1. What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of making your website more appealing to search engine crawlers (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc), therefore moving your site higher up in the organic search results. SEO involves making the best use of keywords on your website pages and in your blog articles, as well as using some HTML behind the scenes to help search engines identify images and easily read your site. If you are interested in finding out how well your site is optimized for search engines, benchmark it against 3 million others by entering your URL in HubSpot's Website Grader . This will give you a good idea of where you currently stand in terms of SEO best practices.
Why is this important to your business? Organic search results are the unpaid results that you see when you conduct a search. Unpaid results are clicked on more often than the paid ads, so it's important to be on the first page. Why the first page? Ask yourself, when was the last time you went to page 4 of a search? The answer is probably never, so optimize your site and blog for keywords and follow the best practices contained in this document.
2. What is a CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. SAP , Oracle and Salesforce.com are some the most commonly known CRM systems. The purpose of a CRM is to automate and synchronize the activities of your sales, marketing and customer support teams. A CRM can support your business in a number of ways ranging from selling and fulfillment to identifying and rewarding loyal customers.
How can a CRM help your business? A CRM allows your sales team to see valuable qualifying information about prospective clients. It allows management to see what the sales team is up to and improve the way you maintain contact with customers and prospects.
3. What is a CMS?
CMS is short for Content Management System. A content management system is a collection of procedures designed to facilitate communication, improve reporting, share stored data and reduce repetitive content on a website. It also allows non-technical users the ability to create and manage content on their websites.
How a CMS can help your business? A CMS will allow you to save money on costly changes done by outside web vendors because you will be able to do the bulk of the work in-house. It also turns once time consuming redesigns into manageable shorter projects.
4. What is a blog?
A blog is a website or a portion of a website that is dedicated to creating regular entries that can come in the form of text, video, audio and images. If you are reading this article, you have found one of HubSpot's most valuable assets. Our blog provides a wealth of knowledge around inbound marketing as well as SEO. It has become a destination for our blog followers and has helped establish HubSpot as a thought leader.
Why is a blog important to my business? A blog is considered an asset because it is an opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader, create a community around shared interests, encourage interactivity, create additional pages for your site and optimize for keywords. A blog should be updated regularly because the more often you publish, the more often the search engines will crawl your site and index your pages. All of this will contribute to you reaching the first page of organic search results.
5. What is a social network?
When I talk about social networks, I am more accurately referring to social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media networks have grown faster than either radio or even television did in popularity. That's why for marketers social media monitoring isn't an option. It is a must! If you aren't part of the conversation, your brand may be falsely represented or your competitors may be gaining an advantage over you. Be active in the conversation and at the very least be listening to it. If you're into a killer webinar on social media marketing, this link is for you.
Why is social media monitoring important to my business? Knowing what potential or current customers are saying is crucial to protecting your brand. Social media gives you an opportunity to respond to positive comments or criticism quickly and efficiently. Lastly, if you keep tabs on your competition, you'll know what they are up to in real time. Knowledge is power and social networks are one of the most powerful tools out there to reach and interact with a large audience quickly.
Business today moves at a different pace than it did even 5 years ago. Being able to find information, gain knowledge around what is being said about your brand and nurturing existing leads and customers is critical to the success or failure of your business. The items mentioned in this installment of 'what is?' are tools that should be considered as part of your marketing strategy for 2011.
Photo Credit: Marco Bellucci