What does online success look like for your business? I’m going to guess that it involves lots of people buying your products, signing up for your mailing list, or filling out a contact form.
However, the harsh truth is, for that to happen you need lots of people to visit your website – especially when you consider average conversion rates for e-commerce stores in 2020 is only 2.86%.
In order to get lots of people to visit your website, you need a solid inbound marketing strategy, which is what we’re going to look at in this blog.
First things first though, if you need a reminder about what inbound marketing actually is you can read this post.
How Inbound Marketing Works.
To keep it short and sweet inbound marketing works by combing lots of other marketing tactics to drive traffic to your website.
How To Create An Inbound Marketing Strategy
1. Get the full picture
Before you delve into the fun of creating and implementing your inbound marketing strategy, it’s important to have a good understanding of how your site is currently performing. For this, you need to look at the cold, hard data.
I’d suggest starting with measuring your site’s average page views over a few business cycles to ensure you get a true picture. For example, if you are historically busier in August then any other month, only measuring the page views for that month may give you a skewed insight.
Alongside page views, I’d also recommend looking at where the traffic is coming from and trying to ascertain why that is.
For example, if you are getting a lot of traffic from Facebook is this because you are spending a lot more resources (money or time) there rather than your other channels? Or is it just that your audience is more active on there than on email for example, and therefore more likely to respond?
If you are new to measuring your website analytics, there are plenty of free tools out there that can help!
Google Analytics is the most popular and most widely used. It’s free to use and has a handy app so you can measure on-the-go there are also a plethora of resources available on how to install it and how to make the most of it.
Sidenote: Google Analytics can be used for so much more and is always worth having!
If however, you’re not feeling to tech-savvy and are using WordPress, Monster Insights is a free plugin that will drag the data from Google giving you a glimpse at page visits, etc.
The data is nowhere near as in-depth as Google Analytics, however, if you’re new to managing a website, it can be a great place to start.
2. Setting objectives & KPI’s
Once you have a solid understanding of your site’s performance, it’s time to set an objective.
Be clear about what you want to achieve – my favourite way is to simply fill in the blanks in this statement:
I want to achieve a ___% increase in website traffic by ______.
Be realistic with your goals, you’re very unlikely to see a 100% increase within a week for example. Use your site’s data and your current business goals to set your targets.
Next, think about your Key Performance Indicators or KPI’s – these are essentially smaller targets or milestones to ensure your efforts are staying on track to meet the objective. You can read more about how to set KPI’s and why they are important here.
2. Resources & Channels.
An Inbound Marketing strategy can include a variety of channels so it is vital that you choose the right ones to focus on. Essentially any channel that drives traffic to your website can be considered inbound – these include, but are not limited to:
· Social Media Marketing
· Video Series
· Search Engine Optimised Content
When choosing your channels there are two key factors to consider:
Where is your audience most active?
What resources are available?
Using your website analytics from earlier and your knowledge of your customers you should be able to work out where they are most active or engaged.
For example millennials may be more active on Instagram, Gen Z-ers on TikTok, whilst business professionals are more likely to be on Linkedin.
Meanwhile, those in technical fields may appreciate white papers or in-depths blogs whilst people who have only just started looking for your product may be on Google.
Once you have a list of all the possible channels your potential customers use, it is important to consider the resources you have available.
If you have limited time or budget available, it may be worth narrowing your focus onto the channels that you think will offer you most in return. You will always see a better return on investment by doing a few channels well, rather than a lot of channels poorly.
3. Create a Content Plan
Last but not least, decide what you are going to publish on those channels! Plan a content calendar and be sure to be consistent with your posting. Try not to post the same exact content across multiple channels otherwise, it means there is no incentive for people to follow your multiple profiles.
When thinking about your content, remember the whole point is to drive traffic to your website – so keep that in mind when designing it!
Also, ensure you use clear ‘call to actions’ as posts that include these almost always see higher numbers of people clicking through to the website than those posts that don’t include them.
BONUS TIP: Atomize Your Content!
I get it, creating bespoke content for every single platform can be time-consuming and costly – especially if you are a small business.
So instead I always advocate for atomizing it! This in effect is creating one ‘big’ piece of content aka Hero Content and then tweaking it to fit different platforms.
For example, I’ve pooled a lot of time into creating this blog post, so I need to get the best return on investment I can by using it as much as possible. As such I’ll use the information here in the blog to create smaller pieces of content for other channels:
How To Measure The Success Of Your Inbound Marketing Strategy.
Now you’ve planned and implemented your strategy, how do you know if it is actually working?
Two words: Key Metrics!
Using the analytics tools from earlier (Google Analytics/Monster Insights) its time to measure your success.
With Google Analytics, it can be tempting to measure everything however this can be overwhelming, and in all honesty, it’s not as useful as it seems. Instead, stay focused on your objective.
I suggest monitoring your page views/website traffic and where that traffic is coming from.
If you are putting the same amount of resources and effort into two channels and one is not performing, it may be worth asking yourself it is worth persevering or if you would see more
of a return by focusing on the best performing channel instead.
If you do want to measure more, then it’s always good to check the bounce rate – this is the percentage of people that visit your site and leave almost immediately. It’s good to see how people are reacting to your site – and it is also one of the ways Google measures your site’s quality which can impact where your site ranks in search results.
If you’ve found this piece helpful I’d be so grateful if you could share it with others or leave a comment letting me know how your going to create your own strategy.
If you’ve got any questions on this topic you can always find me on social media or email and don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list to never miss a post!