10 Key Strategies To Make Your Website an Inbound Online Marketing Machine

In over 20 years in sales and marketing I have made many cold calls. Over the last 12 months I have not made one cold phone call or bought any expensive mass media marketing,  yet sales have increased and business is much more fun. Isn’t there a better use of your time and money?  Think of how your life might change if you were calling only on prospects who actually want to buy from you. A lot of  companies still have not realized it’s a digital world and the marketing rules are changing.

So how would you optimise your company’s digital presence to ”get found online” and drive inbound enquiry for new customers and not have to cold call again or buy expensive mass media. Here are 10 key strategies to drive traffic to your ecommerce  website, enquiries to your email inbox and make your phone start ringing.

1. Be Yourself (Authentic)

We are all unique and different and your company needs to display that. Gary Vaynerchuck, 33, is proof that passion and hustle can breed success. He turned his family’s small New Jersey liquor store into a wine empire that grosses over $60 million a year; more than 100,000 viewers watch his daily video blog; he’s a sought-after speaker; and he’s signed on to write nine more business books for HarperCollins (NWS).

2. Be The Thought Leader and Teacher

  • Do not sell, but engage (trying to sell just turns prospective clients away)
  • Provide online tutorials and how to’s.
  • Stop the corporate speak and gobbledygook and provide content in a variety of ways becuase everyone learns in different ways. Educational theory shows that some people are visual, others are verbal and others are kinesthetic and a mutiple variety of stimulus reinforces learning and recall, so provide the same content in a variety of ways such as
    • Text
    • Video
    • Presentations
    • Podcasts
    • Webinars
    • Slideshows

3. Plan and Write Content for the Markets You Are Targetting

Every business has different market segments within their client base and they all have their own issues and problems and pain points that you need to provide answers to. So when you are developing content for your website or blog you need to consider writing content that adresses each customer persona. I covered this in a recent article “Social Media: 9 Questions To Ask Your Customers When Creating Content ”  and it includes asking them questions such as

  1. Who are you selling to?
  2. What are their goals and aspirations?
  3. What are their problems?

Some companies even develop and maintain multiple blogs a good example of this is a online retailer who currently has 13 blogs online (see the article “Why Would Your Company Need 13 Blogs?“)  that provides content for thirteen different segments or styles.

4. Have a Great Headline For Your Content

Did you know that on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of the headline, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece. Here are some headline types and examples

  • Get What You Want (In Health, Wealth, Relationships, Time and Lifestyle) eg.. The Secret To Getting More Money For Your Property !
  • Crystal Ball and History eg.. 10 Predictions on the Future of Social Media
  • Problems and Fears eg … Get Rid of Your Debt Once and For All
  • Fact, Fiction, Truth and Lies example.. Little Known Ways To Make Money On The Stock Exchange
  • How To, Tricks Of The Trade. such as..  How To Plan The Ultimate Holiday
  • Best and Worst  eg The 10 Worst Mistakes Made by Bloggers

Some more resources:

Writing Headlines That Get Results from Copyblogger

102 Proven Headline Formulas from Authority Blogger

5. Amplify Your Message through Social Media

The Top 5 Social Media channels to consider using depending on your target markets are

  1. Facebook (80%),
  2. Twitter (66%),
  3. YouTube (55%),
  4. LinkedIn (49%) and
  5. Blogs (43%).

Also consider using multiple social media channels as it amplifies your  message and gives it the best chance to go viral. I covered this recently in a blog post “How Many Social Media Channels Should Your Brand Be Using?” which shows how social media can leverage your message.

6. Build Your Subscriber List RSS for Your Blog, Email and for your e-Newsletter

Offer a variety of ways for people to subscribe at different locations on your website and blog such as at the top, the bottom and on the side panel (make it as easy as possible)

  • Subscribe via RSS
  • Subscribe via email

7. Search Engine Optimization

It boils down to this: If people think you’re important, so will Google. This perplexes many webmasters and online marketers, since they wonder how people will consider them important when people use search engines to find things online in the first place. How are you important if you’re invisible in the search engines to start with?

And how does Google know people think you’re important any­way? For one, they know because people link to you, and Google fol­lows those links to index and rank web pages. And thanks to services such as

  • Google Toolbar
  • Google Analytics
  • Feedburner
  • Google Reader
  • Gmail and other applications that keep you logged-in to your Google account

Google has an enormous amount of usage data that shows what people actually spend time doing online. So, there’s that. But how do you kick it off?

To get people to link to you and generally pay attention in the first place, you have to start thinking about authority in a different sense.

8: Have The Website and Blog developed with well written code

Use a developer that does the basics well for your Website and blog


Two aspects to consider On-site and Off-site Optimization

On-Site Optimisation.

This where they research and investigate your existing website design, build and content and recommend changes to elements such as

  • Keywords and Phrases
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Keywords added as Metadata,
  • Search Engine friendly URL’s
  • Title to contain keywords
  • Restructuring website content
  • Make text more readable and user friendly on website
  • Offer different media formats
  • Clean coding structure optimised for search engine crawlers

Off-Site Optimisation

This is where we research and recommend activities to improve Google search that are not dependent on your existing website but strategies that can be undertaken to improve search engines ranking of the company’s website.

This can be achieved through

  • Link Building
  • Blog commenting
  • Press Releases
  • Forums
  • Directory Submissions
  • Article submissions
  • Interacting with Social Media Channels such as
    • YouTube
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • Twitter
    • Blog
  • Engaging Bloggers
  • Developing content for your various target market “personas” such as for example for a non profit site
    • Students and Researchers at Universities
    • NGO’s (such as World Bank and United Nations)
    • Business and Business Leaders
    • Foundations


You’ll hear time and again that WordPress is the best way to build a site  and that it’s extremely SEO friendly. The Thesis framework for Word­Press is worth considering, even Google’s own Matt Cutts, search legend Danny Sullivan, and some of the top SEOs and profession­al bloggers around use Thesis for their own sites.

9. Design Your Website To Enhance Your Brand and Authority

If you want to look professional then the website has to give your brand an image that can in a lot of cases make you look bigger than your competitors because they are sloppy with their website design. Do not overlook this.

10. Nourish Your Tribe

Once you have started providing information that solves your customers and subscribers needs, continue to develop and your grow your content so that they want to keep coming back again and again.

So could your business do with a bit of digital optimizing of your inbound marketing so you don’t have to cold call again?  Looking forward to hearing your story.


  • http://www.currin.co.za Brian Currin

    Thank you, Jeff, for these wonderful insights … such useful information here, as always …

    from sunny Cape Town

  • http://rogerewingblog.com Roger Ewing

    Really well written piece. Spot on observations. I have a company with 30 blog sites. Why? Because I speak to at least 30 different communities. It is a real task posting new content each week on all these sites. But, the response and the sense of community participation is huge.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.online-strategist.net Oscar Del Santo

    Great insights indeed! Let’s stop cold calling together!!!

  • Julie

    You have one of the best blogs out there Jeff. Thanks for all the great information. I always look forward to your posts.

  • http://thenewgoldenrules.wordpress.com/ Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp

    Excellent post -will be tweeting this blog regularly as your message is almost identical to mine :-)

    Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp
    Intelligise – Be Brilliant

  • http://www.social2b.com Alex Romanovich

    Great post Jeff. can relate to a lot of information here. Happy New Year!

  • http://www.greenvilleinn.com Greenville Inn

    Being “boomers”, we are very appreciative of any articles such as yours which guide us in the right direction. Thank you!

  • http://www.cirkleblog.com Paul

    Superb post, Jeff. Trying to communicate all this to clients is challenging, so have it all listed out is fantastic. Every single one of our clients needs to read this post…today!

  • http://www.makeyourownwebsitesfree.com/ Danby

    Most of the comments and inputs are smart on the topic however i do have some problems with the unhealthy questions. i understand there’s dumb query only dumb answers but i would like to work out additional informed input. i will bookmark this web site merely because i’m a lover of this subject material and can tell you people are simply as ardent as i am. thanks.

  • http://www.makeyourownwebsitesfree.com/ Sparke

    On the whole I will not post on sites, but I would love to say that this post really forced me to try to to so! really nice post, you ought to produce a manuscript on the topic.

  • http://www.inbound-marketing-automation.ca Eric Goldman

    A great post with some good insights – Thanks Jeff. Your post is comprehensive about what to do, but imho it’s a little light on the subject of metrics and measurement. Understandably, as this is an area which traditionally doesn’t get much coverage. I think the reason for this is people believe it’s either impossible to calculate Return on Marketing Investment, or ROMI, for campaigns. Certainly this is what our clients told us in large numbers. We decided to answer the critics by writing three posts on the subject which all deal with how to calculate ROMI:
    1) How to calculate the ROMI of your website as a whole: http://bit.ly/6bFSvs
    2) A list of the 10 best free ROI calculators on the web: http://bit.ly/7fwBkF
    3) How to build your own ROI calculator (perhaps for your social media campaign): http://bit.ly/6IGZQh

  • http://www.childfriendly.com.au Michelle Barraclough

    Thanks Jeff. To stop cold calling would be a dream come true!

    I know our retail play products help keep customers in stores longer so they are more likely to spend, I just need our retail prospects to understand that too and these are some good strategies to get them thinking the right way.

    I especially like the headline ideas!

  • http://www.getbrandwise.com Dale Berkebile

    You really put a lot of good tips in this article. We use inbound marketing and help out clients use it as well. It is just amazing at how this has changed the way to push marketing to our clients. First we want them to start on an inbound program and if they do what you say in these tips, they will start having great success and we can add direct mail or trade shows or whatever to build a really solid integrated program.

    Times are really changing though and the inbound approach really brings a lot of bang for your buck, as long as you are actively blogging and promoting things on the social media and lastly converting your visitors to leads for the sales team.

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I’ll be sure to pass them on.

  • http://www.fusionbrand.com brandconsultantasia

    Great post but I recommend firms develop extensive retention programs to ensure retention of customers and also to identify those customers that are unprofitable so that you can pass them onto the competition!

    • http://www.thegit.com.au Gordon Whitehead

      I’m with you on Inbound Marketing Jeff.

      Inbound marketing is still relatively new to Australian shores, but its starting to get noticed.

      However, many senior executives are ignorant and believing the digital world is a niche channel. What do people think?


      • http://jeffbullas.com jeffbullas

        Hi Gordon. Yes it is relatively new to Australia. I have just written an EBook on the topic which will be out this week. It is an education process but you will see a lot more happening in the next 1 -2 years. Jeff

  • Hafner Creative Communications

    Great post, Jeff. Very thorough.

  • http://inboundmarketingpr.com/ RM – InBoundMarketingPR

    Excellent article, nice way to break everything down… We definitely believe outbound is gone and down with.. Inbound is the name of the game.. This is our believe – Inbound Marketing, Public Relations and Social Media http://bit.ly/1f4zOf

    Thanks for the share!


  • http://krells-matthias.de Matthias Krells

    Schönes Blog!Vielleicht können wir ja mal was zusammen machen? vg aus Berlin Matthias

  • http://www.PamStanton.com Pam Stanton

    Wow, thanks so much for this advice. Really great stuff!

    Pam Stanton
    “The Project Whisperer”

  • Lee Roquet

    Jeff, Nice content thanks for sharing…

  • http://kbkmarketingandconsulting.com Jan Beery

    Great points! My favorite is #2. I love to teach my industry, the medical industry how to utilize marketing tools to their advantage. We are having a blast educating our clients on how, why, where and who should engage in social media.

  • http://www.myshoppinggenie.com/pstd Lisa Ann Landry

    You have the most excellent blog post.I always look forward to what you will teach me.Thanks for providing excellent relevant usable. Content.

    Lisa Ann Landry
    Vibrating positive energy..what are you vibrating

  • http://www.tonvanhouten.nl Ton van Houten

    Great list!

  • http://twitter.com/dftanaka Daniel Tanaka

    Great post Jeff, inbound marketing is picking up some steam and I definitely think it’s something every company needs to think about today.

    Thanks for sharing great content, your posts are always relevant and helpful.

    Daniel Tanaka

  • http://www.b12leads.com Duncan

    excellent post – particularly like the point “Amplify Your Message through Social Media” 

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    All businesses should be using Facebook because most of their audience is using it. It is an important engagement and distribution point in your social media marketing strategy.

  • Andrew Healey

    Excellent blog, Jeff. Great social networking sure beats cold calling and mass marketing.

  • http://www.marketingonlineteam.com/ Michele

    Great Info Jeff just wondering if the 
    On-Site Optimisation portion is still a good way to go with the google panda/penguin

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Absolutely, that hasn’t changed this!

  • Barbara

    Excellent Blog.

  • Judy Kundert

    This is so helpful. I have so much to learn and this put in a clear will laid plan.