This industry is constantly in flux; you’ve probably heard a number of people talk about it time and again, from SEOs to marketers to advertisers. It’s unavoidable that search algorithms will change and marketing strategies will change with it. So far, the changes have made it almost silly for us to keep calling ourselves SEOs and the work we do SEO. These days, the term “Inbound Marketing” is starting to have a very nice ring to it and we’re seeing pop up all over.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is the all-encompassing process of getting more traffic and conversions to your page. Whereas the almost antiquated term “SEO” was about catering to how search engines view a website, Inbound Marketing factors in how people view a website.
Since people are now finally becoming such a huge part of the equation, we like to throw in a term called “Conversion Rate Optimization,” (CRO) because the aim should be to not only gain rank for a website, but to increase revenue, as well.
What is the Inbound Marketing Process?
First, the code-based issues must be rectified. This one is an oldie and a goodie. Even when SEO was just starting out, this first and important step was a no-brainer because if a website didn’t work properly, Google will penalize without hesitation.
Second, optimize visitor flow to push visitors to converting pages. This is where things start becoming a little different. With the added element of CRO, the endgame is no longer about just getting people to your site. Now, CRO makes the endgame about conversions. Whether that’s a user signing up for your blog’s RSS feed, purchasing a product, or simply filling out a contact form, conversions are the ultimate goal for Inbound Marketing. Site architecture optimization plays a big role here, by the way.
Third, sending targeted traffic to the website. Wait, what? I thought I just said it’s about conversions, not traffic. Yes, you, my wise little Internet gurus, are absolutely right. However, those conversions are never going to happen unless Inbound Marketers are finding the right people to send to the right website. You see, while the first two steps begin reducing drop-off rates quickly, this third step begins to stabilize the conversion rate. Through Link Building, Local Search, and even Social Media, an Inbound Marketer is able to find interested parties and bring them home.
“I Can’t Find Any Inbound Marketing Firms, Only SEO Firms.”
Is that so? Well, we are a nostalgic folk and many of us still utilize the SEO moniker for business, but that’s only because the game hasn’t changed completely…yet. I would predict in the next five to ten years, SEO will just be a part of an Inbound Marketing firm’s strategy. A Colorado SEO agency, for instance, might already be preparing to expand their horizons to include a more broader form of marketing strategies. In the mean time, look for companies that offer sustainable solutions that will anticipate and surpass search algorithm changes, and will bring the focus on optimizing for conversions.
Gina Vinnitsky blogs for RumbleLink, a Denver SEO company with some big ideas. When Gina isn’t studying up on social media strategy or content marketing strategy, she enjoys reading about the future of the SEO industry.