What is Online Marketing?

Before the rise of social media, online marketing was considered the simple push of SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click) methods to attract potential customers to a website.

While those tactics still form a large part of online marketing, the industry has evolved in the last decade, driven by real-time insights, big data analysis, and the ever-changing desires and needs of consumers who are now doing the majority of their shopping and clicking through to purchase products and services online.

Here, we explore the changing nature of online marketing and how you can prepare your organization to thrive in this new digital era.

What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO, short for search engine optimization, is the practice of making a website or web page appear higher in search engine rankings, so that it is more accessible to website visitors who are seeking specific content or products that are being sold online.

There are 3 primary components that go into SEO:

  • On-site SEO – optimizing the copy and content found on your website for the best SEO performance.
  • Off-site SEO – including backlink building, social media marketing, and pay-per-click ad campaigns to increase your SEO presence in the search engines.
  • Reputation management – increasing your SEO presence in the search engines by defending your SEO performance against negative content or attacks from competitors.

Optimizing your on-site SEO is essential for driving qualified traffic to your website. Your website’s content, including articles, blogs, and product descriptions, is what potential customers are engaging with, and SEO is everything from creating compelling copy to structuring information in a way that makes sense to a human reader.

Is SEO Just For Websites?

SEO is more than simply ‘optimizing the copy and content’ found on a website; it is a strategic approach to using digital marketing, including websites, blogs, social media, and video content to grow a business. In 2021, 79% of businesses are saying that SEO is integral to their business model, according to HubSpot.

A business’ digital presence extends beyond its website, and SEO is about using platforms like social media to encourage engagement and amplify a brand or marketing message.

Why Are Customers Flocking To Online Marketplaces?

E-commerce has expanded well beyond online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, to include social media platforms like Facebook and Google stores.

In the last few years, a customer’s journey has shifted to a primarily digital one as consumers have adopted digital platforms and social media to research, research, and buy products and services.

Consumers are now able to access an abundance of information in real-time, and with new platforms and tools emerging constantly, finding what they want without having to navigate busy stores, search for products, and interact with salespeople can be a daunting task.

With the right approach, you can optimize your digital marketing campaigns to increase customer engagement and drive business growth.

How Can A Business Person Optimize Their Digital Marketing?

Although SEO is a practice that can be carried out by anyone with a bit of computer knowledge and plenty of time on their hands, having a business person in charge of overseeing all the company’s digital marketing efforts means that you can be sure that the practice will be carried out responsibly and to the best of the business’s capabilities.

As an organization grows and expands, the most efficient and effective way to remain organized and ensure that everyone is aware of what is going on is by setting up roles and responsibilities. Define who is in charge of what, and communicate the purpose of each role clearly.

To get started, you should assign someone the responsibility of SEO within your team. This person will be responsible for executing the on-site SEO strategy and will work with the web designer, content managers, and developers to make sure that the website is structured in a way that makes sense to search engines and human readers. Make sure that this person is aware of the various aspects of SEO, what to look out for, and the kind of metrics that you collect and analyze to determine the effectiveness of your SEO campaign. This person should also be responsible for monitoring and analyzing the performance of your SEO campaign, and feeding back any discoveries and new insights into the future of your campaign. Designing a website with the right on-site SEO in mind from the start makes the process much simpler down the line, and ensures that the search engine optimization is as effective as possible.

Now that you have someone in charge of SEO, you can move on to the next step of establishing a clear strategy for your digital marketing.

What Is Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC Advertising)?

PPC advertising, or pay-per-click advertising, is similar to SEO in the sense that it relies on keywords and backlinks to draw in customers, but it differs in that you are charged per click through to reach paid-for results on a given search engine.

PPC stands for pay-per-click, which means that you only pay when someone clicks on one of your ads. Once you reach a certain level of spending, you reach ‘pay-per-click freedom,’ at which point you are no longer charged for each click on your ad. Most search engines will only show your ads if they believe that you have a reputable business, so this is one of the primary reasons that PPC is usually only used in conjunction with SEO.

Establishing a paid advertising strategy is a crucial step in the growth of any business, and it is important to note here that the strategy needs to be comprehensive, including both SEM (search engine marketing) and PPC, or else you’re wasting your money. Consider working with a reputable digital marketing agency to create a fully integrated strategy for your organization. An agency that is experienced in both SEO and PPC will be able to craft an effective strategy that makes the most of your existing resources, while also being mindful of your budget.

Where Do I Start?

Now that you have a general idea of what SEO and PPC are and how they work, it’s time to get down to business and start establishing a strategy for your organization.

If you are just getting started, the best place to start is with some basic research into your industry. Start by looking at your competition and what they are doing. You can use tools like Google Trends to easily find the popularity of any niche or topic.

Once you have an idea of what your industry is like, it’s time to move on to the next step and establish some metrics.

To begin with, you should track the number of visitors to your website. This is called ‘web traffic,’ and it is a good indication of how many people are finding your website, and therefore how effective your SEO is.

Another important factor to track is the number of times that a customer interacts with your site. This could include creating an account, making a purchase, or engaging with your content in some way. For instance, if you are running a blog, you can use tools like Google Analytics to track the amount of times that customers have interacted with content published on your blog. Consider using a tool like Google Analytics to track the effectiveness of your online marketing – it can be very useful for establishing trends and seeing what aspects of your marketing campaign are bringing in the most business.

Why Are Customers Flocking To Online Marketplaces?

E-commerce has expanded well beyond online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, to include social media platforms like Facebook and Google stores.

In the last few years, a consumer’s journey has shifted to a primarily digital one as consumers have adopted digital platforms and social media to research, research, and buy products and services.

Consumers are now able to access an abundance of information in real-time, and with new platforms and tools emerging constantly, finding what they want without having to navigate busy stores, search for products, and interact with salespeople can be a daunting task.

With the right approach, you can optimize your digital marketing campaigns to increase customer engagement and drive business growth.