It may come as a surprise to many business owners, but digital marketing can make or break your website’s online presence. Few have achieved page-one results by luck on its own; as it takes a solid web presence, a sound inbound marketing strategy, search engine optimization, and more to get to the end of the digital marketing rainbow!
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of internet-based marketing tactics designed to guide consumers through the buying process. It isn’t just search engine marketing (SEM) anymore. It’s search engine optimization + content marketing + social media + email marketing + ORM + marketing automation and so much more.
Below we highlight a few key digital marketing tactics.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is one of the most widely talked about digital marketing tactics. Businesses, both big and small, are willing to spend big bucks to get their website found by their customers. However, most businesses aren’t even sure what SEO means.
SEO is essentially optimizing your website for the search engines. This includes on-page (on your website) factors like H1’s, H2’s, internal linking between pages, image optimization, site structure, meta data, and more. It also includes off-page (not on your website) tactics like linkbuilding, NAP listings and citations, redirects, etc.
While these SEO methods may not seem all that intense, they can actually get you into trouble if not done correctly. Google’s two main algorithm updates, Panda and Penguin, show just how serious not following Google’s guidelines can be. Getting hit by one of these updates can completely remove you from the search engines – resulting in zero traffic and zero revenue.
Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, is paying for the top spots on Google and Bing. PPC helps you appear in the search results for your main keywords before you start showing organically. It is also used to strengthen brand identities and build awareness.
The two most popular search engines, Google and Bing, both have PPC advertisement programs you can use to start bringing in the leads.
Inbound marketing is the complete opposite of PPC. It’s using your website to attract, engage and convert visitors into buyers. Inbound Marketing collateral includes, but is not limited to e-books, whitepapers, infographics and blogs, social media management, and press releases.
This content is often determined by a businesses unique set of buyer personas and sales cycle. Marketing Automation is closely connected to inbound marketing because you’re creating and delivering key pieces of content at specific timeframes to interact with potential buyers during key periods of the sales cycle.
Online Reputation Management
Online reviews may not always go the way you plan. And because buyers are looking to reviews before making a purchase, it’s really important for you, as a business owner, to know what is being said about you online. Online Reputation Management (ORM) helps you monitor your reviews and overall brand presence online.
Email Marketing & Newsletters
Perhaps the most tried and true aspect of digital marketing is email marketing and newsletter blasts. These informative marketing materials benefit your customers and clients by letting them know about specials, upcoming events, new services and products, and the latest company happenings.
Email marketing is probably most beneficial for ecommerce websites because you can use action-oriented workflows and automation to get customers to make their purchase. Think about it: have you ever put an item in your online shopping cart, left the site, and received an email a few days later from that same company giving you a coupon code or incentive to complete the transaction? Behold the power of email marketing.
Why Do I Need Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing may seem overwhelming, and in many ways it is. It’s hard to pin down exactly all the things we do to create a successful digital campaign. However, through a combination of digital efforts you can increase the performance of your website.
Without any of these digital marketing services, the chances of your website performing well for your industry-related keywords are slim-to-none.
It’s important to realize that on the web, you can’t just rely on luck to gain prospective customers. Digital marketing is a collection of tactics and procedures that will help you compete with other industry leaders in your area.