Digital Marketing: Where do I start?

The Basics

While there is a ton of information out there about digital marketing, different products, tools and methods. In its simplest form, digital marketing is defined as marketing that utilizes online-based digital technology to promote products and services.

The two main things you can accomplish with digital marketing is generating leads and bringing more awareness to your brand. The bigger your digital footprint, the better.

Types of Digital Marketing

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – In short, this is to help your website appear higher up on the search results when a person searches for something regarding your business. The goal is to be as close to the top of the page as possible. This will help drive more brand awareness and generate more leads.
  • Social Media Marketing – This promotes your products, services and/or brand on social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.
  • Email Marketing – Email marketing is exactly what it sounds like. Marketing your product, service or brand through email. This is a great way to keep your message fresh in the mind of your customers to be. These are typically sent to a group of subscribers that have voluntarily signed up to receive information from you. This means they are already interested in what you have to offer.
  • PPC (Pay Per Click) – These ads appear above organic search results. As an example, let’s say you search for, “rain boots”. These are the results that appear at the very top of the page. Most people don’t notice, but these results have “ads” listed beside them.
Google Ads

Where is the best place to start?

Assuming you already have a website, SEO. What purpose does your website serve if no one can find it? Multiple elements make up SEO and knowing what they are and how they work is your key to unlocking how far your reach is online. This crucial step helps to increase the traffic to your website, ultimately leading to more sales and or leads.

Elements of SEO

  • Content
  • Keywords
  • Local SEO (if you are not an online business)
  • Off-page SEO

Content

Content is the vehicle you use to drive reach and engage with your audience. Know your audience well enough to craft content that fits your angle. Let’s say you have a heating and air company and your goal is to reach customers in your local area. You want to publish a series of blogs about heating and air in your city. A few examples: choosing the correct air filter for your home, the importance of air quality and how you can improve it, why bi-annual maintenance is important, etc.

Publish content that is educational, interesting, relevant, and shareable. Consistency is important in whichever type of content you create. This can be blogs, videos, website content, podcasts, how-to guides, infographics and more!

Keywords

The keywords you choose to target must be well carefully chosen. Years ago, you could simply pick your keyword and hone in on writing content that contained the keyword multiple times. Bots are now programmed to spot “keyword stuffing”. Content creators that do this will find that their SEO efforts move in a negative direction.

Keywords are simply words or phrases that your future customers use to search for what they’re looking for. Your ideal keywords and phrases will have high search rates and low competition. Choose a variety of keywords, short-tail keywords, long-tail keywords and local keywords. Examples: air conditioning (short-tail), air conditioning service (long-tail), and air conditioning service in Woodstock (local).

When utilizing these keywords, ensure everything “matches”. Your focus keyword or phrase needs to be in your title, URL, within the content mentioned 3 times or so and used as alt tags on images used in your blog. Additionally, you should use synonyms of your focus keyword within the content. This reduces the amount of times you mention your actual keyword, which ultimately helps to show that you are not “keyword stuffing”.

Local SEO

Local SEO is everything from claiming and optimizing your local listings, to creating blogs and location-specific pages on your website. As an example, if you are a local shoe store, you would want to create a page which mentions where you are, and educates the reader about what your store has to offer. IE: “Shoe Store in St. Augustine, Florida”.

Claiming your local listing is important, especially on Google. About 85% of searchers are utilizing Google to conduct their searches on average. When claiming your listings, make sure your listings are consistent across the board. If your store name, “Jewelry and more”, you’ll want to make sure you type it exactly like that in every location. In this case, you’d want to avoid using “Jewelry & more”.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is optimization that takes place somewhere other than your website, which this helps your site gain more “authority”. Backlinks are most commonly used for this practice. The most common practice is guest blogging. A study revealed an obvious correlation between total backlinks and Google rankings, so you can see why this is a step you do not want to skip. However, you do not want a ton of backlinks, unless they are all quality. There are services that claim they can get you 100’s or 1000’s of backlinks for a small fee. Avoid this at all costs. Buying backlinks in bulk will negatively impact your SEO.

Complimentary Materials

Get started on your digital marketing journey with our free, printable checklist.

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