I just recently finished reading Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. Overall, it was a pretty good book and I recommend it frequently to my clients that don’t have any experience in marketing their business online. With that being said, it’s not a book I would recommend to those who already have a strong basic knowledge of what it takes to get their business found online.
- Inbound Marketing does a good job of explaining that there are only a limited number of things on your website that are going to get your business found online. What really affects your “findability” (yes, I like to coin my own terms) is what happens off your website.
- The use of real examples to help explain the concepts. The authors have taken real life examples, from Barack Obama and 37Signals, to The Grateful Dead, and shown how what these groups have done relates to inbound marketing.
- Explanations on what good/great content is, why you should write it, and why it’s so important to have a blog to publish it to.
- Lots of explanations on how to track progress, which is really good for those who might be working on various inbound marketing campaigns for their company and are required to report finding to the powers at be.
- The entire chapter on “Getting Found in Google”. So many business owners know that keywords are important, but use a brainstormed list of what they think will work. Instead, this chapter goes into what makes a good keyword vs. a bad keyword, where you keywords should be place, and also the differences between paid and organic search results.
- The social media chapter has some good tips and should get any small business owner up and running pretty quickly (though, please see corresponding item in “The Bad”.)
- The ‘To-Do’ list at the end of each chapter. I thought this was a little corny, especially with the blank lines given. What would have been more effective, is to have a list at the back, separated by chapter. This way if you choose to use the “to-do” lists, you don’t have to thumb through to find the end of each chapter.
- Incorporating their product, HubSpot Website Grader, all throughout the book. Granted you can run the grader for free, but the numerous mentions and suggestions of using their own tool ends up becoming gimmicky after awhile, in my opinion.
- The Google (and keyword) information isn’t until Chapter 6. I really feel that keyword information should be covered much earlier on, as your keywords should be the first step in any online marketing campaign.
- Getting found via the various social media platforms was rushed through. Given that getting found via social media in the title of the book, I was hoping to see more advanced techniques on how small businesses can use social media to create awareness and buzz about their company. Nearly the same amount was spent covering landing pages *shudder* as was spent covering all of social media.
- The chapters on how to hire staff and PR agencies to manage my inbound marketing efforts was useless and wasted space. If, as a business owner, I wanted to hire staff to do it, I wouldn’t have purchased the book.
Have you read the book? What were your thoughts on it? What do you think the authors did exceptionally well with, and what parts do you feel could have been done better?