Do you want to make a greater impact online this year? Inbound marketing success starts with a well-optimized website. Get started today by setting achievable goals that can help you reach the next level of business success.
Success isn’t just about hitting goals, especially when it comes to the ever-fluctuating marketing environment of your industry. Gaining real traction online over your competitors starts with setting reasonable, achievable, and measurable goals by creating an inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing utilizes your website as a tool to reach customers by employing tactics that have them coming to you, not the other way around.
No matter your experience with digital marketing, the same tenets hold true: focusing your efforts toward a defined goal, determining what works, and refining your methods will produce greater ROI. In fact, you can expect to see 3 times more ROI from your inbound marketing efforts than outbound methods. The actual steps you take in making and achieving your online goals, however, are affected by the marketing tools you have in place today.
Inbound Marketing Beginners
To build a goal-oriented inbound marketing strategy, you first have to get the right tools in place on your website. Just like eating a decent breakfast in the morning to ensure energy in the afternoon, how you begin your digital marketing efforts will make a great deal of difference later on. If you need to get your foot in the door online, start with the following tactics to help you set better business goals:
- Work with your team on a website audit, focusing first on content. Updating any outdated copy, imagery, and contact information needs to be assigned to someone as your first marketing goal so potential customers get to know the real you.
- If you don’t already have one, create a blog to start implementing a SEO strategy. Make a list of keywords you want to rank for in search engines and start writing consistent content surrounding those queries. Ranking on the first page should be your goal for the keywords that are most used by your ideal customers. Track how your rankings change over the next year.
- Do some research on your competitors. If they are on social media platforms you are not on, sign up for accounts and start using them. Set your competitors’ number of followers as a goal to achieve in the next year. Then, use tools like SpyFu to estimate how many monthly website visitors your competitors have and from where so you can set those number as goals to achieve in the next year.
- Set up conversion opportunities on your website, such as contact forms, appointment requests, and email newsletter subscriptions. Create trackable, appropriate calls-to-action and place them throughout your website to link visitors to these pages and encourage engagement with your business.
Once your team is ready to use these inbound marketing tools with confidence, set achievement-oriented goals for your web presence. Reaching a certain number of average social media post likes, email list subscriptions, phone calls, reviews, or other conversion-driven activities can be your goals for the first year. Schedule regular meetings between your sales and marketing staff to check on goal progress and make adjustments or change track as needed.
Experienced Inbound Marketers
If you’re already familiar with digital marketing and have a strategy that’s influencing your business growth, you’re off to a great start. At this phase, eliminating stagnation and growing consistently should be your primary business focus. It’s time to take your web game to the next level! Determine which marketing tactics are creating ROI and start refining them to create new goals:
- Now is the time to optimize your conversion rate. Data is your friend here, so look at how your website has performed in the past year and focus on areas that need improvement. Use the success of your website’s initial goals as benchmarks and set new conversion goals that focus on increasing your ROI.
- Keyword ranking algorithms change constantly. Are you providing information, education, and value with your content? Are you producing it regularly? Make sure you have a set online marketing calendar and follow it. Consistent content is king.
- Hash out a style guide for all social media accounts; this guide should outline the appropriate voice, tone, and terminology to use consistently. Start using branded hashtags to create a familiar marketing message for your business online.
- If your SEO goals aren’t being met, or if you want to make a bigger impact with the traction you are getting, start A/B testing your landing pages. Note: only change one thing at a time so you can measure its impact. After collecting one or two months of data, employ the changes that are working on your website. Make it a goal to cut your bounce rate by 10% and increase your conversions by 10%.
It’s no longer enough for most companies to simply coax eyes to their message: the destination must engage the consumer as well. Views, hits, and impressions are a thing of the past – what really matters is engagement and influence. Customers are more educated than ever before because they do an overwhelming amount of online research. Stop simply encouraging the “buy without the why” or the “me” over “you” by investing your time in creating thoughtful, engaging, and useful content that attracts customers organically.
Once you’ve weeded out the low or non-performing marketing tactics in your current online marketing arsenal, set refinement-oriented goals. Look to your real-time responses to customers and the active conversations that consumers are having about your brand and services online. When creating your inbound marketing strategy, don’t be afraid to set stretch goals and test your team. As long as you are constantly reviewing the data and referencing your goals, your business will see an impact on the web.
Expert Inbound Marketing
If digital marketing is an old, familiar friend, your company likely falls into the “expert” category. However, that doesn’t mean you should put your website’s enhancement and optimization efforts on the back burner. The web never sleeps! Now that you’ve achieved a hard-won summit in your industry, your strategic focus should shift to staying there. You may have a select few rivals that you eye warily while guarding your market share, but your strength will lie in knowledge – where your numbers stand, when they’re in trouble and how fast you’re able to respond with a solution.
- Create monthly and quarterly reports of online engagement data and conversion metrics to measure success week-to-week, month-to-month, and year-to-year. These should align with your overall business goals so sales and marketing works hand-in-hand.
- Don’t hesitate to move into new social media platforms just because your current strategy is working. You can advertise on Pinterest and Instagram now, so encourage conversations within your team about which platforms you can capitalize on to stay current with your consumers. Social media goals are sometimes difficult to establish, so find the goal-setting strategy that works best for your business.
- Keep an eye on what your successful competitors are up to, and remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Their marketing strategy could have changed since your initial assessment and you should be able to feel the impact. If their following is engaging with their message, you need to reinforce what makes your business special.
- Automate and track as much as possible. Once someone converts on your website, they should start receiving automated communication from you. Segment your leads into groups and set email tracks for each. Make it a goal to “close” more of these consumers than you did last year through middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel marketing efforts.
Once you have a reliable, automated feed of your marketing presence and real-time, measurable reach, set maintenance-oriented goals. Remember to stay updated on new technology, as well: even the most solid marketing presence on desktop computers might translate to a far weaker ranking on mobile devices, if your website’s design and SEO aren’t updated accordingly. Keep your ear to the ground as new marketing tools and platforms gain traction, too; they may be a great business partner that can help you achieve your goals.
No matter what stage of inbound marketing implementation your marketing team is currently facing, we’re here to help. Our dedicated web team has the expertise you need to make an impact on your business through SEO/SEM, digital advertising, social media, and so much more. If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency in Little Rock to help meet your business goals, contact us at 501-588-3199 to set up a consultation!