If you’ve heard of the term digital marketing, but have stayed away from it because you don’t know what it is, now’s the time to join the 21st century. While billboards, phone books, print advertisements, and mailers may have worked for your marketing needs in the past, it’s now essential that your business has a digital marketing strategy in place.
Why Is Digital Marketing a Must?
The most recent data shows that there are over 100 billion Google searches conducted every month. This number includes people searching for everything from the answers to life’s most ponderous questions (i.e. why is the sky blue) to the closest pizza delivery. If you own a business, small or large, chances are a lot of people in need of your product or service are looking for what you sell online. Think about the last time you needed to locate a dentist or a wanted to find the best Thai restaurants in your city. Did you scroll through the phone book looking for the answer? Chances are, no. You likely did what millions of other Americans do. You Googled it.
Research shows that most people find the answer they’re looking for on page one of Google’s results, and their search stops there. So, if someone’s searching for what you sell and you’re buried somewhere in the SEO wasteland (i.e. pages 2+), then they probably won’t bother to come looking for you. Why would they when they have a solution to their query right under their noses?
The great news is, there are ways to optimize your site so that it’s found by Google’s search engine and boosted to the top of rankings. Better rankings equate to more online traffic from potential customers, and finally, what we all care most about, more sales.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search engine marketing is often confused for SEO, but the two are not the same. Search engine marketing generally refers to pay-per-click advertising, such as Google AdWords. In a Google AdWords campaign, your site is displayed as an advertisement when users search for certain keywords related to your niche. If a user clicks on one of these ads, then you pay a set amount per click. PPC advertising is great for emerging brands or for companies promoting time-sensitive offers. The results are almost instant, but the big downside is that it’s like opening a can of Pringles (you know…once you pop it’s hard to stop). If your business comes to rely on the traffic and leads it gets from PPC, you might get roped into paying outrageous bills for AdWords into perpetuity.
More than half of all web searches start on mobile. Mobile optimization is now a key element of SEO marketing.
Then, What Exactly is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization refers to the process of optimizing a website so that it ranks better for certain keywords in search engine page results. While the details get a bit technical, there are both on-page (pertaining to your actual site) and off-page (primarily links to your site) elements that go into well-designed SEO strategy (see our article on on-page vs. off-page optimization). This type of digital marketing is all about generating what we call “organic traffic”. Organic traffic means people find your site by conducting a search and clicking on one of the results Google displays; not on the paid advertising that usually displays at the top of the page. Whereas PPC advertising is dependent on your business continuing to pay the AdWords bill month after month, a well-executed SEO strategy should get your site ranked in a specified time-period with results that last for years to come. While SEO is an investment on the front-end, in the long-run, you’ll likely end up paying far less than you would for a PPC campaign.
If you’ve been hearing all the SEO buzz and don’t really know where to get started, or you’re currently paying for search engine advertising and want to pull the plug, check out our Discovery Page. Fill in the basics about your business and site, and we’ll put together a customized SEO presentation just for you. This presentation will walk you through your site’s current SEO “health” and analyze where you could be. Make 2017 the year you tackle your business’ SEO strategy!
About us and this blog
We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.