It’s nice when potential customers come to you. Effective inbound marketing websites make this much easier. Inbound marketing is the process of helping people find out about your business on their own, then coming to you for more information and to find the call to action.

This is one aspect of content marketing that can improve the return on your website investment and increase conversion — not to mention grow your business. Developing strong inbound marketing websites can help your organization get more people to respond to your call to action. And, yes, there should be a call to action. This is marketing but of a different form than you may be used to.

Defining Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is the process of attracting customers to you, so that they can learn about your offering on their own. It is different from outbound marketing because it sets the stage for the customer to find out about your organization organically rather than you seeking out potential customers and bringing them in. Although you may have targeted the customer, the customer arrives at inbound marketing websites looking for something that solves a problem in response to something other than an advertisement.

It doesn’t mean being passive and waiting for visitors, though. Inbound marketing programs help visitors find your site. Although social media, email newsletters, and word of mouth generate incoming visitors, people usually find inbound marketing websites through a web search.

A key first step in effective inbound marketing is making sure that the site is optimized for different search engines. Using effective keywords will help people find the site when they are looking for information related to your business. Analyzing keywords and using them in strong content will help improve your site’s ranking in search engines and increase the likelihood that a prospective visitor will turn up your site when performing a query.

As with any type of marketing, inbound marketing websites have to be evaluated and tweaked to optimize their effectiveness using analytics that measure who comes to your site, from where, and what they do when they get there. This process will help the site evolve to meet your needs — and those of your visitors — more effectively. This is a critical part of the process.

Building Visitor Engagement

When people click on the link in their search results, what will they find? That’s why another component of effective inbound marketing websites is a strong landing page. Your page should tell people who you are and how you can help them. It should be one that people want to spend a little time on, learning more about your business and figuring out your call to action. A site with strong graphics and effective copy will go a long way to getting visitors on your side.

Inbound marketing websites often rely heavily on content marketing (good articles with factual information and material that people can use). First of all, strong content helps people find your site, and it increases their engagement until they respond to the call to action. Also, many visitors want to share good content, which can further leverage the investment and increase the number of inbound site visitors. After all, a recommendation from someone outside of the organization carries more weight than an internal recommendation, adding valuable social proof.

Other features to get customers to respond to calls to action on inbound marketing websites include interactive quizzes, calculators and chatbots. Videos can help explain complex concepts or offer demonstrations. Some sites even offer on-demand courses. Interactive marketing can help convert site visitors and offer them more quality content that will appear in search results or get shared.

Inbound Marketing Websites Done Right

We’ve seen many organizations create strong inbound marketing websites. For example, King Arthur Flour features detailed recipes using its products, along with pro tips for customizing recipes or troubleshooting difficult steps. After all, people don’t need flour and flavorings unless they are baking, and the site aims to show bakers why they need high-quality ingredients. People find the site while looking for bread and cake recipes; they don’t need to know anything about the King Arthur brand to benefit from the content.

Another example is McDonald’s Our Food. Your Questions. Here, customers who want to know more about McDonald’s food can post questions or review previous answers. This helps people learn more about a brand that most consumers think they already understand.

With all the tools available to marketers and advertisers, it’s easy to forget the importance of optimizing their website for inbound traffic. However, all the other social and advertising activities lead to inbound marketing websites, where customers can get their questions answered and respond to the call to action. Improving the website and the program around it leads to a stronger relationship with site visitors.

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