The goal of your site and blog is to be discovered on the Web so you can generate sales or just share your valuable content with the world. When people search for your topic, you want to land at the top of search engine results and to invite massive traffic and information exchange to your blog. Keeping up with search engine optimization is a constant challenge, however, because the major search engines are always changing their algorithms.
Inbound marketing strategies are currently the most successful ways to increase search engine rankings and build traffic to your web and blog sites. Using the methods of SEO consulting expert Neil Patel along with some effective strategies of our own, Stride was able to boost our blog traffic by 30% within 60 days – and so can you!. We’ll tell you how. Let’s start with an understanding of inbound strategies.
Inbound marketing strategies are techniques and methods designed to draw people in. Trust eMedia defines inbound marketing as “a marketing strategy where businesses implement tactics to ‘get found’ … by customers.” These tactics may include email marketing, posting of quality content, establishment of a reputation for thought leadership, sales and advertising campaigns and activities designed to build brand awareness, social networking, improvement of search engine optimization, and other creative ways to build credibility with customers and gain their trust.
Inbound strategies attempt to attract prospect attention and bring them on board in a credible, trusting relationship. People buy from those they trust – but first they have to find your blog. To be found and continue to increase your traffic, you’ll need to use the following strategies.
For his work on the TechCrunch site, Neil Patel, of Quicksprout and Kissmetrics, ensured that the tags and links on the site pages were properly formatted in accordance with current SEO standards. Search engine crawlers look for title tags and headlines that match and include prominent keywords. Also, you should include ALT tags and meaningful, keyword-rich file names on all pictures as Patel did. With regard to links, external linking to relevant pages whenever possible builds your credibility and authority as a source of useful information.
High quality, original content is the new metric for search engine optimization. Guest blogging is a content strategy that takes your current blogging efforts to the next level. Guest blogging is publishing your articles as an invited guest on other websites, with a strategy of selecting blogs that are quality, have a high following are relevant to your niche, and including a link back to your own blog. This not only builds linked interconnectivity with other blog sites but also helps you to reach new audiences and build your prospects and makes it simple for them to find out more about you.
Be selective and strategic about the blogs you choose to guest blog for. Offer to guest blog for sites that are authoritative are read by a large following of the prospects you want to attract. The more followers, the better. For example, if you find a site with 100,000 followers who would be interested in your product or service, offer to guest blog on the site and be sure to include that link back from the article to your own blog.
The moment your guest blog post lands on the page, you are granted the audience of those 100,000 new prospects. If your post is interesting enough, compelling enough, provides enough valuable information, and contains a strong enough call to action, you will both add value to this site, and draw in more followers and expand your credibility as a thought leader and go-to resource, and thus increase quality traffic to your blog.
At one time, site builders could reach the top of search engines by simply filling their pages with the most popular keywords as less sophisticated web crawlers searched for quantity of keywords rather than quality. Sometimes the keywords used had nothing to do with the business of the site – they were simply used as a means to lure people in. Other tricks, such as “hiding” text on the page by making it the same color as the background, were also used. Now these tactics bring penalties. The more high quality, pertinent information your blog contains, the higher you will rank in search engine queries.
To draw more attention to your site and improve your ranking, you should review your content and remove any duplicate content and misleading keywords. Patel and his team also sought to eliminate duplicate content which can preclude correct indexing by web crawlers. Repeating the name of your blog within page titles and using the same meta description on every page of the site can be reported as duplication errors by web crawlers and they will fail to recognize and index your individual pages. Review each page, clean up your keywords, and create a unique meta descriptions for each page.
Forum participation is another excellent way to use content management to get your site noticed. By sharing expertise and advice on discussion forums, you develop rapport and earn respect from other forum participants who share your interests. By providing helpful and valuable content to discussions, other participants become intrigued to hear more of what you have to say and will begin to seek further information and contact with you on your website or through your blog.
Patel’s team implemented XML sitemap instructions so that search engines would know how to index the TechCrunch site correctly. They included links to additional references related to the information on each page, thus increasing the index quality while providing site visitors with more information and raising the engagement level. Additionally, TechCrunch has a number of international websites that were not effectively linked together. The team also improved the internal link scheme between TechCrunch’s pages to create and build cross-referential authority. Also, If you have a number of domain properties, be sure to create strong inter-connectivity between them.
TechCrunch already had a strong social media network on which to build. If your social media skills are lacking, now is a good time to learn because social media is a powerful driver of website traffic. Patel and his team found that they could manage the places where TechCrunch’s content could be shared by being selective about which media share buttons to place on specific sites in strategic locations. They also focused on engaging the most active contributors on popular media sites so that the contributors’ responses created a much broader reach and in turn drove new traffic back to TechCrunch assets.
Another way to use social media networking to build traffic is to host contests and entice strong contributors to endorse your articles. By offering a good value proposition in a contest or valuable information in an article, you can greatly extend your reach as the active participants do the work of spreading the word. The key to your success with social media is engaging and strategic networking with power users online.
Although we may find our inboxes inundated with emails, an email marketing campaign is still a very effective way to disseminate information and build a mailing list of prospects. Hubspot also reports from the Social Media Examiner that 83% of marketers believe social media is important for building business.
Drip campaigns are a series of pre-written, strategically planned emails that subscribers receive over a set period of time. Your objective with a drip campaign is to keep reminding your prospect of your presence and to build rapport and trust. As time goes on, the prospect reading your emails is “getting to know you,” becoming familiar with your brand, and learning more about your product or service. By the time you make your sales pitch, and sources vary as to how many contacts you must make beforehand, your prospect is hopefully ready to buy.
Mike Kamo is the VP of marketing for Strideapp. Stride is a Cloud-based CRM and mobile app that helps small to medium sized agencies manage and track leads, as well as close more deals. They can be found on Twitter and Facebook.