My second white paper, another Hubspot piece titled Get Found Online (which you can download for free at (http://www.hubspot.com/get-found-online-ebook), explores three basic elements of marketing online – search engines, blogging, and social media. By delineating key elements of online marketing, the paper has clarified for me the structure of this field. After reading the breakdown below, what do you think are other key elements or facts that should not be missed?
Part 1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The paper breaks down SEO into four steps – (in order) keyword analysis, on page SEO, off page SEO, and measurement and analysis.
First, find the keywords that your customers use to describe your product or service. Additionally, figure out how much competition you have for these keywords. Having done your keyword homework, optimize your site by placing them strategically throughout – in urls, titles, headings, places where search engine crawlers will find them.
Next step, improve your off page SEO by getting people to link to your site (note: this is the most effective method to moving up in search rankings). Finally, measure your number of inbound links over time–absolutely and compared to your competitors–and your real business results, ie visits and leads from SEO.
Part 2: Blogs
Another four step process, the paper breaks down blogging into reading, commenting, writing, and measuring and analyzing.
Begin by reading good blogs within your desired space – to find, search technorati.com, blogsearch.google.com, or use another self defined strategy. Once you have a feel for your space, comment on other blogs first to add value to the community, then when readers recognize your value, to develop recognition.
To the actual blogging, the paper suggests ideas for content – share an experience, comment on another post, or share links. Additionally, blog at least weekly to remain relevant among your readers. Measure your success through traffic, rss subscribers, and other related metrics and measure your business results by how many leads and customers your blog generates.
Part 3: Social Media
Engage! That is the main social media take away. When you join an online community, focus on becoming a valuable member. Similar to commenting on blogs, ask questions, give help, trust others. Remember, the paper says, you are not engaging to promote your product or control the conversation. Develop credibility as an expert and the community will come to you (that, after all, is the mission of inbound marketing). As always, analyze the results of your efforts. Measure the relevant metrics in a given medium – measure the number of delicious bookmarks, the number of facebook friends and so on.
In both the parts about blogging and social media, the paper suggests totals as a metric – visitors, facebook friends, bookmarks. I think equally important is the quality of those totals. Who engages the most? Bringing it back to Bud Caddell and his fan economy, how can you measure the number of your devoted fans? Readers, what do you think?