Want Inbound Leads? Here Are 5 Things You Must Do to Your Website.
A great website not only pulls organic traffic, but helps to turn that traffic into a steady stream of long-term customers -- the ultimate goal of inbound efforts.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
I'm a huge fan of organic marketing efforts and the amazing things they can do for your business. However, getting success organically calls for some real hard work, focus, dedication and, over all, patience.
Incidentally, a few weeks ago, a client asked me this: "My inbound leads are falling in number in spite of all efforts, do you think it could be because of my website?" Now, inbound marketing results are affected by a multitude of reasons and, yes, website is definitely one of them. In fact, your website is a critical factor for most of your digital-marketing activities. The reason is pretty simple: Your website is the cradle of your brand, and you've got to make it appealing enough to attract leads. But, before we move ahead, let's take a quick look at inbound marketing.
What really is inbound marketing?
According to Brian Halligan, co-founder of HubSpot and the man who coined the term, "inbound marketing", it is "where you help yourself "get found' by people already learning about and shopping in your industry." He even adds a bit about the importance of the website in inbound marketing: "In order to do this [inbound marketing], you need to set your website up like a "hub' for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through search engines, the blogosphere and social media."
While traditional marketing entails reaching out to the client, resulting in marketers "buying, begging, or bugging their way in," inbound marketing literally turns that practice on its head. Through inbound marketing, you adopt strategic marketing methods that make people interested in your products, so that they come to you, instead of you going to them -- hence the name inbound.
Here are five website tweaks that promise more inbound links for your business:
1. Think of your website as a foundation
Your website is the framework of your online presence. You should create a powerful website that's good looking as well as easily navigable. Avoid going over-the-top with design and focus instead on a simple user interface. The bottom line is, your website should do full justice to the nature of your business and let your brand image shine through while also being easy to use.
2. Make your website more inviting
Think of what your customers may enjoy: Are they looking to be educated? Do they want to find solutions to common problems? Are they searching for free tools? Or do they want access to useful data and facts? If the answer to any of those questions is "yes", then incorporate these elements into your website. Giving your customers what they love is a sure-fire way of attracting them to your website.
3. Create landing pages that convert
You've worked hard to get visitors to your site. Now what happens after they come to your site? If you leave them guessing as to what they are supposed to do next, congratulations, you are wasting all of your hard work admirably well!
Your plan for creating an effective landing page should include a combination of magnetic copy and strategic placement of call-to-action buttons that tell your visitors what they should do and why they should do it. The more convincing you are, the better conversion rates you will enjoy.
Related: 5 Tips on Developing a Successful Inbound-Marketing Strategy
4. Speak to your customers
The tone of your website content will either entice your visitors to stay and explore, or will turn them off and send them packing. Talking about your business, your services and your products are great put-offs for customers who are looking for an answer to the question: What's in it for me? Instead, talk to them, tell them why they should choose your services and how your product can add value to them. Remember, when it comes to choosing a service, a buyer rarely pays heed to blatent marketing messages or promo pitches. Show them that you have the answer to their problems and that you product or service fits their requirements and they'll be yours.
5. Go visual
The importance of visuals can never be overstressed. While visuals give readers a break from reading texts, they ensure that their attention remains focused. We may forget the words but we remember what we have seen. This is why visual content is often more effective at getting your message across. Adding photos or video clips to your website will make it more attractive to your target audience and it will help you achieve your marketing goals.
There's a maxim I believe in: "People love to buy, but they hate to be sold to." And, inbound marketing perfectly echoes this principle. A great website not only pulls organic traffic but helps to turn that traffic into a steady stream of long-term customers – the ultimate goal of your inbound efforts.
Related: The 8 Fundamentals for a Successful Inbound-Marketing Strategy