curve with financial outlay. And, targeting organic traffic – the traffic that finds you naturally – is usually the more effective long term strategy than paid ads (as with Google Adsense). If your site is buzzworthy, and you have a bit of patience, you can leverage cost-effective inbound marketing techniques. If you want to hurry the process, you can look into PPC.
The key to site ranking is generating social interest in the form of links and social media activity; and following SEO best practices in order for search engines to properly index your site. Be relevant and findable.
I would say two very effective areas for this are a) blogging and b) making news that relates with your target customer.
All of this starts out with fundamentals – just keep it simple at first for the biggest gains. Then as the site gets more complex, so does the marketing activity.
Yes, it can all be done on the cheap – but at the additional cost of learning curves, time, your value, and opportunity costs. At every stage of creation, there are specialists who can do it cheaply or not, depending on your scope.
It can seem overwhelming, but just do one thing at a time right, and that’s the best advice I can give. The short answer is: Do what Google suggests; and get talked about.
The other strategy, of course, is to keep informed by reading the whole internet every day. : )