HubSpot’s State of Inbound report is always enlightening. The just-released 2016 edition is no exception. It’s filled with insights from more than 4,500 survey respondents, the majority of whom are not HubSpot customers. And as an acknowledged fan of the company, I have to say it’s very much like them to seek the opinions of customers and non-customers alike. HubSpot wants to continue to have the most effective marketing platform possible, and that means they have to look at the big picture and not simply focus on the people currently using their system.
SEO Sits at Number One
One of the questions asked in the survey is, “Thinking specifically about inbound marketing projects, what are your company’s top priorities?” As the chart below reveals, “Growing SEO/organic presence” maintains the top spot for the second year in a row.
This result isn’t surprising, of course. While achieving even the number one ranking doesn’t guarantee that the prospect who sees your listing will click it or ultimately become a customer, it is certainly preferable to languishing on page three or beyond. Heck, it’s becoming an increasing rarity these days that a searcher will even click to page two for more results.
In Other Words, We Have Our Work Cut Out for Us
So, climbing our way up the SERPs (search engine results pages) is the goal for most businesses (including for us at 30dps). But what does that mean for your marketing strategy going forward? From our perspective, it means:
The fact that so many companies are focusing on SEO means it will be that much harder to get those coveted page one spots. More “traditional” marketing strategies like print ads and paid online advertising continue to lose effectiveness and fall out of favor with marketers.
Consequently, any thought that maybe your competitors aren’t yet focusing on SEO should be quickly and firmly dismissed. If they aren’t racing up the search results already, they will be soon.
One of the beautiful things about inbound marketing is that all the content you create and all the actions you take reinforce and amplify one another. The items that come after SEO on the marketing priority list — blog content creation, content distribution/amplification, marketing automation, interactive content creation, etc. — all play a role in bettering your position in the SERPS. To hit your top marketing priority, you need to remain committed to the others as well.
It’s not uncommon for a company to achieve content marketing success with a particular tactic or channel and then subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” axiom. Unfortunately, they are missing out on the potential benefits of reaching their audience in other ways. As the HubSpot report revealed, many marketers are experimenting with communicating their message using different platforms. Perhaps “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is a better axiom to follow!
Any time you shift your focus or expand it, it’s critical that you reevaluate how your resources are allocated. How are you using your budget? How are tasks divided among your team members? You don’t want to stick with old operational models simply because they’re familiar.
The Key Takeaway
The HubSpot State of Inbound 2016 report is fascinating reading, and I encourage you to download your copy below. While it provides an array of actionable insights, the overarching message is very clear: inbound marketing is thriving and is only becoming more effective with each passing year.
How can you take better advantage of inbound at your company? As a leading Colorado inbound marketing firm, we work with a wide range of clients—both here and around the country—and have a track record of success in helping them achieve their sales and marketing goals. The first step is always a call or email.