Focus On Inbound Traffic For Success
Many businesses focus on outbound marketing when the real secret to success is inbound marketing, says Glenn Gabe. What’s the difference? Outbound marketing focuses on making contacts and calls to prospects who may or may not be interested in your product, while inbound marketing focuses on getting prospects who are looking for your products and services to call you, according to Gabe, of G-Squared Interactive, a Lawrenceville-based company.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the driving force in inbound marketing. Gabe, an internet marketing expert with more than 17 years of experience, will lead a three-hour SEO Boot Camp at the Johnson Education Center at D&R Greenway on Thursday, January 17, at 9 a.m. Cost: $179. For more information and registration, go to the G-Squared Interactive website at www.hmtweb.com.
The course covers “essential SEO topics” including domain strategy, keyword research, content optimization, navigation and internal linking strategy, webmaster guidelines indexation and crawl errors, and the power of blogging and the role of social media in SEO. Major algorithm updates including Panda and Penguin will also be discussed.
The course is designed to help both business owners and marketing professionals enhance the visibility of their products and services in the search engines. Small to medium sized business owners will learn the tactical knowledge needed to make changes immediately, while corporate marketers will learn the nuts and bolts of SEO.
Changing the Way You Work. Learning practical strategies for SEO can change the way you think about marketing and the way in which you work, according to Gabe.
“I used to work for a large agency in New York City, and I led a training session there. I can tell you that every creative professional left the training with a stronger understanding of Search Engine Optimization. Actually, I know the training changed how some people performed their jobs on a regular basis.
“Designers and programmers learned about search engine-friendly ways to design and code sites, while copywriters learned how to perform keyword research and properly optimize content. Professionals involved with information architecture (IA) learned how to best structure a navigation, while also learning the best ways to build an internal linking structure. And everyone in the training learned about the risks of redesigning a website without taking SEO into account.”
Don’t Try to Beat the Algorithm. One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is to try to “beat the algorithm,” or use tricks, rather than solid content and techniques, to make it to the top of the search engine rankings.
Google has come out with two new algorithms, Panda and Penguin, in the past few years, which are “super aggressive,” Gabe says. “I’ve seen companies that were at the top of the ranking just get crushed.”
Instead of trying to beat the system, Gabe advocates creating websites that are “clear and crawlable,” in other words, websites that have excellent content to attract the human reader while also being built in a way that makes them easy for a search engine robot to “crawl.”
Be Keyword Selective. Keywords, of course, continue to play an important part in SEO, but Gabe recommends using a few keywords wisely, rather than attempting to crowd 500 keywords into one page.
“Keyword density is antiquated,” he says. “If you write a thorough document about your subject matter your keywords will naturally show up.” And that, he adds, is a much more likely way to obtain a high search engine ranking than “chasing algorithms” which constantly change.
Although Gabe was always interested in computers (he thanks his parents’ purchase of his first computer when he was 12 for instilling a love of technology), he initially received a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management in 1994 from the University of Delaware.
After graduating from college, he attended a presentation at an IBM conference center where a marketing expert was presenting, to the top 50 retailers in the country, a seminar on the Internet.
“The web was at a relatively early stage, and halfway through the presentation about three quarters of the room emptied out,” he says. But Gabe stayed. “I knew that the web was going to be extremely powerful for marketing and advertising,” he says.
Gabe caught the Internet bug that day and spent the next seven years developing websites, web applications, and interactive presentations for the Perrier Group of America, now Nestle Waters. He has also served as director of search strategy at MRM Worldwide where he was the lead search strategist for the U.S. Army, Exxon Mobil, Bertolli, and Lunesta, and helped MRM build a global search capability. Prior to MRM, he led SEO for Yellowbook.
In 2001, he launched G-Squared Interactive LLC, to help companies utilize next-generation technologies to market their products and services. He has “productized” a video-based e-marketing platform called Heighten Marketing Technology, which enables clients to use a Flash video environment to increase sales.
Gabe’s experience in website development led to an increasing interest in SEO. “Impressive landing pages and websites are great,” he says, “but how do you drive traffic to them? The companies I was working with realized that you can build the best website in the world, but if you can’t get people to them, you’re dead in the water.”
Gabe feels his ability to combine his sales and marketing experience with a technical skill set gives him a unique perspective in helping companies to develop their websites. He is an avid blogger and the author of “The Internet Marketing Driver,” a blog dedicated to discussing the latest in digital marketing strategy. He is also a featured columnist for Search Engine Journal and a contributor to the official Bing Ads Blog.
“I absolutely love getting in front of a group of people to speak about SEO,” says Gabe. “Over the past several years, I’ve led SEO training classes for clients covering a wide range of topics, from technical SEO to keyword research to content optimization to link building strategy. Although I’ve really enjoyed leading classes like this, I’ve always wanted to launch a training program that anyone could sign up for, and not just clients.”