If the eyes are a window into a person's heart, then a company's internet presence serves a similar purpose. Inbound marketing tools introduce potential customers to businesses with intriguing, informative articles and blogs that answer questions specific to the company's target population. The overriding question is how visitors arrive at the website.
In the Old Days
Outbound marketing dominated the way business owners reached their customers in the past. A mix of techniques such as tradeshows, television advertising and newspaper ads were successful. Interruption strategies such as mailing or distributing brochures and cold calling found a niche. However, as more potential leads shied away from traditional means of getting information, a host of techniques took a nosedive including ads in the yellow pages.
Fourteen Plumbers Named Smith?
How Do I Find Thee?
Today, most individuals use the internet to find information. A Pew Research study showed that 87 percent of Americans go online; particularly those aged 18 to 49 with an annual income above $50,000, according to Pew Research. In addition, more than half use the internet to do product research. Using this method, users query a topic and the search engine displays a mix of organic and paid results. Seventy-five percent of users never go to the second result page, and a resounding 70 to 80 percent do not use paid ads.
Calling All Searchers
Online marketers use search engine optimization techniques, which improve the chances that a company website will appear at the top of the search engine results page. The higher the SERP ranking the greater the likelihood the searcher will land on the website.
Zeroing in on the Target
Find the Right Keyword
In order for the search engine to crawl through the immense amount of data on the Internet and find the answer to a search query, it uses keywords as guides. Moving up on the SERP ranking means that the keywords are there for the search engine to find.
Approximately 50 percent of searches on the Internet are for products and services. Anticipating the keywords the user will query is an important part of making sure the search leads to one's website. Keyword research is essential and inbound marketing tools are available to help accomplish this end.
Are You Social?
Social media has become a potent force in today's online world. Facebook captures approximately 71 percent of social media users, but its numbers have remained constant. Other platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter are seeing higher user numbers, and multiplatform use has risen from 42 percent in 2013 to 56 percent in 2014, according to Pew Research. The click through rate for users who have both search engine results and social media influence is considerably higher, according to Group M.
Ways to Improve Traffic and CTR
Online marketing consultants offer insight into ways to enhance traffic to one's website. Knowing the audience whose members have the greatest chance of becoming leads helps. Finding the right keyword also helps, and using tools to do that makes it easier and more effective. Optimizing search results and increasing SERP ranking as well as magnifying one's presence across multiple platforms increases the possibility that searchers will click through to a website. Introducing engaging content urges visitors to become customers.