One of the most challenging aspects of becoming a digital marketer is deciding how much you should be spending on each area of digital marketing. There are basically four different areas you need to consider:
- Search Engines
- Web Design
- Content Creation and Management
- Email Marketing
Each area has its perks but also its drawbacks. For example, if you have a limited budget then focusing your efforts on SEO could put you in a compromising position. Being in the top three positions on Google for a particular keyword could generate a ton of traffic and revenue but come at a high cost. Alternatively, creating engaging content for your blog could help you to grow your audience, and potentially increase your income, but it takes a lot of time and effort.
The good news is you can have your cake and eat it too. Yes, you can enjoy the perks of SEO without having to stretch your budget too far. The key is knowing where to focus your efforts and how much you should be investing in each of those areas.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is all about improving your blog’s visibility in search engines for the keyphrase or keywords you’ve chosen. When a user enters a search query into the search bar of a search engine (most commonly Google Search), the engine will scan its entire database of content and present the results it finds most relevant to the user. Typically, the better your SEO, the higher your search rankings and the more opportunities you have to earn.
SEO is pretty much a ‘set it and forget it’ process. Once you determine the keywords or phrases you’ll use to optimize your content, building a website, publishing blogs, and creating engaging content are all automatic processes that can be carried out with little to no input from you. The only requirement is maintaining a consistent and high-quality content flow.
When you’re first starting out, it can be difficult to know how much you should be investing in SEO because the ‘keyword economy’ is always changing. Once you establish yourself as an authority in your space, however, ranking highly for your chosen keywords becomes much easier. The better you get at SEO, the less effort you need to put in to maintain your rankings.
Web design is all about the look and feel of your blog or website. A lot of emphasis is placed on making sure that your site is functional and user-friendly. In terms of functionality, you need to make sure that all the relevant pages on your site are connected and work together. What does that mean in practice?
If you’ve ever visited a blog you know how crucial a good layout and design are to getting the reader engaged. If your layout is a little plain and uninteresting then it might not be as easy for your visitors to stay engaged and on your site for long. Keep in mind that most people will only spend a few minutes on a website or blog before deciding whether or not to continue reading.
When it comes to establishing an authoritative voice in your space, you have two options: build a traditional website or blog, or go the extra mile and create a community platform. A website or blog is an authoritative voice because it provides a curated collection of content that an expert in your space has put together. A community website provides a space for people with shared interests to come together and discuss the topics of interest.
The choice between building a website or blog is a personal one and comes down to how much you want to invest in infrastructure. A lot of smaller businesses and bloggers choose to go the extra mile and build a community platform. These types of sites are often less formal in their appearance because they don’t need to be. Instead of putting in the hours necessary to build a traditional website or blog, you could spend that time and energy engaging with your audience, growing your community, and establishing yourself as an expert in your space.
Content Creation and Management
Content creation and management is all about gathering and organizing content that is both relevant and useful to your niche. The better your content, the higher your search rankings and the more opportunities you have to earn. When it comes to establishing your blog or website as an authority, however, you have to be careful not to ‘overdo it’ and create content that is too much of a good thing.
If you’ve ever been in love you know how a lot of pressure there is to make sure that your partner feels the same way. The same goes for content creation. If you want to be able to rank highly for your chosen keywords, you have to make sure that your content is of the highest quality. While it’s always great to have a lot of content, it can also be exhausting to look after all of that content and maintain quality.
When it comes to attracting and engaging an audience, the better the content the more likely they are to listen and retain your interest. Poor content, no matter what the topic, is usually a turnoff for an audience. It either doesn’t provide value or it comes across as ‘over-eager’ and annoying.
Email marketing is, simply put, the practice of sending emails to people you’ve invited to join your email list. It’s a fantastic way to stay in touch with existing customers and gain new ones. Most email marketing platforms, such as MailChimp and HubSpot, allow you to create a series of drip campaigns, which are essentially sequences of emails you send out to your email list. Using a tool like Personal Capital, you can see all your email marketing activity in one place, allowing you to keep track of opens, clicks, and conversions for each campaign.
One of the fundamental rules of marketing is that you should always be asking yourself, ‘What is my audience doing now that can help me to be more effective?’ The same goes for email marketing. You should be asking yourself, ‘What is my audience doing that can help me to be more effective in my email marketing?’
Keeping up with all the changes in the email marketing world can be tricky. Just as with SEO and web design, the ‘keyword economy’ is always in flux and the tools and tactics you’ll need to successfully implement email marketing change quickly. Also, with some platforms, like MailChimp, the amount you’ll need to invest to get started is completely free, which is great if you’re just getting started. Otherwise, it can be a bit pricey.
If you’re looking to grow your email list and earn more from your blog then creating content that is both relevant and useful is the key. Once you’ve got a decent-sized audience, you can choose to take the plunge and invest in a robust email marketing platform.
Even though you can’t see them, we want to acknowledge and celebrate the women who’ve been there for us when we’ve needed them. From the very first spark of an idea, to the very end, they’ve been there to cheer us on. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful women in our lives. Happy International Women’s Day!
So, how much should you be spending on each of these different areas of online marketing? That is a very good question. The answer depends on how much you want to grow your business. For example, if you’re a startup business owner who is determined to earn $500,000 this year then you might want to consider investing heavily in SEO. Alternatively, if you’re a solopreneur looking to grow a business that generates $100,000 a year then you might want to consider investing heavily in web design. You might also want to invest in a content creation and management platform if you’re looking to grow an audience.
If you’ve decided to become a digital marketer then congratulations! You are one step closer to understanding how much you should be spending on each of these different areas of marketing, and how to allocate your budget effectively. Whether you are a newbie or an expert, knowing how much you should be spending on each of these areas and why is essential for maintaining control of your digital marketing budget while maximizing your returns.