This year alone, almost 64% of marketers concede that their biggest challenge to create enough traffic (and of course, leads). Furthermore, 40% struggle to prove the efficacy of ROI when it comes to marketing initiatives.
The message is loud and clear:
- 1) Marketing strategists need to get their act together before competition gets the better of them
- 2) They need to do it sooner than latter
In this parlance, Inbound Marketing has always created the right (goal-driven) noises because it focuses on getting found by customers before they are even ready to buy. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to convert your customers into loyal promoters of your business. Thousands of companies – big, small, old and new – claim they owe 100% of their website traffic and leads to Inbound Marketing.
Inbound Methodology essentially works on the “Attract-Convert- Close-Delight” principle. Put simply, these are four action-driven approaches that every company worth its salt must focus on to attract potential visitors, leads, customers, and promoters.
To that end, one of the critical tools required for the success of Inbound Marketing Strategy is a well-crafted website that forms the basic framework within which other things are worked upon.
Here are 10 simple steps to perform an audit on your marketing website to optimize it according to your Inbound Marketing Strategy.
- User Experience – With the widespread proliferation of mobile devices, it is a given that your website must respond and adjust to mobile and other devices. According to Cisco’s annual mobile data forecast, U.S. mobile data traffic is poised to reach 2.9 exabytes per month by 2020. That is a lot of data, knowing what to do with it is what constitutes data-driven insights.
Remember that a mobile friendly website is not the same as a responsive website. The key differentiator is that a responsive website design iallows your website to accommodate the exact size of the screen of Mobile Devices, Tablets, Desktop, etc.
The wonderful thing about a responsive website is that it is both cost effective and low maintenance. Not surprisingly, Google recommends a responsive website design as it enhances seamless user experience and improvises your SEO efforts.
- 2. Speed – There is a positive correlation between the speed at which a website loads and eventual conversion rates. According to the Aberdeen Group, even a one-second delay in page-load times can translate into 7% loss in sales figures – which is far from insignificant.
Myriad factors impact your website’s speed, such as coding, server, file sizes, caches etc. A good starting point is to use Google’s Test My Site tool to check and analyze your website speed.
- Meta Tags – Meta tags indicate coded information and are placed within the head section of an HTML document. User agents such as browsers or web crawlers can read meta tags as they don’t appear on the front end of a website. The structured formula for metadata typically follows
Different meta tags are defined by changing the name attribute to a valid value. Website owners typically track their website’s performance by registering on Google Webmaster Tools.
- Event Tracking – It is important to track all conversions on your websites – be it micro or macro. This enables you to track all downloads, blog comments, contact forms, newsletter subscription, live chat, internal banners etc. through Google Analytics.
There are various optimized conversion and tracking codes such as Facebook, Affiliate, and Referral, among others, to track your website user and convert potentials lead into buyers, loyal customers and ultimately, co-partners in your success journey – often in that order.
- Content Optimization – With the right dose of content marketing and optimized content, your website can rank highly in engine results pages (SERPs). A good rank basically means that your audience is able to find you without breaking a sweat, which in turn, makes it easier for you to engage with them at various touch points of their buyer journey.
First-time user acquisition is (or, should be!) the prime endeavor of any marketing strategy. To attract the right set of users, the need of the hour is to have the right content that directly speaks to the users and answers their questions. As a website owner, you should add value to the core content and work upon automating the content management process with various customized tools available.
- Add Blog – Embarking upon an Inbound Marketing initiative without adhering to a systematic blogging calendar (with consistency at the heart of such an approach) would be an egregious mistake. The right type of traffic – and not just any traffic – is what we want to focus on. Against this backdrop, blogging is an integral component of this “Attract” methodology of Inbound Marketing.
As a business owner, you would do well to ensure that there is a definite purpose of blogging and it is aligned with the overall goals of your business. Three things need to be done to that end.
- Proper tracking with Tracking Codes in place
- Easy distribution with social media sharing
- Smooth navigation for a delight user experience
- Social Media – In today’s day and age, leveraging social media platforms to acquire new visitors and retain existing ones is a foregone conclusion. In US alone, social media spending is expected to touch $18 billion in 2019. However, the sheer size and magnitude of channels and platforms can easily overwhelm us.
Thankfully, there are a plethora of types of social media and social media monitoring tools that de-clutter the noise and separate the wheat from the chaff. The insights you gain through these platforms help you better understand your audience and engage with them proactively.
As a startup or small business owner, ensuring your tailored (as each need is different) presence on all relevant social media channels holds the key to long-term success. Also, there is a growing need to align social and financial KPIs to make sure that you are going on the right track.
- Landing Page – Landing page is arguably the most vital cog in the wheel that determines the success or failure of any marketing strategy. It is that coveted first impression that either makes your audience stay on the website or go elsewhere – all in a few seconds.
Needless to say, the prospect of fructifying a lead through a well-defined landing page skyrockets the conversion rates significantly. With the help of a proper event tracking strategy, you can analyze your audience’s behavior to optimize your marketing strategies.
An effective landing page lets you apply the “Push Marketing Strategy” and pull actionable leads to drive business. It also must include a clear CTA that encourages them to get to know your company better.
- Site Design – Inevitably, a cohesive and relevant design of your website has a direct impact on your sales figures. A seamless user experience encourages the user to spend more time on your website, thus giving them more time to better understand your company’s unique services.
It signifies the feel of the site through the interspersing of textual content and visuals against the backdrop of use-friendly various navigation tabs that sharpens the competitive edge of your website.
- White Space – White Space, popularly known as Negative Space, again has a direct bearing on how your website fares. It entails plenty of ‘breathing space’ punctuated by relevant videos or pictures, as opposed to overloading it with content. When used in appropriate and strategic doses, white space can easily make your design stand out, which is why most professional web designers give it the due consideration that it deserves.
- CTAs: Are you experiencing poor conversion rates despite incorporating all the aforementioned points? Do your landing pages seem to find a way to perform poorly?
If yes, then the remedy may just lie in adding a poignant call to action button, which is virtually the most important component of your website. A well-placed (read it again, please) CTA button prompts your audience to take the desired step that benefits your business in the form of better leads, conversion rates etc. Okay, you get the idea!
By the same token, if you’re sticking to ‘buy now’, ‘click here now’, or ‘add to cart here’, you may want to revisit your strategy.
Thankfully, CTAs can be accommodated just about anywhere. Moreover, placing CTAs at multiple points of your website is a good way of ensuring more conversions. On your part, you must do all that you can to make them as creative and persuasive effort as possible.
Want actionable tips on inbound marketing that actually makes a difference? (CTA link) now to know how your business can bridge the gap from mediocrity to excellence – in a single step.