Posts Tagged ‘Search Engine Optimization’

SEO On Page Optimization Basics – Part1

// September 6th, 2012 // 1 Comment » // Digital Marketing, SEO

Search Engine Optimization of your website / product or service pages is the primary step in the Inbound Marketing Plan of Action. You got to start working on this right at the time of redesigning and restructuring your website. Am sure no marketer today has any doubt about why SEO is necessary at all. If you still have any, lets check out this latest Survey report from WebMarketing123.com. According the survey, SEO continues to be the most effective Lead Generation Channels for both B2B and B2C marketers. Taking the heads-up from the report on the objective of todays B2B and B2C marketers to further understand the importance of SEO among other Online Marketing channels:

  • For B2B marketers, lead generation is the top objective, and SEO is twice as effective as PPC (Pap-per-Click) or SMM (Social Media Marketing) for this purpose.
  • For B2C marketers, boosting awareness and reputation of their brands and products has doubled in importance since 2011, overtaking online sales as the top objective for digital marketing.

Digital Marketing Lead Generation Channels 2012

Click Image to get the enlarged View!

This makes it clear that for most marketers, SEO remains the primary source of traffic. As discussed in the last post, SEO starts from the very first step of inbound marketing plan, website design. You got to fix all the on-page SEO aspects when you are designing or re-designing your website. This might include:

  1. Page size and load time
  2. URL Analysis to check Broken Links if any
  3. Check redirects to be 301
  4. Custom 404 Page, to keep the audience in-site
  5. Remove Duplicate Content

Now that you have your new website live (or fixed your old website) per above parameters, there are other on-page SEO aspects that needs to be taken care. But before we get into that, we need to do something very important. We go back to the same approach of asking a few questions to self:

  1. Who is your target audience? (define and segregate them into different categories – age, gender, geographical location, education level and household income)
  2. What do these people search for? (come up with as many keywords, phrases and combinations of all that can be used by a prospect from a specific category, to search information related to your products/services. There are tools available that can be helpful in coming up with the Keyword list giving you relevant searches on a keyword. Brainstorm internally – Ask your team members and internal subject matter experts the same question and get a list from them.)
  3. Which are the best among the list of Keywords? (Once you have finalized the set of keywords, do the Keyword Analysis to find out – Impact Factor, Query Popularity and Query Competition Index check)
  4. Which search engines are preferred by the targeted audience?

By being able to answer all of the above you have equipped yourself with the most important arsenal required to win digital marketing war. You have already done one phase of this research about your target audience from specific category to understand their buying behavior, browsing patterns, surfing time of day, what they surf internet on, their likes, dislikes etc while re-designing the website… Important thing to do after the research is to make a list of KWs (One word, Two Words, Long tail Keywords, etc.)

With this chunk of info in hand, by now you will have clear understanding of your prospect’s persona. Next step is to understand how a search engine works, so that you will know how to get your website’s content plus codes to be written and placed to make sure you get the combination right. Combination? – what Prospects look for and how a search engine makes your and other’s business listed in front of them.

Check out my next post, when I tell you in and out of a search engine… :) till then let me know what you feel about the Inbound Marketing ABC, we are exploring…

B2B Inbound Marketing

// August 15th, 2012 // 2 Comments » // Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media

All of us know that there is a paradigm shift in today’s Marketing. The shift is from traditional approach of going outbound, to being more inbound in nature with the use of technology. The challenge is more in B2B Marketing circle compared to B2C. The obvious reasons being: the value of a B2B deal is higher hence the sales cycle is longer which makes it a multi stage process; there are generally more than one decision makers and in most cases they are well informed subject matter experts. To add to all of the above, there is nothing called impulsive buying in B2B space for a marketer to make it a mass campaign.

This change is further confirmed by a study done by DemandGen, clearly showing today’s B2B buyer is more informed and empowered.

B2B Buying Behavior Change

As you see it, going outbound (the green part) is thinning. In all other cases buyers are doing their homework, are well informed and are getting in touch with the service providers themselves. Hence, it becomes imperative to be visible and to be found.

With these practical challenges in B2B marketing hemisphere and with ever changing marketing game, what are those basic formulae that today’s marketer should be following? I personally like this approach of questioning self. So, lets start by asking some basic but critical questions to ourselves. As a B2B marketer, whether your prospects found you or you approached them, before you initiate the conversation, be ready to answer if your prospect asks you:

  1. Who you are? (Prospect dint find you/your top guys on LinkedIn)
  2. What is your company into (Prospect dint find Company ‘s link on first page of Google???)
  3. What’s your company’s services (Your website is not easy to go through. Ah damn! that’s so basic)
  4. Who are your company’s partners (not so well known in the industry)
  5. Who are your company’s customers (someone is talking about you as Tier3 vendor in one of the forums / communities)
  6. What’s your company’s reputation (your ex-employee is talking bad about the work culture on social platforms)

Imagine where your sales pitch goes after falling nose down on all or any of the above queries posed by your prospect. Are you prepared??

So now, when you know it is imperative to be found whether or not you are going out to sell, there are things to be taken care from a marketing point of view. This is termed as ‘Inbound Marketing’.
Because Inbound marketing has been a proven concept, everyone is working on making their business easy-to-be-found. Now the Inbound marketing game is more than being visible, its all about earning the attention of your prospects and engaging them in the conversation.

The question is, what are those magical techniques that can do the dual magic of being found and earning attention.

Inbound Marketing Techniques:

  1. Website: Well Designed/Developed
  2. Search Engine Optimization: Optimizing WEBSITE content and codes
  3. Business Blogs: Creating Thought Leadership
  4. Social Media Optimization: Engage prospects on Social Platforms
  5. Digital Asset Creation and Distribution

Step by Step Process of Creating Long-Term Inbound Marketing Plan:

  1. Keyword and Competitor Analysis – Finding Killer Keywords and Putting Them to Work for you. Know how to find keywords and phrases that your target audiences could use to find your business.
  2. Fixing Website – Content + Codes + Call to action + Navigation + On-page SEO – Optimizing your site to make search engine bots love it, even if you think you’re doing “just fine” without it.
  3. Off-page SEO Plan post Penguine/Panda updates – Giving Away Content Will Build Your Business. Your overall search presence can be influenced by your online social interaction, online pressrooms, targeted blogging, and link branding.
  4. Content Strategy for Blog Marketing – Would you be the one to break news about changing trend?
  5. Conversation Plan for Social Media Engagement – your social activity can influence where your site or blog ranks on search engine result pages (SERP).
  6. Digital Asset Creation around Service portfolio – (Whitepapers/ Presentations/ Videos / Infographics / Case Studies / eBooks / Webinars…)
  7. Use Marketing Automation Tool to manage conversations and leads – Be on top of the execution coz this is not a day’s or a week’s activity. It takes months to start getting quality back links and create brand ambassadors

In my next set of posts, I’ll be explaining each of the Inbound Marketing Techniques along with some cheat sheets required at each of the above steps in the B2B Marketing Plan.

Do let me know, if you agree with me that the whole inbound marketing game is no more about just being found…