Online Retailers: What’s the Difference Between SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Email?

As an online retailer, you’re bound to be bombarded with online marketing advice at some point in your career. But where do you start? There are so many different approaches to marketing online, it can be hard to know where to begin.

Not to worry. We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Email marketing, so you can choose the right strategy for your business.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of modifying content to make it appear more relevant and interesting to search engines, such as Google and Bing.

The better your SEO technique, the higher your search rankings in the SERPs (search engine results pages), which in turn means more customers and better conversions. But don’t expect to see huge overnight success with SEO. It usually takes months – even years – of persistent effort to truly see results.

Why is SEO so beneficial to online retailers? First, your site probably already has a lot of content. Having a high-ranking page in the search engines will mean that your site’s content matches what a customer is searching for. You don’t want to confuse potential customers by having outdated information or selling unrelated products. Doing this can result in a poor user experience and a missed opportunity to educate someone about the products you offer.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC, which stands for pay per click, is another popular digital marketing approach used by businesses of all sizes. This is where you pay for each click on your website or social media posts. When people click on your links and make purchases, you’ll earn a commission.

PPC is one of the most popular digital marketing approaches because it’s so easy to implement. You simply have to make sure that your links are visible on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, as well as your website. PPC is also a highly targeted form of marketing. You can choose to target specific demographic groups and use demographic keywords in your content to attract the right audience.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

SMM, or social media marketing, is the practice of using social media platforms to promote your business and attract potential customers.

SMM can be a bit more complex than PPC, but not by much. You’ll still need a Twitter handle, a Facebook page, and a Google+ page in order to get started with SMM. You can then use these platforms to communicate with your audience and establish yourself as an expert in your industry. From there, you can branch into other areas of social media to continue establishing yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry.

SMM is a popular choice for online retailers because it’s so flexible. You can choose to use the platforms to promote your products or services, offer helpful advice, or just establish yourself as an industry expert. So if you have a niche industry, you can choose to focus your efforts on social media in order to grow your business.

Email Marketing

Email marketing, sometimes called digital marketing, is all about sending out automated messages to potential customers. It doesn’t get any easier than that. All you need is a list of email addresses and you can start sending out newsletters, marketing emails, and more.

Like SEO and PPC, email marketing is a very targeted and measurable form of advertising. You can segment your list and send personalized offers to people based on their interests, behaviors, and more. Plus, you can track the results of your email campaigns in real time.

The bad news is, email marketing is one of the least effective forms of digital advertising. According to HubSpot Blogs research, email marketing got a 16 out of 100 on the effectiveness scale. That’s compared to 33 for SEO, 35 for PPC, and 47 for Social Media.

While there are several different reasons why email marketing is relatively ineffective, some of the main causes are quite obvious. First, customers can be incredibly frustrating to email marketers because they rarely want to receive sales emails. Second, email customers are quite difficult to keep in the dark. They want all the information right at their fingertips. So in order to be most effective, your emails should contain valuable and relevant information, not just pitches. Lastly, email marketing is quite inefficient because it requires a lot of manual labor to manually craft the emails and send them out. Once you have your email list, you’ll need to check for new subscribers every day or every other day, depending on the size of your list.

Choosing the right digital marketing strategy can be pretty tricky. When it comes to online retailers, you’ll probably want to focus on SEO first, then maybe move into PPC, or at least try it out for a while.