Fundamentals of Inbound Marketing

Marketing your business on the internet can be complicated, frustrating, and painful.  If you’re not careful you will end up a big loser, after spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on strategies, methods, and techniques that don’t work.

The Seahawks crushed the Broncos at the 2014 Super Bowl, and picked up their first Vince Lombardi trophy. Vince Lombardi was that famous coach who said things like “Gentlemen – this is a football” – to get players re-focused on the fundamentals.

The Vince Lombardi Trophy super-imposed on the background of MetLife Stadium behind the Super Bowl XLVIII sign. (Photo source: WikiMedia Commons - JayJizzle and Anthony Quintano )

The Vince Lombardi Trophy super-imposed on the background of MetLife Stadium behind the Super Bowl XLVIII sign. (Photo source: WikiMedia Commons – JayJizzle and Anthony Quintano )

It was Peyton Manning, the losing quarterback of Super Bowl XLVIII, who said: “Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what the (beep) you’re doing.”  So, if you want to be successful, you’ll need to master the fundamentals.

3 Basics of Inbound Marketing

Master the fundamentals first.  Gentlemen – this is inbound marketing.  Build a solid foundation with proven strategies.  Later on you can innovate and experiment with other techniques.  The good news is that there are only three fundamentals to learn:

  1. SEO  – Search Engine Optimization (find-ability)
  2. SMO – Social Media Optimization (share-ability)
  3. EMO – Email Marketing Optimization (lead nurturing or follow-up)

Today we’re providing a brief introduction to SEO.

SEO is about getting found in search engines. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search engines are a very important source of traffic to your website, because people find you when they’re actively researching or buying.

SEO can feel like “Something Extremely Obscure” for busy marketers who might not have the time to figure it all out.

Getting your pages ranked #1 in Google is important,  but it takes a while to achieve high ranking for search results (or SERPS). It takes even longer to establish your domain as the number one authority on a particular topic, keyword, or phrase.

“Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” ~ Vince Lombardi

SEO is Like a Slow Train Coming

Slow Train Coming - Train #1 at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan (photo credit: Douglas Vos)

Slow Train Coming – Train #1 at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan (photo credit: Douglas Vos)

If  you just are just starting out – and expecting to get  the #1 rank in Google  in the next 30 days (sorry to burst your bubble) – it’s  not going to happen. Well it could. But you could win the lottery too. Odds are about the same.

SEO is like life – it  requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, dedication and respect for authority.” ~ Doug Vos

SEO is a Long-term Strategy

It probably won’t make much difference to your business in the first month. (Or the second month.) But eventually, things will start rolling, and then it will become an unstoppable train – delivering dozens of qualified sales leads to your mailbox each month.

Here are 3 important things to focus on when getting started with SEO.

  1. Write and keep writing!  Hey folks – you have to put something out there for people to find. A 5 page website won’t get the job done. You need to keep adding fresh content regularly – at least two or three blog posts per week.
  2. Analyze and keep analyzing! What keywords are you focusing on?  If you focus on things that “no one is searching for” in the search engines – who will find it? On the other hand, if what you’re writing about is highly competitive – your odds of ranking on the first SERP (search engine result page) are very low. It’s important to focus on the right terms, keywords, and phrases for your particular business or niche market.
  3. Optimize and keep optimizing! Start by reviewing Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (PDF), and Google’s SEO optimization general guidelines  for webmasters. Review and optimize title tags, H1 tags, H2 tags, and your meta-descriptions. If you’ve finished reading Google’s guidelines, read MOZ’s Free Beginners Guide to SEO. Read and implement all 10 chapters, and start tracking your success.  Are you are ever done optimizing? Yes, it’s possible to over optimize  – so loop back to step one (above) and write something new, creative and exciting. Don’t believe me? Just ask Peyton Manning.

Footnotes and Related Links

  1. Peyton Manning Falls Flat in Super Bowl XLVIII rout
  2. Mega-SERP – A Visual Guide to Google Search Results
  3. Three Fundamentals for Better SEO