What is digital Marketing?
When it comes to your digital marketing strategy, few things matter more than ensuring that you have the right help on your side. Digital Marketing is a wide and varied discipline, making use of several tools that can work quite differently from one another.
One of the most important in an age where Google and other search engines are so important to gaining visibility, traffic, and conversions into customers, is SEO. Search engine optimisation can help build the online presence you need, so here we’re going to look at the details of what digital marketing is, what SEO is, and how crucial it is you find the right SEO company to help with your digital marketing plans.
Before we start talking about specifics, it’s important to ensure we’re starting with the right understanding of what digital marketing is, exactly. Simply put, it’s the method by which we promote products, services and brands online, whether through web browsers, apps, social media, or other digital channels. Digital marketing is all about helping you reach your specific target market by the right implementation of a range of strategies.
Back when I started out in 2000 it just used to be called Internet Marketing and it was a LOT easier to do. Essentially you only had to think about 3 things in the main:
Fast forward to today and it is a LOT more complex! Multiple channels and accounts to worry about not to mention tons of content creation daily!
Digital marketing isn’t simply the use of advertisements though or setting up a website alone. It incorporates a range of different techniques, including SEO, mobile apps, email marketing, social media, and more. Nowadays, the internet rules the roost when it comes to marketing, meaning that digital marketing is becoming more and more crucial to your business’s success.
If you don’t understand this by now you will find your business going the way of the dinosaurs and they did’nt fare so well! Customers use the internet to research products and services, to find providers, and to help them make better decisions and consumers. A digital marketing strategy allows you to influence that process.
But which methods are the best way to ensure that you’re reaching your target audience, getting the right kind of influence regarding their online experience, and actually converting them to customers? While different companies define digital marketing success differently, there’s no doubt that choosing the right techniques is crucial, so let’s take a look at them next.
What is SEO?
One of the digital marketing techniques that have come into the forefront recently is SEO, which is short for search engine optimisation. As the name suggests, this tactic is all about search engines, primarily Google, but also works for Bing, Yahoo, and others. A lot of digital marketing is about crafting content that appeals to the audience, but how do you ensure that you actually get your potential customers engaging with that content? We have written a very handy beginner Guide to SEO here If you need some more in-depth knowledge on the subject.
For the majority of people, their online consumer lifecycle starts on search engines like Google. They will use it to either research the products or services they need or try and find a supplier. People do NOT search for companies on Facebook! Or on twitter or on Instagram for that matter. Yes, you can appear in front of people using adverts on these platforms but they are not looking for you or your service.
People search using Google in the main or Bing and Yahoo. SEO is about making sure that your company has the visibility to ensure that its one of the first results they will come across when using Google and other search engines. It’s a method of organic marketing, meaning you are helping to build the bridges that allow leads to come directly to you, instead of interruptive messaging like advertisements.
On Site SEO
There are two kinds of SEO. The first is on-page SEO. This is the process of optimising the content on your website so that it’s search-engine friendly. The more you optimise that content and the website itself, the higher your site can climb in the rankings of the search engine results page. As a result, your company is more visible and your more likely to gain organic traffic. On page SEO is very technical as it involves fixing all the things that are wrong or broken with your website. Make no mistake here this is just as important as your off-site efforts.
Off-site SEO is all about building the links by which search engines can determine the influence and relevance of your website. It can include strategies like writing guest posts and articles or featuring on prominent news sites related to your industry. In layman’s terms, it’s about showing search engines that your website is trusted by others, which can help its rankings.
The practices that go into SEO include finding the right keywords that your customers are likely to use when searching for your company, crafting content to match those keywords, using SEO-friendly URLs and page titles, and more. However, SEO isn’t the only tactic out there so let’s look at some of the other techniques you may be incorporating.
The other digital marketing tactics
In the majority of cases, SEO is an essential component of a successful digital marketing strategy. However, there are other approaches worth considering, as well. Not all of them might be relevant to your own goals or company. I should add in here that you can be highly successful with Digital marketing without even having a website but it pays to be aware of what options are at your disposal:
- Website marketing: The online home of your business, the website is just as crucial in digital marketing as any tactic can be. Website marketing is often considered synonymous with digital marketing, a blanket term for a range of techniques designed to bring more visitors to your website with the hopes of converting them into customers. Professional website design, a focus on user experience, and the crafting of high-quality content are all important factors in website marketing.
- Social media marketing: Social media has grown to play a huge role in the online lives of most users but is particularly popular amongst younger demographics. Using social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, this tactic is all about growing your presence on these channels, engaging with your audience, and sharing content that helps grow your brand and drive conversions.
- Content marketing: We’ve used the term “content” often, which refers broadly to any kind of content that has the aim of capturing the attention of the audience. It includes not just written content, but images, infographics, videos, interactive experiences and more. These content assets can be built for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to encourage curiosity in your products and services, to emotionally appeal to your audience, to grow brand awareness, grow leads, increase retention, and more.
- Email marketing: Email is the preferred method of communication for the vast majority of online users. If you can get your message in their inbox, you can help build a much more personal communication with them. Email marketing isn’t just about cold messaging leads in the hopes of convincing them to convert, but also includes the use of subscriptions to keep current customers up-to-date on the latest developments from your brand, including offers and discounts specifically for them. It’s a good way to build customer loyalty over time.
- Pay-per-click advertising: While SEO is a textbook example of organic marketing, PPC advertising is the textbook example of “interruptive” marketing. It’s a simple, yet effective tactic of targeting online users with ads which are most often built to drive them towards a particular product or service. Google AdWords is currently the most widely used form of PPC advertising, but it’s also available in different platforms such as social media, as well.
With so many different ways of reaching your audience and techniques to help convert them into loyal, happy customers, it might be hard to decide which strategy to go with. So let’s figure that out next.
Which approach should you use?
Success in digital marketing isn’t about choosing one strategy over another. Rather, real success is found by knowing how to blend them together. This is known as the integrated approach. Through it, not only can you reach your customer on a variety of different platforms, making sure that you’re not missing significant percentages of potential leads. You can also use the advantages of one digital marketing method to support the efforts of another at the same time. Most people make too much noise with their Digital Marketing efforts and think mistakenly I might add that they need to be on every platform to be a success. You don’t, far from it.
For instance, let’s take the example of website marketing, content marketing, and search engine optimisation. As a part of website marketing, you need a well-designed, strongly branded website to convince your customers that your products and services can truly fulfill their needs. However, you need people to visit the website to be convinced of that in the first place. Search engine optimisation helps you improve the visibility and reputation of the website so that more people visit it. Content marketing not only helps you make your website more SEO-friendly, driving those clicks but can play a key role in convincing customers to dig deeper, helping your website marketing goals.
When you’re talking about digital marketing strategy, the integrated approach is undoubtedly the most effective one there is. Finding which technique is best suited to help you achieve your goal is important, but don’t neglect to work out the supportive techniques that can help you get much better results in that primary method.
How the right SEO company can help you incorporate an integrated approach
As mentioned, search engines play a large role indeed when it comes to modern marketing. We used the example of how it empowers both website marketing and content marketing, but it’s an essential component of just about any kind of organic marketing.
There are digital marketing companies of all stripes, but an SEO company is one that is particularly suited to building your online presence’s visibility and trustworthiness through social media. This doesn’t mean that an SEO company isn’t able to provide the other techniques that you need, simply that it knows that a strong search engine presence is crucial to digital marketing success, no matter what other methods you’re using.
What to consider when choosing an SEO company and digital marketing agency
If digital marketing success is your aim, then an SEO company is the right way to go about it. However, how do you ensure that you’re choosing the team that can do the best work for you? Here are a few ways to narrow down your options:
- Learn the difference between white hat and black hat: These terms often refer to how “legit” certain techniques are. Black hat techniques, such as keyword spamming, IP cloaking and PBNs, have some effectiveness, but search engines crack down on it when it’s discovered. White hat are tactics are approved by search engines. Aim for white hat if you want sustainable long-term results.
- See what experience they have: Any SEO or digital marketing agency should be able to tell you teams and brands that they have worked with before, including what results they may have helped them achieve. Learning more about their background, how long the team has been together, and how much experience they have is important.
- Ensure their expertise: There are a lot of people calling themselves “SEO Gurus” nowadays. A real SEO marketing authority should be able to explain a range of different tactics and tell you precisely how they’re going to help, instead of simply promising results. What’s more, you want to make sure that they provide more than SEO alone, but provide it as part of an integrated approach, so ask about other services at the same time.
- Do they know your audience and industry?: There are SEO teams and digital marketing firms that brand themselves as helping with specific industries. More general-purpose teams might still have the expertise you need, but it’s important to ask them about it. The more they understand your audience and the more experience they have in your industry, the better they will understand demographics, customer behavior and the use of relevant keywords, all critical parts of your success.
- Focus on your goals: While digital marketing is all about improvising visibility, building your brand, and converting customers, the specific goals that help build towards those results can vary. You may be looking specifically to increase clicks, conversions, improve retention, reduce bounce rate or have other aims in mind. Be wary of the SEO team that doesn’t ask about your own goals but starts promising improvements without knowing what you really want.
It can take some work to make sure you’re getting the digital marketing agency best suited to your needs, but its worth it to ensure a good return on investment.
Get started with the right SEO company today
Hopefully, this deep dive on digital marketing and SEO has helped you understand a lot more about what it takes to create an effective online strategy. If you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at 15Degrees-North today. We can help you understand the methods and the strategies behind whatever goals you want to meet through digital marketing.