For most people its enough to say that inbound marketing without SEO equals McDonalds without burgers. Explanation shouldn’t be necessary.
For all of us conscious about the importance of Google’s top rankings being on top of the SERP, and the outcome of it, equals increased sales, bigger demand for your services, more money in your pocket. Of course SEO, and accurate SEO tracking is not the only needed component for successful inbound marketing: you must have a successful conversion and even more so, be successful with the conversion of relevant visitors (the ones looking for what you’re offering them), and those are easiest to reach through strong SEO. Why…? Because they’re looking for something, and hopefully finding you.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is by some people described as “a new kind of marketing”. Why? Instead of businesses running after their potential clients trying to push them to purchase an item or a service from them, inbound marketing is all about making customers come to you. For those of us who have seen the positive side of SEO, this is far from “breaking news”, this opportunity has been available since the first search engine came. What is breaking news, is that we are seeing daily new companies advertising themselves as being inbound marketing experts, more or less without mentioning SEO as one of their marketing tools. Is that even possible?
Fair enough, somewhere among all other services and tactics they are mentioning in order to rank higher, they are mentioning SEO, but nothing is being mentioned about organic search and its importance, possibly the most important component to drive traffic, and helping customers come to your site.
The question I’m asking myself is why, why aren’t they talking more about SEO and the importance of search engine optimization? I’d like to be honest and say: I don’t think they know enough about SEO. And that’s the reason for not mentioning it. They are creating a face, promoting themselves as experts – while their own visibility, and possibly their customers visibility as well are very low or nonexistent on Google and other search engines. Invisible in those places where people are searching for what they are offering, Google, Yahoo, Bing and 400+ other search engines – but they aren’t there, they are invisible. Of course, inbound marketing is more than just search engine optimization and the ability to rank high, but once again back to where I started, the comparison with McDonald’s. You can anywhere in the world walk into a McDonald’s restaurant, from Sweden in the north til New Zealand in the south and order yourself a salad, muffin or a McFlurry, but still, whatever some people might say… the burgers are the foundation to McDonald’s success, and why people keep on going there.
How do you know if an inbound marketing agency is good at what they’re doing?
Go to Google, Yahoo or any of the other common search engines and type in the “expert’s” business name, or one of their client’s names, and see if they show up #1 for their own brand name, that’s step number one.
Afterwards, once again, go to Google and type in keywords related to their business, for example, “inbound marketing company Colorado”, and see what happens regarding how high they’re ranking. Try many different keywords and keyphrases, to make sure your “survey” is accurate. If the results are comforting, the company you’re looking for is showing up for related keywords, they might be good at what they’re doing, so even SEO. If the outcome is the opposite, that they don’t show up, they might not be as good as they are claiming to be, and you should possibly not consider themselves being experts. But that’s not such breaking news, right?
If you’d like to read the original blog post written by me, Håkan, in Swedish, you’re very welcome to visit my site.