So you want to optimize your website for inbound marketing – we’re happy to hear it. We are true believers of inbound marketing and the results it can bring for your business. Your website is going to be the focal point for your inbound marketing plan, because you’re going to create keyword-laden content that will attract visitors to your site. It will also be where visitors will provide their contact information in exchange for content offers – therefore, becoming leads.
Your website is going to be extremely important going forward. So how do you prepare your site for the inbound marketing makeover? Ask yourself these three questions:
- Do you have the professionals needed on staff?
Implementing an inbound marketing strategy requires a lot of moving parts, and individuals with specific areas of expertise. For example, a website redesign is advisable (if not necessary) when you’re switching to an inbound marketing strategy. You’re going to need landing pages, areas to host your content offers, a blogging platform, a streamlined presentation and online forms visitors can fill out to become leads. Do you have people in-house with sufficient website design knowledge to implement such an aggressive redesign? If not, you’ll have to contract someone for the job.
In addition to the website, you’ll definitely need someone who can produce your content – at least 2-3 blogs a week (at minimum) and various content offers (such as eBooks, infographics, white papers, etc.). The content will be about topics related to your field, so it’s possible someone in-house can provide the content, using a combination of their expertise and research; however, this person should expect to write at least 1200 words of content every week.
You’ll also need someone to manage social media accounts (which you should definitely have), which can include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Finally, there needs to be someone who can create your inbound marketing strategy, setting up posting schedules, timelines and goals, who can then ensure the strategy is implemented properly.
- Will you hire an inbound marketing agency?
If an inbound marketing plan sounds daunting, there is another solution to doing it all yourself: hire an inbound marketing agency. An agency can handle every aspect of your marketing for you, starting with developing a strategy that fits your needs and goals.
The agency will often have the needed professionals on-staff to handle your website redesign, content creation, social media and the implementation of the strategy. But perhaps more importantly, a good agency will have a solid track record of providing these services for other clients and getting meaningful results.
Agencies also can provide analytics information about how your marketing strategies are performing, and can walk you through them so you understand how successful your marketing campaigns are. Although hiring an agency does require a considerable expense, it will allow you to entrust your marketing to seasoned professionals who will be accountable for the success of your inbound marketing plan.
- Do you want to invest in marketing automation software?
Another important consideration when transitioning to inbound marketing is the purchase of marketing automation software. There are multiple different marketing software platforms available, but at Rhino, we are firm proponents of Hubspot. Hubspot is credited for the invention of inbound marketing, and their software is the most dynamic and useful marketing tool in the industry.
With Hubspot’s marketing software, you can host your entire website on their platform – this makes it incredibly easy and fast to edit pages and post new content. It also allows Hubspot to provide up-to-the-minute analytics information on things like visits, clicks, and page views.
But perhaps Hubspot’s greatest feature is its contact database. When you enter someone’s information into the database, Hubspot creates a contact page for them that keeps track of your business’ relationship with the contact. From then on, every time they interact with your business (i.e. you send them an email, or they visit your site) it tracks it on their contact page. By keeping track of your relationship with each contact, no one gets lost in the shuffle and you can keep marketing to each contact on a regular basis.
Hubspot’s pricing varies based on the features you’d like to use and the number of contacts you want to be able to track – but in our opinion, it is very much worth it.