[This article could have instead been titled: "Building a website that not only looks good, but is found by your prospects on the major search engines, results in click-throughs to your site, and ultimately ends up with the prospect contacting you for more information about your products or services" .... but I don't know; it just seemed a little bit too long].
Interruption (or “Outbound”) Marketing vs. Permission (or “Inbound”) Marketing
A shift has occurred in business marketing. Traditionally, businesses market using such outlets as tradeshows, cold-calling and print advertising. This “interruption” marketing method (also called “outbound” marketing) is designed to spread the message as far and wide as possible, with the goal of reaching a few qualified individuals.
The problem interruption marketers face is that people are now overwhelmed with such outbound messages; and are getting better at blocking these interruption marketing messages by installing spam filters, using the internet to research products and services proactively, using caller ID, and other creative methods. For example, people are becoming more inclined to search the internet for product and services information before making the effort (and paying the expense) of going to a tradeshow.
Permission-Based or “Inbound” Marketing
Today, more people are beginning their product or services earch by heading to the internet first. This proactive step by comsumers means that businesses need to be “found” by these consumers when they conduct such a search.
Outbound – Interruption – Marketing: Tradeshows, print advertising, television & radio advertising, direct mail, unsolicited (and even solicited) email blasts, and telemarketing.
Inbound – Permission – Marketing: Search-engine marketing, use of social media outlets such as LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., and Blogging.
How is the webdesign philosophy impacted by which type of marketing is emphasized?
The easiest way to differentiate is that most “outbound” marketers are more concerned with how the website looks. “Inbound” marketers are more concerned with their website being found on the internet and visitors then contacting them.
Of course, we are concerned with a good-looking website and being found. However, we sincerely believe that all things being equal, more time should be spent on making the website “findable” then worrying if a shade of blue should be a little darker.
Spend Time and Money on a Strategy that Gets Visitors and Makes Them Stay Long Enough to Contact You.
This means that most people care about what you have to say then how you look. Again, we love building really nice looking websites – and that can go a long ways towards sealing the deal ….. but what good is that if your visitor leaves abruptly because you have nothing to say. If you have more content, on average you will have more website visitors and grow your business faster. A 100 page website will beat a 10 page website 90% of the time. And a 500 page website is even better. And if some of those web pages were written recently, that’s even better. So, build a strategy to continue to add more and more content to your website over time. Hint: Blogging makes creating content easy … if done right!
Enable Dynamic (or “Blogging”) Websites
A key to being able to develop effective content is to have a website that is dynamic. A dynamic website will allow you to create content-rich landing pages on-the-fly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Practically speaking, if you build a static website, you will have to contact your webdesigner every time you want to create a new webpage or edit an existing one. This can severly limit your effectiveness as you are dependent upon the turn-around speed of the webdesigner, as well as making quick edits of a draft. We are firm believers in providing websites that permit you to log into your website and create new (or edit existing) pages without knowing any coding.
Any website built today should have a blogging platform as a basic or add-on feature. Enabling websites to generate dynamic content through the use of such as platform will enable your content to be “pushed out” automatically to the major search engines, social bookmarking websites such as Technorati and Digg (just to name a few), as well as social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook.