The primary focus of your inbound marketing strategy should be to get your business found by new visitors, and then convert them into qualified sales-ready leads. One of the primary places to do this is on a company blog. There are many other additional benefits such as developing thought leadership and providing value to current clients, but at the end of the day it’s lead generation that makes inbound marketing such an irresistible and powerful tool.
You want new, potential prospects to find you (i.e., your website) and we all know by now that the first place most people go for product or service research is the Internet, and more specifically, they Google it (or use other search engines like Bing or Yahoo).
There are a variety of advanced optimization tips out there, and we at The Center for Sales Strategy work closely with our inbound marketing clients to be sure they’re implementing the most important tactics and best practices. Google is constantly revising its algorithms for determining how websites are ranked, but many of the core concepts stand true over time.
First and foremost, you should determine which keywords you can compete best in and go after them. Inbound marketing software, like HubSpot, can help you identify and track keywords most relevant to your industry, target audience, and website. Once you’ve compiled a list of your top keywords, be sure to use them as a guiding force for all of your content development.
Because you are choosing keywords based on what matters to your target audience, what they search for, and how you can help them in these areas – not just because you want to compete for the best PageRank – it should be easy to come up with a long list of blog post topics based around your keywords.
Once you’ve chosen which keywords you’ll focus on, and written remarkable content that your audience will find useful, you can begin optimizing your posts.
However, it’s important to remember that these are guidelines, and you should ALWAYS write for humans, not for search engines. That’s what truly makes an inbound marketing strategy work.
Here are three easy steps you can start taking today to optimize your blog posts with keywords:
1) Try to use your primary keyword in the title of most posts, as well as at least once in the copy of the blog. This doesn’t have to be a strict rule, but if you are already writing blog posts related to your keywords it should usually happen naturally.
Note: Never attempt to “stuff” your blog posts with keywords. Google can spot this and will penalize sites that get caught trying to cheat the system. And this affects the quality of your content – which is the most important component of your inbound marketing strategy.
2) Make keywords in your copy stand out. You should make it a habit to bold and/or italicize key points in your blog post copy, and it’s especially beneficial if these points include a keyword. For example, this could be an especially poignant fact or a memorable quote that you want your audience to remember.
3) Include your keyword in your meta description. This is the little blurb of information that comes up below a URL in a search engine. It helps you get found and describes what that page is about. This should not only include your primary keyword for that post, but should provide an enticing reason to want to click on your link and read more.
Like most things, you can’t expect results to happen overnight. It takes consistent, ongoing effort to effectively execute a SEO strategy. Remember to always provide relevant, quality content first and foremost and you’ll be on the road to a successful inbound marketing plan.
Interested in learning more about inbound marketing and how it can benefit your business? Attend the next Inbound Marketing Forum on May 16th in Dallas!
Dani Buckley is an Inbound Marketing Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy.