In the fast-paced and competitive small business environment, every second counts. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs spend way too much time worrying about ineffective marketing schemes instead of focusing on day-to-day business concerns. With an effective inbound marketing strategy, you can let prospective clients and customers come to you, instead of spending all of your time attempting to attract the attention of uninterested parties.

If implemented incorrectly, inbound marketing can be every bit as inefficient as other marketing approaches; however, with a carefully-crafted strategy, it is possible to expedite the process and significantly grow your customer base — all with minimal effort. The following simple inbound marketing tips will make business generation easier than you ever imagined.

Optimize Your Site

Inbound marketing is all about search engine optimization, which is used to improve a site’s ranking on Google and other prominent search engines. The higher your site lands on Google’s front page, the more visitors it will attract. Carefully-researched keywords should be used in your site’s URL, in any content featured on the page, and in image names. Avoid the temptation to stuff your page with keywords; this could actually harm your search engine ranking.  Instead, create relevant content that solves a problem for your ideal customer.

Help Prospects Convert

Your website is more than just an attractive brochure – it’s a handshake with new visitors that helps you to begin the sales conversation. As SEO drives traffic to your site, you should be able to capture qualified prospects with forms.  Helpful resources can connect you with top-of-the-funnel leads, while a sales form can capture prospects who are interested now.  

Small businesses don’t need a super fancy website.  Instead, focus on building a clean website that is simple to navigate and has a main objective of connecting with your ideal customer.

Harness the Power of Social Media

Inbound marketing efforts should not end with your company’s website. In today’s connected world, businesses can benefit from a presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Depending on where your ideal customer hangs out online,, your business could also benefit from maintaining an active Instagram or Pinterest account; however, the pursuit of a social media presence need not hog all of your time and resources. A strong presence on a select group of networks will allow you to better connect with existing clients and customers while also attracting the attention of new consumers.

Publish Testimonials and Reviews

If you’ve managed to build up a small, but very enthusiastic customer base, consider asking these satisfied individuals for feedback. They will be all too happy to have their input featured on your website or social media pages. A few favorable testimonials can go a long way toward establishing confidence among those unfamiliar with your brand.

Nurture New Leads

As you connect with visitors coming to your website through SEO, social media and other channels, you can keep the conversation going through email nurturing.  Not everyone is ready to enter thesales process today, but they will be down the road.  With email campaigns, you can automatically stay in touch with prospects to become a trusted resource, and eventually their first choice when they are ready to buy.

Track Metrics

Inbound marketing often involves some element of trial and error, as it is impossible to know exactly what works until you test it. Once these initial steps have been achieved, it is important to keep an eye on website analytics, which will tell you how visitors find your website, how long they stay there, and whether their browsing sessions result in conversions.  You can also track lead source in your CRM to report on which channels are actually converting into customers.  

The best inbound marketing strategy is simple and straightforward. A good website and strong social media presence will help you to attract new leads.  Email nurturing continues the conversation, turning more of your leads into customers, and tracking metrics ensures you’re focusing on the right inbound strategies for your business.  When customers come to you through inbound marketing, you can avoid time-consuming marketing initiatives and instead focus on the activities that matter most to you.