How Inbound Marketing Can Help Your New Business Reach Customers

Setting up a business is both exciting and daunting in equal measure. You want your startup to pick up as quickly as possible and attract many customers fast. However, an increasingly competitive and crowded landscape means that the need to get your message out there and promote your new business is as critical as ever.

Marketing is often a challenge for new businesses looking to get their products, services, or brand known because they have no established customer base, loyalty, or community around them. Unfortunately, many businesses turn to outbound (traditional) marketing to get their message to prospective customers and overlook inbound marketing.

However, interruptive marketing techniques like advertising, cold calling, or email blasts have been losing their effectiveness for years now. You risk wasting money and time on creating a buzz that people have learned to ignore.

If you are willing to invest in low-cost marketing with the potential for a high return on your investment, then inbound marketing can help.

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

Inbound marketing focuses on reasons why your customers should come to you, instead of merely broadcasting out messages to them using traditional (outbound) marketing.

Outbound marketing includes things like mass emails, advertising, and cold calling. These types of push marketing techniques focus on getting your message out to a broader audience quickly. Although it is not redundant since there is a time and place for it, outbound marketing may turn off prospects and target audiences because it seems like an interruption.

On the other hand, inbound marketing aims to provide valuable content to specific customers already searching for services, products, and solutions you are offering. Content provided includes videos, blog posts, eBooks, informative articles, whitepapers, and tip sheets. As a result, inbound marketing draws in both leads that are apt to convert and ready, willing buyers.

How Inbound Marketing Can Help

At its core, inbound marketing provides authoritative and informative content that entices customers. They could be looking for DIY instructions, answers to their questions, or interesting content. Your target audience already has an interest in your content, product, or service. Thus, they are more inclined to become customers if your marketing and conversion efforts provide them with helpful information.

Inbounding marketing is effective because it concerns itself with providing a human touch to business interactions. It encourages new businesses to broadcast cost-effectively and evolves the relationship with target audiences who opt-in and end up on your website to continue the communication and provide more valuable information.

However, while it is cheaper than traditional marketing tactics, inbound marketing takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment. Just remember that content is king. It’s the key to getting regular traffic to your website to sell them on your brilliant products.

Blogging vs. Social Platforms

Your business blog should ideally become the central point for your inbound marketing efforts, mainly because you own this space. Just ensure that you post original, rich, well-researched, and informative content regularly.

On the other hand, social networks are great for reaching a wider audience, but since you don’t own these channels, you only ever rent them. So the aim should be to use these rented “digital real estate spaces” to bring people to your website.

The target for blogging and social media marketing is to create original content that people will love and share widely, and keep returning for more. Eventually, you will build your social networking and online community to, directly and indirectly, help you market your business.

Audience-Focused SEO

Finally, do not forget to create audience-focused SEO. Search is how people find things online, and along with email and social media, it’s among the most popular online activities. Aim to make your content search engine optimized to bring in qualified, targeted traffic to your site. At first, you can concentrate on building your organic search results, and then combine that with paid ads – pay-per-clicks (PPCs).

Reach out to us at UmeWorks for more information on implementing inbound marketing strategies with your business website.

How EAT Can Help Your Website’s Off-Page SEO

Successful search engine optimization (SEO) requires you to use both off-page and on-page SEO efforts. Combining the two techniques produces long-term sustainable results in search engines. This post explores the interrelationship between E-A-T and off-page SEO factors.

What is Off-Page SEO?

It refers to all the activities you do off of your website to increase its search engine rankings. These include encouraging branded searches, building backlinks, as well as increasing shares and engagement on social media.

Google still uses PageRank in its ranking, which means that backlinks still form the foundation of its algorithm. However, links are only one part of off-page SEO ranking factors that Google uses to size up websites. For instance, Google’s Quality Rate Guidelines mainly rely on a website’s off-site reputation to find out whether or not it is trustworthy. The Reputation Research includes looking at:

  • Recommendations from experts
  • Online reviews
  • Mentions on authority news websites

What is EAT?

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It helps search engines to know if:

  • You are a trustworthy blog or website
  • Your industry and peers consider you an authority in your subject topic, matter, or area
  • You  provide high-quality content that users like and trust

E-A-T is now a critical off-page SEO ranking factor across all sectors but especially in the health niche. It refers to more than adding author bios to your website. Google and other search engines use signals that happen off of your site to measure E-A-T. The two primary focus areas are links and mentions in authoritative publications and websites.

Search engines take into account all on-site and off-site SEO factors to return the nest results for search phrases. Off-page SEO factors are essential because they show how the world perceives your blog or website.

How E-A-T Helps Website’s Off-Page SEO

There are several off-page SEO factors in existence, which vary yearly and by industry. As search engines change and improve their algorithms, so does what matters to SEO. Therefore, to stay up-to-date with what matters on off-page SEO, you must remain focused on traditional PR and marketing that provide a means to share what you have and know with your audience and community. These include:

  • Guest blogging
  • Brand citations and mentions on other articles, websites, and publications
  • Social media profiles and activity
  • Video websites
  • User reviews
  • Podcast interviews and appearances
  • Forum posts and answer sites such as Reddit or Quora
  • Local directories and listings
  • Referring domains and backlinks
  • Video websites

The above factors help search engines connect the online dots to discover how you interact with the community. The more the interaction you have, the more relevance and authority you get.

Search engines’ quality raters also emphasize online reviews. It makes sense because if people hate your business or website, why would search engines want to show it to more users? Reviews are huge for local SEO, but they also affect your website’s E-A-T significantly.

If you do not run a website or business that people review, such as a media site or blog, search engines rely on any awards you have won and how other experts in your industry or field feel about your website.

To build your off-page SEO, you need to stand out from the crowd and distinguish yourself from the millions of registered URLs competing for the same users’ attention daily. If you can share your knowledge and add value to your community consistently, you will develop and improve your E-A-T with search engines without even asking for mentions or backlinks.

Wrapping Up

It is easy to get caught up with on-page SEO techniques and overlook off-page SEO or vice versa. You need both to rank high in search. The former helps establish your blog or website’s SEO foundation while the latter validates your reputation and builds your E-A-T with search engines.

The trick is to find a balance that allows you to prove you have quality and valuable content that the world cares about significantly. Whenever you think about your off-page SEO strategy, focus on your purpose, passion, and community. Also, give back as often as you can.

Want Help?

Are you ready to move forward in building your business but your Things to Do is already full?

Book an initial consultation call with UmeWorks to discuss your needs and we’ll let you know what we can do to help you succeed.

Should You Use a Guest Blogger?

There are numerous reasons for guest blogging on another site, including building yourself up as an industry authority, building visibility for your brand, providing more value for consumers, contributing to the online community, linking back to your blog, and funneling referral traffic back to your website.

However, while contributing guest blogs is valuable for you, what about the benefits of using a guest blogger on your site? 

Of course, it is best only to accept content on your site that you believe provides value to your target audience to protect the quality of your blog.

What is Guest Blogging?

Guest blogging (or guest posting) refers to the act of writing content for another website. Generally, a guest blogger will write for a similar blog within his or her industry to:

  • Attract traffic back to their site
  • Increase their brand awareness and credibility
  • Boost their domain authority using quality external links
  • Build relationships with industry peers

Why Use a Guest Blogger?

It is advisable to allow great writers and bloggers to create content on your website, provided it’s of high quality and adds value to your audience. Below are six reasons why:

  1. Increases Your Blog’s Authority
    Creating an authoritative blog that people trust and link to from other sources and websites will naturally increase the impression of your brand. If you jam-pack your blog with valuable content, and it attracts many high-quality bloggers to post content, others will want to link to your business or blog and share your content on social media.
  2. Encourages New Readers
    Accepting contributions from an established and well-known guest blogger with a loyal readership could encourage new readers on your site. What’s more, guest bloggers will likely share their posts on their various social media channels, driving free traffic your way.
  3. Builds Relationships with Bloggers
    Whether you are a full-time blogger or do it as a part-time content marketing strategy, building new relationships with fellow influencers and bloggers is never a bad thing. It can make it easier to promote your content, get advice, receive blog comments, and help each other out with feedback and recommendations.
  4. Gives You More Content
    The chances are that you work hard to create fresh and up-to-date content on your blog weekly – even on a tight schedule. Regular posting gives your audience something new to look up to every week.
  5. Adds a New Dimension and Outlook to Your Blog
    Sometimes adding a new voice to your blog can add a new dimension and make it more attractive and engaging to a broader readership. Just remember to introduce your guest blogger to your audience and add a disclaimer that the views they express are not necessarily yours.
  6. Boosts Your Site’s SEO
    Having a lot of valuable content on your blog allows it to perform better in search engine results, provided you have optimized it well. Accepting guest bloggers helps pack your site with more content, increases your internal and external linking structure, enhances your online presence, and helps search engine robots crawl your pages.

What to Look for in a Guest Blogger

When you source for a guest blogger or accept one, look for industry blogs by a non-competitor company that can deliver real insight to your readers. Below is a suitable checklist to follow:

  • Author credibility (seek recognized experts and published freelancers, and avoid spam)
  • Superior writing style with valuable and accurate content
  • A high level of audience engagement
  • Strategic fit with your brand identity, organizational values, and communication strategy
  • Content relevance (uniqueness and recency)
  • Search engine optimization ability
  • The author should provide enough links to trustworthy sources
  • Content ownership – check that the content is original and that you own the rights as the publisher

Wrapping Up

Accepting content from a guest blogger can offer significant benefits to your website or business. However, you must be mindful of the content and links that the authors use. Remember to audit all work before you publish it and craft a long-term marketing strategy to make guest blogging part of your marketing journey. You also stand to benefit from their knowledge, time, experience, writing ability, and readership.

When Building a Website is Like Building a House

Not wanting to be guilty of speaking “techie jargon” that the client doesn’t understand, I often use analogies to explain website options and services. While none of my analogies are perfect, I hope they make clearer some of the matters related to websites for most people.

Tract Home or Custom Home?

When selecting a platform for your website, what is more critical for you? Cost vs. Flexibility

If you were having a new home built, there are many approaches you can choose.

A tract home is typically faster to build and less expensive than designing and building a custom-built home. But you will also have less options and flexibility. For example, you can select from perhaps several available floor plans, and choose your paint color and carpeting from the options offered.

In both cases, you can bring whatever furniture (i.e., your website content) you want into each room, but perhaps that gorgeous hardwood table you inherited from your grandparents won’t fit into the tract home’s dining area. In a custom home, you can have the architect design a formal dining room around the dimensions of the table AND that antique rosewood buffet you found that complemented it so nicely. You can even install an elevator to accommodate your aging parent in your custom-designed home.

It is likely you will need to pay substantially more for a custom home, but you can specify pretty much anything you want, as long as it is possible and you have the budget for it.

Of course, just as there are many different tract home developments, there are different website platforms to select from. Each have their own pros and cons, features and functionalities, limitations, and pricing structure.

After learning about your business and website needs, UmeWorks can discuss with you the options that make sense for your specific website and budget, and the options pros and cons for each.

Teeth Cleaning vs. Root Canals

Why It is Important to Maintain Your Website’s Software

Most people don’t enjoy paying for and going for teeth cleanings and oral check-ups. However, keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy can prevent, or at least reduce the risk of, needing often painful and expensive major dental work such as root canals or gum surgery.

For those who have a WordPress-based website, or any other site that has software version updates, I strongly recommend you invest in regular software maintenance service.

Why? Because just like regular dental check-ups and teeth cleaning, most software updates are preventive health measures for your website.  Most updates are for security protection, bug fixes, and compatibility resolution. Yes, some also include new functionality as well.

Having these updates done regularly prevents potential display and functionality issues, and expensive and lengthy clean up to track down and apply a backlog of software updates from WordPress core files, patches, plugins and theme files.

UmeWorks can provide monthly software maintenance of your WordPress site and Machform script.

Are you a Wallflower at Cocktail Parties?

The Importance of Social Media Engagement

So, you’ve been proudly posting regularly to your Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. But no one is commenting or Liking your posts.

Why that may be can be a plethora of reasons (too many to cover here), but one of the reasons can be is because you are a wallflower at the cocktail party. Or worst you’re acting like BMOC*-in-your-own-mind and talking about yourself and how great you and your company are every chance you have.

Think of the other party goers’ reaction. Instead, if you introduce them to others you know and talk them up, perhaps they’ll do the same for you. Some of their friends may even come over and ask you to tell them about you.

*Big Man On Campus

I Want Red Marbles

Why You Should Choose Keyword Phrases Per Web Page

If you want some red marbles, which glass would you choose to get them?  The one on the right that contain the most red marbles, of course.

which glass would you choose to get red marbles?

Imagine that a web page is a glass full of marbles. The marbles are the words (and metadata) on that page.

If you are a local auto repair shop in Torrance and you have expertise in hybrid auto repair. You want hybrid car owners in Torrance to find you. Be sure you have a web page (glass) dedicated to hybrid auto repair so those hybrid car owners in Torrance can find you. Be sure to fill the page with the keywords hybrid auto service Torrance (red marbles).

UmeWorks can help you integrate red marbles into each page of your website.

Learn more about on-page SEO, keyword phrases and red marbles.

What to Consider Before Buying a Low-cost Website Design Package

Let’s face it; your website is arguably a must-have marketing tool. It forms the hub of all your inbound marketing strategy, and it is likely the number one thing that prospects want to see before making a purchase decision.

As businesses understand and appreciate the value of inbound marketing and SEO strategy, business websites are getting better overall. They are now faster, mobile-friendly, sleeker, and more useful. As consumers demand a better user experience, websites need to provide functionality, performance, and ease-of-use.

These are some of the factors that businesses must consider before accepting a website price, whether they are building a new site or renovating an existing one.

Website Development and Design Pricing are Not Always Straightforward

Setting a website price is not always so simple or straightforward. Although it may feel easy to shop for a website designer by comparing published online prices, you may not end up with what you expected or a site that is optimized for your business. Website designers and developers must consider many factors and nuances before quoting price estimates. Hence, many website agencies do not have a pricing listing because of the nature of their service.

A good website design or development company will first discuss with you to find out what you want, expect, and need on your website. Is it a marketing, business, or informational site? Web designers should take their time, effort, and resources to understand the various aspects of your business and brand before giving you an estimate.

For instance, if you want to generate higher walk-in sales for your business, a web designer will have to factor in such issues when creating and designing the website to enable it to attract customers to your store and buy your brand.

Therefore, it’s critical for a web designer first to understand your needs and your desired level of post-publication involvement in maintaining the site and keeping it updated with relevant SEO content for ranking and visibility.

Understanding these facts enables designers to quote an estimate for a solution that is appropriate to your particular situation. Thus, be wary of off-the-shelf prices lest you end up looking for another designer to finish the project.

Examples of Aspects that Affect Website Pricing

  • Copywriting: will you need help writing your website copy? Edits to optimize for Search Engines? For marketing?
  • Images: Will you be providing professional photographs, or will the designer look for stock images, or need to provide extensive editing of non-professional photographs you supply?
  • Functionality: Will your website need any functionality included such as online booking of appointments, ecommerce with PCI compliance, event calendar with registration, uploading of resumes, newsletter opt-in integration or the ability for affiliates to register? Content Updating: Do you need the ability to update your website content yourself (without coding knowledge)?
  • Data import: Are you redesigning an existing website from which a large volume of content must be migrated? Revisions: How many rounds of revisions are included?
  • Website Tools: Will you need website analytics tracking, security monitoring, SSL installation, cookie consent banner, content management system, or other tools, and are they included in the price?

There are many things that affect website pricing. You are not expected to know whether your site needs all of these. But again, a good website designer will know the questions to ask you and determine what makes sense for you, your business and your website.

Over to You

Pricing for web design and development services is not cut and dry. You must factor in numerous variables such as the examples listed above, as well as the experience of potential agencies and the services they provide. It is vital to understand what you need before you accept any website price. Choose a website designer that can help you determine those needs.