Book Review: Inbound Marketing

"Inbound Marketing"
By Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah

 I hear it all the time from my attorneys "How can I be number one on Google?". They want to exploit the internet to market themselves. They want to be found online - they are interested in inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is about interacting "many to many", focusing and promoting yourself across the Web, and not just focusing on your Web site. It is about browsers and RSS, links and fans, followers and subscribers. To be a successful online marketer you must have a strategy, track your progress, and think outside the box.

Marketing on the Internet is fun but similar to other environmental shifts, the change in marketing channels caused a change in the rules of the game. With the social networking revolution, it is out with the 4 Ps and in with the, well, what are the new marketing rules and best practices? In the book "Inbound Marketing", HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah share tools and strategies to successfully exploit the World Wide Web and teach the new rules of the road.

In the book the authors discuss how to create noteworthy, contagious content, and they share best practices to get content picked up by search engines. They discuss how to build effective profiles and how to participate in the conversation. They also explain how to covert visitors and prospects into leads then into customers.

What was most surprising to me was learning about the "no-follow" attribute. The no-follow attribute is when site owners choose not to share search engine optimization credit to inbound links on their site. This is important for Web sites that allow user-submitted content (i.e. comments on blogs) to help minimize participants posting comments that do not add value to the Web site but instead are posted for personal gain.  The book claims that most software that allows for participant content marks all links in comments as no-follow.

"Inbound Marketing" addresses today's online marketing rules. But remember when reading this book that social networking is one large beta. Try not to blink, the rules might change....

Helena Meg Lawrence is a marketing project manager at Sutherland

Asbill & Brennan LLP

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