Every marketer is familiar with some of the following terms — SEO, social media, email marketing, and PPC (pay per click). It’s likely that you’re even one yourself.
However, not all of these terms are created equal. Knowing the difference can help you choose the right strategies for your digital marketing plan.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you’ve ever shopped online, you may have noticed that some search results can be quite helpful — while others can be a bit annoying. When you type your search into the Google search bar, you’ll see some results that are paid for (organic search results), and some that are organic (free results).
Organic search results are those that appear in the first few pages of search results when someone searches using Google.
When you see these results, you’ll notice that they are quite helpful — telling you precisely what you’re looking for, and presenting you with only the most relevant results. The trouble is, when you get to the end of these results, you start to see a lot of ads, which can be quite distracting. The opposite is true for the free results. These are often called “no-ad” results, as there are no advertisements at the bottom of the page.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website or blog for the major search engines (like Google and Bing).
How do you want potential customers to find you? Through search engines, of course! This is why it’s important to properly optimize your website. If you put out amazing content on your site (and you should!), you’ll naturally attract visitors — but how do you want them to discover your content? Through searching!
That’s why SEO is so important. You’re creating or updating content to attract visitors to your site. But you also want to ensure that these visitors can find what they’re looking for easily through search engines. Otherwise, you’ve wasted their time, and you may have lost them as customers.
There are many different tactics you can use to optimize your website, including the following:
Meta data is information about your content that isn’t found on your website itself. Think about the words that appear when you search using Google or Bing. These are called search keywords (or search phrases).
You’ll want to enter these keywords into the appropriate field in your H1, H2, and H3 tags. If you have a lot of content on your site, you might also want to consider investing in some of the following:
- Blog articles — short, informal pieces that are mostly informative in nature. Perfect for SEO.
- Case studies — similar to blog articles, but with an emphasis on business rather than technology. Great for SEO.
- Ebooks — digital versions of printed books, usually with lots of information and illustrations. Perfect for SEO.
- Whitepapers — lengthy documents that usually focus on a single topic. Great for SEO.
- Webinars — interactive lectures or seminars that you can access over the internet. Great for SEO.
- YouTube videos — short, informal tutorials that can be extremely helpful for those looking for specific information. Great for SEO.
- Virtual tours — step-by-step overviews of landmarks that you can access via video. Great for SEO.
- Interactive maps — digital maps that you can click on to view information about the location. Great for SEO.
These are just a few examples, but you get the idea! When you enter a word or phrase into the appropriate field on your website, the meta data for that page will be updated, allowing search engines to better understand your content.
User Experience (UX)
Every person who interacts with your business or product has a different experience depending on the kind of person they are (hence the term “persona”).
In order to improve the user experience for your customers, you’ll want to optimize the following areas of your site:
- The overall look and feel
- Fonts, font sizes, and styles
- The way content is presented
- Links to other sites
- The way forms are presented
- Error messages
- Mobile friendliness (responsiveness)
- Product images
- The way payments work (accepting credit cards, etc.)
These are just a few examples of the many different things you can optimize for a better UX.
“Content marketing” is all the buzz these days. Essentially, this is how digital marketers earn money — through content creation and distribution.
You’ll want to create educational or entertaining content that is both useful and useful to your target audience. To do this, you’ll need to perform the following tasks:
- Create compelling content
- Distribute that content to relevant audiences
- Measure the results of your efforts
Some experts say that content marketing is one of the best ways to earn online. Why?
Because content marketing provides you with the opportunity to target specific groups of people (like Millennials or Gen Z) who are currently searching for information on your niche topics. Plus, you’re always creating new content that is both useful and interesting to read.
To get started, create a digital marketing plan, and then begin to build out your strategy around content creation. You’ll want to choose topics that are both useful and interesting to your target audience, and then create content around those topics.
Who are your target audiences?
Every marketer has a different answer to this question. For example, if you’re a retail store owner, your target audience might be customers who are interested in purchasing clothing.
Or, if you’re a real estate agent, your target audience might be people who are interested in buying or selling homes.
No matter who your target audience is, it’s important to find out what content they’re consuming and which platforms they’re using to find that content. With that information, you can begin to find the right content and the right platforms to distribute that content to.