Dealing with a global international market is not as easy as throwing content up on your website. No, build it and they will come is no longer valid nor will it make them come. So, lets’ make one thing perfectly clear; inbound marketing is a buzzword. Even though I will admit I’ve heard if you say inbound marketing, a kitten dies somewhere…isn’t that a horrible thought? But aside from the social footprint it has had in the last couple of years, it still makes sense to use inbound marketing with your SEO – for a better position, internationally.
When search engine optimization is used correctly and organically, it can help convert your visitors to paying customers. It’s all about content domination, or as another saying goes, “content is king”. There have been a great many changes in search engines, including human search behavior, due to the changes in algorithms. Just so we’re clear, Google is following human behavior in their attempt to make our user and search experience better.
It’s no surprise SEO has gotten enough air time that most of the planet that’s working online understand what it is, and how it plays a major role in marketing your business. So how can a business use inbound marketing in order to get ahead of their competition?
Search and Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is about optimizing all your assets…whether it’s on-site content, videos, articles, PR, etc., these are the cornerstone of your message and brand. Furthermore, what I’ve found to be true is that it’s not about just writing content, and not even about writing great content; it’s about writing and communicating with your community. We’ve discussed this over and over again; we’ve even had some amazing guest speakers discuss engaging communities on our LHM video series.
You see, content is more than just text. It can be visual in nature or it can engage your community to do what you’re asking them to do. Unfortunately, spending time on understanding and researching their users may be the one things companies don’t do. Especially when it come to the global market.
When people in Italy search for products they do it differently than people in Spain. Each country has it’s own culture and their own way of doing things. As a matter of fact, in some countries people rarely use their desktop anymore. They’re using their Mobile for search related queries.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve received requests for content development, only to learn the only reason they want content was to feed Google. Look, if that’s the only reason you are writing your content, then use your time and money wisely and go with PPC. It can have that same effect, but you still won’t have built a community. They may come to read your blog or even pin your image, but then what? Now that you’ve been found, has your product or service served their personal need? Has it resolved their psychological desires? Last, but not least, has your product given them fulfillment in their lives? Basically, are they going to share that experience with their social circles or fans?
How Do People Search?
Here are some numbers to chew on:
Globally, 88.8% of the online population is searching on Google; Bing has 4.2%, Baidu has 3.5% and Yahoo has 2.4%. Those numbers may not surprise you, most of the world still searches on Google, however Yahoo, Bing and Baidu are still heavy contenders when it comes to global searches. Therefore, you should take a spin on those search engines. Look for your market and keywords on those search engines. Especially if you’re going to target any of the countries listed in the Global Search Chart.
But lets not forget that people are still looking at print advertisement, going to trade shows, reading direct mail or asking friends and family about a certain product. Those things haven’t changed much in the last five years. So don’t be stuck in a digital world if it doesn’t make sense. Looking at the whites of people’s eyes is still a great trust and authority barometer. You’re probably wondering how you can do that internationally. Get partners in those countries. Period. I’ve said this before, and I’ll continue saying it. Reaching across the aisle is still the best way to do business.
Now with voice search, natural language and the latest Google update, Hummingbird has had an effect on searches, not search results. As Ammon Johns stated, “Hummingbird is all about better processing of the query, the search phrasing.” Nowadays, people want to get their questions and searches done quickly. Therefore, people and marketing have adapted to search engines. The difference is clear. Outbound marketing is old hat. Let me break this down into bite size facts we can agree on.
- Inside Sales – Low response rate (1-5%)
- Telemarketing – Expensive/Wasteful
- Trade shows/seminars – Becoming more difficult to attend
- Print Advertising – Extremely expensive
- Direct mail/email – “Interruption” based
- SEO/PPC – High response rate (20%-50%)
- Blogging – Build authority
- Social media buzz – Wide-open playing field
- Targeting landing pages – “Permission” based
- Marketing analytics – Strong data to base your campaign on
Lets Look at Facts
What we’ve learned through the years of using SEO and inbound marketing is that you can get found without getting in people’s faces. So be a leader and avoid being the company that spams their readers and followers. Establish your authority with great content. Communication is interactive and a two-way street. Customers now come to you via search & social. When you write great content that engages your readers, you can share it on Twitter and other social networks, and last but not least, when used correctly, inbound marketing generates leads and revenue.
So lets keep things in perspective, shall we? Think about the true value of your customers. How important is it to put your best foot forward? Internationally, as well as locally, think about your clients, about your brand and how important it is to understand them. At the end of the day, if your services or products are not solving a problem or an issue for them, folks don’t care.