The Unfair Advantage of Inbound Marketing How marketers can use sweat equity instead of $$ to earn outsized returns on their online traffic efforts. Download at http://bit.ly/mozinbound Rand Fishkin, CEO & Co-founder, SEOmoz | June 2011
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Where Does Web Traffic Come From?
Every Marketer Sees This: But That’s Not Reality
Re R f e e f r e rirng n g + Ot O h t e h r r= 50% of 0 o % of ur u tr t a r ffi a c? B c ut u tth t is ch s c a h rt tis ba b sica c l a y say sa ing n T g wi T tt wi e tt r e , r F , a F ce c b e ook, b ook, logs, f s, e f e e d e d re r ad a er e s r a s nd n d ev e e v r e y non n -se - ar a ch r ch site t e th t a h t a tsen e d n s d tr t a r ffi a c cis e s x e a x ct a l ct y th t e e same m . e
Al t l h t e h e tra r ffi a c ffi w c e w e re r c e e c i e ve v e th t at a tisn’t sn th t e h re r s e ul u t of t p of a p id d acqu cq i u sition on or ad a v d e v r e tis ti ing n ( g i ( n n SEO SE m O oz o ’s ca s c s a e e – – 95%+) %+ com c e om s e fro fr m m In I bou b n ou d n Ma M rke k ti e n ti g n !
Inbound Marketing Outbound Marketing Organic Search Rankings Paid Search Ads Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter) Display Advertising Inclusion in Universal Search Results Contextual Ad Networks (AdSense) Blogs + News Sites Buying Email Lists Links from Partners + Friends Site Sponsorships Opt-In Email Newsletters Video Ads Forums + Discussion Sites Demographic Targeting Viral Content Facebook Ads Q+A Answers w/ a Link Affiliate Marketing User Profiles + Comments Viral Content For more on Inbound Marketing, check out Brian + Dharmesh’s awesome book: http://www.amazon.com/Inbound-Marketing-Found-Google-Social/dp/0470499311
You Must Become a Hub for Great Content in Your Niche Answ ns e w rs r son o Q+ Q A + Re R f e e f re r nced sit s e it s e sre r f e e f re r n e ce its its re r s e o s urc ur es e Sit Si e t that tha offer off s er : by b industr us y blogs • •Un U ique Re R se s a e rc r h Fo F ru r m m disc s uss s io s n io s s • •In I f n o f rm r ed e Opinions Menti n on o ed e in news lin li k to t its spage ag s • •New Ne s w / s Tr T e r nd Analy a s ly iss news public bli a c ti a o ti ns • •Multim lti ed e ia Con o t n e t n e t n Lin Li ks k sare ar e Tw T e w e e t e e t d • •Authen e ti n c Exp x ert r Contr n ibuto ut rs r Pe P op o le em e ail ail • •Qu Q ality al Disc s uss s ison/In I t n e t ra r c a tio ti n lin li ks k sto t each other Like Lik d/Share har d on Fac F eb e ook o Cite it d at a co c nf n e f r e e r nces s + + ev e e v n e ts n S ht omtp:/ eti g m oo es,gle a sblo ing g.bl le piogs ece pot. of c com/ onten2t 01 or 0/06/ou just a fe r-ne w, caw-sea n yiel rch-i d the nde se rex-caf sults fei bune t, .h m tml ore often, it takes dozens to hundreds of attempts to become a resource hub.
Inbound Marketing Channels
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
# of Searches/Day in Google Cu C r u re r nt n lty, y t , h t e h r e e r a e r a e r mo m re r e th t a h n n 3 bi b l ilon se on a se rc r h c e h s/da s/d y a on n Goo G gl g e Data via Google’s occasional public statements and some inference (for 2006 + 2009)
Robust, Accessible, HTML Text is Key User Use s r see e e a we w a e lth t of h pote ot n e ti n a ti l co c nt n e t n e t n Goo G gl g e se e e se s e a sma sm l lnu n m u be b r e of w f or w d or s d t s ha h t a d t on d ’ on t tte t l e mu m ch c h of a f co c nt n e t n e t n s t t s or t y.y You can see what Google sees by using the “cached snapshot” functionality from their search results, or by using the Mozbar (http://www.seomoz.org/seo-toolbar) and browsing as Googlebot.
“Good” Content vs. “GREAT” Content Satis a fie tis s t s he t searc ar her’s basic s
Surprises s and n delight ligh s sthe inf n o f r o mati a o ti n o r n e r quire quir ment n s t searc ar h c er by b being r ing e r markable k Wr W itte itt n b n y b a hum a an and an no and t no t Pro Pr duc o ed b d y b ext e rao r r ao d r inary dup u lica c t a e t d e d lsew lse he w re r write it rs r / s desisgne gn rs r / s pro pr duc o ers r Lon Lo g g enough no t ugh o t o fulfi f ll basic ll
May Ma lev le e v rag r e ag vide v o, o audio , , audio needs o ds f o fengines sfo f r o graphic gr s & s & phot pho o t s o t s o t o co c n o v n e v y e a dept p h/ t u h/ ni n queness s uni n que, s , har s e har able ex e perience Gr G am r mati a c ti ally c co c r o re r ct c ; fr f e r e of o Pro Pr duc o ed b d y b ext e rao r r ao d r inary spe s lling/punc / tuati ua o ti n o e n rro r r o s r write it rs r / s desisgne gn rs r / s pro pr duc o ers r
Social Data’s Directly in the SERPs, Too! Gera r l a dine n ’s bl b og is aw a e w some, e bu b t tit twou w l ou d nev e e v r rra r n a k k on pa p ge g #1 for f or th t is qu q ery y wi w th t out ou the h pow o e w r e of t of h t e soci oc al con c nection cti . Check out http://www.slideshare.net/randfish/merging-of-search-social-wappow for more on how search engines and social media are mixing together.
Facebook More or fa f ns s= more or people pote ot nti n al a y l y ex e pos p ed to t you y r rcon c t on e t nt n .t But… t Yo Y u o al a so ne n ed to t o cre cr at a e t post os s t th t a h t a twil l show o up p in “top t op new e s w ” ”on yo y u o r fa f n a s’ ’wa w l sl. Th T at a ’s more or ch c al a e l nging n . For some great Facebook-focused marketing tactics, check out http://www.seomoz.org/blog/4-facebook-marketing-tactics-you-might-not-know-about
Twitter It’s not ot jus u t s tab a out ou tth t e fol f l ol ow o e w r cou c n ou t n .t .You Y r r tw t e w et e s t shav a e v to t o cou c nt n tfo f r o som o et e h t ing and drive v e action cti s/a / w a a w r a e r ness.s I highly recommend http://www.slideshare.net/danzarrel a/the-science-of-re-tweets which helps show the correlation between activities on Twitter and your ability to have the message spread.
LinkedIn Li L nke k dI d n’s “G “ ro r u o ps p ” s are r a po p w o e w rfrul wa w y a y to t gro r w o you y r r ne n t e w t or w k or an a d spr p e r ad d a a messag a e g . Like k Fa F ce c book oo , L , inke k dIn I now o ha h s a a wa w l a lth t at a tdrive v s s“like k s” ”and d com c ment n s t (a ( s a we w l las str t a r ffi a c) ffi . c) Good advice on LinkedIn profiles here - http:// www.seomoz.org/ugc/optimize-your-linkedin-profile-for-best-results-howto (also, don’t miss the comments which discuss how the links work).
Reddit Re R ddit’s sgro r w o n w to t be in th t e top t 100 most os tvisiste t d site t s e on th t e we w b, and n ev e e v n e smal a e l r rsubr b e r d e dits t ca c n a sen e d re r m e ark r a k ble tr t a r ffi a c ffi ( c an a d d re r sult tin tw t e w et e s t /FB sha h re r s/e / t e c. t ) c. The travel subreddit has nearly 19K registered subscribers - http://www.reddit.com/r/travel - and thousands more browsing. Ful list of subreddits, sorted by # of subs here: http://metareddit.com/
StumbleUpon Stu t m u bleUp U on re r ac a h c es more or th t an 15 mil ilon acti c ve v mont on h t ly users r , ,an a d dr d ive v s mas a sisve v e amou o nt n s t sof outb t ou b nd tr t a r ffi a c. c Two great activities on http://www.stumbleupon.com for beginners: #1) Discover content that people share in your niche. #2) Find great stuff to share/tweet that wil earn you more fol owers.
Participating in the Blogosphere Using http://www.google.com/reader, you can see how many GG Reader users subscribe + average # of posts/week. Those with fewer than 50 subscribers and 1 post/week often are too tiny to be worthwhile.
Research + White Papers Sta t t a s t for f laun u ch day a of Sta t rt r u t p Genom o e proje r ct c ’s s re r sear a ch r Research like http://startupgenome.cc/ gets tweeted, shared and cited, meaning you earn links, traffic + al sorts of good inbound marketing metrics.
Infographics After producing what is, admittedly, an awesome graphic - http://www.paralegal.net/judge-judy/ - Paralegal.net rose to page one in Google (and got bjil ions of drive-by visits, too).
User Profiles Pr P og r re r ss s Bar a Hi H ghly y cust s o t m o iza z ble pr p ofi r l ofi e det e a t i a ls Cust s o t m o Phot Ph o ot Li L nks k to t oth ot e h r rwe w b b pr p ofi r l ofi es These (http://www.seomoz.org/users/profile/) emulate the success of places like LinkedIn, Quora, Stackoverflow and others. They’ve increased participation and traffic to the profiles dramatical y.
An Incentive to Share Th T ese “s “ p s oonb oon ack c ” we w re r e ke k y e y to t Ur U b r an a spoon o ’s sgro r w o t w h t (n ( o n w o ahe h ad of Cit Ci y t s y ear a ch r ch in tr t a r ffi a c ffi ! c ) Because Yelp + Citysearch had taken the “badges” angle for local businesses, http://urbanspoon.com incented foodie bloggers to link to the site by featuring those bloggers’ posts + content on the site.
Gamification The genius game-like badges, points and progress at http://stackoverflow.com has helped make it one of the most successful sites in the Q+A world.
Content Subscriptions I use email to subscribe to http://www.avc.com/ and am 1 of 100K+ who read Fred’s posts on a daily basis. That’s a powerful inbound channel!
Newsletters The Moz Top 10 http://www.seomoz.org/moztop10 attracts lots of readers, who then consume and share content. One big key to success – don’t just promote your own material.
Promotions BT B W: T Wr W ite t dow o n w th t a h t a temai a l ad a dre r ss s ; it’s a a goo g d oo one on to t h o av a e v . Deal sites like http://groupon.com have had huge success. Private models like http://gilt.com and http://appsumo.com run interesting variants that also work wel .
RSS + XML Feeds
Blog Content Feeds On O av a e v ra r g a e g , ,th t is sman a y n y people act c u t al a y l y re r ad a pos o t s tvi v a a fe f ed Feeds aren’t just useful for subscribers. They “ping” search engines, enable easy syndication and can be used by lots of content aggregators that send traffic, too.
Anything with Regular Updates Et E s t y s y make k s it tpossibl b e to t o su s bs b cr c ibe to t o a fe f ed d of an a y n o y n o e’s sshop op on th t e h site t ! e I was actual y tempted to subscribe. http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThisYearsGirl has some awesome stuff!
Mobile Subscriptions + Tatango http://www.tatango.com/ makes it possible for local y-focused sites to have cel phone “text lists” the same way web companies have email lists. It’s powerful stuff for local businesses.
Q+A, Forums + Discussion Sites
Yahoo! Answers Granted, not al the questions (or answers) on http://answers.yahoo.com are of exceptional quality, but due to very high traffic, participation can yield solid results.
StackExchange The StackOverflow Q+A platform is one of the most engaging, attracts high quality folks and offers lots of connection/marketin opportunity. See list of sites here - http://stackexchange.com/sites
Quora Quor o a r ’ a s audi d ence te t nds s to t be st s a t r a tu t p u -y - , y te t chy ch and d ve v ry y we w l -c l on -c ne n cte ct d. d If you haven’t yet started contributing on http://www.quora.com, the Google social integration is a great excuse
NameSake Tr T u r er rwor w k or s k swe w re r ne n v e e v r rty t p y ed. The platform at http://namesake.com is quite impressive and some of the contributors equal y so. Whether it achieves critical mass remains to be seen.
The “Long Tail” of Discussion Sites Whoa! Cool.
Public Relations, Guest Authoring and Comment Marketing
Guest Blogging + Writing Guest blogging (or contributing content to any type of publisher) is a great way to build your brand and earn links. Tools like http://myblogguest.com/ can help make the process easier.
Direct Connections to Journalists HARO (http://www.helpareporter.com/) is a popular service that lets you get contacted when relevant reporters/journalists need sources.
Classic Public Relations If you’re seeking a PR firm, http://prfirms.org/ can help, but it pays to get references. PR is a field where a few firms have the right connections and the rest can’t help nearly as much.
PostRank Via https://analytics.postrank.com/ - PostRank wil measure the social sharing activity on any URL in a feed, so you can see what content works (and doesn’t) on the social web
Survey Monkey Survey Monkey is inexpensive, scalable and accurate. It’s less beautiful than other platforms, but far more flexible – http://www.surveymonkey.com
SEOmoz PRO I know I’m biased, but it’s real y useful for tracking and improving SEO stuff http://pro.seomoz.org
MailChimp http://www.mailchimp.com is perfect for most smal -medium businesses, but once you get over 100K susbcribers, it doesn’t work quite as wel . Great analytics, deliverability + reporting, though!
Trunk.ly http://trunk.ly keeps track of al the links I share on Facebook/Twitter/my Blog/etc. without any effort on my part. It then builds a searchable index so I never forget/lose a link.
Facebook Comments Comm m e m n e t n s l t e s l ft e h ft e h r e e r a e p a pe p a e r r on F on a F ceb ce ook b + ook re r p e l p ies e to t th t o h se se are r e post os e t d e h d e h r e e r ! e You can find developer info for how to add FB comments here: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/comments/
Disqus Comments Whoa! Cool.
Wistia Video Analytics Problem w/ video is it’s hard to measure engagement w/ traditional analytics that show only pageviews. http://www.wistia.com fixes that in an elegant way.
Bit.ly PRO for Short URL Tracking If you use shortened URLs on Facebook + Twitter, http://bit.ly can help track and segment out the portion of the traffic that’s direct vs. referral (but hidden due to desktop/mobile apps)
FollowerWonk Th T e h s e e e fo f lks k ha h v a e v to t ns of n fol f low o e w r e s; r w s; e w sh e o sh ul u d d co c nn n e n ct e ct with t h the h m e ! m A terrific tool to research high-value targets on Twitter: http://fol owerwonk.com/
Summify http://www.summify.com sends me a daily digest of the most tweeted/shared things from the people I fol ow. Oftentimes, it’s real y useful stuff that I’m glad not to miss.
MozBar for Firefox Firefox 4 compatible, the Mozbar - http://www.seomoz.org/seo-toolbar - combines nearly every feature I’ve ever wanted in a toolbar into one (and it has a pretty aesthetic, which I appreciate)
Wistia http://www.wistia.com not only has great analytics on videos, but also automatical y creates video XML sitemaps so Google can show our rich snippets for video directly in the SERPs.
KnowEm http://knowem.com checks the availability of a username across dozens of social sites automatical y and provides direct links to register them.
Unbounce’s Landing Page Platform Using http://unbounce.com/ al ows us to create hosted versions of landing pages to test without needing to bug our dev/engineering team.
The Inbound Marketing Process
Step #1: Discover Find inbound marketing paths that look promising and make a list. Step #2:Test Invest a few days/hours building authentic value in that niche/sector. Step #3: Measure Use your web analytics to track primary + second-order impact Step #4: Repeat Throw out low ROI projects; repeat high ROI ones.