There is a wide variety of careers out there, and few of them are as exciting or rewarding as becoming a professional online marketer.
At the same time, entering this field can be highly demanding – especially if you’re starting from the ground up.
Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about becoming a pro at online marketing, including the various roles and responsibilities, terms used, and more.
The Role Of An Online Marketer
The role of an online marketer is quite versatile, but it usually entails working with a team of people across different departments, such as marketing, sales, and web design. Your job is to ensure that a business’s marketing efforts – whether online or off – are working together in harmony.
You will typically need to monitor and analyze online activity – such as site traffic, leads, and sales – and use this information to drive business growth. You can also design and implement marketing strategies, write blog posts and other content, and track marketing performance. Basically, anything that has to do with marketing on the internet at all.
Depending on your expertise, you could end up specializing in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay Per Click), Email Marketing, or Content Marketing.
What Is SEO?
SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s one of the major areas of online marketing. (If you’re unfamiliar with SEO, you can think of SEO as the “organic” search results on a search engine.)
When a user types a search query into the search engine, there is an array of results that appear. For example, if we type in the query “SEO consultant London”, then popular search engines like Google and Bing will deliver a variety of results, including websites, blogs, and articles. (There will also be paid advertisers, such as Cost-Per-Click search ads).
When someone clicks on one of these results, they’re directed to a specific webpage where the content is likely to engage them more effectively.
SEO isn’t a single strategy, but it is a collection of methods that help to improve the discoverability of a business’ website in a user’s search engine. In order to determine the effectiveness of your SEO strategy, you must first run a competition analysis – which involves analyzing the structure of your competitors’ websites, the content they’re using, and discovering any hidden gems that they may be using.
There are various techniques that you can use to become a Search Engine Optimizer, but the most fundamental one is implementing high-quality content to attract and retain visitors to your site. Make sure that the content on your site is useful, relevant, and easy to discover. If there is a lot of low-quality content, it can actually damage your website’s search engine rankings as well. (This is called the “guaranteed click-through rate” – or GCTR for short.)
On the other hand, if you’re using relevant, high-quality content to attract visitors to your site, then you’re ensuring that they’ll be able to find what they’re looking for and keep coming back for more. This in turn will drive growth and help you to achieve your goals
What Is PPC (Pay Per Click)?
Pay Per Click – also known as Paid Search or Cost-Per-Click advertising – is when an advertiser or business pays you (the publisher) for each click on their ad.
The term “pay-per-click” describes both the method of paying for each click on an ad as well as the payment itself. When someone clicks on an ad, they are directed to a website where they can make a purchase or get information that is usually profitable for the advertiser. (The opposite is Cost-Per-Impression advertising, where you don’t get paid for each click but instead for each impression – e.g., when someone clicks on an ad and makes a purchase without ever leaving the website).
Paid Search is a very effective way to gain exposure and make sales, as long as you’re using the right tools. One of the best and most popular software solutions that specializes in Paid Search is Google AdWords.
The Difference Between SEO and PPC
In general, SEO and PPC are somewhat competing strategies, but they are still extremely valuable in particular situations. Let’s examine the differences between SEO and PPC so that you can choose the right strategy for your business.
SEO is an umbrella term that covers various methods of getting the attention of search engines in order to have your website ranked higher than your competitors. (SEO also includes tactics that fall outside of the scope of search engine optimization, such as building trust and authority through content creation.)
SEO can be difficult to pinpoint and implement, but it usually involves doing the following:
- Improving the ranking of your website on search engines like Google and Bing (via the “organic” search results).
- Creating relevant, interesting, and high-quality content that will attract and retain online visitors.
- Integrating your content with social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
- Reducing the amount of “noise” in the form of junk websites and blog posts that are competing for the same attention as your own.
- Removing dead spaces on your website (known as “white space”) in order to improve its structure and navigation.
- Submitting your website to review boards that check for quality content and prevent plagiarism.
- Using online keyword research tools to find the “right” keywords and phrases that will make your content stand out.
- Optimizing your images in order to make them display on various devices, such as small smartphones (and tablet screens).
As you can see, there are several key differences between SEO and PPC. First and foremost, SEO is much more complex since it requires a substantial amount of planning and strategizing in order to achieve the desired results. (This is why it’s also known as “white hat SEO” – since you have to act in good faith and with the best intentions for optimization.)
In contrast, PPC is much less complex. You specify the target audience and the type of ad (e.g., “ad for a luxury brand”), and then you simply wait for the leads to come in. (In the case of Cost-Per-Click search ads, your job is done once the user clicks on the ad.)
PPC is less complex, but it has several notable advantages as well. First and foremost, you only need to budget for PPC when you have a clear picture of how much you’ll need to spend – and you know for sure that you’ll reach your goal. (In contrast, with SEO, you need to budget for potential unknown costs – such as website traffic that may drop off after a period of time due to overoptimization.)
Another advantage of PPC is that you can target the right audience. For example, if you’re promoting a hotel in Florida, then you can target potential visitors in Florida with the ads. (In contrast, with SEO, you would need to target the whole United States.)
PPC also offers a higher conversion rate than SEO. Simply put, the more targeted your ads are, the more successful you’ll be in terms of converting website traffic into paying customers. For example, if you’re using Targeted Organic SEO (TOSO), then you can be sure that you’re reaching only those who are most likely to be interested in your product or service.
If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to get your website ranked higher in a search engine, then PPC is a viable option. Simply keep in mind that you’ll need to be patient and work hard to see results. (SEO is a long-term strategy that usually requires substantial effort to see immediate results.)