In today’s world, consumers are always-on-the-move, seeking instant gratification, and avoiding large amounts of clutter in their online lives. For businesses, this means marketing efforts must be highly-targeted, and crafted to squeeze in among the stream of activity that fills up everyone’s daily news feeds.
The upside is consumers have the attention spans of goldfish and can easily lose interest in a brand or product if it takes too long to communicate complex ideas. The downside is there’s so much competition for people’s time and attention, with some marketers doing a terrible job of keeping up with the pace of the digital consumer.
Why Online Marketing?
While retail stores and restaurant chains struggle to figure out how to engage with customers through social media and web browsers, marketers have known for years that to reach the right audience, you need to be online.
In an age of mobile phones and tablet computers, connecting with customers means connecting with them wherever they are. According to one study, 72% of consumers have accessed product information on their smartphones, while another 67% have browsed online reviews. What’s more, 56% of consumers have read online reviews while on their smartphones. In fact, research shows smartphone users are twice as likely as those using other devices to engage with product content, and nearly three times as likely to click on ads or offer deals. All of this makes clear that if you want to reach the majority of potential customers, you’ve got to be online.
The Growing Importance of Online Marketing
In today’s world, consumers have always had the power to choose whether or not to spend their money with a brand or company. Thanks to the internet and social media, that power has become even more accessible, and businesses now have the opportunity to connect with consumers, one click at a time.
In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 60% of consumers say they’ve researched products or services online before buying them in stores. Additionally, 22% have decided to buy a product or service based on the reviews they’ve read.
This trend is here to stay, with nearly every industry embracing multi-channel strategies, creating complex hybrid worlds where brick-and-mortar stores, online marketplaces, and social media channels overlap and interplay. As a business, how do you plan to integrate these various platforms and communication channels to get the most out of your marketing dollars?
Online Marketing Platforms to Consider
It’s essential to have a solid platform in place to support your online marketing efforts. When planning your strategy, you’ll want to choose an SEO package that’s right for your business, taking into consideration your budget, the amount of traffic you want to drive to your website, and what capabilities you need to flourish in today’s digital marketplace.
To help you make the right decision, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular and effective SEO tools available, along with a few that are a little less typical but just as useful.
SEMrush is one of the most popular SEO tools, boasting more than 150 million downloads across all platforms, and a 4.8 rating on the Google Play Store. Its user-friendly interface lets anyone navigate the tool with little to no experience, while advanced search features make analyzing competitors’ performances a snap for more experienced users. What’s more, with SEMrush, you get a complete report at the end, detailing the strengths and weaknesses of your SEO strategy, along with actionable insights into how you can improve.
If you’re looking for a reliable source of news content, BuzzFeed is a great place to start. Whether you need a quick and easy-to-read news ticker for yourself or your staff, or you want to create amazing infographics and graphics for your social media channels, BuzzFeed has you covered. With thousands of professionally-written articles, along with some truly incredible video content, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Plus, with millions of monthly visits, you’ll reach a large audience.
Moz is one of the more traditional SEO tools, offering a bit of a learning curve but a plethora of features. Their blog post about SEO in 2020 highlights some of the unique things about the platform, offering advice on how to make the most out of your strategy in today’s ever-evolving world. With over 1.7 million active users and a 4.7 rating on the Google Play Store, Moz is a top pick for those looking for a free SEO tool.
Hootsuite is the preferred social media management tool of entrepreneurs, bloggers, and businesses worldwide. Not only does it allow users to schedule content for publication at any time, it also tracks trending topics, hashtags, and keywords, as well as monitors reviews, comments, and content on various platforms. What’s more, Hootsuite is completely free, making it an essential part of every business’ tool belt.
Xenu is a free tool that unifies your accounts on all of the major social media networks into one place, providing a single view of your social media activity, curated by a team of quality curators. What’s more, with Xenu, you get detailed reports on the performance of your content, allowing you to find exactly what you’re looking for, when you need it. And did we mention it’s completely free?
If you’re looking to take your SEO efforts to the next level, focusing on building high-quality backlinks to your website through other websites, you’ve got the right tool in mind. Backlink Checker is a free tool from Bitmetrix that, once you install it on your phone, gives you access to a never-ending stream of quality backlinks, offering instant gratification, without the need to chase down individual links, one by one. All you need to do is enter a URL, pick your country, then enter your phone number to get started (link building is always better when done legitimately, with no exceptions).
While we discussed SEO earlier, it’s also important to understand the role that location plays in digital marketing strategies. In today’s world, consumers often look for products and services near them, whether that’s because they’re traveling for work, or live in a smaller community, and only know a handful of local businesses. For those looking to bring their products or services to an area, understanding how to navigate Google’s local SEO is critical to getting your business listed on the first page of results, whenever someone searches for your product in your area.
There are several different ways to approach local SEO, from showing up on the first page of organic results for a highly-relevant search to outranking local businesses in your area for specific terms. Even small businesses with just a few physical locations can take advantage of local SEO in a big way, especially if they have a website, blog, or some other form of digital infrastructure in place.
Whether you’re just getting started, or you already have a solid game plan, keeping up with the trends and changes that dominate the industry can be a challenge. With so much change and fluctuation, staying up-to-date on SEO can feel like an impossible task. That’s why it’s essential to have strategic partners you can turn to for help, tools you can depend on, and platforms that allow for easy collaboration, iteration, and adaptation.