Understanding Digital Marketing

The way we communicate with our audiences is changing as technology is evolving. Being able to reach your markets through digital channels has become easier, more cost-effective and a necessity.

So how can your business harness the power of digital?

Let’s take a look at a few key digital tactics that you can implement to help grow your business.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

It is essential for your customers to be able to find your website easily. Too many key strokes clicks and you have lost them. If you have a strong search engine optimisation plan, your website will be discovered and you can even reduce the amount you pay for paid searches.

Here are seven things you can do to win at SEO

1. Make sure your domain name matches exactly what you do.

My domain name is marketingforbusiness.com.au because (1) it was available and (2) it is exactly what I do. Gone are the days when we created clever, cryptic names for our websites. If you are a plumber, say so.

2. Use Google Search Console (also known as Google Webmaster Tools)

Google offers these tools for free and it is full of information to help make your website perform at its maximum. It shows the amount of your content which has been indexed by Google and what you can do to help your website show more. This is a great tool. Google wants you to have a quality website and gives you the tools to get there.

3. Supply a sitemap to Google

Most content management systems (CMS) give you an option to produce a sitemap just for Google. Produce your sitemap and submit it on the Google Search Console. You have now invited Google into your site and are giving them a tour around. Google wants to know the structure of your website so this provides a blueprint of where everything is and how it is all connected.

4. You must be mobile friendly

Being mobile friendly is essential to be found by search engines. It is their goal to create a great user experience and now with the ever-increasing use of mobiles to access information, having a mobile friendly website is critical. Test your responsiveness across a lot of devices just to make sure the user experience is a good one across all.

5. Use HTTPS / SSL certificate

With so much unsafe activity occurring on the web, Google has now given higher search engine rankings to secure sites. You need a SSL certificate and implement https to be recognised as a safe website.

6. Keep creating content

Google ranks websites highly if they are publishing quality content which is relevant to searchers. Content can be in the form of news articles, blogs, videos, images, RSS feeds and forums. Content is king for Google so keep publishing.

7. Don’t give up

It does take time to be recognised by Google but just keep plugging away and it will happen. Once you are on page one, it is not time to take it easy either. Keeping your website fresh, dynamic and SEO friendly takes time so make sure this becomes a part of your weekly schedule.

Content is a great way to grow your market

Content marketing is my favourite tool to gain new customers as well as retain current ones. Being a subject expert in your field gives your audience confidence and develops a sense of trust. You know what you are talking about.

By developing well-written, informative content, you can then distribute this across many channels where your potential customers may be watching. For example if I was a plumber and wrote an article about unblocking drains I could post this to my blog to engage customers, I could post it to social media and boost my posts to gain a larger audience, I could include it on industry websites, I could publish it to the News section of my website, I could create a short explainer video and post this to YouTube, and the list goes on. One article can have so many uses and can reach many markets. Aim for one unique article a month. That doesn’t sound too hard.

When writing content it is imperative to think what is important to your reader, what do they want to hear about? What can you write about that no-one else is writing to create a point-of-difference? What kind of content is going to add value to your customers? What do they want to read?

In previous years it was always important to place a ‘call-to-action’ on your writing. Maybe some people still think this way but just sharing information for the sake of sharing it will give you subject matter authority and expertise. A simple link to your website may be all you need. People can see through a sales pitch!

Set up Analytics Tools to Measure Success

Digital marketing is all about metrics. Once you engage in digital marketing, the most important thing you can do is measure it. You can measure if what you are doing is achieving results, what didn’t work, and what you should do next. The amazing thing about digital marketing, when contrasted against print marketing, is that marketers can conduct dozens of small, low-risk experiments in a very short amount of time to see what will work, and then make far more intelligent decisions based on actual data, rather than just guessing.

Here are the things we need to be able to measure, dissect and analyse digital campaigns.

1. Analytics tools

These tools are all free, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn Analytics and Instagram Analytics. Connect your website to Google Analytics which is an easy, straight forward process. The other social media tools are available once you set up your business pages. In order to make marketing decisions, you need to have the data to support it. The best way to learn how to use these tools is to jump on to YouTube and type in ‘How to use Google Analytics’. It’s as easy as that. You don’t need to be a computer programmer, a web ‘specialist’ or a marketing expert. You just need to have the desire to learn.

2. Set goals

You can initially set up goals to measure engagement, followers, website impressions, filling out a contact form, time on your website and the list goes on. These are great and you will see numbers change from month-to-month as you grow. Goals are not static and should be changed as your business changes and your need for new data emerges. This is however a commercial world so these visits, followers and engagements still need to result in revenue so you should set some kind of conversion rate which equates to value for that visitor.

Using digital tactics such as SEO, content marketing, analytics tracking, and more, you can build your presence online, attract new customers, keep your customers happy, and drive profit. And, with the help of productivity tools, you can optimise your time at work.

The digital landscape is constantly changing, and your ability to stay in touch will set you apart from your competitors. Challenge yourself to always seek out the latest opportunity to try something new and exciting for your brand, and grow from there. Don’t be scared to have a go.

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