Whether you’re new to inbound marketing or have been in the game awhile, it never hurts to bulk up on your inbound knowledge. The inbound marketing industry has a ton of terms and vocab words that aren’t used anywhere else, so if you’ve always wondered what ROI or PPC stand for, we’ve got answers. Let this be your ultimate Inbound Marketing Vocabulary list, with simple definitions to some of the most common inbound marketing terms:
A method of testing different variables of your marketing materials to see which option encourages a better response from site viewers and users. A great example of A/B testing is trying out different colors on your call-to-action button to see which color gets a better response rate.
When it comes to inbound marketing, analytics are the numbers we monitor to see how our site and inbound marketing strategy is working. Site analytics tell you how many people have visited your website, where those visitors are coming from, and what pages they’re looking at. Analytics on social media posts and digital advertisements tell you how many people have interacted with your posts and ads. We monitor analytics to see which inbound marketing efforts are successful, and which could use a little bit more work.
B2B stands for the words “business to business.” This refers to a business that provides a good or service for another business, rather than for the average consumer. Manufacturers who create materials that other companies use to build a bigger object, like a car, are a good example of B2Bs.
B2C stands for the words “business to consumer.” This is the type of business that provides goods or services directly to consumers, like a clothing or grocery store.
A bounce rate is a type of analytic that measures how long a site visitor stays on your webpage. A short bounce rate means that people aren’t staying on your website for very long, and are “bouncing off.” We use this analytic to tell us which pages of our website could use a little bit more work to draw more viewers in for longer.
Also known as a CTA, a call to action is a button that encourages a site visitor to take an action, and become a lead. Usually a CTA comes along with a form that captures a visitor’s contact information. The CTA will encourage visitors to download a content offer, subscribe to a newsletter, or call a company for more information.
A click-through rate or CTR is the analytic used to measure how often people click through to your website or landing page from an ad or search engine. A higher click-through number means more people are making it to your site from your ad, and marks a more successful ad or landing page.
In inbound marketing, a conversion happens when someone who’s just casually visiting your site fills out an information form, clicks a call to action, and becomes a lead. They become a lead once you have their information, and the fact that they were willing to convert means they’re likely more interested in the product or service you have to offer.
A content calendar is a calendar that outlines your blog topics or content ideas for a certain period of time. Typically, a content calendar will include a post title, a description, a keyword, and a date that the content should be posted.
A newer term, content clusters are a way of organizing your content marketing strategy for optimal linking and client understanding. You start with a pillar page of content, which provides a general overview of one topic that’s important to your target buyer. Then, you link other, more in-depth content pages about that same topic to the pillar page. That way, visitors can choose what they want to know more about, or they can opt for a simple overview. It’s an easy way to organize content that makes sense for search engines and human readers.
Content marketing is one of the key ways to support a strong inbound marketing plan. It’s a way of putting helpful content out on your blog, your social media platforms, and in your emails that solves pain points of your target audience, and draws them further into your website, increasing the chances that they convert to leads.
Evergreen content is any kind of content, whether it’s a photo, blog, or infographic, that’s always relevant to your key buyer. This is content that doesn’t have a season and is always true and helpful. Evergreen content is a big part of an effective content marketing strategy because you can use it any time. It’s highly shareable, easy to link to, and the perfect content for when you need to get something out in a pinch.
Keywords are probably the most well-known inbound marketing vocab term, but they’re simply words you want to rank well for on search engines. For example, if you’re a local roofer, keywords like asphalt roof, GAF shingles, and roofers in MyTown, USA, would be relevant words you’d want to rank for. For an effective keyword strategy, you’ll want to do some research to make sure you’re ranking for words your target audience is searching for.
A landing page is the page site visitors “land’ on when they click through from a search engine or advertisement. Effective landing pages usually have a form and a call-to-action button so that they can easily convert site viewers to leads.
A lead is a site viewer that has converted by submitting their contact information. Typically, leads are established after they sign up for a newsletter or download a gated content offer, and have to submit their email address in return for the content.
Mobile optimization refers to the practice of ensuring your website and digital content show up attractively on mobile devices. It also refers to making your mobile site more indexable by Google’s search engines. Since more and more consumers are using mobile devices to search the web, mobile optimization is increasingly important.
Organic search result
An organic search result is one that shows up naturally on search engine results pages based on Google’s algorithm ranking. Organic results are not paid for, and organic results that show up on the first page of results are the most desirable, as they’re the most likely to receive clicks.
PPC stands for “pay-per-click,” a style of Google advertising in which businesses create ads, but only pay for the advertisement if someone clicks on it. For pay-per-click ads, you can bid on certain keywords that are relevant to your products or services.
ROI stands for “return on investment.” A relatively simple ratio, your return on investment is the money you net, minus the money you spend on your inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing offers a notoriously high ROI when implemented properly, because it doesn’t cost much, but can be leveraged to boost your revenue exponentially.
Your target buyer or target audience is essentially your ideal client. They’re the person who definitely needs your product or service, and has the funds to pay for it. Most inbound marketing strategies are formed around the pain points and lifestyle of each business’s target buyer or audience.
We hope this vocab list helps figure out some of the more difficult industry terms. If you’ve got any more questions about inbound marketing, whether you want to know how it works, or how it can work for you, be sure to get in touch.
Creating a content calendar that fills houses and sells lots:
If you’re a housing developer, you know that any marketing strategy you use has to be time-efficient. You need to fill homes and sell lots quickly to see quality returns on your investment. If you’ve been considering content marketing as a part of your digital marketing strategy, but aren’t sure if it’s an effective use of your time, we hear you. It’s not always easy to write blog posts regularly, get them posted, and then promote them. That said, content marketing is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to get eyes on your site. All it really takes is time.
But, if like many housing developers, you’re a little short on time, know that you can still have the best of both worlds by creating a content calendar. Content calendars help take some of the work out of creating a regular blog posting schedule by outlining the topic, description, and keyword for each upcoming post. We develop content calendars for each of our clients at the beginning of the year. We outline exactly what it is we’re going to write about and when, and then we give the calendar to the client for approval. That way, once it comes back approved, all we have to do is write the posts for the year. There’s no guesswork or question about what we’re doing, and when it needs to go out.
Content calendars outline the topic, description, and keyword for each month’s upcoming posts.
A content calendar is a great solution for busy home developers, because it allows you to stick to a schedule, and it makes it easy to hand off the blog writing to whoever has a little extra time that month. Since the topics are already created, any decent writer can write the blog. So, how to create a content calendar that draws in qualified leads?
First, think about who you’re writing to
This goes back to that target market we’re always talking about. To whom would you like to sell your homes? Are you developing a community that’s largely centered around seniors? Or are you building homes for young, growing families? It’s important to pinpoint who your target buyer is before you start developing your content, because the age range and general lifestyle of that buyer will influence the types of content that you put out.
Then, pick three categories
After you’ve identified your specific target buyer, it’s time to start creating content, or at least topics to write about that speak to your buyer. To make sure your content calendar doesn’t become stale or boring, we recommend picking three or four categories to center your content calendar around, and alternating between categories each month.
For example, one of our developer clients is working on filling a sustainable mountain living community near Asheville, NC. Our content calendar revolves around three major topics: things to do in Asheville, home ownership, and lifestyle blogs that focus on the activities that their target buyers most enjoy. For them, that’s biking, hiking, kayaking, and backpacking—outdoor activities that encourage appreciation of the natural world.
By segmenting our content calendar into these three categories, we’re able to reach the client’s target buyer in more than one way. We’re appealing to the sense of place that their development offers, we’re drawing in potential buyers who like to do activities that the other residents like to do, and we’re also targeting the thing that’s most relevant to the development, which is home ownership.
Your content calendar can focus on similar topics.
What is interesting about the location of your development, and what’s happening in nearby cities?
What content will homeowners in your area want to read about?
What activities are your target buyers interested in?
By filling your content calendar with topics that aren’t always the same, you’ll have a number of different, interesting blogs that will work to draw new people to your site. By writing content about your area, you get the added bonus of identifying your location for both search engines and consumers, making it more likely that you’ll pop up in local search results.
Remember that your content strategy is never about you. Rather, it should be a resource for your target buyers. You want them to love the content you’re putting out so much that they subscribe and never miss a post. The only way to do that is to create content they care about, which isn’t going to be monthly updates on how the development of your community is going.
While creating the topics is definitely the hardest part of any content calendar, don’t just stop when you have the right number of ideas. A content calendar should also include a keyword, title for the post, and description of what you meant when you came up with the topic. To save yourself extra time, consider adding in your call-to-action.
Save yourself additional time by writing your CTA into the content calendar.
This is often a tedious part to write at the bottom of your blog post. It talks about how great your community is, and where people can find you if they’re interested in one of your homes. Add that right into your content calendar now, and you won’t have to worry about it later.
Once you’ve got the calendar fully filled out, create a publishing schedule. Put a date on each post, both to give yourself a deadline, and to make sure you don’t have any long gaps between posts. With a posting date, it’ll be clear when you need to start writing, and you’ll have something holding you accountable to get that content out into the world.
When your content calendar has a posting schedule, topics for every month, descriptions, keywords, titles, and CTAs, you’re done!
Well, done with the content calendar at least. You’ll still have to write the posts themselves if you’re looking to draw in those qualified buyers, but you won’t have to worry in the future about deciding what to write, and getting it out in a timely fashion. With a schedule and plenty of topics already set to go, writing a blog post is easy.
Content calendars are a seriously handy tool for any housing developer short on time. If you want to create one, but still aren’t sure what to write about, or how to go about getting started, get in touch. We’re sort of content calendar experts, and would love to help you optimize your content marketing strategy for success. To see how we’ve helped other housing developers boost revenue and sell homes, check out the case study below:
If you’ve been working on the website for your housing development, and just don’t seem to be filling homes or lots at a rate that seems right, landing pages can help. They’re an ideal way to get hold of the contact information of qualified leads, and when done right, they can move a site viewer who was just looking, to a site viewer who’s legitimately interested in your development. So, how do landing pages increase conversion for housing developers, and how can you make sure your landing pages are working for you? Let’s start with a refresher course on landing pages.
Landing Page Refresher
A landing page is a page other than your homepage, where site visitors first land when they click to your site from another website (typically this is a search engine like Google, but it can also be social media sites, or a website where you’re promoting an ad). It’s also possible to have landing pages that site visitors can get to from your own site. We have a contact landing page that people can click to at any point if they’re interested in seeing how we can help them. Landing pages work to softly direct your site visitors into giving your their contact information, usually in exchange for an offer, like a guide on becoming an awesome homebuyer, or pictures of your housing development.
How a Good Landing Page Generates Leads
Now, there’s all sorts of landing pages out there, but not all of them are good. A quality landing page does the following things:
Provides relevant information: It tells people who you are, and what you’re about in a way that’s relevant to the link they clicked to get there. If you have a paid ad that says “spacious 2 bedroom apartments with vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors” don’t send people to a landing page about the development’s adjacent golf course and restaurant. That will confuse and frustrate. A good landing page provides content the viewer expects to get after clicking on a certain link.
Offers content or access potential clients want: The best way to capture contact info off a landing page is to make them an offer they can’t refuse (sorry, couldn’t help it!). But really, people are far more likely to give up their email address if they’re going to get awesome pictures, drone footage, or floorplans of your development in return.
Gets you contact info of qualified leads: Probably the best part of a great landing page is its ability to get you qualified leads. If your page is relevant, provides the right information, and adds value for the site viewer, it should get you contact info that you can use to further pull those potential leads down the sales funnel.
How to Make a Landing Page that Converts?
Now that you know what a great housing development landing page does, it’s time to make one of your own. We’ve got a ton of resources on creating killer landing pages, but for a crash course, make sure your housing development landing page follows these 6 key guidelines:
Take away the navigation menu on your landing page. This works to “squeeze” people through, and softly push them to convert. When there’s no menu, there’s less distraction, which means site visitors are unlikely to navigate away unless the offer really isn’t something they’re looking for. Then, you’re only really losing traffic that wasn’t qualified in the first place.
Keep your content short and sweet. Try to limit yourself to just a few sentences that tell site viewers who you are, and what you can do for them. You know that your development is awesome, but don’t just tell people that, show them why it’s awesome, and why they’d be lucky to live there.
Viewers shouldn’t have to wonder about what they’re going to get when they click the “submit” button. Make it obvious what they’ll get when they fill out your form, whether it’s pictures, blueprints, or information about your development.
Studies have shown that people actually do care what the button that says “click” looks like. First of all, “click” and “submit” might not be the best choices. Choose something that’s more relevant to your offer, like “Sign up now” or “get access to photos.” This will remind viewers what they’re getting, and provide incentive for following through and clicking the button.
Don’t make your forms too long. The longer a form is, the less likely you are to get conversions. Only ask for what you actually need, like name, email, and maybe zip code. Sometimes it makes sense to have a longer form for landing pages that target people who are almost ready to close, and want a price estimate, but other than that, keep your forms short and sweet.
Finally, remember that today’s consumer is highly visual and has a short attention span. Your landing page should be eye-catching, easy to read, and feature high-quality photos. You’ve got a beautiful development, right? Use photos of it to your advantage on your landing page.
In the end, any quality landing page is almost guaranteed to increase conversions for housing developers, so long as they have traffic coming to the site. They’re a great way to capture information about potential clients, while also providing an incentive for people to come back and consider your development.
If you’re still struggling to perfect your landing pages, know that Evenbound can help. We’ve worked with a number of housing developers, and have cracked the code to creating marketing strategies that fill developments and sell homes. To see just what we’ve done to deliver results for our housing development clients, check out the case study below:
With more and more brick-and-mortar stores in the retail, B2C realm moving online, it’s natural to wonder whether online shopping and e-commerce sites have any value for B2Bs. E-commerce can be useful for B2B manufacturers in providing their customers with a convenient and seamless purchasing experience and differentiating themselves from their competition. Does your site need an e-commerce component?
Most obviously, a negative aspect of an e-commerce site for B2Bs is that sometimes, orders are complex. If you create custom products for each of your clients, you may not be able to take orders through a traditional e-commerce platform, as you’ll need to design and estimate the product. Additionally, B2B products often have multiple pricing tiers, depending upon size of order, client, etc., which can be difficult (though not impossible) to build into the e-commerce experience. If your B2B doesn’t offer tangible products, but services, e-commerce won’t make much sense.
There are several advantages to e-commerce sites for B2Bs. Customers can easily place orders online, eliminating the need for a sales rep or account manager to take the order and forward it to fulfillment. Recurring orders can be automated, and longtime clients can have their specific orders, payment schedules, and other specific information tied to their accounts in your e-commerce interface. Additionally, the product selection can be updated in real-time to reflect changes in inventory or product offerings.
Another benefit to incorporating e-commerce into your B2B site is that it creates a seamless buyer’s journey experience for the customer, which can result in more sales and conversions. If your e-commerce component integrates content including images and video, customer support, how-tos, specifications, articles, and other relevant information, you can funnel customers through the buyer’s journey to the purchase stage, and have that purchase made instantaneously.
B2C buying trends are increasingly influencing the wants of B2B customers, who are eager for quicker, easier, more convenient ways to make business purchases, much in the way that they make personal purchases on Amazon. For B2B manufacturers, e-commerce, if thoughtfully combined with pertinent content and information, can simplify the ordering process for both the buyer and seller.
Whether e-commerce is right for your B2B or not, if you’d like to discuss your current digital strategy, Evenbound can help. Let’s start that conversation. For more information on how our unique formula has produced unprecedented results for other B2B manufacturers, check out the following case study:
When you’re building out your local contractor website, it can be tough to set yourself apart from the competition. First of all, there’s the business of actually building the site, from deciding on a design and a color palette to putting the thing online. Then there’s the problem of making sure it’s visible. Once you’ve got all of those things taken care of, you have to make sure you’re still standing out from the competition.
All in all, building a contractor website that stands out from your local competition can seem like a tedious, monstrous process, but know that it can be done, and it can be done well. Once you know what to do to make your site stand out, it’s just a matter of implementation. So, let’s get to that recipe for success right away: When it comes to creating a contractor website that stands out from local competition, you need to be clear about who you are, and you need to be technically solid. After that, it’s just about making sure the right people find you. So, let’s break those initial steps down:
Be Clear About Who You Are
The best way ensure your contractor website stands out from the competition is to be absolutely clear about who you are, and why you’re different. What makes your contracting company better than your local competition? Do you have a hyperfocus on customer experience? Are you really great at communication? Do you offer the best prices, or the best quality? Whatever it is, it should be clear, and it should take a site visitor less than 10 seconds to figure it out. Put the heart of your contracting company at the front and center of that new website, and make it easy for potential clients to see who you are, and what you do best.
Let’s say there’s three major contracting companies in your local area. They all quote competitively, and do the same type of work. However, one of those contractors regularly posts blogs that demystify some of the more confusing aspects of the contracting industry, and they share them to their social media pages. That contractor, all other things being equal, is going to be the contractor who pulls in more, bigger jobs. Why? Because they’ve positioned themselves as an educator, and a resource for potential clients who are looking into hiring a contractor.
Remember that the modern consumer is research-driven and educated. The modern consumer wants to gather as much information as possible before they even consider talking to a salesperson or asking for a quote. By offering up the information they’re already looking for, you become that resource that they go to when they have questions, and you’re more likely to be the first contractor they call when they decide it’s time to start collecting bids.
It’s not enough to just write those educational blogs though, you gotta post ’em too! And not just to your website. You should be sharing your tips, as well as helpful information from other industry leaders to your Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter accounts, because if no one sees what you’re writing, there’s not much point in writing it. Sharing useful information gets you followers, and it gets more eyes on what you’re putting out. Active social media accounts are also a great way to set yourself apart from contracting competition just by sheer numbers. Most social media platforms prefer users who post regularly, so if you’re posting every week, and your competition posts just every month, you’re likely to have a bit of a leg up when it comes to visibility.
We should caution: don’t use your social media accounts just to talk about you. That’s probably the fastest way to lose followers. Make sure you’re putting out content that’s relevant to your target audience and your ideal buyer. Whether you wrote it, or another industry expert did, the content that you’re sharing should be engaging, interesting, and answer some question your clients often have.
Address Specific Pain Points
Finally, when you’re writing content and developing your contractor website to stand out from local competition, it’s important to remember to address specific pain points. Sure, you finish projects and meet deadlines, but what pain points do your ideal buyers have, and how—specifically—do you work to fix those?
The more you can do to assuage common concerns that your target market is likely to have when it comes to finding a contractor that’s right for them, the more likely you are to get their business. How do you ensure their project is completed to their specifications, and how do you work to maintain a tight schedule? Specific answers to questions that worry consumers the most is a surefire way to set yourself apart from local competition.
While all of the soft skills above will set you apart from the competition when it comes to consumers, you also need to know how to set yourself apart from the competition when it comes to search engines. Anyone building a contractor website would be wise to remember that it’s not only consumers who are looking at your site and its quality—you also have the internet and its bots to contend with. What exactly do we mean here?
Well, on any search engine like Google, spiders, or bots, crawl websites on the internet to search them for information. It’s these bots that decide where on results pages a site will rank, and it’s these bots that tell Google what your site is about. So, when you’re building your contractor website, you also have to make sure you’re building with search engines in mind, and that means taking care of a few technical details.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the first step to ensuring that your website ranks well on search engines. There’s a lot you can do to optimize your site but start by implementing keywords relevant to your contracting business. These keywords should focus on the specific type of contracting work your company does, your location, and terms that your ideal client might be searching for on the internet. Start with keywords, and once you’ve got a handle on those, implement some of these more advanced strategies from our SEO Site Checkup, to make sure your site is ranking as well as possible.
Google My Business Page
One great way to make sure you’re really standing out from any local competition online is to claim your contracting company’s Google listing. If you have a website, Google has probably already made you a stock listing that tells people who and where you are when they search “contractors near me.” To stand out from the crowd, you’ll want to claim that page, which is actually pretty easy to do.
From there, you can customize your Google My Business page any way you want. Add high-resolution photos, office hours, and information about your company that’s optimized around relevant keywords if you want to stand out from the crowd.
Don’t Hate on Ads
Google search and Facebook ads are a sort of brave new world for those in the contracting industry. Since they’re so new and different, many contractors shy away from them, at a loss to themselves. If you want qualified leads in your area to see your contractor website before anyone else’s, the easiest thing to do is invest in Google search and Facebook ads. These two very powerful programs work to make sure your company is put in front of the right people, at the right time, ensuring ROI and new leads.
Though they’re a little bit more complicated than the old standard YellowPages ad, it’s not by much, and the ROI you’ll receive makes them well worth your time. It’s in your best interest to at least check them out because when done properly, they’re guaranteed to put you ahead of local competition.
In the end, a successful contractor website that stands out from local competition is achieved by optimizing the content you create on that website and the tech that supports it. If you can focus on both aspects of your website, and you optimize for keywords your clients are out there searching, you’re sure to see a marked improvement in your contractor website’s ability to draw in and convert new leads.
If you’re excited about boosting your contractor website’s potential, but you’re not sure about implementation, know that Evenbound can help. We’ve worked with a number of small businesses in your industry, and know just what to do to ensure your site stands out from local competition. The best way to see how we can help your contracting company improve is to have a conversation with our President, John Heritage.
If you’re unfamiliar with marketing, terms such as digital marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing, marketing automation, digital strategy, and so on can be utterly confusing and practically indistinguishable from each other. In truth, each of these terms has a specific meaning. Inbound marketing and marketing automation are two which are often confused by newbies to marketing jargon. So what’s the difference?
in•bound mar•ket•ing \ ˈin-ˌbau̇nd ˈmär-kə-tiŋ \ ▶ noun. A marketing method that uses content to attract potential customers, then convert them into leads and sales. In opposition to traditional marketing methods, which push advertising copy onto consumers through interruptive advertising (hence the term push marketing), inbound marketing seeks to pull consumers in with compelling content that speaks to their needs. Inbound marketing is therefore customer-centric, rather than marketer-centric.
Inbound marketing employs techniques such as blogging, social media promotion, gated content offers, and SEO (search engine optimization) to attract clients on platforms like search engines and social media sites, which they are already using to research products and services before they make purchase decisions.
mar•ket•ing au•to•ma•tionˌ\ ˈmär-kə-tiŋ ȯ-tə-ˈmā-shən \ ▶ noun. software which automates marketing processes. Includes email automation software (MailChimp, Aweber).
Marketing automation software is a tool, whereas inbound marketing is a methodology. In fact, marketing automation software is a tool that is extremely useful in inbound marketing. Marketing automation software can be used to capture visitors’ information when they convert to leads, and from there, these leads can be segmented based on criteria such as industry, role/position, and place in the buyer’s journey and then be delivered relevant and timely content. Rather than dumping all of your contacts into an email list and sending the same content to everyone, marketing automation allows you to target a specific group of leads or clients, ensuring that you’re not spamming those to whom the content doesn’t apply, and that leads receive content that is specific to their particular needs.
Using marketing automation software to automate some of your lead nurturing marketing processes can be a major component of an effective inbound marketing strategy. Combining compelling, engaging, and pertinent content with targeted promotion and delivery is key to reaching potential customers in the changing marketing landscape.
Want to see what inbound marketing can do for your company? Interested in how you can better use marketing automation? Let’s talk. Click the button below to schedule your free inbound marketing evaluation: