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Promise you the moonMany times when I meet with clients I feel like I am the second marriage that has to overcome a lot of baggage! So many stories are the same. They have spent hundreds of dollars for 6 months or more to companies that promise them the moon. But they get no results. Then here I come telling them how I can help them.

These SEO companies claim they can get them tons of new leads, but they don’t even offer the basics that are needed to do so. It’s not the small companies fault. Inbound Marketing is a very big topic. And not many people understand the big picture.

The way I find these clients is that they come to our 3 hour class, Is Your Business Google-ized. In class we discuss Inbound Marketing components that need to work harmoniously. What they discover is that many of the pieces are missing in their program.

The five areas we discuss in class are:

  • On-site SEO
  • Creating content through blogging
  • Promotion with Social Media
  • Lead Generation
  • and Mobile

Before that – Who is your target?

With any inbound marketing program you need to know who you are targeting. You need to know a day in the life of this person. Then, and only then, do you begin any other process! But when I am approached by those small business owners, we discover that the conversation never happened between them and the SEO company.

On-Site SEO

The class is told to have a unique long tail phrase for each page of the website. This goes into the Title Tag, which is  in the code side of the page and the first stop Google makes to see if you page fits the search. It is descriptive of what the page is about. This Title Tag is what you see in the browser tab. Pull yours up right now. It should not say “Home” or “Index” or the URL of your page.

A good title tag for a local company is KEYWORD PHRASE | CITIES YOU SERVICE . And every page should be unique!

This is the second red flag that the student learns. First they were not asked who the ideal client is, and their Title Tag on home page says HOME. Plus, all the inside pages are not optimized either.

Creating Content

Content is how you are found by those targeted audiences. But in all the cases I have come across, they are selling Adwords to the client instead of focusing on organic results through blogging. That is very expensive and not really successful without throwing hundreds if not thousands of dollars at it.

And if you are spending hundreds of dollars per month on Adwords, the link should go to a landing page so you can capture the lead. Not just to the website!

Think about it. When you do a search on Google to find an answer to your questions, the results are posts from companies on their blog, or YouTube, or other content they have created.

So if you are not creating content out there to be found, then will they end up on your competitors content? It is a fact that only about 25% of the clicks on a search result page are on the paid ads. More people click the organic posts.

High Price for Little Results

By the end of class these business owners are a bit upset. They searched their website online while sitting there, which luckily was responsive, but found their titles were not optimized. They had no discussions on their target audience, what social channels they hang out on so their content could be found, nor did they have any call to action or landing pages to build up leads.

What we hear is that the companies are telling them how successful they are because 1,000 hits came to the website. But what happened then? Nothing. No call to action. No giveaway so they could capture their information. No phone calls. The SEO company got a nice kickback from Adwords, but the client did not even get an Analytics report showing any results.

There are no results unless you capture the visitors information, or they call you. Period!

All Web Designers are not created equal

Over the years I have also seen several different varieties of “Web Designers.” In fact, I have gone through an evolution to become Inbound Marketing certified today. Here are some types that market web design.

  1. The graphic artist that builds a pretty site. But pretty is not always functional. Your site needs to be easy to navigate and be functional so you can attract leads and get customers. Graphic artists are not necessarily marketing experts.
  2. IT people, that are often friends, that build websites on the side. Again, they may be able to build a website, but they are usually not artistic nor marketers.
  3. SEO companies that also build websites. Their main focus may be on Adwords, but not Inbound Marketing methodology.
  4. Website builders can be good at programming and at graphics, but rarely do they have time to also be an Inbound Marketing expert.

I guess the message is that it takes a team to get it right. It is very difficult to do on your own.

The Free Website

Many companies out there offer free websites, or easy to build website services. These are fine. But it is still just a website. And unfortunately, most of the people using the services have no idea about layout and optimization. In fact, most of the people that attend our classes do not have the SEO component turned on!

You can spend a lot of your time building a website on your own that is not going to work for you. It takes all the components of Inbound Marketing to grow your business. Identifying your ideal customers, optimizing your website, writing great content to attract those customers, promoting through the social networks you know they hang out in, creating lead generation strategies, and making sure you are in compliance with Google.

Next article will focus on questions you want to ask the next company that promises you big results! Better yet, if you can attend one of our classes, you will get an overview of the big picture to formulate your own questions.

Inbound Marketing Certificate

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