Are you feeling frustrated because you aren’t getting the results you want from your website? Maybe you’ve tried a few different methods to gain online traction and lead generation and now you’re wondering, what’s the best way to move forward?
If so, you’re in the right place. This article is an overview of web design, SEO, and online marketing, and it’ll give you the information you need to fully understand how each tool fits into your digital marketing toolbox.
An Introduction to Web Design
Web design integrates graphics, layout, and software to create a unique interface for users to interact with on the internet.
While it’s only the first step in the process, understanding web design is important because you’ll need to get a clear picture of what your site looks like and how you intend on presenting it to users in order to get the results you want.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to web design, so take some time to learn about various methods and explore which one might work best for your particular situation.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the ranking of your website or blog in organic (non-paid) search results.
SEO is a combination of on-page SEO (the content you create on your site) and off-page SEO (the links included in your content that point to other websites and resources).
You can’t effectively optimize your site without first understanding what makes it search engine-friendly, and the truth is, there’s a ton of different factors that play into whether or not your site will naturally rank well in search results.
Luckily, Google provides SEO guidelines that you can follow to ensure your site will perform well for organic searches.
One important thing to note is that even though SEO is mostly an on-page effort, you can’t just focus on one or two areas of your site and ignore the rest. Your entire site needs to be well-rounded in order to achieve the best results possible.
Organic search results don’t charge you to see, so there’s no financial incentive to perform poorly. In other words, Google wants to provide the best possible search experience to its users, and the most efficient way to do that is by helping websites achieve high search rankings.
SEO will also benefit your site’s content should someone find it via organic search and decide to click on one of your blog posts.
In the end, your site’s SEO performance will determine how many people find you on the internet and whether or not you ever reach a point of “virtual” or “actual” fame.
Online Marketing 101
Online marketing (also known as digital marketing) is the process of generating interest in your product or service among internet users via marketing-related activities such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), and Content Marketing.
Like SEO, content marketing focuses on creating marketing-worthy content that’ll engage potential customers and encourage them to take some action (e.g., make a purchase or download an app).
SMM builds on content marketing and involves using social media to attract audiences and engage them into taking action (e.g., clicking a link, making a purchase, or providing contact details).
SEO and content marketing are both necessary, but it’s important to understand the differences between the two. SEO focuses on attracting and ranking organic (i.e., “free”) website traffic, while content marketing performs better when used in combination with paid campaigns (e.g., AdWords or Facebook Ads).
Which one you choose depends on your target audience and budget. If you’re looking for increased organic traffic and want to minimize the costs associated with paid campaigns, then SEO may be the answer. Otherwise, content marketing may be the way to go.
Keep in mind that not every type of content is created equal, and trying to fit every niche into one video or blog post can leave you overwhelmed and ineffective. Instead, choose a few topics that you feel confident you can talk about well and learn from other sites that already succeeded in creating content around them.
For example, if you’re passionate about travel, you might start a blog to document your adventures. You could also create a series of podcasts to educate your target audience about various travel hacks and tips.
As you begin to build your site, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re aiming for and how you plan on getting there. In addition to having a web designer create a functional, beautiful site for you, take the time to learn how to use various SEO tools to ensure your site will perform well in search results.