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Inbound Marketing with SEO: The 800-Pound Gorilla in the Room

By Chad PollittOct 26, 2010

Inbound Marketing AgencyYou’ve finally decided to do it.  Your competitors have been kicking your behind online for years and you’re ready to fight back.  You’ve selected an inbound marketing agency with a great reputation for return on investment and lead capture.  Your expectations are high.  Expect the first strategy meeting to start with this. . .

SEO

Before any inbound marketing strategy, design or line of code is created search engine optimization needs to begin.  This doesn’t require you to be an expert in SEO, but you should understand some basic principles so that you and your inbound marketing agency can maximize your search engine visibility.  It is critical that you work side by side with your inbound marketing agency in the SEO planning process.  It’s this process that will drive the architecture of your website and your results on the search engines.  

You are an expert in your field, your inbound marketing agency isn’t.  Your input is required for the successful deployment of a search engine optimization campaign.   To make the most of this initial SEO meeting you have to understand the three elements of search engine optimization without forgetting about the 800 pound SEO gorilla in the room.

On-page SEO Factors

These are the factors that you and your inbound marketing agency generally have control over.  These are the words that appear on your website for visitors and/or search engines to see.  Once you choose your primary, secondary and possibly tertiary keyword phrases they can be strategically placed throughout the content on your website.  Some important on-page SEO factors are:

  • URL
  • Page Titles
  • Meta Description
  • Meta Keywords
  • Headers
  • Alt Text
  • Anchor Text
  • Link Descriptions
  • Content
  • Bold, Italics, Underline

Off-page SEO Factors

These are the factors you and your inbound marketing agency don’t necessarily control.  For example, you don’t necessarily control how many people visit your website.  Your traffic matters in SEO.  It also has a good correlation with how many other websites link to yours (backlinks).  When a website links to another website it’s perceived by Google as a vote.  Each vote is not equal though.  Votes from highly traveled websites carry more weight than websites that get 20 visitors per month.

Even though you and your inbound marketing agency don’t necessarily control whether or not a website links to yours, you can increase the likelihood of this happening.  Some good backlink building strategies are:

  • Produce quality content people want to share
  • Share your content on social media
  • Build company profiles on as many appropriate websites as possible
  • Contribute content to your blog regularly
  • Guest post on other blogs
  • Invite other bloggers to guest post on yours
  • Write about how awesome a person, company, product or service is.  They’ll probably link to you.
  • Issue press releases online weekly and make sure you include links to your website.
  • Join your local Chamber of Commerce.  Most have a website, directory and blog and love to promote members on them.

Programming

Since I’m not a programmer sharing actionable programming tactics would be like your plumber giving you legal advice.  What I can share with you though is Google Webmaster Tools.  I rely on this tool to tell me if there are any programming errors or not.  If there are I then have a programmer take care of it.  As long as you’re using a reputable proven content management system from your inbound marketing agency your programming should be fine.  Here are some common programming problems:

  • Crawl Errors
  • No XML Sitemap
  • Malware
  • Duplicate/Too Long/Too Short Meta Data
  • Non-indexable Content
  • Website Download Speed

The SEO 800 Pound Gorilla - Keywords

The selection of relevant searched keywords is imperative to the success of your inbound marketing campaign.  Your inbound marketing agency should walk you through a keyword workshop.  Competitive analysis and tools like the Hubspot or Google Keyword Tool should give you and your inbound marketing agency enough actionable intelligence to determine what keyword phrases are most relevant to your business, which keyword phrases are searched the most and what the probability of ranking for them will be.  

These keyword phrases are the words that will determine the architecture of your website and prevent your website from containing worthless pages that will oversaturate your website with meaningless words.  Besides, you don’t want a big bulky website for your visitors to get lost in.

Your inbound marketing agency could perfectly deploy all three of the SEO elements above (On-page Factors, Off-page Factors and Programming), but if the keywords are incorrectly chosen your whole inbound marketing SEO efforts will fail.  Never ignore the SEO 800 pound gorilla in the room - Keywords.

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