Taking your Inbound Marketing Campaign to the Next Level

by Jason Acidre on January 6, 2014 · 18 comments · Content, Search


It’s unavoidable for marketers to get stuck when running long-term campaigns, especially when they are accustomed to following a certain process (that most of us do in agencies).

This mostly happens when we have already exhausted almost every tactic limited on that process, which is not that great when you’re looking at scalability – and in consistently getting results.

And that is why being able to identify areas of the campaign that need to be prioritized (that can drive results almost instantly, or what others call “quick wins”) is very crucial, to make the approach more efficient and ROI-oriented.

But what would you do once you’re done in winning in those areas?

I’ve read an article a few weeks ago where Anand Chandrasekaran (Entrepreneurial Product Leader at Yahoo) shared an advice from “The book of life” that I believe fits very well to today’s marketers (particularly for the technical ones).

Always cultivate a beginner’s mind. Because in the beginner’s mind, the possibilities are endless. In an expert’s mind, the possibilities are few.”

In retention, as well as in growing a project in terms of its marketing end, our job as marketers will always require us to continuously find opportunities, problems and fixes.

With that in mind, you’ll always be looking for something new to study, learn and implement. And that hunger is what will fill the gaps within your campaigns, and what I strongly believe takes it to the next level.

More Traffic Opportunities through Search

SEO is still a vital channel for inbound marketing, and that’s for sure. It’s a continuous process, so there could possibly be some areas of search optimization that you haven’t fully maximized yet that could potentially bring in bigger results for your campaign.

Removing duplicate and poor-content pages

Making sure that your site is not allowing search engines in indexing pages that wouldn’t be that valuable to users can tremendously improve its ability to rank better on search results.

One of the best reasons why is that the “authority/link value” flowing within the site will only be passed around the pages that are really important – which in turn allows them to get better search rankings.

Also, this increases the site activity from users coming from search engines (another important factor that’s used to determine relevance), as people are only able to get to pages that they are specifically looking for.

removed dupes

The best way to determine if you have duplicate/thin pages that are being indexed by search engines in your site is by comparing the number of pages in your sitemap vs. the number of pages indexed by Google.

sitemap vs. indexed

Say if you only have 500+ pages you want to be indexed (based on the number of important pages of your site listed on your sitemap), but Google has already indexed 2,200 pages from your website, then it only means you have 1,000+ possible duplicates and poor content pages showing up on search results.

On finding duplicates, you can start digging through Google Webmaster Tools, and see what URL parameters are configured in your site.

url parameters

Check if these parameters are being indexed by Google – by simply searching for them on Google search.

dupes

If they are showing up, you might want to start disallowing search crawlers from accessing and indexing those pages (you can disallow access to these folders through your Robots.txt, or by adding the “noindex” tag on these pages as well).

It’s very important to only serve the pages you want your users to find.

Improving your search listings’ CTR

Export your site’s search queries report from Google Analytics or GWT, and track the keywords you’re ranking for with high amount of impressions but have low click-through rates.

queries

Start optimizing for click-throughs from search results, as this is something that many SEOs neglect after reaching the top spots of the SERPs.

It’s important to understand why people aren’t clicking through, staying longer on the page or converting – even when you’re already at the highest position. Since being able to optimize for these aspects will enable you to sustain your rankings.

Things you can do to improve your page’s CTR from search results and activity once people land on the page:

  • Apply marketing/sales approach on your meta descriptions, to entice people to clicking on your listing.
  • Implement authorship and publisher markups (rel=”author” and/or rel=”publisher”).
  • Use structured data (schema) for reviews, places, products, events, lists and in-depth articles.
  • Make your pages’ title tags more descriptive of the content they contain.
  • Ensure that the content of the page matches the search query it’s targeting (try to provide the best answer for that query).
  • Invest on design and user experience, to make your landing pages more sticky.
  • Include relevant internal links within the body of the content to make the visitor stay longer on the site.

Optimize for Speed

There has been so many case studies out there that prove how site speed optimization can extremely impact search traffic improvement (you can start with this case study from Neil Patel).

You can also use Page Speed Insights, a free web-based tool from Google that enables its users to easily identify elements of the site that make it slow – which also includes instructions on how to fix those issues.

page speed insights

Build more support pages for your key pages

Content marketing and blogging blends well when integrated with SEO for a lot of reasons:

  • Support contents such as blog posts and other content assets can rank for your campaign’s target long-tail keywords.
  • They pass on link value, page authority, traffic and visibility to your site’s important pages (money pages), especially when they are internally linking to them – which makes your key landing pages stronger (and have better search rankings).
  • These content efforts help your site gradually build a stronger online brand presence, which is an important signal these days for search engines.
  • The more pages you have on your site that has accumulated substantial Page Authority, the higher Domain Authority your site can get. This means more chances for your site to rank for the competitive search terms it is targeting.
  • Builds more channels for your site to generate conversions.

Transform your site into a platform

Platforms are the future of the web (and search engines will most likely be biased towards displaying them on search results). You don’t necessarily need to be the biggest, but rather have the best solutions to offer in your industry to win in the digital age.

Big Content

Start investing on continuous development of bigger contents. This is one of the best ways to become recognized in your space as the go-to-brand when it comes to information.

A perfect sample of this is Neil Patel’s content efforts last year, as Quicksprout has certainly invested a lot of time and effort in creating several advanced online marketing guides and tutorials under the site’s University section.

quicksprout

With those initiatives, Neil’s site is slowly becoming a platform that people will come to, to learn more about online marketing.

There are also other forms of big content that you can spend more time in developing, such as:

  • Apps (web-based and/or mobile)
  • Video series
  • Events

Community Building

If you’ll notice, most of the successful sites (in any industry) have a community wherein people actively discuss and interact, not just with the brand, but with other community members as well.

Cultivating a community can certainly take your brand to a higher level.

For example, Affilorama is considerably one of the biggest names in the affiliate marketing industry. Aside from they almost have everything (content resources, extensive lessons/courses, tools and more), they also have a very active community (on their forum section and user-generated blog).

forum

Affilorama has truly become a platform for affiliate marketers for the past years due to these efforts and investments.

Invite other experts to write for your site

Getting other publishers to contribute content on your site (on a regular basis) also helps attract new markets and audiences, which can strongly demonstrate the strength of your brand, in terms of association and the depth of information and topics you get to share on your website.

This also encourages your visitors to participate more in the discussions, and also in bringing more publishers to write for your site.

Loyalty Marketing

Return visits is as much as important as acquiring new visitors to a website, given that these guys are already aware of your brand and have better chances of converting.

Obviously, the best way to build a loyal following to your brand (customers/readers) is to give them so many reasons to come back.

Consistency in providing high quality and valuable content

Being able to provide the information that your target audience will want to consume constantly is one of the most common reasons why people follow brands on their blogs or in social networks.

Although, as web consumption grows, content marketing also gets more competitive. So it’s important to really understand what quality is to your target audience, in order to genuinely provide value.

I really liked Danny Denhard’s tip from his presentation at the recent Digital Marketing Show – wherein he stated that “you have to understand TV to understand quality content”.

As the more you publish content that will be useful and actionable for your audience, the more you can nurture your audience and more likely for them to visit again (and take actions such as email subscriptions, following you on social networks for updates or availing for your products/services).

Serve content targeted to people who already believe in your brand

Reward your brand’s followers (or existing customers) by giving away exclusive or higher value content. This may perhaps be distributed through email marketing or for people who are already following you on social networks.

Some of the forms of content that you can offer:

  • Free access to your tools/apps
  • Discounts
  • Comprehensive guides, which you can offer to be only available to those who’re already subscribed.
  • Featuring community members on your site’s blog.

Gamification

Apparently, many sites have succeeded in integrating this principle to their product/brand (like Nike, Linkedin, Mint, Moz and Teleflora, to name a few).

Gamification, as a part of your business strategy, can help improve the user engagement of your site, and more often than not, breeds more loyal users/visitors/customers.

Optimize for Experience

Make people’s experience in using your website very remarkable (whether they’re an existing customer or a first time visitor).

Because when people like what they can see, read and/or consume from your website, they’ll definitely be back for more, and share the experience with their peers.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my feed and or 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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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kira Permunian January 6, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Great post again. I’m learning a lot in each of your post. My biggest challenge now revolves around Transforming a site into a platform, community building and gamification. The ways I know are not really that easy to do. Well, slowly but surely, a test to my impatient attitude at times.

I strongly agree with having a great user experience within the website. Kudos for this!

Reply

Louie Sison January 6, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Sir Jason,

What an inspirational quote you have shared “Always cultivate a beginner’s mind.”
it is a tendency for advanced people to over think and make things so complicated and yet the need is so simple and obvious. Thank you for reminding me of this.

Also, thanks for sharing Page Speed Insights. I didn’t know about that until you mentioned it here.

God bless,
Louie Sison

Reply

Stephen Moyers@SPINX Digital Agency January 7, 2014 at 12:15 am

Great article indeed for inbound marketers. Truly amazing. The main thing is to identify your audience, create awesome content, apply all the techniques which have been explained over here. Track, measure, analyze and enhance this four steps can be definitely helpful for any marketing campaign.

Build a relationship with your audience, communicate with them, have good presence in social media and regularly contribute to brand establishment.

Thanks,
Stephen

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metz January 7, 2014 at 12:28 am

Inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. You need Content, love and time to take it to the next level and I do believe in that. Why? Because it is like publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive.

I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing content aggregator site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

Reply

Sunday January 7, 2014 at 2:57 am

Its interesting to learn about the beginner’s mind which knows no limitations. This is readily the mindset every inbound marketer should employ.

There are benefits to trying out new techniques that would create instant results and its good to see this idea expounded in this post.

From this post, it is understandable that taking inbound marketing to the next level requires effective SEO skills to optimize contents and platforms. A very helpful post.

In kingged.com, the content syndication website for Internet marketers, this post was shared, and I have left the above comment.

Sunday – kingged.com contributor

http://kingged.com/taking-your-inbound-marketing-campaign-to-the-next-level/

Reply

Andrew Stanley January 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Thanks for sharing such a great article here, Jason. Now I’m beginning to understand more about this Inbound Marketing. Never put much effort onto this so I guess it’s about time I should do this.

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Rick Hughes January 8, 2014 at 8:17 pm

There are some very good points, here, Jason. Even small businesses with limited time and personnel can take advantage of them. in our industry, the Communities section could be very powerful. Thanks for your time on this.

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Kaloyan Banev January 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Very detailed article, that is going way beyond the basics. I believe that this is the only way to achieve high rankings nowadays. SEO became quite complicated science and I think everything should be perfect and nothing overlooked.

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Wes January 11, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Great article, Jason. I’ve migrated the majority of my sites to wpengine to improve speed and performance.

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Cale January 12, 2014 at 3:07 am

Hi Jason. Can you explain further what a platform is? Is big content like a collection or knowledgebase of high quality articles?

I understand the other tips like removing poor content. My only worry is that my poor content today might become relevant in the future. It’s happened before when I wrote a simple article. After some time the topic became popular and traffic came pouring.

Thanks a lot.

Reply

Kodulehe January 12, 2014 at 11:12 am

I agree with previous comments, Jason – great article!

What is considered to be a very good CTR rate for standard Google search results?

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Scott Nissenbaum January 13, 2014 at 1:53 am

Very robust article. I know it’s hard to achieve high rankings nowadays but with this help it can help my website. Thanks I’ll be watching your future articles. Kudos!

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Steven J Fromm January 31, 2014 at 6:33 am

Very comprehensive post. I got a lot out of it but some of the technical discussions went over my head. I just joined Affilorama yesterday and it looks like a great site.
Gonna check out Quick Sprout when I leave here.
Finally, I loved the quote “Always cultivate a beginner’s mind. Because in the beginner’s mind, the possibilities are endless. In an expert’s mind, the possibilities are few.” When writing about tax law this is the real challenge.

Reply

P1 Traffic Machine April 20, 2014 at 1:46 am

Thanks for your sharing.
This is a great article. I hope after I apply your experience my site will get high ranking.

Reply

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