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Inbound Industry Report: April 2, 2012

Top marketing news, articles and tips from the last week of March 2012.

SEO Best Practices

Links to your website are one of the most influential factors of SEO, and help to increase online visibility. While backlinks are critical, they can also be difficult to obtain. Chris Sheehy (@ChrisSheehy) points out the four major reasons that businesses don’t get backlinks, and what you can do to improve:

  1. Be vigilant—Links can’t be automated; the amount of time you put into promoting content will ultimately reflect the amount of links you receive.
  2. Create a strategy—Dedicate a certain amount of time per day, and stay consistent. As Sheehy says, “an hour a day keeps the competitors away.”
  3. Don’t get scammed—Be weary of promises like immediate results, top-spot guarantees and overnight listings. True specialists look at the big picture, and advise for sustainable results over time.
  4. Avoid loopholes—Follow best practices (AKA “white hat SEO”) instead of implementing aggressive tactics or tricks.

As mobile access, and thus website traffic, continues to rise (check out our "Bookmark of the Week" below), it’s equally important to create and optimize mobile sites. Check out Chris Liversidge’s (@liversidge) Tips for Multinational Mobile Site Optimisation for more information, and begin with the following techniques to enhance SEO and user experience:

  • Register mobile-only pages with mobile search engines so customers view the right page, no matter what device they’re using.
  • Assign different media values for different browser widths using CSS3 coding. As a broad example, tablets need different values than mobile phones)

Content Strategy

According to Copyblogger’s Danny Iny (@DannyIny) the secret to easily creating compelling content is found in structure, planning and research. Seems simple, right? Here’s how Iny suggests getting started:

  • Learn specifics about your audience (what they like, popular posts, patterns, etc.).
  • Create winning headlines that answer questions. Once you find a formula that works, use it as a template for future content.
  • Use a hook that details the reader’s problem, and offers a solution to fix it.
  • Outline the content, and be sure to identify the problem, cause and solution.

Ardath Albee (@ardath421) reiterates this notion of creating a structured process for content success—and the importance of understanding your audience—in Content Marketing: Theory vs. Practice. Albee also notes that content marketing should never be a standalone effort; keeping this in mind can both improve content’s effectiveness and make its development more efficient.

Success of Visual Content

As a marketer, chances are you’ve used an image-based platform like Pinterest or SlideShare, or encountered visual content (i.e. infographics, presentations) without an afterthought. Even Facebook is cashing in on visual irresistibility with the story-telling format of Timeline.

Magdalena Georgieva (@mgieva) shares her thoughts on how to incorporate visual online tactics in your marketing efforts to capitalize on the ever-growing popularity:

  • Get involved now, and share your already-existing content (like uploading presentations to SlideShare, for example). Make sure to optimize and link back to your website, too.
  • Add calls-to-action in natural places within the content to generate and qualify leads.
  • Set up a strategy to measure impact and gain insight, which will help you tie results to actions.

In the News

Bookmark of the Week

Henry Blodget (@hblodget), Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry (@pegobry) and Alex Cocotas (@acocotas) put together a slide deck on The Future of Mobile. The presentation looks closely at the growth of smartphones and tablets, platform wars and how consumers are actually using their devices, and includes some intriguing stats and graphs.

What articles made your top list last week? We’d like to hear your opinions.

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