In 2013, there’s no denying the fact that digital marketing must play a significant part in any business’ marketing mix, however what it is important to understand is that this must encompass a range of approaches. In order to succeed online and drive the strongest levels of targeted traffic to your website, you simply can’t rely on a single digital marketing method and must focus on utilising different approaches to drive traffic from differing sources. In doing so, you will ultimately see the rewards in the form of sales and enquiries and have the reassurance that, should any source stop driving the same levels of traffic for any reason, you’re still receiving sales leads and enquiries.
As a business operating online in 2013, you need to focus your efforts, in the very least, across three primary digital marketing sources; organic search (SEO), paid search (PPC) and social media (SMM). Of course, that’s not to say that there isn’t other online opportunities which can be used to drive targeted traffic to your website (display advertising and email marketing to name just a few), however the above are essentially the three core digital marketing strategies which all businesses must utilise to their advantage if they want to succeed online.
To take a look in a little more depth at these three core concepts:
Organic Search Marketing (SEO)
A strong organic search engine ranking position still remains one of the most valuable online assets a business can have. Ranking in the top 3 positions on Google for primary keyphrases relating to your business is almost guaranteed to drive a significant level of sales and enquiries through your website and, ultimately, allow you to thrive and succeed online. SEO, however, has changed significantly in recent years and the term itself is starting to become a little redundant. What was previously referred to as SEO is realistically now so much more than that and, in order to succeed at search engine optimisation and obtain top organic ranking positions, techniques including on-site optimisation, content marketing, online PR and online brand building must be undertaken.
SEO must always be a long-term strategy and it will take anything between 3 and 6 months (depending on the competitiveness of the industry) to attain first page positions and start seeing a return on investment, however it is ultimately the bread and butter of any digital marketing campaign and should always be seen as a worthwhile investment. It can be frustrating at times when it takes 3 months or more to start seeing organic search traction, however what must be remembered is that SEO must be a natural and organic process and that techniques which yield quicker results are not in any way, shape or form sustainable. It makes far more sense for a campaign to be built up naturally and organically and sustain positions, riding out Google algorithm updates, than achieve over-night success but loose it in a number of weeks time.
Of course, businesses need enquiries and sales to survive, however, and, in order for these to start coming in almost straight away, another vital technique to utilise is:
Paid Search Marketing (PPC)
With paid search marketing, you can essentially be appearing at the very top of the search engines on your main keyphrases within a couple of minutes of setting the campaign live. Of course, the difference between paid search marketing and organic search marketing is that, with paid search marketing, you’re paying for each and every click which your website receives and that cost is dependent on a number of factors ranging from the maximum cost per click your competitors are bidding to the quality score of your ad. Paid search marketing goes beyond simply setting up your ads and forgetting about them and continuous monitoring is required to enable on-going optimisation to ensure that your campaign is not only driving clicks but driving enquiries as well.
Through a carefully optimised paid search marketing campaign, you can be appearing in prominent positions almost straight away, bringing in business whilst your organic search marketing campaign takes time to kick in. When you do see your site appearing in top 3 positions, however, it’s a wise idea to continue your paid search campaign for one simple reason; people search in different ways! If you took a look at 100 people, some would take preference to clicking on the paid ads whilst others would skip straight to the organic results. With this in mind, even if your site is appearing in position 1 for your main keywords, it makes sense to keep paid search ads running to capitalise on the maximum levels of traffic possible.
Social Media Marketing
Last but by no means least, social media is something which all businesses need to be utilising as part of their wider digital marketing campaign. Whether that means building an active presence on Facebook, on Twitter, on Google plus or on any of the other social media platforms, having a strong presence on social media is a very powerful tool. You need to be not only using your profiles regularly but also need to be using them smartly. Promoting yourself and your business on social media isn’t simply a case of posting statuses and making tweets which advertise your products and services but about building up your own little community. Would you pay much attention to a profile on social media who posted nothing but links to their products? Probably not!
Succeeding at social media marketing is all about getting involved in your own social community, expanding upon it and interacting with your followers and fans. Don’t be afraid to share content posted by others if you think it’ll be found to be useful by your own audience. Having an active social media presence is all about building up your audience and posting content tailored to their needs and requirements. Of course, this can be your own offers, links to your latest blog post or simply your own thoughts on industry happenings, but in order to really succeed and take your social media marketing to the next level, you need to develop an audience who you influence, not just follow you.
All in all, to succeed online in 2013, businesses need to look at the wider digital marketing mix and be sure to focus not only on a single avenue but also to look at a range of techniques which can drive traffic both short term and long term!
SearchQuest, as one of the UK’s first internet marketing companies are experienced in handling digital marketing campaigns of all shapes and sizes and are able to assist you with all of the above techniques and more. To discuss your own requirements with one of our team, please do not hesitate to contact us here or give us a call on 01524 580777.