Digital marketing sounds technical, but with a little knowledge, anyone can master it and produce online marketing results that work. Use this guide to simplify the terminology and learn how to maximize the Internet to market your business or organization.
1. Create a website. Whether you’re using it as a promotional tool or an online store, a website is a must if you want to increase exposure. The content placed there should align with your brand and be easy for visitors to find and use.
2. Target your audience. Many have heard about SEO and SEM but don’t really know what they are or what they do. In a nutshell, they are tools that work in the background with search engines to provide Internet users with the information they’re seeking.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is simply defined as using keywords to boost your website’s ranking in Internet search results. The higher your ranking, the more likely it is that you’ll receive traffic. Use these keywords in your web content (three or four times per article or page, and in your titles and headings) to increase your search engine performance.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) goes a step further, allowing you to use GoogleAds to purchase specific keywords that relate to your business—usually the most popular ones—and use them to generate traffic. Again, those keywords need to be repeated in relevant areas of your website in order to produce the best results.
3. Simplify. Easy does it is a great rule of thumb to follow here. You can spend millions on a website, but if people can’t find it or have difficulty using it, your efforts will be lost. The following tips will help your visitors enjoy a user-friendly experience:
Naming your website: Just as in a book title, your website should have a name, one that’s short and easy to remember. Keep your website’s address (URL) short and easy to remember.
Ease of use: Because the majority of website visitors won’t click past the first page, you really have to make the first page count. Make sure the document map and tabs are clearly defined and easy to find. If people have to dig for the information they’re looking for, they’ll look elsewhere.
Use images and text. Images and photos complement website content, giving an immediate visual that appeals to visitors who aren’t likely to spend a great deal of time clicking through articles or products for the things they want. Together, visuals and text can make a website more interesting, appealing, and educating.
4. Use social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are resources that enable you to promote your website and business. Linking updates to your website is an easy and effective way to optimize your marketing efforts.
5. Create valuable content. The content on your website can make or break it. Make sure your content is professional and high-quality, without punctuation, spelling, or grammatical errors. Provide content that relates to current events, and provide regular and consistent updates to entice visitors to return frequently.
6. Boost your traffic. While SEO, SEM, and advertisements can generate traffic, don’t overlook other effective, but simple, resources. By commenting on blogs, participating in forums, or contributing to Q and A’s and how-to sites, you can attract visitors and gain credibility and exposure. Social bookmarking is another effective way to digitally market your site (consider Reddit, Stumbleupon, or Digg).
7. Monitor your efforts. Sound difficult? With today’s powerful website tools, it’s easier than ever to monitor your digital marketing efforts. GoogleAnalytics can show you how many people visit your site over a period of time, when they visited, what they looked at, and how long they stayed. Most websites and blogs also have monitoring tools that reveal how people found your site, the keywords or search engine phrases they used, and the number of clicks they made while they were there. Monitor your efforts before and after you implement a digital marketing strategy, so you can know what’s working and what’s not.
An online presence requires your presence. It’s not complex, but it does take time. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these strategies and implement them in your marketing efforts. Digital marketing works, but only if you know how to work it.
Let us know what’s working for your business in the comments below!