Inbound marketing is a digital marketing buzzword and one you may seen on marketing websites, or if you’ve been pitched recently by a marketing firm or digital marketing agency.
In a nutshell, the ROI for traditional marketing and advertising is deteriorating. Today’s consumers don’t buy directly from mass market advertising. They like to search and find the best choices online. This trend is forcing change in the web design industry.
Websites are no longer digital brochures – they are publishing platforms and marketing hubs. Very few customers will buy from you without looking you up online first. Even word-of-mouth and referral marketing are no longer immune from the Internet.
One of the leaders of the inbound marketing revolution is John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing. In his best-selling book, John details his Marketing Hourglass concept which breaks down the cycle into the following 7 stages: Know-Like-Trust-Try-Buy-Repeat-Refer.
While all phases of The Marketing Hourglass are important, we notice that most business websites fail in the initial Know Like & Trust phases.
If you you are lucky enough to get a precious click, you only have:
- A fraction of a second to make a positive first impression
- 2-3 seconds to communicate your Unique Selling Position
- 20-30 seconds to convince a user to initiate a conversion action
You can drastically improve the SEO potential and conversion rate of your website by getting potential customers to Know, Like and Trust you before they scroll to end of your home page:
In order for prospective customers to get to know you, your site has to be found. The most effective way to be found online is via search engine optimization and search engine marketing. ‘Googling’ is now a fundamental part of the purchase process, yet you have no chance of being found online without having search engine friendly website. Get people to Know who you are and what you do with:
- SEO friendly layout and coding – Moz’s Cheat Sheet is an awesome resource
- A clear Unique Selling Position prominently and clearly displayed above the fold
- An integrated blog
- Social media integration by way of both buttons and api feeds
You don’t need to have an awarding winning design, but you do need a modern, professional and mobile friendly site. Consider these factors to increase your site’s Likeability:
- Your website design
- Mobile design and user experience
- A compelling call to action or (very) special offer:
- Free eBooks
- Free Consultations
- Seminars & webinars
- Community involvement
- Email newsletter offer / signup
- Your site content, especially the home page content
This is probably the most important factor. You need to establish trust as quickly as possible. Most prospective customers are looking for a clear reason to pick you over your competitors.
Stacking the deck with trust factors will help you close more online sales than anything else. So many businesses stuff their home page with static content and bury or leave out the most compelling parts of their business:
- Genuine Client & Partner Testimonials
- Client logos
- Association badges
- Blog Posts
- Guest Blog Posts
- Physical address
- Local phone number
- Detailed About page and Bio page(s)
- Intro video(s)
- Published works
- Case studies
Here is detailed infographic of The Marketing Hourglass by Duct Tape Marketing:
The best place to start improving your website’s Know-Like-Trust factors is by addressing basic search engine optimization problems.
We offer a free, one-click SEO website audit that will provide you with DIY action steps on how to improve the SEO ranking potential of your current website: SEO website grader.