SEO is super important in today’s day and age. If your digital marketing plan does not include an SEO strategy, your business is missing out on a huge source of traffic: organic search. What’s worse is all that traffic and potential business is probably going to your competitors.
However, SEO is not the be-all end-all of digital marketing. It really only covers the top of the funnel. The real trick is taking all those visitors you generated through SEO and converting them into leads and ultimately customers. This is where inbound marketing comes in. A well-executed inbound strategy can improve your digital marketing plan in ways such as:
Keeping Your Visitors Interested
SEO is great for generating search traffic and bringing visitors to your site. However, one thing that SEO can’t do is keep visitors on your site. No matter how targeted your keywords are or how many inbound links are pointing to your site, your visitors won’t stay there unless they are being engaged. This is where inbound comes in.
Inbound marketing is all about creating the kind of content that your visitors want to see instead the content you want them to see. The idea is that if you can anticipate their questions ahead of time, then by providing educational resources that will inform their buying decisions, and by creating a clear conversion path on your website, you can lead them through the sales funnel and turn them into customers when they are ready to make a purchase.
Generating More Qualified Leads
All the site traffic in the world won’t mean a thing if your conversion rates keep going down the tube. And of course, no matter how good your content is, your visitors won’t be interested if they simply don’t need your product or service. Inbound marketing can help you define and target the right visitors so that your time and efforts aren’t going to waste. This is done through the consideration of things such as buyer personas, lifecycle stages, website behaviors, demographics, and more. The bottom line is that the more targeted your audience is, the easier it is to hold their attention as they move through the sales funnel and come closer to the decision stage.
Increasing Your Credibility
Aside from helping you appear in the top search results, SEO really can’t do much on its own to boost your credibility among buyers. Again, it all comes down to the content you are putting out. Inbound marketing isn’t about selling your business, it’s about solving problems. By creating and sharing content that is valuable to your audience, you are demonstrating that you understand their needs and have identified a solution to whatever problem they are facing.
Even if your product isn’t the best fit for a particular prospect, they may end up recommending you to a friend or using you in the future. It is always best to educate and inform as this often translates to big long-term gains rather than smaller short-term sales.
Decreasing Marketing Costs
All of the above come together to do one thing for your business: reduce costs. Inbound marketing has been proven to reduce cost per lead by 61%. Furthermore, businesses that follow the inbound methodology often see higher customer retention rates and we all know it costs much less to retain customers than to acquire new ones.
Inbound Marketing is The Missing Piece of Your Digital Puzzle
SEO still has a ton of value for businesses and is by no means a “dead” practice; it simply works best when used in combination with other methodologies. Inbound marketing provides a way for marketers and business owners to reach customers who have moved past the top of the sales funnel and into the middle and bottom portions. It also serves to align sales and marketing teams to ensure more leads are being closed on so that your marketing budget (and SEO efforts) are not going to waste.