Consumers in today's internet-savvy era usually rely on search engines to research and purchase products and services.

So, to stay competitive, you should utilize "inbound" marketing techniques, such as search engine marketing, blogging or social media, to "get found" by your potential clients as the majority of them is nowadays searching online for products and services.

How to do it -

STEP 1: Find Keywords

  • Search Volume - Given two different keyword phrases, optimize for the one with the larger number of searches;
  • Relevance - Choose keywords that your target market is using to describe and search for your products and services;
  • Difficulty or Competition - Consider your chances for ranking on the first page of Google for that keyword phrase. Look at the sites ranked in those first 10 slots, their authority and relevance to search terms, and measure if you will be able to overtake them to secure a spot on that first page.

STEP 2: On-Page SEO

  • Place keywords in the page title, URL, headings, and page text;
  • Optimize your page description for maximum click-through-rate when your site ranks in Google searches,
  • Place keywords in other "invisible" places on your site, including meta-keyword tags and alt-text on images.

STEP 3: Off-Page SEO

  • Build more inbound links from other sites into yours. Each link serves as a recommendation or a reference to tell search engines that your site is a quality site;
  • Build more links within context, i.e. those with valuable keywords in the link anchor text (the text that is hyperlinked to your site). Link anchor text provides context for the search engines to understand what your site is about;
  • Build more links from trusted websites. Just as references from well-respected friends and experts offer more value, so do links from trusted and well-respected websites. Link-building tips:

o  Submit your website to directories like the Yahoo! Directory and;
o  Communicate with others in your industry through blogs and other social media;
o  Create compelling tools (such as an interesting calculator) and content (via a blog, for example).

STEP 4: Measure & Analyze

  • Track the number of inbound links, keyword rank over time and compare these to your competitors' results;
  • Measure real business results: number of visitors, leads, and customers from SEO.

Similar steps are quite useful when using Social Media to attract search engines -

STEP 1: Guidelines for Engagement

  • Meet people and start conversations, become a real member of the community - don't join to just advertise your products;
  • Add value to the community - answer questions and help others;
  • Ask questions - trust others' advice.

STEP 2: Publish, Share, and Network

  • Publish: Everyone can publish anything for everyone;

o  Publish everything you have anywhere you can;
o  Monitor what others publish and promote it;

  • Empower your customers to publish;
  • Share: Anyone can promote anything to everyone;
  • Monitor what's being shared about you;
  • Find where your audience hangs out;
  • Promote valuable content, yours and others';
  • Produce product content your audience will love;
  • Network: Anyone can connect with everyone from anywhere;
  • Make friends - find your existing connections and build new ones;
  • Be helpful - answer questions, share interesting content.

STEP 3: Measure & Analyse
Key metrics to consider are: number of blog visitors and subscribers, bookmarks, inbound links, Facebook fans and activity, friends on Facebook or LinkedIn, votes for blog articles, posts in forums. (Source: HubSpot)