intro-to-inbound-marketing-video

As marketers, we spend endless hours evaluating and reacting to tons of metrics…facebook likes, page visits, conversion percentages, you name it. We know that these indicators help to guide our inbound marketing success.

The problem is that high level managers don’t care about this stuff. 

These “soft” indicators of success don’t always translate to the bottom line. You need to show real marketing ROI to your boss that can shape the way they view marketing programs…and more importantly, the money and resources they’ll allocate to marketing.

Here’s what we’re gonna go over:

  • 6 Marketing metrics that prove the value of your work
  • Outline the formulas so you calculate these metrics yourself
  • Explanations of why certain metrics are important and how to interpret them
calculating marketing metrics to show roi to your boss

Let’s dive right in…

1. Customer Acquisition Cost

This metric shows how much your company spends to pick up each customer. Of course, the lower this number, the better. It’s easy to calculate and if you can show that your work is helping to reduce this number, you’re improving marketing efficiency…and you’re going to be the hero at the next staff meeting.

2. Marketing % of Customer Acquisition Cost

This metric separates marketing costs from sales costs as a ratio of customer acquisition cost. This paints a more accurate picture of the actual load that sales and marketing teams are carrying in terms of bringing in new business.

If this figure is rising, they the marketing department may be underperforming, spending too much or has too much overhead, or perhaps you’re in an “investment phase” with new marketing initiatives that haven’t yet gained traction.

3. Customer Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost

This figure is a great justification for marketing investment. It’s a measure of how much value your company can expect to recieve from each new customer, as a function of the outlay required to capture that new customer.

This can be a meausure of marketing efficiency, attracting the “right” highest value customers, and perhaps upselling those customers based on marketing data and insights.

You want this figure to be high, but not too high. You company always needs to be reinvesting in reaching new customers…good leverage at the next budget meeting.

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4. Time to Payback Customer Acquisition Cost

How long does it take to recoup your investment in each new customer? This number is usually measured in months, but not always. In industries where customers pay a monthly fee, it’s typical to expect this number to be less than 12 months.

Obviously, the sooner you can pay back your customer acquisition cost, the sooner you can start making money off your new customers.

5. Marketing Originated Customer %

This is a big one for marketing teams looking to legitimize their efforts. It’s simple…you’re showing what percentage of all customers started with marketing. When it comes to delivering new business, this is one of the best measures possible.

Ideal ratios vary depending on business model. Companies with a focus on outside sales or with a sales force in the field may be looking at 20 – 40%, whereas companies with inside sales and more of an inbound lead focus might be more like 40 – 80%.

6. Marketing Influenced Customer %

This is a similar measure in a way to Marketing Originated Customer %, but looks at the ratio of new customers that “touched” marketing programs at some point in the buying process. It’s easy to argue that marketing influenced the sale if someone downloaded materials from the website, or marketing data passed on to sales was used in the final pitch.

This measure is a great indication of how integrated marketing and sales efforts are, how effective marketing is at generating quality new leads, and nurturing existing leads. A sale is usually a team effort.

Some final thoughts…

I encourage you to download our little cheat sheet 6 Marketing Metrics Your Boss Actually Cares About (or click image below) to help you calculate these marketing performance metrics. Maybe you’re already reporting on similar stuff, but might add another 2-3 new measures of your success to please the boss.

Good luck!

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inbound-marketing

In the old days (meaning just a couple years ago ;), marketers have been competing for space: billboards, magazine space, television commercial blocks, storefront signage and the like. While these marketing strategies still play a vital rolef or many, here in Phoenix, online marketing is dominating.

Beyond just building a pretty website, online marketing accounts for the entire buying process:

1. Attract stranger to your website

2. Convert visitors into qualified leads

3. Nurture interested prospects, turning them into customers

4. Continually provide value so your customers are promoting your brand. 

The snowball takes some effort to get rolling, but here’s how it works…

Online Marketing Presence Listed by Many as Key to Success

According to Hubspot’s annual inbound marketing survey, these are the industies benefitting most from online marketing today.

Certainly marketing agencies, IT firms, software companies, and media organizations have the ability to transition to online marketing more quickly and seamlessly. Most of these kinds of companies already have solid websites, and likely have been investing in online marketing methods for some time now.

As more and more business goes online through e-commerce, and more customers research alternatives through the internet, companies of all shapes are sizes are looking to be part of the conversation.

phoenix online marketing

Here’s quick video about the basics of online marketing, or what is also known as inbound marketing. Then we’ll outline what a solid online marketing plan looks like.

Step 1: Attract New Visitors to your Website

Whether it’s through search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, social media, or integrations with your sales force in the field, you need new prospects. This doesn’t mean bragging about how great your company is.

It’s more about figuring out what your prospects are interested in learning about. What are their pains? Where are they looking for information?

Step 2: Converting Visitors into Leads

This is the part where it gets interesting. Rather than coming to your website and leaving without a trace, let’s try to figure out who these visitors are.

This can be done by delivering something of real value…maybe an informative Ebook or instructional video. It needs to be helpful, sans sales pitch.

Initially, in the awareness phase of the buying process, they may not even know that they have a problem, or that there could be a better way.

It’s about educating your prospects in return for their contact information. This is a fair trade so long as you (the seller) continue to play fair and provide something of value from time to time. Spam sucks…don’t do it.

inbound marketing in Phoenix - prospecting

Step 3: Turning Leads into Customers

Not everyone (in fact most people) aren’t ready to pull the trigger immediately. If what you’re selling is at all any kind of “considered decision”, it might take a little time.

It used to be that salespeople held all the cards, but now buyers can hunt down information anywhere. They have all the power.

This means you have to nurture your prospects over time, until they are ready to move forward. You probably need a quality CRM system for tracking interactions, automating informative and personalized email responses, and perhaps an occasional timely phone call.

Timeliness is important…you’ll never know when you prospect is revisiting that month-old email, or checking out that report you sent…if you’re not tracking this stuff.

A good online marketing system allows you to make that phone call, pitching the perfect offer and the perfect time.

phoenix online marketing crm challenges

Step 4: Take Care of your Customers

The nurturing and educating process doesn’t end when prospects finally become customers. In fact, 48% of all companies surveyed listed “Increasing Revenue Derived from Existing Customers” as a top marketing priority in the coming 12 months.

Continue to provide valuable content, guidance and personalized information to your clients (as you would prospects). Everyone knows that happy customers make the best promoters of your brand.

Step 5: Analyze and Repeat

Every step of the process…from attracting new visitors, to converting those visitors into leads, and selling to those leads needs to be analyzed.

Maybe you need to focus on the top of the funnel with more blog posts or a Pay Per Click campaign. Perhaps you’ll be better served redesigning your calls to action or landing pages. You’ll never know unless you track the data and refine your processes.

Final Thoughts…

Online marketing isn’t going away. On the contrary, most companies are planning to ramp up their online efforts with more integration, more data mining, social media marketing, and exploring new distribution channels. Here’s a chart outlining Hubspot survey data:

online marketing phoenix distribution channels

Additional resources…

how-to-seo
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got heading tags

Page headings, by definition, are designed to empasize certain things. As a rule of thumb, what’s good for the user is also going to be good for search engines.

If users are paying more attention to headers than the rest of your text, then search engines are going to do the same.

Here are the 3 easiest SEO tips in the world when it comes to handling headings on your website. They should bring some quick results…

Here are some quick tips on using your heading correctly:

1. Learn to manage the headings on your website

Let’s start with how you identify and assign your page headings. They’re identified with tags h1, h2, h3, etc. in decreasing order of importance. H1> is considered the most important…h6 the least.

• Most content management systems allow you to define, format and assign your headers. For example, in WordPress you can simply highlight the text and click the format you want. Super easy.

• You can also dig into the HTML code. Look for the h1, h2 wrappers surrounding text on your pages. Not quite as easy ;)

Page headings help SEO

2. Include Keywords

Your h1 heading is the most prominent, most important, and thus assigned the most weight by search engines. Be sure to naturally include your chosen keywords here. For example, the chosen keywords for this post are “Page Headings Help SEO”. Notice we’ve included them in the title above ;)

3. Use H1 only once

Overuse will dilute the importance of each heading. If you give everything an h1 tag, then by definition each are not as important…as will each instance of your keywords in those headings . Only use h1 one time, with subheadings taking on h2, h3, etc.

Simple stuff…but a consistent heading game plan will improve your on-page SEO beautifully over time.

There’s lots more to learn about Search Engine Optimization. Whether you’re handling things in-house or hiring out the work, it pays to know the basics.

Download our SEO guide for free.

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find-and-optimize-for-long-tail-keywords

What are long-tail keywords?

They’re especially long and more precise search terms that people use in search engines. Long-tail keywords are usually at least 3-4+ words. They aren’t searched very often, but they more clearly indicate the researchers intent.

“Auto Insurance” is short-tail. It’s really broad…are they looking for rates, companies, coverages, who knows.

Conversely…

“How can I find cheaper car insurance in Florida for my reckless red headed teenager who’s always crashing into fire hydrants” is long-tail. Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but you get the idea.

Long-tail keywords present low-competition opportunity for search results, although they also present really low search volume. Are they worth it if hardly anyone searches for them? How do you find the best ones to shoot for? In the age of semantic search, does any of this matter?

In this post, we’re going to walk through some strategies to get your pages ranked:

• Why long-tail keywords are incredible sources of targeted traffic

• How to research long-tail keywords

• How to optimize your pages for long-tail and grow your rankings

Before we get cracking, let’s address the question: Is any of this worthwhile?

3 Huge Reasons why long-tail keywords are an opportunity

1. Around 70% of searches use long-tail keywords.

If you look at the keywords your websites is ranking for, you’ll see that most are long-tail…and you probably haven’t been optimizing for them either. Add it all up and you’ll notice that a lot more of your total visits come from long-tail than short-tail searches.

2. They’re easy winners.

They’re low demand, low-competition…nobody else is targeting them either. It’s super easy to step in and dominate.

3. Conversion rates can be much higher.

Because they’re so specific, you’re not going to get a bunch of people looking for other stuff. The ones that find you are much more likely to pull the trigger. It’ll also be easy to figure out which of long-tail searches fit into your conversion strategy.


Convinced? Okay, here’s our game plan:

1. Start with the long-tails you already rank for.

Go to your Google Search Console or Hubspot Keyword Tool and scope out the long-tails that are already doing well on your website.

You should be able to download the entire list…do it.

Open the list in a spreadsheet and look things over. Leave only our long-tailed friends, but eliminate the long-tails that you already rank #1 for.This leaves you with a great list of terms with opportunity to improve ranking.

long-tail keyword research tool

2. Find some new long-tail keywords

More than likely, you’ve already got a long list of keywords for your site – probably more generic terms you’re optimizing for. For this exercise, let’s not use Google Adwords because it tends to show more commercial results.

Instead, let’s use your search engines’ “related searches” and “autocomplete” functions. These are remarkable sources of long-tail treasures.

Find related long-tail keywords

rank tracker iconThe best tool to use is Rank TrackerSet up a new project for your website, and go to the Keyword Research Module. Under Suggest Keywords, paste your list of keywords into the tool and let it do it’s thing. You’ll have a bunch of new terms to target in a few minutes.

Look through the results and pluck the long-tails that are best fit. Voilà.

3. Think of the pages you have and new pages you could create

Some of your newfound keywords might fold nicely into some of your existing web pages. You might be able to assign long-tail keywords to articles and posts you’ve already written with little or no effort. 

Here’s what you need to do to optimize each page for these newly selected keywords:

• Add into headings, bullet points, and even page title if it makes sense

• Add some instances into the body of content. Include synonyms.

• Add keywords to image alt text

• Revise meta description if needed

• Throw in some internal links with keyword rich anchor text.

• If it makes sense, you may be able to adjust URL…if you’re not sure, then forget it.

Here’s a good article if you need some on-page SEO help

Last thoughts…

These are some pretty simple steps you can use to optimize for long-tail keywords. I hope they’ll help you dominate those “dog bite insurance scottsdale” searches :)

Remember to check your rankings occasionally to figure out what’s working and what hasn’t been working. This can really help you refine your efforts down the line.

If you’re a relative beginner in SEO, check out our cool little ebook to help you get going. Good luck!

how-to-seo
Inbound marketing

Inbound Marketing is a process that seeks to address the changing “balance of power” between buyers and sellers nowadays.

It used to be that sellers controlled all the information, and therefore had all the leverage in sales transactions. Today, if you consider recent purchases that you’ve made, chances are that you looked around online to research options before making your decision.

Inbound marketing is a strategy that puts your company in the places where your prospects are looking for information. Over time, strangers convert into leads and then become customers. Inbound is like a trail of helpful breadcrumbs leading the way toward your goods or services. All performance metrics are tracked along the way to both demonstrate returns on investment, and to provide a basis for continual improvement.

Beyond simple search engine optimization or pay per click advertising driving traffic to your website through search engine optimization or pay per click advertising, inbound marketing is a complete marketing strategy for all phases of your sales funnel:

Phases of your sales funnel:

  1. Attract new visitors to your website and online presence
  2. Qualify your audience through persona development and personalization
  3. Convert visitors into leads…it doesn’t do any good for them to come and go without a trace!
  4. Turn your best leads into your best customers
  5. Continually please those customers so that they’ll promote your company to their circles of influence

Learn more

Free Inbound marketing book – written by Web Design Phoenix

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online-marketing-for-law-firms

Most law firms have invested significantly in web design, and many administer those sites for search engine rankings. Very few take it beyond this point, foregoing opportunities in lead generation, nurturing workflows, social media, content offer creation, and other strategies that leverage existing relationships and scale client acquisition.

With an ever growing list of marketing options, many law firms fail to consider the full power of a well orchestrated online marketing strategy.

Selecting a law firm is typically a considered process over the course of weeks or months. This falls right in the sweet spot for inbound marketing campaigns focused on lead conversion, segmentation, and highly personalized and timely nurturing campaigns. Because not every prospect is ready to hire you now, an ongoing approach that builds trust is a proven winner.

Online marketing is basically the concept of attracting, converting and eventually closing new business through online avenues…sounds really cool, and super easy doesn’t it? Maybe.

Pros: Online marketing addresses the most coveted sales metrics – converting more leads/customers, growing website traffic, increasing revenue from existing customers, demonstrating marketing ROI, etc. It can be a no-brainer for many firms…but not everyone.

Cons: It requires quite a bit of time, some budget, strong planning and the right answers to some important questions before it starts to make some sense.

Here are are few key questions for law firms considering an online marketing approach:

• Is there a concept of a conversion?

• Is there a considered buying process?

• What is your firm size, time horizon and marketing budget?

online marketing for law firms survey

1. Is there a concept of a conversion?

This will depend greatly on your area of practice. What we’re considering here is whether or not online visitors can take steps online toward hiring your firm. This might mean downloading an ebook outlining recent successful outcomes, watching an educational video, or setting up an appointment.

The point of online marketing is not to hard sell your expertise and your services, but first to help your target audience with things they care about. Law firms might publish helpful articles in their practice area for example. This is free information, capturing the interest of strangers. Prospects find you based on quality content that you’re strategically putting out there.

Law firms tend to have an abundance of interesting and helpful reference materials.

After intial contact, it’s important to get them to take a step of some sort. Typically, this involves getting an offer for something of value (ebook, video, consultation, etc.) in exchange for a little contact information.

If your brand of law is so specialized that nobody is looking around online for information, then online marketing is probably not the way to go. A little keyword research will help to dertermine what people are looking for, how many searches are made, and which areas present opportunty to rank high in search results.

2. Is there a considered buying process?

How long is the typical sales cycle? In personal injury, it might be a matter of minutes or hours. In corporate law, you might need months or years to get your chance in the room and look to get hired.

Online marketing doesn’t work well for really short sales cycles (several days or less), nor really long processes taking multiple years. Of course, for longer cycles might be warranted if contracts are large enough.

Online marketing works best when prospects are making a relativley complex decision, and they must weigh a number of considerations. This provides enough time for an inbound approach to reach out multiple times with helpful content, leading prospects down a path, on their own time.

Impulse purchases or small purchases are not great fits for true inbound marketing programs. Simple search engine optimization with a call to action will work best.

Firms with long sales cycles will need to set intermediate target metrics like traffic counts or leads generated to show effects of marketing activity within a reasonable period. Commercial real estate companies are notoriously challenged with tracking performance metrics because of huge time lags between acquiring new customers and getting paid on transactions.

3. What is your firm size and marketing budget?

A rule of thumb here is that your firm should be doing at least $1M in annual revenue to consider any sort of true online marketing campaign. True onlne marketing (anything much beyond some basic SEO or PPC campaigns) is an ongoing process. It’ll take some time and some budget spend to get the ball rolling…returns can be outstanding, but you might expect retainer rates from $4k/month and up. For small firms, this is just too big of a spend.

The sweet spot is a growing firm in the $10 – $50M range with some sort of current marketing investment in online lead generation and online presence: good website, search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, tradeshows, industry advertising, promoted social media posts, etc.

These law firms are often facing one or more of the following concerns:

• Dissatisfaction with existing marketing returns

• Difficulty tracking and/or proving ROI

• Limited or nonexistent “marketing department” or expertise

• Diminishing effectiveness of existing offline marketing methods

Those already investing somewhat in web-based marketing programs will make an easier transition to inbound marketing. There may already be a good website in place, and it’s just a matter of integrating new inbound processes to attract visitors, convert them into leads, and get hired.

Final thoughts about online marketing for law firms…

Law firms are typically good candidates for more comprehensive online marketing processes because of these three core criteria:

1. There is usually good opportunity for conversion…getting hired. Intermediate conversions might include ebook or whitepaper downloads, video views, appointments, etc.

2. Most law firms are doing enough business to justify a more robust marketing spend, espicially in a more competitive landscape where prospects are performing most of their research online. Many already have a strong online presence.

3. Decisions are usually highly considered…especially in a B2B environment. Good quality, personalized content can attract many visitors at the top end of the sales funnel, qualify leads, and track key metrics at every stage.

Grab our free book A Step-by-Step Guide to Inbound Marketing to learn more.

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