Follow up email from social business meeting … that keyword string entered into Google by a person shows the power of search engine optimization, or SEO, and inbound marketing in general. It also demonstrates how quickly a well-optimized blog post can bring results to your company.
Just yesterday at my Hand to Mouse Networking site, I published a blog post called Following Up … For Success. It’s the start of a three-part series on how to follow up on social-business networking. The first part was really an intro to the series, and Parts II and III will deal with two systems on following up with both offline and online contacts.
Without going into the gory details, I used content-marketing techniques and some specialized tools to really SEO the heck out of that blog post … as we’d do for current and future clients here at CruxBridge Media, of course. (We “talk the talk” as well as “walk the walk” here at CBM.)
Overnight, someone entered the above search string into Google. What they (likely) saw in the resulting search engine results page (SERP) was a pleasant surprise: Our post landed on the very first page at listing number four. That’s fantastic news, not only for that great result, but for the fact that the specific post was up for less than 24 hours. Go search engine optimization!
I also found the search string business social networking follow up actually lands that post in the #1 spot on page 1. (I’m feeling like Casey Kasem* at this point …) My initial reaction? Yes! On the other hand, that latter string might be a bit too generic (I’ll keep track of it). Considering the site has been “live” for just 5 days, though, I’ll definitely take it.
Long tail versus Generic
By comparison, entering into Google the very generic string of “business networking” doesn’t put any page or post from the HTM Networking site in the first 5 SERPs on Google (I gave up after that). I really don’t care about that one, though.
Why do I want long tail, instead of generic keyword strings? As someone who is “selling” something relating to business networking (online or offline)—even though it’s just a blog right now—I want people who are searching for the specific items I am offering, because they’re much more likely to be in the mindset of buying what I offer.
You’ve got ‘em … now what?
Your content, via search engine optimization, has now attracted a potential buyer, member, fellow believer in your cause, etc. They’re qualified, too, since they actively sought you out. It’s now time to bring them into your sales funnel. Even if you don’t directly sell anything, think of this process like a funnel.
Ideally, this is when your inbound marketing campaign would kick in. You’d have special offers or other pieces of quality content, like case studies, white papers, eBooks and so on, ready to offer to your qualified lead. If the HTM Networking site were fully up and running (instead of its current beta status), here’s the inbound marketing campaign they would have seen at that blog post:
- The post itself (of course), with the information she or he required to satisfy their needs
- Sign-up boxes in the right-hand column for blog-post email alerts and the HTM Newsletter (the former is up; the latter will be there by the end of next week)
- A “special offer” box in the right-hand column for a downloadable related content piece; visitors would click through to a landing page where they’d only need to provide their name and email address to receive it
- A second special offer box at the bottom of the post (just before the Comments section), offering a second downloadable content piece, using the same landing page/form format as the point above
- After the download and/or email newsletter sign-up, the visitor would also be placed into a lead-nurturing campaign of eight emails, with each email focusing on a different topic area within Hand to Mouse Networking.
With all of that in the page, I’d consider that post to be fully inbound-marketing optimized and ready to further interested people into my sales process.
As the HTM Networking site is not even a week old, most of this is not up yet … but it will be. My vision for the site is to not only have it as its own brand, with its own information products and potentially even a membership area, but to showcase what a great inbound-marketing campaign can do for a client. In this case, the “client” is Hand to Mouse Networking.
Blog posts > “Regular” Website pages
This experience also proves that blog posts are much more influential than regular Web pages for a Website. As of now, none of the HTM Networking site’s pages are showing up in Google with those long-tail keywords. I’m not concerned, as they’ll definitely be there in the next few months. But Google really likes blog posts and other pieces of quality content, and this experience proves it. That’s why blogging is a crucial part of your Website strategy … even if you’re not fully implementing inbound marketing.
Getting found when a potential clients needs your service is what inbound marketing is all about. It’s been a total of five days since a very simple Website launched, and one day since its first “true” blog post was published … and it was already found in Google with a desirable long-tail keyword string. I know that inbound marketing works; that’s why I’m doing it. For me, though, it’s always exciting when I see it working … and I’m pretty darn excited right now.
* If you ever see me out and about, ask me to do my Casey Kasem impersonation. It’s not bad.