5 Inbound Marketing Methods that can Drive Traffic and Conversions

by Jason Acidre on April 2, 2013 · 24 comments · Content, Conversion, Search


Inbound marketing – or combining different online marketing processes such as SEO, content marketing, social media and conversions – has been one of the most effective ways to hit a site’s various business goals in one go, like driving more specifically targeted traffic, improving revenue and/or building a stronger brand mind share.

Aside from involving practices that is measurable, utilizing inbound marketing as an approach to reach a business’ target audience (without disrupting their online activities) has proven itself to be very effective in terms of scaling and growing businesses in a shorter span of time.

Some of the most known advantages of implementing these practices as a whole are:

  • Processes involved are cost-efficient and can be implemented in-house.
  • It works on almost any size of site/business and on almost any industry.
  • Can help cumulatively achieve business goals (like constantly generating traffic, leads, conversions), through all the past and current efforts done to improve the brand/site.

There are so many tactics that you can choose inside the inbound marketing realm that can really help your business grow. Although, in this post, I’ve chosen to highlight a few strategies which I believe can really grow both traffic and conversions when implemented continuously.

Find and optimize for long-tails with high engagement rate

I wrote an extensive guide about this keyword audit process 3 months ago, which I didn’t really expect to become popular and well received.

The whole strategy only requires 2 things: basic SEO skills (basic content optimizations) and your site’s search traffic data from Google Analytics.

As I’ve explained on that recent post, its core concept is based on two aspects:

  • Determining variations of search queries that are sending highly qualified traffic to my site (often keyword variations that I haven’t primarily targeted for my existing pages/posts).
  • Optimizing the pages/posts to match and be ranked/served on those long-tail searches.

Basically, you’ll first need to find and uncover search phrases (that you didn’t really intend to optimize your site’s pages for) that people use to find your site’s inner content.

You can easily identify these search phrases or keywords through your site’s search traffic data (on Google Analytics), by using and depending on engagement metrics such as Average Visit Duration and % of New Visits.

excel

By segmenting your list of keywords using these 2 metrics, you can get the keywords that are working really well on attracting highly qualified traffic to your site (as these new list of keywords are generating highly engaged visitors to your site based on your data).

Once you have already determined which keywords are driving highly engaged visitors to your site, you can then start reoptimizing the pages where those keywords are generating quality traffic.

Areas in which you can use those newly discovered keywords to target for your already existing pages can be through their Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and/or through building internal links using the new set of keywords as anchor texts.

viral-marketing

For more tips on how to do this optimization strategy, you can check out the full case study here.

How does it improve your conversions?

Since you’ll be able to attract more qualified traffic to your site, getting more visitors that will more likely convert and take actions will be a lot easier.

Regularly contribute content on high-traffic publications

Getting regularly seen on high-traffic publications in your industry is one of the best ways to solidify your brand presence in the online space.

That presence doesn’t just help you reach your target audience, but it also helps your brand establish itself as an expert in the field, which makes it easier for your brand to gain your market’s trust (that often leads to increase in conversions).

Trust is a very important factor in the online marketing sphere, whether it’s about building strong trust signals to get better search visibility or getting more people to buy from you. And this inbound strategy is definitely one of those that can really boost the trust that both search engines and real users can see about your brand.

contributor

Becoming really visible in your online community, by contributing on popular blogs/content hubs in your industry, will help you absorb the right traffic back to your website.

And the best thing about it is that the traffic that you’re generating will have higher tendencies of converting, since they’ve found you through known trusted sources over the web.

Finding the top blogs/publications in your industry is easy (use Google Search). Make a list of them and segment your list by using site and traffic metrics to gauge each prospect (I prefer using DA and Alexa traffic rank in determining strong sites).

blog prospecting

Pitching to become a contributor or a columnist is the challenging part. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of getting accepted:

  • Prove your expertise by making sure that you’re also providing exceptionally useful content on your own site. These can serve as your writing samples once your target prospects start asking about what you can offer to their readers.
  • Be a part of their community by participating and adding value in their popular discussions/articles.
  • Know and understand what their audience want and what types of content are working well in their blogs, and use this knowledge as your pitch’s value proposition.

Build content that drive conversions

Content is imperative in this age of marketing, because it can be considered as a platform wherein a business/site can initiate communication with their target audience.

Web-based content assets are stronger when they are created for a purpose or if they have goals set to be achieved, as they can serve as landing pages which can attract your incoming visitors to take actions that will benefit your business. Content goals may include:

  • To increase social media followers or social sharing activities.
  • To attract or acquire links.
  • To build relationships with targeted influencers.
  • To rank for an industry keyword in search results.
  • To increase subscriptions (newsletter, feed, tools, etc…)
  • To drive more leads or sales.

There are plenty of types of content that can help generate conversions to a site, such as:

Case studies

case study

How to increase search traffic through keyword audit on Google Analytics

Comprehensive guides/tutorials

tutorials

The Advanced Guide to SEO

Interactive Content

interactive content

Life of Pi on Digital HD

Ebooks

ebook

Branding in the Inbound Age

Using content assets is certainly one of the most scalable ways to market and grow a business online, seeing that it can almost automate the marketing and sales processes of a website.

Content assets, especially evergreen content, can help websites get found easily (particularly if you’re providing information that is frequently searched). Another advantage of having ton of content assets within your site is that they enable you to continuously nurture potential customers, without the need of directly engaging new traffic/leads.

The more you help your prospected customers understand and be informed with the solutions you are offering (through your content assets), the more it’ll be easier for your site to sell its products/services.

How to create and promote content assets:

There are 4 phases in using content assets as a part of your marketing strategy.

Research

  • Know your content’s primary goals (is it for links, shares, lead generation, etc…).
  • Implement keyword research to ensure that you’ll get maximum results, especially when the content asset gets older.
  • Analyze its potential audience, and determine how you want the content to be consumed by them.
  • Gather all necessary information when drafting the content to make it comprehensive, as well as to make it hard for your competitors to replicate the content asset.
  • Visualize the outcome of the content while on the ideation process. It can help straighten out the development process.

Development

  • Build the content according to your research and outline/draft.
  • Have the content proofread and edited before launching it.
  • Ask other departments or other industry experts/bloggers for feedbacks if necessary.

Promotion

  • Make sure that the content is optimized for search.
  • Reach out to industry influencers, particularly if your content is of high value and can be really useful to their followers.
  • Reach out to known linkers in your industry.
  • Use paid channels to make the content more visible to targeted users if necessary (like Stumbleupon ads, Facebook’s sponsored stories, etc…).
  • Leverage social sharing and linking through existing relationships (through content distribution, guest blogging, their newsletters, etc…).
  • For more tips, you can check out these posts on viral marketing techniques and content promotion strategies.

Measure and Optimize

  • Track your content if they are achieving the goals that you’ve originally set. Learn from your data and make your content marketing process better and replicable.
  • Maximize your content assets by regularly updating their calls-to-action (like promoting your site’s new offers).
  • Study its search traffic data and see what other variations of search terms that people are using to find that content. Optimize the content for those other keywords to generate more traffic to it.
  • Update the content whenever something new comes up (that’s relevant to its topic). This will help the content maintain its search visibility and for it to also be the go-to-source whenever the subject is being discussed (think Jon Cooper’s complete list of link building strategies!).

User Experience and SEO

Improved usage data results to better search rankings, given that search engines are after what users really like.

Offering better user experience also increases the shareability of a site, since users more often share great experiences, and this precisely means more referred traffic for you.

Aligning UX with SEO is very important these days. I really liked what Jonathon Colman mentioned on one of his past presentations, that:

“SEO is about helping people find what they want and presenting it to them in a way that they expect.”

And UX is pretty much based around the same principle. So below are some areas of a site that you can improve to increase both its traffic and conversions.

Site Speed

Optimizing your site’s loading speed can bring tremendous results to your business, such as:

  • In improving customer satisfaction.
  • In improving search rankings, particularly on highly competitive keywords, as Google use site speed as one of its major ranking factors.
  • In reducing bounce rates and improving conversions and transactions.

There are lots of resources over the web that you can check out for improving site speed, such as this, this and this.

Information Architecture

Making it easier for your users to navigate your site is a huge factor that can really increase activity on your website. And this also affects how search engines can easily crawl, access and rank all of your site’s important pages.

Here are few guides on how you can optimize your site architecture:

Here are 9 more tips for creating great user experience:

Absorbing more followers through collaboration

Collaborating with other influencers, publishers or organizations in your industry to create content is another great way to generate free content that can attract more visitors to your site.

Using this strategy to drive traffic to your site is easy, since you can surely get views from the followers of those whom you’ll be collaborating with.

Few great samples of this type of inbound tactic in actions are:

Another way to collaborate and get maximum results from other influencers in your field is to invite them to become guest authors in your site’s blog. It’s one of the easiest ways to get more readers, followers, expertly made content (which can rank on SERPs) and links to your site.

How does it improve your conversions?

Associating with other known brands in your industry can increase your brand’s perceived value, which can help improve your site’s conversions.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean@SEO Philippines April 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Great stuff Jason. I’d like to add Cloudflare as a good option for sitespeed. It’s a CDN. I notice that even some parts of Google uses Cloudflare. You might want to try it out.

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Venchito Tampon April 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Not only high quality but remembered content! Indeed, we want our target audience to read our story and remember us not only with what product/service we offer but what kind of value we provide to them.

By providing a unique content to people, you standout from your competitors.

Content assets and linkable assets are the same, right?

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Louie Sison@Make Money Online Philippines April 2, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Sir Jason,

for the past days, I have been reading an ebook on inbound marketing by MarketingSherpa and I am impressed with this blog post because you speak of the same language. You should write your own ebook as well. I’m sure you fans are gonna love it!

All the best to you,
Louie Sison

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Panagiotis Kontogiannis April 3, 2013 at 12:38 am

Jason I need a day only for reading this article, lol. So much info in one place. Congratulations for the wonderful work. I’ve learned a lot here. And I think that social signals affecting positively on the ranking of results more and more.

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Jason Dilworth@SEO Sussex April 3, 2013 at 1:46 am

Great article Jason. I definitely don’t reckon that enough work is done by bloggers on the long tail stuff, and any that is done is mostly done by accident! We don’t generally work with bloggers at fifty6, which means a lot of our own blog work is accidental too, so I can hardly get on a pedestal…
Anyway, good informative article, and I’ve now followed on Twitter.

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Felipe Kurpiel@Starting an Internet Business April 3, 2013 at 6:33 am

Really great article, but in my opinion the most important parts are the research and the promotion. Nevertheless, I was reading an article recently about how vital is to add white spaces when writing your content and it has to do with this idea of giving small pieces of content for readers.
Although when you do a good research and know how to promote your content you will achieve good results with more ease. That is how it works.
Take care Jason!

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Gisele Navarro Mendez April 4, 2013 at 1:02 am

Another great resource! I’m happy to see #MaxImpact on that list, those Hangouts are collaboration at its best :)

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Farrell John Conejos April 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Hey,

Your post holds a vast amount of useful and helpful information. It is all well-written and the bonus video is informative as well. Inbound Marketing is the trend for the few years. The 5 methods you mention is very interesting as well. I’ll try to incorporate each method one by one so that I can thoroughly study them. The screenshots are good. It complements very well with your post giving a more clear and concise view of what you are posting. Thanks for sharing these menthods.

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Joniel Suezo May 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Hey Farrell, I didn’t know that you are also subscribing with Jason’s blog. His blog is really interesting and they are all worth the read. His methods are effective in post penguin and panda era :)

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Iain @internet marketing for small businesses April 5, 2013 at 4:05 am

You have provided some great insights here.

I love some of the suggestions that you provided like case studies, ebooks, guides and interactive content.

My favourite idea that you mentioned was the collaboration tip. That is something that I will definitely have to work on in the future.

Connecting with your peers and creating content together is a fantastic way of getting more exposure.

Thanks for the information man.

Cheers

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Himanshu Jadli April 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Informative article finally i found a great information …. about marketing

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eric April 7, 2013 at 8:11 am

Marketing is not only traffic but conversion, Your post is helpful to me to improve my site’s conversion and marketing way. I just know how to do SEO, but the low conversion confused me long time, Today i found a way out. Thank you for your sharing

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Ansh April 7, 2013 at 8:15 am

How can we provide better user experience. I mean all and everybody would like to do so but how could 1 be better than the other?

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Vkool April 7, 2013 at 11:56 am

This article really hit home. It is the content which makes a site worth. It is the appealing and informative content that drives the traffic towards your website. Keep up the great work.

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seogenx April 10, 2013 at 6:46 am

In general, there are four parts to build promising content, and it’s only way to get maximum in today’s competitive age. Links, Likes, Sharing and Commenting comers after this. So, it’s basically a content marketing, which I think will going to be replaced by old style links building.

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Juphet Mislang @ Web Search Opt April 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm

I’m really amazed on how you do you posts, it inspires me to also create post like this (I’m trying). Anyway, great tips. I am really looking for a quality marketing methods so that my team would also improved and not merely work on traditional SEO tactics. Thanks Jason for sharing.

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Chris April 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Wow, tons of actionable information here. I will have to bookmark this one to come back to when I have some more time. Thanks for sharing!

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Evadne Studio April 21, 2013 at 9:11 am

Now this is shareable content!

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Chuka Udeze April 27, 2013 at 7:35 am

Great content and high quality backlinks, the two essential keys to success, well researched article, thanks for sharing them here

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Joniel Suezo May 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I find this tip “Find and optimize for long-tails with high engagement rate” new to me. I will try this one on my personal website and I’ll see how it will improve my website.

Anyway, what is the recommended Average Visit Duration and % of New Visit so that I will be aware on what keywords I will be choosing? Thank you.

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Chris@Blog Marketing May 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Inbound marketing is awesome and I love that you used various forms of content marketing all in this one post. Including the blog post itself, video, slide show, ebook, infographic, etc.

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Terrence July 3, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Wonderful work! That is the type of information that are supposed to be shared across the net.

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Abhijit Gupta January 24, 2014 at 5:23 am

That’s a great definition of inbound marketing. I agree with it. Inbound marketing should be considered any type of marketing that reaches consumers when they’re looking for something to buy. I think that inbound marketing includes all the platforms in the digital marketing….

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