Website marketing can involve a lot of confusing jargon, and when you’re busy trying to run your Calgary business it can be frustrating to keep on top of all the acronyms and terminology that come with the Internet. “Inbound” is one word that is rarely used anywhere else except within the world of website designers, content developers and search engine optimization (SEO) experts, and it comes with a lot more connotations than it used to. Understanding the applications of “inbound” while also implementing them effectively will result in your website setting the standard for ability and integrity, and also incite great lead conversion possibilities!
What Does Inbound Mean?
Inbound is one word that can apply to a number of circumstances and mean a number of different things online, but its essential implication remains the same throughout.
The point of every business is to draw people in so that you have the opportunity to sell them your products. The main method to do so has been through tempting marketing techniques. Flyers, coupons and ads lure would-be buyers in to your business with attractive colours, great offers and professional appeal. Your website can work the same way, and that is the essence of inbound marketing. In fact, it’s so effective that you may be able to exchange your expensive Calgary storefront for a website that offers just as much opportunity…if not more!
“Inbound” essentially means “to bring in”, and if you have a successful inbound website marketing campaign going on you should be seeing plenty of contacts being built daily through the basic workings of your site. Inbound components like effective calls-to action (CTAs), a useful blog, an excellent design and a solid social media strategy should all be introducing you to new people every day. But there’s one more factor that has become more and more important due to Google’s recent algorithm changes. Inbound linking can be a powerful tool for website marketers as well.
Inbound Linking Explained
Just as inbound website marketing functions to draw people in to become a contact – and potential client – of your business, inbound linking is an effort to encourage people to link to your website. The reason is simple. Google assumes authority for sites that are often linked to, and because of that implied trust that site’s chances of being recognized for a particular keyword are increased. The term “inbound linking” shouldn’t imply that you should actively go out and solicit links to your site, however. That is exactly what Google DOESN’T want you to do. Inbound linking should happen as organically as the content creation and navigation of your website — as needed and when it provides worth.
On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO
Basically, search engines take into account the behaviors of a website’s internal pages (on-page SEO) AND how that website is linked to by others (off-page SEO). Off-page SEO has become very important because it references your value to others on the Internet. Search engines like Google really do try to deliver the best results to their users, and part of deciphering where the best resource may lie is through the amount of inbound links a site has earned.
How Do I Build My Inbound Links?
There are several ways to generate inbound links, but the main one is simply providing an easy-to-navigate website with lots of great content that is useful to users. Listen to your clients and your employees, and brainstorm as to how your website can be used to solve problems.
Maintaining a reliable blog that consistently supplies interesting, informative content that people want to read and promote is your best bet for earning inbound links. Keep your focus as local as possible, and don’t be afraid to link to others in your field that have your respect. Blogs should be a way of conversing online, and if you are transparent where you get your details (especially if it is a resource you use often), the more likely it is that others will do the same. As well, if you have something to say about your business that you’d like people to know, write it down and offer it up for guest post blogs among your community. By doing so you’ve earned an inbound link plus built awareness of your company.
Never be afraid to ask, as well, but be sure to provide answers. A survey is great, but only if others have access to the results, plus the ability to comment further. Be the first to extend the gift of sharing and conduct a video webinar responding to the questions you most often get asked, or present a downloadable guide to another essential element of your business. Depending on your field, you could even create a new online tool or provide a template that you know will simplify people’s jobs or lives. The Internet loves invention, so be a leader in your field. It will benefit both your clients and your searchability!
Calgary Inbound Marketing
To become truly inbound, you have to attract, and the Internet’s culture of openness demands substance. If you are as passionate about your business as we are at Emphasize Design, then we know you have plenty to talk about. Let us know your website marketing needs, and we will show you how understanding inbound is your first step towards online success.