The Online Retail Digital Marketing Playbook

The way we interact with the world is changing. Instead of simply going to the store and buying what we want, we are now connecting with brands and companies online through social media, online review sites, and more.

These new platforms allow consumers to have a greater impact on the brands they love and trust the most. In turn, brands can use digital marketing to listen and respond to their customers’ needs and wants, and create more satisfying experiences.

Consumers Demand More From Brands

With the rise of online retail, customers now have more power than ever before to research, compare, and transact business with brands they love. As a result, brands must adjust their approach to digital marketing to keep up with consumer demand and ensure they continue to engage with customers and grow their business.

What’s more is customers are driving this change. According to HubSpot Blogs research, consumers say they feel empowered when collaborating with brands through digital marketing, and nearly half (49%) of consumers want to see more from brands than traditional advertising.

Attracting And Capturing Audiences

Customers want to experience brands as opposed to just seeing ads for them. To attract and capture audiences, brands can take advantage of digital marketing’s various techniques, including SEO, website engagement, email marketing, and social media.

In general, SEO is the practice of getting traffic to your website from organic search results on search engines like Google. SEO results are determined by a number of factors, including:

  • How well you perform in the major search engines
  • Your site’s content
  • Your on-site SEO
  • Off-site SEO
  • Link building
  • Social media presence
  • Analytics

The better you perform in these areas, the more organic traffic you’re likely to see from search engines. With so much focus on SEO these days, it’s important to note that not all search engine traffic is created equal. Many companies that focus on SEO fail to realize that not all of their site’s traffic is valuable, especially if it’s not coming from organic search. You must understand the difference between free and organic search traffic in order to properly optimize your site and make the most out of your SEO efforts.

How To Determine The Value Of Your Organic Search Traffic

Free or organic search traffic is the traffic that comes to your site without paying for the ad.

This type of traffic is typically generated through organic SEO. However, free search traffic can also come from paid advertisements, such as Google AdWords or social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

In general, paid search traffic is less valuable than organic search traffic because you’re paying for each click. In comparison, with organic search, you’re typically getting free traffic that’s already likely to be interested in your product or service.

Although paid search is much more affordable than traditional advertising, you must still determine how much value you get from this type of traffic. Here are a few ways to determine the value of your organic search traffic:

Consider Demographics

As noted above, not all search engine traffic is created equal. You must consider your target audiences when determining the value of your organic search traffic. For example, if you’re selling vitamins and supplements, you might want to focus on female audiences aged between 25 and 55.

The better your targeting, the greater your chances of converting this traffic into paying customers. Consider other demographics as well, such as age, gender, and location if you’re taking advantage of geography-based targeting.

The Anatomy Of A Website

If you’re new to SEO, you’ll want to start by learning the basics of optimizing a website. Specifically, you’ll want to look into the “anatomy of a website,” which includes its design, content, and functionality.

Make sure to include details on the following:

  • Website name
  • Domain name
  • Language(s)
  • Currency
  • Accessibility
  • Page load speed
  • Mobile usability
  • Fonts and Typography
  • Colors
  • Images
  • Content
  • Buttons
  • Sign up forms
  • Contact details
  • Shopping cart
  • Payment details
  • Reviews
  • Social media icons

Make sure to include these details in the “About” or “


” pages of your website. Once you’ve mastered the basics of SEO, you can then move on to more complex strategies, such as link building, site structure, and on-site content optimization. In addition to this, you can start implementing paid search, which we’ll discuss below.

Off-Site SEO

Off-site SEO is the practice of getting traffic to your site from other locations that aren’t your website. This usually means using a third party service to get the traffic you need.

Some of the methods you can utilize include:

  • Blog articles on other websites
  • Viral content marketing
  • Guest blogging
  • Press releases
  • Social media marketing
  • Directory listings
  • Product reviews
  • Product comparisons
  • Trade shows
  • Search engine marketing, or SEO for short

Regardless of the method you choose, make sure that the third party service is a reputable company with a good reputation. Avoid using free trial offers or gimmicks that promise quick results.


This is a broad term that refers to the tracking and measuring of your website’s performance. To begin with, you’ll want to install analytics software on your computer. There are a variety of analytics tools out there, so find one that’s simple to use and doesn’t require technical knowledge.

Some of the things you can track include:

  • User engagement (e.g., time on site, pages per visit, bounces)
  • Product purchases (e.g., what products users are most interested in, how many purchases each product type makes)
  • Search engine traffic (e.g., which keywords send the most traffic, what countries your audience comes from)
  • Site traffic, including organic and paid search traffic
  • Offline marketing (e.g., direct mail, events, and yellow page ads)
  • Social media activity (e.g., number of followers, reach, and engagement)
  • Website budget (e.g., how much you spend on ads versus content, and how much you’re spending on each)

With so much data, you can then make better decisions about your website and what content to create. Moreover, you can start analyzing the results of your different marketing campaigns to see which ones worked best.

Paid Search

Now let’s discuss paid search, also known as PPC (paid per click). Similar to SEO, paid search is a form of online marketing that allows you to pay per click rather than per impression. To put it simply, when someone clicks on a paid search result, you pay the search engine company.

The main difference between SEO and paid search is that with SEO, you’re typically trying to attract organic search traffic. With paid search, you’re typically trying to attract people who are already likely to click on your website or brand.

When it comes to paid search, the better you perform, the greater your chances of winning. Many companies that focus on paid search ignore the fact that not all of their site’s traffic is valuable. You must understand what type of visitors you’re getting from paid search, and how much you’re actually spending on each click.

To begin with, find the keywords that are most profitable (i.e., get the most clicks for the given cost). Then, create content around these topics and use the keywords often throughout the copy.