Here’s What You’re Going to Learn in This Guide:
- Getting a Handle on Inbound vs. Outbound Business Marketing
Inbound, outbound, B2B, B2C: the business marketing subcategories seem to be endless. In this section, we’ll look at each of those four categories while learning how to make them work for your business.
- Making the Web Work: From Landing Page to the Blog
Innovation rules when it comes to the internet — and your website should be no different. Learn what’s changing when it comes to web design and why you should update your site for better business marketing.
- Smart Search: Algorithms and SEO
The best online business marketing plans fall short if no one sees your online activity. Take a look at the technology innovations that could be changing the way we look at search engine optimization, and learn the one thing you need to do if you want to rank higher.
It often seems like no matter where you look, experts have different opinions on the activities that actually fall into the business marketing category. Is business marketing inbound or outbound marketing? Is there a difference in how these marketing techniques look? Does your website really matter? What about search engine optimization — is it something you should worry about or a fleeting fad?
Some people say all of these components are vital. Others say they are important, but not crucial. The weight your company will put on each of these business marketing basics really boils down to how your company interprets what Peter Drucker says is one of the two main contributors to successful business growth.
“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two — and only two — basic functions: marketing and innovation,” he said. “Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
Drucker has long been considered the father of business consulting, but many business leaders seem to have forgotten his words of wisdom. It’s especially unfortunate when you consider that marketing and innovation go hand-in-hand in the actual implementation of business marketing itself. Sound strange? Take a look at how technological advances and innovations are causing a shift in the way specialists and experts use business marketing to grow their businesses.
1. Getting a Handle on Inbound vs. Outbound Business Marketing
Traditionally, marketing sought and reached out to the consumer. This outbound approach took center stage for years. However, inbound marketing, the new kid on the block, is worth your time and investment. The new practice has really grown in the ten years since it hit the scene, which is why understanding the difference between inbound and outbound marketing and the use of each means greater results for your marketing campaigns.
The tradition and history of outbound marketing offer examples of great copy, securing consumer attention and breeding brand recognition. This tried-and-true strategy risks becoming antiquated without updates and innovations, though — the changing consumer climate dictates change.
How does it work?
Outbound marketing interrupts the daily life of the consumer with a company’s message. Whether you see Nike’s “Just Do It” on a full-page ad as you leaf through a magazine or the Energizer bunny who just keeps going and going across your television screen, outbound strategies get in the face of consumers, like it or not.
Radio, television, direct mailings, print media, billboards, cold calls, trade shows and email blasts make up the bulk of this strategy. These methods seek to reach as many people as possible with very little focus on active buyers themselves. As a further distinction, the buyer journey is not even considered.
Marketers work to push products or services on consumers through one-way communication. Entertainment and education value are not of importance. In this strategy, marketers offer content with very little value to the consumer. The focus is almost always placed on the product or service.
To remain relevant, print media must find new purpose. Ads are now shifting to include digital formats, among other things. Event marketing, pay-per-click advertising and content syndication are examples of ways to bring outbound efforts into current times.
Problems arise because the foundational definition of outbound marketing misses the mark in creating a relationship prior to meeting with sales. Even worse, the marketer maintains control of the buying process, rather than the buyer. Both of these points turn modern consumers off.
Inbound marketing developed as a direct response to the changing face of the consumer and, therefore, business marketing efforts are made to reach these customers. This approach keeps the buyers and their movement down the sales funnel at the forefront of all content.
How does this approach work?
Inbound marketing subtly allows the consumer to find the businesses and companies that interest them. Buyer preferences, interests, habits, questions and problems are used to create content which draws readers into the buying process organically.
The use of well-written websites, landing pages, blogs, social media posts and more gives consumers the choice (and control) over their journey down the sales funnel. Quality content makes the buyer’s choice to engage a compelling one.
“Content marketing can have a significant influence on everything from the marketing output of a small business to a whole country’s presidential election result,” according to Jeff Bullas, an industry influencer. For great ideas on successfully using content marketing strategies, check out his blog at jeffbullas.com.
Inbound marketing strategies fully recognize the buyer’s journey and his or her preference to do the research. The stages of this journey include:
- Awareness. A problem arises in need of a solution or an opportunity presents itself to the buyer.
- Consideration. Research leads the consumer to an understanding of the problem and possible solutions.
- Decision. The prospect narrows the field of solution options and makes a decision on which to use.
With a buyer doing 70 percent of research on his or her own, inbound methods work to provide answers at each stage of the buying process. These efforts seek to:
- Attract: The use of blogs, keywords and social media posting turns strangers into visitors.
- Convert: Forms, calls-to-action and landing pages convince visitors to become leads.
- Close: Customer relationship management (CRM) and email strategies create customers from leads.
- Delight: Surveys, smart content and social monitoring breed loyalty and make customers promoters.
Inbound marketing provides solutions and starts conversations. This two-way communication between you and consumers speaks of their need to be more than a notch on your sales belt. The preferences for relationship and buyer control are met.
1. The Shift to Inbound
As you might guess, inbound marketing is more than a passing fad. The ability to meet consumers in their interests, problems and preferences raises the value of this strategy. As a result, marketers are taking note — and action.
Traditional outbound marketing loses its power with the popularity of Federal Trade Commission “Do Not Call” lists, commercial-free viewing options such as Netflix and DVRs and other trends. In fact, 32 percent of marketers in 2017 believe outbound efforts are a poor use of resources.
To further make the point, more than half of marketers rate their outbound efforts as ineffective. These figures call for innovative methods to meet the demands of the new consumer. Inbound marketing answers that call.
But, this philosophy is not all conjecture. Businesses are realizing the need for the shift from outbound to inbound methods. Three out of four marketers make inbound strategies a priority. Furthermore, 68 percent of marketers employing inbound strategies find their methods effective.
Another plug for inbound marketing is its cost-effectiveness and return on investment. In outbound strategies, the biggest budgets tend to win. With inbound efforts, stronger content earns the victory. And curating this copy can happen successfully regardless of the company’s size and finances.
Changing consumers demand a change to marketing efforts if companies want to succeed. Innovation. Thinking outside the traditional business marketing box. Inbound marketing efforts bring just that.
Considerations for B2B and B2C Marketing
Whether you sell to a business or a general consumer, inbound marketing strategies work. While both offer a product or service to another party, understanding the nuances of each relationship type improves your success by helping you target your efforts in the best fitting areas.
When selling to a business, the focus remains on logic. Business owners want to know how your products or services save money, time and other resources. The return on investment (ROI) matters. After all, every decision affects their bottom line.
While this mindset brings the features of a product to the forefront, Business to business (B2B) marketing continues to focus on the customer. In other words, companies look for how products and services impact their businesses or their lives.
To determine how to best approach companies, understanding the organization’s buyers and their role is crucial. Again, successful marketing requires a focus on the people using the product or service, not the product or service itself.
Keeping with current consumer trends, B2B companies seek knowledge and information. They expect deep value from marketing content. These businesses do not have time to spare, let alone waste, and every dollar is precious to their bottom line. Companies which honor these principles get their business. So, do you do so in your own business?
Emotion plays a role in B2B decision-making only because humans are involved. Recognizing needs, motivations and desires while backing content with logic, financial benefits and solid data speaks to this population. The emphasis is on the why.
Remember, though, that understanding the why can take time. Be patient. The journey down the sales funnel takes longer when businesses look to purchase. Multiple team members contribute to sales decisions and large-ticket orders take time and breed caution. For this reason, inbound marketing strategies encourage you to create several touch points with your customer along the path to ensure a sale.
With sales targeted at consumers, the focus becomes emotion. What personal problem or point of pain can you solve or alleviate? The benefits of products and services to the buyer draw their interest in Business to consumer (B2C) marketing.
The emphasis on the person, again, rises to the top. Consumers want products and services from companies willing to build a relationship with and invest in them. Providing quality content and thoughtful interaction with your audience demonstrates you are this type of company.
Furthermore, consumers seek personalization. They want to know you care, recognize them by name, know their history and make recommendations based on it. In fact, 75 percent of buyers are more likely to purchase from such a company.
When marketing to consumers, consider these principles:
- Distribution channel variety offers convenience.
- Messages which get to the point are more attractive.
- Simple, easy-to-understand messages are vital.
- Purchasing processes tend to be short, even a few minutes.
Honoring these tenets and the preferences of the consumer increases visitors, leads and conversions. Plus, knowing the consumer and your customer offers the ability to tailor content, which addresses buyer needs and supports current customers in innovative ways.
So, what’s the real difference?
Let’s take a quick look at the characteristic difference between B2B and B2C sales. These points reveal what is important to each type of marketing and determine your marketing focus and priorities.
- B2B sales tend to be larger ticket sales than B2C.
- Multi-year contracts tend to accompany B2B. On the other hand, B2C are usually one-time purchases with some repeat.
- B2B decisions are made by multiple teams versus the individual decision-making of B2C.
- Rationality leads B2B decisions while impulse may dictate B2C purchases.
- The sales cycle for B2B sales is longer than B2C.
- B2B payments tend to be on credit with B2C being direct.
- Predictable, on-time deliveries earn B2B trust while quick deliveries get B2C attention.
These differences impact business marketing strategy, automation and technology. But, be cautioned, these generalizations contain nuances worth understanding as well. In short, as with all marketing efforts, know your audience and which innovative marketing techniques each audience segment is using.
Tips for Inbound Marketing Success
The shift to inbound marketing seems to promise instant success. However, like all business processes, irritations and setbacks occur. Using innovative tools and outside-the-box thinking helps you to anticipate and address such issues — helping to ensure the results you expect.
Jumping into any marketing endeavor without forethought makes for a disjointed effort and, usually, plenty of missteps. A proper marketing plan offers the framework required to ensure your team works toward the same end. Plus, it gives you a template for making decisions and staying on track.
Before putting your action steps together, research is crucial. Understanding buyer personas, prioritizing keywords, identifying relevant blog topics and more, prove to be important subjects for research. Online tools and marketing software are allies in your preparation.
Inbound marketing in B2B and B2C cases takes time. Results are slow. In fact, instant results often indicate a false positive — or worse. Overnight fame tends to fizzle as fast as it ignites. Experts suggest you avoid such expectations and promises.
Just like in real-world relationships, trust and authority building occurs over time. Whether looking to gain a strong customer base or earn recognition with search engines, proving yourself with quality content gets the job done. Patience is required in any business marketing effort.
Creating quality content for inbound marketing efforts takes a significant time commitment. These are not one-and-done projects. Consistent posts over the long haul get recognized by search engines and consumers.
Also, managing and monitoring consumer interactions with your content must take priority in a culture of instant answers and gratification. After all, inward marketing breeds two-way communication. Consider who will take on this time-consuming role.
With this general overview of inbound and outbound marketing as well as B2B and B2C, how specifically are the technological advances and innovation incorporated? In what ways can you address the changing face of the consumer? The first step you should take is looking at the first place your visitors will try to find you: your website.
2. Making the Web Work: From the Landing Page to the Blog
Did you know that today, more than one billion websites are live online? That number is mind-boggling, of course. And it becomes even more staggering when you ask yourself the key question: if there are so many sites, how can I make mine stand out?
The goal of web design, especially with regards to an inbound marketing campaign, is to hook the visitor and have a successful conversion — whether that success is measured in the sale of a product or a newsletter signup, your website is the heart of your inbound campaign. We’ve all encountered websites that are difficult to navigate, cluttered, unhelpful or just ugly. If you want to see results, your website has to sell the visitor on your service or product. It has to be innovative, up-to-date and, in short, stellar.
After spending hours preparing your marketing campaign, the last thing you want is to lose a lead because your website turned a visitor off to your product.
“Good design,” said Thomas Watson, Jr., “is good business.”
Watson served as the second president of IBM, and as such, he had a pretty clear idea of the relationship between design and business. We can easily apply this principle to websites and inbound marketing campaigns — and the vital role that the changing face of web design will play in the success or failure of those campaigns.
So, how can you ensure that your site is the one that peoplevisit? How can you be sure that when they first see the landing page, or first read a blog entry, they decide your site and your product are worth their time?
Start by looking at web design for inbound marketing. Learn more about how to raise engagement on your site — and then see why blogs can be some of the most engaging ways to reach out to your customers in today’s business marketing sphere.
Spinning the Web: Designing a Site for Inbound Marketing Success
Web design is a fine art. You want your site to present information to visitors, be visually appealing and functional. There should be numerous opportunities for engagement and CTAs requesting that visitors contact you or sign up for an email list, but you don’t want to annoy them or ask one too many times–that will just send them hurrying to your competition’s site. It is a tricky balance, to be sure.
So, when designing a website for inbound marketing success, there are a few key tricks and tips to keep in mind.
Keep aesthetics in mind.
You want a website that is bright, easy on the eyes and menus that are easy to read and navigate. That means that you don’t want something that is pure black text on a white background. A great way to integrate some character into your website is via illustrations and infographics. Use bold typography and catchy wording. Trade in flashy or cliched styles for something that advances your branding. Make sure your logo is displayed prominently, but that it stylistically blends well with the rest of the site. The saying, “You eat with your eyes first,” is equally true of websites. If you have clashing colors, poor font choices or a cluttered landing page, you will be far more likely to lose a lead than if you have an attractive site.
This may seem easier said than done with web design, but it’s critical to standing out on the web. One way that web designer Jason Gross suggests going about this is starting with a clean slate. Rather than recycling either an older design or something you saw online elsewhere, begin with a blank canvas. You’re more likely to come up with something original! Feel free to look at other sites (for example, HubSpot has a list of four sites that are great at inbound marketing,) but don’t be bound by what they’ve done. Borrow ideas, let them inspire you and go do something brand new!
Build a funnel
A funnel website is extremely helpful when it comes to inbound marketing. Dan Slagen describes the ideal inbound marketing website as a funnel. The first page your visitor sees (likely a landing page) is the top of the funnel. Your goal as a designer is to get that visitor from the top of the funnel, through the middle and down to the bottom of the funnel, where the sale or conversion occurs. Whatever your ultimate goal is for visitors, whether that’s scheduling a consult, making a purchase or signing up for an email list, is the bottom of your funnel. Every page should be constructed to help move your website visitors further along the structure, using calls-to-action and engagement opportunities.
Once you have an attractive site and you see that visitors are coming in and exploring, the next step is to focus on raising engagement on your site, which can be done several ways. This is the lifeblood of inbound marketing: engagement and conversions.
Getting Them to Stick Around: Raising Engagement
Getting visitors to your website is great — but it’s only the first step. Website views in and of themselves aren’t enough! You need to find a way to funnel those visitors toward your product and get them engaged with the content of your site. Some visitors will naturally engage with the site, clicking around and reading various pages. But there are some innovative tools you can use to heighten the likelihood of engagement, as well as to make that engagement more effective. Here are a few newer techniques that, since they’ve been introduced, have sparked a change in the way marketers think about reaching their target audiences:
Have you ever been on a site that seems to personalize results to you? Think about your Amazon homepage or ads that have appeared on your sidebar. These are the result of smart content, a fascinating trend in web browsing. Using smart content on your website prevents visitors from being repeatedly offered the same content and helps guide them toward the right funnel for their interests.
Websites equipped with responsive design are able to reformat and adapt not only to the browser and type of device they’re being viewed on, but the screen size itself. This prevents the need to scroll awkwardly on a page not designed for your device’s screen, strangely-cropped pictures and other problems. It makes the mobile and tablet browsing experience more pleasant.
Adding animations, landing pages that have the visitor click through to the site and videos to pages can also promote interaction with your site. What about making a landing page that “unfolds” as the visitor scrolls? Or creating pages that have various click-through functions, like an “about us” page that features biographies and photos in a flipbook style? The opportunities here are endless, but the more that you can make your website interactive — without becoming annoying — the more engaged and interested your visitors will be.
“Click To” Features
Features like “Chat Now!” buttons and contact forms that allow for visitors to send a message directly from the page, are both good options for this form of engagement encouragement.
Integrated Metrics & Statistics
This is the key to a successful inbound marketing website. If you do all of these things, raise engagement and have a growing email list, but don’t have good metrics, you won’t know what is working and which things to promote further. You want to know which blog post is drawing traffic to your site so that you can blast it out over social media and email and perhaps even write more about that topic. You want to know which pages are the most engaging and which ones people seem to gloss over. Metrics and stats are your best friend!
The Heart of an Inbound Site: The Blog
You have probably realized by now that content is the most critical aspect of any good inbound marketing campaign. Strong, well-done content not only makes your website more appealing, it makes it far easier to market your website. Weak or poorly-written copy will only make your website — however well designed it may be — seem amateurish, unimportant, and, to a reader, a waste of precious time.
Having a blog is no longer optional in the online world. It is now part of any basic website, critical to search engine rankings and the ability to market your product online. Not only does a blog provide good content for marketing purposes, it also gives you frequent and easy opportunities to raise engagement and conversion rates. Here are a few ways to make that happen:
Calls to Action
Positioning a firm, energetic and compelling CTA at the end of every blog post is an excellent way to lure visitors further into your website. Many times, visitors will arrive on your blog not by browsing your site, but by doing a web search and having your blog post appear as a relevant result. Then, once they have received the information they initially sought, you can encourage them to contact you or read more about your company.
Ask the Visitor’s Opinion
End blog posts with a question. What do your readers think? Have they encountered this problem before? What tips do they have on this subject? Be creative with this and try to get visitors to engage in the comments — and be sure to reply when they do! You want your comments to feel personal and interactive.
Offer Related Content
Always follow up in some way, even if this is just a function at the bottom of each blog post that links to other posts. You want to be sure that a visitor can further explore your blog and site, without having to wade through the archives. Consider having a menu with your blog categories and tagging individual posts with those categories so that this is even easier.
Often, blogging is seen as a good way to enhance your web search rankings through search engine optimization. Using the words your customers are looking to find — the keywords — can help the search engines guide them to your content. However, it is important to note that keyword stuffing — the practice of trying to fit a high volume of keywords and phrases into a piece of web copy — can actually lower your ranking, since it will make search engines think that your site is spam. This is just one side effect of focusing too much on SEO when writing blog post or other copy for your site. Just remember: first and foremost, you are writing for people. Real people with needs, emotions and preferences. Don’t let an algorithm get in the way of ensuring that the visitors to your site get what they need and enjoy their time exploring.
When you’re looking to enhance your website, remember to take steps with confidence and innovation. Look for new and creative ways to make your website accessible, attractive and beneficial to your business marketing campaign. Don’t let web design or technical terms confuse or frustrate you — with some research, attention to detail and a bit of trial and error, you’ll soon have a website that perfectly meets your needs and those of your customers. Never lose sight of the fact that on the other side of that screen is another human being. Don’t get caught up in the numbers — appeal to the visitors as people and you are far more likely to succeed in your inbound marketing efforts, your website steps to promote your marketing and in the search engine optimization strategies that will get visitors to your site, even with the advances and innovations rapidly changing SEO.
3. Smart Search: Algorithms and SEO
About 75 years ago, the thought of machines and electronics that could not only make decisions, but also predict and take action on those decisions, seemed outrageous and far-fetched. Even so, forward-thinking individuals started looking for possibilities to make this happen. The term artificial intelligence became a buzzword that, even today, brings forth simultaneous thoughts of excitement and panic for business owners and employees alike.
People start to envision major motion pictures that tell the tale of robots gaining so much intelligence that they are able to overpower the humans who created them — some scientists even say they think that AI could end the human race. Workers worry that human knowledge and rationale will become obsolete as these machines learn to form appropriate responses to queries, whether that involves a self-adjusting or -operating machine or a robot that now answers phone questions and directs callers to the correct party. At the same time, the thought of less hands-on work is appealing for individuals who want to save time and effort.
Managers and business owners have the same thoughts. Will the financial implications of artificial intelligence help or hurt the business’ customers? How will they make the shift?
What many don’t realize is that artificial intelligence already plays a significant role in the way the world operates on a daily basis — but not in the way most people think.
Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms and Adaptability
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is already at work in today’s society. Or is it?
R.L. Adams wrote an interesting piece for Forbes where he noted that AI, while still in its infancy, is beginning to take off. Look at Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Ok, Google. Right now, these, along with many other “AI” pieces of technology, operate through pre-written and programmed algorithms.
The virtual assistants listed above claim to continually learn and adapt to the user’s voice, preferences and needs. The service pulls from the speaker’s most frequently asked questions to anticipate future answers. Say, for example, you’re regularly searching out Mexican restaurants in your neighborhood. The next time you travel out of state and ask the service to find you a restaurant, you’re likely to see a Mexican restaurant topping the list.
Video games where players and characters can have memories that spark predictive actions are becoming more popular. Smart cars that are expected to eventually drive themselves and their occupants around while the passengers can read, nap or play board games, like the Slow News Day passengers did while testing out a Tesla Model S, are gaining traction in the automotive world. Even news agencies are taking advantage of Wordsmith, a bot that takes data and writes news stories for major companies by turning inputted data into readable articles.
Pandora, which started as the Music Genome Project, was designed to take the music you like and present you with similar options. Netflix looks at the movies you’ve watched and compares them to content in the company’s ever-growing database to suggest movies you might also enjoy. Amazon, trying to pioneer AI by sending you items before you even need them, is also highly accurate in suggesting purchases based on your previous purchases.
Even so, according to Adams, though, these aren’t artificial intelligence in the most pure definition of the concept.
“What many companies are calling A.I. today, aren’t necessarily so,” Adams writes. “As a software engineer, I can claim that any piece of software has A.I. due to an algorithm that responds based on pre-defined multi-faceted input or user behavior. That isn’t necessarily A.I. A true artificially-intelligent system is one that can learn on its own.”
What Adams describes as true artificial intelligence, quantum computing, is still years off. Even so, engineers and scientists are making progress each day — and their work is based on the technology we use each day.
Each of those pieces of software and technology are starting from scratch, using an algorithm to gauge what comes next — and the algorithms operating those services are also being used and updated by your favorite search engine. Think of predictive text, or the autofill options that appear when you start to search on Google. Tracking your past habits and combining them with data entered by millions of users from around the world allows these programs to more accurately gauge your next actions.
As a result, search engines can expand and deepen their own databases, giving you better answers and suggestions the next time the database responds to a similar algorithm. One field that has been especially impacted by the incorporation of artificial intelligence is search engine optimization.
A New Look at Searching
Adams is more than just a software engineer. He’s also the founder of Wanderlust Worker, an author, web designer and SEO and business marketing expert. He’s able to take the complex world of software engineering, break it down for others and make it applicable to businesses around the world. He has a different look at AI than what the general public usually perceives.
“We’re talking about neural networks from the likes of Google’s DeepMind, which can make connections and reach meanings without relying on pre-defined behavioral algorithms,” he says. “True A.I. can improve on past iterations, getting smarter and more aware, allowing it to enhance its capabilities and its knowledge.
DeepMind is a fascinating company, launched in 2010 and acquired by Google in 2014. It was launched by cognitive neuroscientists and has been developing rapidly, gaining popularity for its work in creating AlphaGo, a program that used deep neural networking to learn and master the challenging board game, Go. The program is specifically focused on the game, and doesn’t have the intelligence or common sense to just pick up checkers, automobiles or paintbrushes — but does have the ability to show us that AI is continually advancing and will be a promising tool used to solve a variety of problems in the world.
Right now, though, the biggest problem facing some people is simply accessing the information they need — and Google has created an answer for that, too. RankBrain, launched in 2015, is an algorithm-based artificial learning system that pulls in formerly ignored stop words, like “and” and “the,” gauges the meaning of new words and is one of the top three factors in providing search engine results. Only eight months after its launch, when it was used for 15 percent of searches, Google’s confidence increased to the point where RankBrain is now being used in 100 percent of searches, Search Engine Land reported in June 2016. That means each of the more that two trillion searches being done on Google each year is influenced at some level by RankBrain. At the same time, each search is also contributing to making RankBrain even smarter and more accurate.
Interestingly, though, Search Engine Land also noted that even some of the Google employees don’t quite understand how RankBrain works, so don’t stress yourself out too much trying to learn and factor it into your business marketing plan. Yes, keeping an eye on what is coming is important as you start to create strategic plans for your SEO and your business marketing plan — but what Search Engine Land, Adams and even Google have said will have a bigger impact on your optimization is creating a great user experience through high-quality, value-added content.
Keep it Simple: Concentrate on Your Content
No matter what happens with search engine optimization and the development and growth of artificial intelligence, your business marketing is still targeting people first. As Drucker said, innovation and marketing are the two components that create results in growing your business — so why not make sure that as technology increases and develops you have a solid base in these two basics?
Look at business marketing campaigns that stand out. What do you notice first?
The words you use should reach the members of your target audience. While, yes, you ultimately want to see these audience members become faithful customers, the goal of each piece is not to convert. Your goal for each piece of content you produce should be to add value to your target audience members’ lives. That means that you strive to educate, entertain and inform. You captivate and engage. You relate to your target audience members in their own lives and provide content that doesn’t intrude, but instead, attracts. For example, keywords are important as they provide a framework that gets the reader to your content, but they shouldn’t be the only component of your writing. Write for people first. A great user experience comes when the users seek you out because the content you’re producing enriches their lives.
Included in that are outstanding visuals. Infographics, photos and images that give your reader a better picture of your products and services while enhancing your content are a valuable part of creating a solid on-page SEO plan that factors in everything you put on your page. This includes the way you incorporate your keywords, the way you structure your content, the subheads and descriptions you use and the readability and shareability.
Where you read the content
The best piece of content in the world won’t have any impact if no one ever reads it. Look at your off-page SEO to make sure the quality content you’re writing gets to the people who need to see it. The key? Growing in authority and confidence both in the eyes of your audience and Google. As you do this, you’re more likely to see readers sharing your content. Other experts are more likely to link to your content. And Google is more likely to see these activities and realize that you are a content creator who can be trusted to meet the needs of users searching those specific keywords. All of the off-page SEO activities that make up your business marketing plan are just as valuable, since they are the steps that will make sure your content gets seen.
Technical SEO involves the structure and architecture of your website. It goes into page loading speed, optimizing your images, page headers, site maps and mobile adaptability, among a variety of other factors. While these may require a bit of extra ability and technical skill, they are easy to learn and can significantly impact your SEO rankings.
The Key to Successful Business Marketing: Start Today
Put your SEO structure in place. Develop a business marketing plan that pulls in new technology and finds creative ways to use existing technology, bringing innovation not just to your products, but also to the way you market them. At the same time, keep an eye on the business marketing tools you’ll be using. Just as businesses are always growing and innovating, so is search engine optimization. Even without the added layer of artificial intelligence, website plugins and inbound marketing platforms that influence your customers and their search engine habits, Google regularly updates and changes the algorithms to make sure that the results being presented to users are accurate and relevant.
None of this will change with artificial intelligence; in fact, your relationships with your customers and your ability to reach people will become even more important as the neural networks learn to link and understand phrasing and queries. The more you can write and produce for human intelligence, the more you’ll see an impact when new and innovative tools are involved — and the more prepared you will be to handle any change that comes your way.
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