Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Book Review – Inbound Marketing - Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs, by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah

This month’s review is another business book but this time, hones in on marketing online.   Inbound Marketing-Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is an easy read and packed with practical information and tips on how to start and effectively manage your online inbound marketing efforts.  Initially, I felt it was for beginners but I opened my mind and found there were loads of nuggets even for the seasoned online marketer.  It’s so important to occasionally step back and remember why you started a blog to begin with.  Or, to realize that even if your LinkedIn profile is at 100% (as mine is) that’s just the beginning. 

Getting Found in Social Media
In the chapter “Getting Found in Social Media,” there’s a section on LinkedIn that focuses on setting up a group.  I follow tons of groups, get involved in the meatier discussions and start them myself but I never really thought of starting a group.  I will now!  The challenge will be to start a group for writers with a theme that doesn’t already exist.  I’m open to suggestions!  Another great option in LinkedIn that Brian and Dharmesh suggest you get active in is the LinkedIn Answers.  It’s a great way to position yourself as an expert.  That same issue came up during a blogging workshop I hosted recently with author Jo Parfitt.  It was a hot discussion.  And, it’s a great tool.  Just scan the questions being asked and if one relates to what you do and you have a good answer, weigh in. This chapter also talks about Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and more.

Getting Found in Google
There’s a whole chapter on getting found on Google and I won’t go into detail here but, suffice it to say, they cover the topic from soup to nuts!  Key words, optimizing URLs, pay per click (PPC) advertising campaigns and the power of inbound links are a few areas they discuss.  There’s also a section on Black Hat SEO and what nefarious activities could get your site banned from Google.

The final chapters help you take the next step by looking at how you convert visitors to customers once you’re found and how to track your progress.  It ends with 26 “Tips from the Trenches for Startups.” Good stuff!  Even if you’ve been in business for a while it’s a good check list to see what you might still be missing.  Like any cycle, it’s an ongoing process, isn’t it?  

Note:  the authors of this book (if you don't already know) are the founders of HubSpot

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