Build Brand Awareness For Online Success
One of the most important components to enhancing the growth and success of your business is your marketing activity. In addition to building brand awareness, the development of prospects, and their conversion to leads and ultimately customers is required. This is particularly true for CPAs, lawyers, physicians, dentists and other professional service providers.
At the core of effective business development are online strategies for lead generation, lead qualification and conversion.
Until recently, most marketing plans were primarily driven by disruptive, “push” oriented outbound marketing strategies – radio, television, print ads, direct mail and more.
Seventy-five percent of all adults in the U.S. currently use the Internet. Of those internet users, 85% conduct online research before they purchase a product and service.
Accountants, lawyers, doctors and other business owners can take advantage of the cultural and behavioral shift by rebalancing their outbound marketing with inbound activities.
The Difference Between Outbound and Inbound
Sometimes called “interruptive” or “disruptive” marketing, outbound marketing requires you to promote your brand and services by getting information in front of consumers and businesses through traditional advertising such as print, outdoor, and broadcast—typically when they are not necessarily seeking those services. Consequently, the cost per acquisition can be expensive, and inefficient. Results are often qualitative and difficult to measure. Even so, for some larger brands, outbound is quite effective to bring attention to a brand quickly. Consider Superbowl television advertising.
Conversely, inbound is a more efficient strategy for generating leads through online activity. Inbound marketing is a means of targeting specific groups within the marketplace by giving access to compelling content at the time your prospects are searching for it. For example, a CPA looking for business clients could provide useful links and articles about tax planning or loans and business planning. Effectively combined with SEO activities around the same subject matter can help drive website traffic and generate qualified leads.
The process starts with an audit of your website to find out where you rank in key aspects, compared to your competition and where you want to be. You will need to create a marketing plan that spells out your goals and objectives.
Inbound requires you to have a website that is easy to navigate, logically organized and mobile-ready (responsive). Content needs to be properly optimized so your site is not just highly ranked in search results, but actually engaging the right visitors.
SEO employs various techniques to help your site rank well within organic (free) search results. SEO simultaneously makes content more transparent and comprehensible to search engine algorithms as well as enhances the quality of traffic from organic search results.
The higher your website appears in the search results, the more traffic your site is likely to receive. At the same time, you want to be ranked high for the searches that suit your business goals. Approximately 40% of clicks from search results are on the first page of search results.
Other Inbound Marketing Strategies
The SEO process takes 60-90 days to see meaningful results, but it is not the only tactic in the inbound marketing tool chest.
If you want a faster and easier way to get top rankings in among major search engines, you may want to allocate a portion of your marketing budget to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns to direct traffic to your website very quickly. The issue with PPC is whether you have the right content, and the ideal flow once the visitor is at your site.
While I’ve focused primarily on SEO in this post, other important tactics we’ll look at in upcoming blog posts will include:
Learn more about how to use inbound marketing to get business for your company. Download a free copy of “The 5 Keys to Generating Leads on your Website.”
About the author: Tom Weinkle is a founder and partner of Vortex Communications, a graphic and website design firm who offers graphic and WordPress web design, build, troubleshooting and training services along with search optimization, social media and inbound marketing services. Based in Miami, Florida, Tom has over 25 years of experience in visual communications for the healthcare, medical, law, accounting, software, financial services and banking industries.