Build an Online Community to Help Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

The Inbound Marketing Milwaukee User Group had another meet up with a ton of great marketing takeaways. This time, Jen Lopez, Director of Community at SEOmoz, joined us to walk through the steps to build a stronger inbound marketing strategy by adding an online community.

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Author: Monica Madsen

The HubSpot Way to Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

HubSpot is a leader in the inbound marketing world. They know the ins-and-outs of online marketing, and have created amazing all-in-one marketing software. The marketing software makes all these things possible:

  • Blogging
  • Social Media
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Calls-to-Actions
  • Landing Pages
  • Lead Management
  • Email
  • Marketing Automation
  • Closed Loop Analytics

HubSpot Website OptimizationThose are a lot of awesome features in one product, so you can see why we use it here at Stream Creative. HubSpot has built their brand and made themselves a credible expert in marketing and website growth and development. They are our go-to source for information and resources. Because we think so highly of them, we wanted to share their guide to optimizing your website for search engines.

Importance of Website SEO

First off, an explanation of the importance of website optimization, or search engine optimization (SEO), is needed. SEO is about focusing and narrowing the topics on the pages of your website, making each page unique. Having unique pages based on one topic, or keyword, helps search engines to track and index your website pages, and thus include them in search results. The goal of search engines, such as Google and Bing, is to serve the right content to the right person at the right time. Search engines also want to provide relevant and credible results, which ties in with SEO fundamentals. SEO fundamentals are what help determine your ranking in search engine results, and include:

  • Off-page SEO: building trust and authority through inbound links
  • On-page SEO: creating two different types of content through blogs, landing pages, ebooks, etc.
    • Branded content: general information about your business
    • Non-branded content: specific about your industry, services, or products

Website Optimization Guide

When going through this guide and working on your SEO, remember that the ultimate goal is to get found by using keywords that are relevant to your business.

  1. Choose your keywords
    1. Read the page’s content
    2. Identify one primary keyword per page
    3. Identify one variation of the primary keyword
    4. If you can’t identify one keyword, rewrite the page content or create a new web page
    5. Optimize the page for the one primary keyword
  2. Create the page title
    1. Should be less than 70 characters, so the whole title can be seen in search results
    2. Primary keyword should be first word followed be the keyword variation separated with pipes – straight vertical line | ( shift \ )

      Website Page Title


    3. Each page title needs to be unique
    4. Don't include the business name in every page title
      1. Business Name should be included on homepage and contact us page
  3. Add the meta description
    1. Appears under page title in search results

      Website Meta Description




    2. Should be less than 150 characters
    3. Incorporate the primary keyword
    4. Give a valuable compelling reason to visit the website
    5. It's important to note that Google will sometimes display a different meta description than what you may have put.
  4. Optimize the URL
    1. Include the primary keywords
    2. Separate each word with dashes ( - )
    3. Keep the keyword close to the root domain
  5. Create heading tags
    1. Create an H1 heading tag that incorporates the primary keyword
    2. Place the heading at the top of the page – above the fold, so you don’t need to scroll to see the heading

      Website Heading Tags

  6. Optimize page content
    1. Include the primary keyword in the content 3-4 times
    2. Keep the primary keyword above the page fold
    3. Don't keyword stuff, or overuse the word - keep it conversational
    4. Write for your readers, not for search engines
  7. Add calls-to-action (CTA)
    1. Have at least one CTA related to the content and keyword
    2. Keep CTAs above the page fold
    3. The CTA should be an internal link to a landing page
    4. Optimize the alt text of the CTA image and the image file name

      Website Call-to-Action


  8. Include internal links
    1. Create a text link to a page using the primary keyword
    2. Create 1 or 2 internal links
    3. Link to other pages from the page
    4. Build a spider web of related content
  9. Add images
    1. Search engines need to "read" images
    2. Add alt tags to your images using the primary keyword
    3. Use the primary keyword in the image filename
    4. Link the images to web pages and landing pages

Once you’ve gone through these steps, you’re on your way to having an optimized website and increasing your search engine rankings. Optimizing your website it a great way to draw more traffic to your website because search engines will have an easier time finding your content and delivering it to search results.

Learn more about Search Engine Optimization from HubSpot or contact us for information or help. We offer SEO help as part of our inbound marketing services. Get started today!

12 Essential Tips and Tricks for Link Earning

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Author: Monica Madsen

4 Ways to Start Earning Links to Your Small Business Website

Small business are always looking to increase their search engine rankings and website traffic through various search engine optimization (SEO) tactics. Link earning is a great way to expand your reach, bring in more website visitors, grow your rankings, and develop online authority. There are four simple steps that should be followed to help you earn inbound links and be seen as a credible resource by Google.

website link earning
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Author: Monica Madsen

Why Your Link Building is Missing the Mark (And How You Can Fix It)

Inbound linking and off-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) make up 75% of your site SEO, with the last 25% being the on-page optimization. (HubSpot) Pretty interesting statistic, huh? Makes you think about stepping up your link building game and revaluate your plan, doesn’t it?

Link Building, SEOEarning links is so important not only for SEO purposes, but also because it builds your online authority. Being an online authority means you are considered a thought leader on a specific topic. If you’re an online authority, the odds are in your favor of increasing your search engine rankings. Search engines consider inbound links as votes – the more votes (or links) the higher your website will rank. If you have bad inbound links, it takes away from your authority, you’re no longer trusted as a credible resource, and your rankings decrease. It’s also important to note that not all inbound links are created equal. Links with online authority are going to have more value and help your website.

Examine your current inbound link building plan to ensure you’re not making poor link building mistakes, and retain your online authority.

  • Submitting your site to directories isn’t necessarily a good tactic anymore. Avoid link farms (black hat links). Don’t post your content on article sites. Do not pay for links.
    • Only submit your site to directories that are credible and will provide value to your company.
  • These are groups of website that link to each other. They’re only going to hurt your website ranking because they don’t provide any value.
    • Simply post your content on your own site and share it via social media. Use links within the article as well, to help it go viral.
  • Don't pay for links.
    • Google will catch you and your rankings will decrease. Google won’t think you are a credible source. Just don’t do it.
  • If what you’re doing feels unnatural or wrong, that most likely means it IS wrong. And when in doubt, ask before doing anything you’re not sure about.

Let’s say that (hypothetically) you’ve made some of these mistakes. How can you recover your online authority?

  • First and foremost, make sure you’re connected to Google Webmaster Tools and that you’re signed up to receive their email notifications.
    • Webmaster Tools analyzes your site and lets you know of bad and/or broken links. They will show you any inbound links you are receiving.
  • Cease and desist all unnatural link building. Just stop doing it if it doesn’t feel right!
  • If necessary, deny any spammy links. Get rid of them!
  • After completing the above steps, send Google your site for reconsideration. This can be done by using Google Webmaster Tools. Your site must be registered in Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics for consideration.

If you’re still not sure if you’re website has spammy links, look for a steady decrease of traffic or rankings around the time of Google’s Penguin release (first released in April 2012). The recent algorithm updates are related to inbound links, and attempts to remove any bad untrustworthy links.

Have you made any of these link building mistakes? How did you recover? Share your helpful tips with us!

P.S. Stay tuned for ways to earn valuable inbound links!

12 Essential Tips and Tricks for Inbound Link Earning

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Author: Monica Madsen

The 5-Part Recipe for a Fully Optimized Website

Is your website user friendly? Are you creating killer content that engages your users or are you writing for search engines? Creating a website that meets and exceeds the needs of your users, search engines, and your brand is a challenge. But fear not – where there’s a will, there’s a way! Building an optimized website that everyone will like is possible.

website optimization inbound marketing
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Author: Monica Madsen

The Secret of Successful Search Engine Optimization

92% of online users first use search engines to look for products and services. (HubSpot) The question is: Where do you rank in those results? Are you happy with your ranking or do you want to increase it? Either way, following the best practices of SEO (search engine optimization) and understanding how search results are formed is a must in inbound marketing.

SEO optimization inbound marketing
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Author: Monica Madsen

Content Creation Strategies for Your Business

One of the most overused and misapplied phrases in internet marketing history was stated in a 1996 speech given by Bill Gates.  That phrase?  “Content is King.”  Using content in your website makes sense.  It's been proven that the search engines love certain kinds of content creation, however, what many website owners don't realize is that the search engines will also penalize sites if they use the wrong kind of content. 

content creationg strategies
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Author: Monica Madsen

What Women’s Eight Rowing Can Teach Us About Optimized Online Marketing

The following is a guest post from Greg Elwell, principal of B2B Inbound. Greg works with Stream Creative on a number of client engagements involving content, SEO, buyer personas and lead nurturing.

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Author: Monica Madsen

Effective Keyword Research Strategies for Inbound Marketing

Using the right keywords in your content is one of the best plans of action you can have to help get found and rank in search engines. Being able to search for the right keywords for your target audience is an important part of the keyword strategy. There are different steps to take when starting your keyword research strategy.

keyword research
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Author: Monica Madsen

Increase Search Rankings with Link Building Strategies

Link building should be a regular and important component of your inbound marketing strategy.

link building strategy
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Author: Monica Madsen