SEO & Inbound Marketing

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I can’t help but start with some of the great Seth Godin quotes when I am dwelling the topic of Inbound Marketing. I love his quotes even otherwise.

He says, “If you can’t sell to 1 in 1000, why market to a million?”. He also says, “People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves.”

These statements make the basis of Inbound Marketing. Lets understand Inbound Marketing before really delving into how SEO would help it.
Let me intersperse this blog with some of my favourite Seth Godin quotes. Would that be boring. Please allow me. Why waste a sentence saying nothing?”
Traditionally, and most marketers today, generate leads and fill the top of their sales funnel through bulk email blasts, SMS push marketing to legal or illegal lists, trade shows, seminars, internal cold calling, outsourced telemarketing and advertising. These are “outbound marketing” activities where a marketer pushes the message out through different media options hoping that it will reach the target consumer.
Although there is a high probability that the message would reach the targeted consumer, yet there are a few basic concerns.
  • The message is a generic message designed to appeal the large target consumer set.
  • The message is one among millions of other messages targeting similar TG profile.
  • There are consumer & Government activism to block generic messages using Spam filters, Caller ID etc and frequent shifting of channels.
  • Once the message reaches the target consumer, the follow up communication strategy is not existent. Mostly the marketing team broadcasts the message, and then the business teams tries to track leads and conversions.
Basically, it was about buy, beg and bug consumers spending millions of advertising dollars to sell. These days are getting over, quickly, with consumers in control of the information they receive.

“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.”

Inbound Marketing is the change. Its the Marketing 2.0. It is about the practice of bringing warm, qualified leads into the sales funnel and follow them up through communication till they explicitly or implicitly express dis-interest. The basis was again Seth Godin’s Permission based marketing.

“Permission Marketing is just like dating. It turns stranger into friends and friends into lifetime customers. Many of the rules of dating apply, and so do many of the benefits.”


Half of Inbound Marketing is about great marketing content. And the second half is about having strategies and techniques to engage the interested consumer till conversion. Human beings have a finite amount of attention. The attention is therefore spent only on things that interests you. Once great content attracts the attention, inbound marketing is supposed to capture that attention, engage with the attention, make a relationship to exchange more content. The attention would either become a customer, or become an ambassador of the brand/product.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization plays a critical role in capturing attention of consumers searching for content that resonates with the content provided by the brand. Search engines have become the default option to search for content. Students search before asking their teachers. Employees search before asking their peers or bosses.

“Expectations are the engines of our perceptions.”
If you want to dig a big hole, you need to stay in one place.”

SEO as I discussed in the previous blog, is not only about making your website optimized to be found in all relevant search keywords, but also about creating content in the social media and other Internet eco-systems. The latter simply means that others would equally work hard to get your content across to relevant consumers.

For instance, if you write a post in www.mouthshut.com, mouthshut would work hard to get that searched by relevant keywords. Then if you share that post through google plus, twitter, tumblr etc, they further work hard to get that searched.

Finally, even if your relevant website page is coming in the second page of the search result, the same content may come right in the front of the search result through other websites.

This is called Content SEO, and not Website SEO.

“Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death.”

Let your content be that idea. Use proper SEO techniques and inbound marketing strategies as light and air, or they would starve to death.

The author has an experience of 18 years in the integrated communication domain involving traditional as well as digital media. He can be contacted at [email protected] for consultancy and project execution.

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