So you’ve gotten yourself a beautifully designed, user-friendly website, and you think it looks pretty sweet. Excellent. It’s a great start in establishing an online presence for your company and your brand.
But that’s just the first step. Now it’s time to work out how you’re going to attract visitors and convert leads.
These days, businesses are all online as a matter of course, so you need something more to both leverage you up from your competition, and to actually convert leads. A well-constructed, user-friendly website is absolutely vital, but it should be combined with a sound digital marketing plan in order to maximise your business’s potential.
Essentially, digital marketing is a term used to describe the integrated marketing devices used to attract, engage and convert customers online. It uses multiple channels and tools such as SEO, PPC, social media, and copywriting – all of which we’ll look at here – to help businesses of any size connect with customers.
Digital marketing is essential for extending the visibility and reach of your business and drawing customers. Here, we’ve outlined four digital marketing tools and explored sixteen ways they can help you make the most of your business.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimisation” , and is one of the most powerful ways of generating website traffic. Basically, SEO refers to the techniques you can use to increase the visibility and organic ranking of your website on search engines like Google.
Google highly ranks pages it considers relevant and authoritative. It measures this in a number of different ways. These include analysis of the quantity and quality of links to your site from other webpages, the quality of your content, the user experience your site provides, and the strategic use of particular words or phrases.
Some significant SEO benefits:
1. New customers and increased growth
At its core, one of the most fundamental reasons for having a website is to increase and differentiate your customer base. As we touched upon before, just having a website is no longer enough in this highly competitive digital climate. It’s a minimum standard across the board, so you need some kind of edge.
A 2006 study by Forrester found that 93% of all internet traffic comes from Search Engines. Moreover, HubSpot's research shows that 75% of users don’t even scroll past the first page of search engine results. It is therefore critical to be as immediately visible as possible – the higher your ranking, the bigger your potential customer base.
SEO is critical in part because it makes you visible and findable to people who may not have otherwise realised you existed. It will help you gain better rankings in search engine result pages, and this translates to more targeted visits and, ultimately, more customers.
2. A better user experience
Proper optimisation not only leads to better rankings – it also relates to a better user experience for your visitors. By properly optimising your site for SEO, you’re also improving your user experience, and this means higher conversion rates, increased trust, and a strengthening of brand loyalty.
User experience is now considered a significant ranking factor for search engines. Google wants to see mobile-compatible design, high-quality content, fast loading times, easy to navigate site architecture, and a good integration of relevant images and videos. All of these are elements which contribute to an accessible, pleasant, intuitive experience for visitors to your site.
3. Increased brand awareness
Since high rankings result in significant impressions, having your website in these top positions in search engine results pages means more exposure for your website.
Being highly ranked for your targeted keywords not only helps visitors to associate your brand with those keywords, but also assists in creating trust and credibility – businesses which rank well are generally perceived to be more trustworthy.
4. It’s competitive
More and more people are catching on to the high impact of SEO. Your competitors are aware of this, and have already started to take advantage of it. Without an SEO campaign yourself, you run the risk of letting your competitors get ahead of you. Even if your site is better, and even if you offer better products, services or prices, your competition will appear before you on Google and will get all those hits that can lead to sales before you can.
How to get ahead? An optimised website is the fastest, most effective way to outshine your competition. Invest in a sound digital marketing campaign, making SEO a significant priority. Hire a skilled digital marketing specialist who will utilise best industry practices and most current SEO techniques to elevate your ranking.
PPC (“Pay Per Click”), also known as Google AdWords, is a digital marketing tool which is able to yield particularly dramatic, rapid results.
Like SEO, PPC is used in order to drive website traffic. It works by allowing advertisers to pay a fee every time one of their ads is clicked. In simple terms, it’s a way of purchasing visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visit organically.
Some reasons why PPC is a crucial digital marketing tool for any business, big or small:
5. It’s highly targeted
PPC requires the use of particular keywords to work out when your ads will appear. These keywords relate directly to the search terms of Google users. If you choose your keywords correctly, your PPC advertisement will show up only when someone searching for your services is looking, thereby targeting the right customers with considerable precision. This also ensures that your ad is being seen by potential customers.
Keywords, however, are trickier than they sound. Finding the correct ones to target is something of an art-form. Given PPC’s popularity, there are plenty of businesses, like your direct competitors, who are targeting the same keywords.
This makes finding affordably targetable keywords that will yield the best results a not-so-common skill. If you’re not a marketing expert, it is highly advisable to hire one to create your PPC campaign.
6. It’s speedy
Unlike SEO, PPC is designed to show results quickly. This is one of the reasons why it’s one of the most directional, dramatic digital marketing tools.
Once your ad campaign is up and running, a sound keyword campaign will have you appearing somewhere on the first page of related searches. This is perfect for new businesses or businesses that want to get noticed quickly – it’s also a great way to draw visitors to your site while your SEO rank slowly builds.
7. It’s efficient
One of the greatest advantages of PPC advertising is how satisfyingly efficient it is. Each click is a direct visitor to your website, and you only pay when someone actually visits your site.
If you have designed your website effectively, you can almost be guaranteed a high conversion rate, because the people visiting your site should be genuinely interested in your products or services.
Success comes down to both an intelligently designed PPC campaign and website. The PPC campaign needs to be targeting the correct keywords, so the visitors you are drawing are the right ones, but your website also needs to be appealing to ensure you actually convert these visitors.
8. It’s adaptable
One of the biggest benefits of PPC is its flexibility. PPC campaigns are entirely focused on your chosen keywords, and Google Analytics tools enable you to hone your choices to receive the best results.
If a keyword is returning very few conversions/clicks, you can stop targeting it. If one keyword is performing very well, you can increase your pay per click cost and appear higher on the PPC list, boosting its effects.
Nowadays, the number of businesses who use social media marketing is so huge that those who haven’t hopped on board run the risk of being left behind.
While this pressure can feel a bit daunting, especially because of the ample array of platform options (should you be getting onto Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?), social media marketing can be immensely beneficial in an age of constant connectivity and instant gratification.
Here’s a mere handful of reasons why:
9. Your overall reach will expand
The sheer volume of available platforms for social media marketing means that you will find customers you didn’t know existed.
Facebook, for instance, is now one of the world’s largest advertising networks, and allows businesses to target very particular demographics in a variety of customisable ways. For fans of the business, you can write posts that promote and link to products and sales, etc. - you can also use promoted content and advertisements to sell products to target audiences who haven't yet become fans.
It should be noted, however, that while it might look easy, effective social media marketing requires considerable expertise and skill. Typing at random and hoping that someone is listening doesn’t cut it.
While social media marketing can transform the way in which you connect with customers when used strategically, incorrect use can be detrimental to your business – posting poorly worded content or conveying an inappropriate message can cause considerable damage. If you are unsure, hire a marketing specialist who lives and breathes social media.
10. Your social network will develop and broaden
Social media isn’t just about getting more customers per se. It’s also an important space for building and cultivating your social network, which will itself increase sales. The more online publicity you get, inbound links you attract, and bloggers or journalists you connect with, the more traffic you’ll receive.
Networking can also be an effective means of exchanging ideas with similarly minded people about the ways in which you do business, especially in relation to word-of-mouth referrals and knowledge sharing.
11. More personalised brand experiences for customers
It is no secret that people tend to prefer interacting with other people rather than corporations. As a brand, one of the most vital things social media lets you do is create a sense of intimacy.
Strange though it may seem, companies that receive thousands of Facebook “likes” for posting a cat meme are a great illustration of this. Social media is about creating personalised connections and conversations with your customers. It lets you communicate with them as both a person and a business, allowing you retain the voice of your brand while still letting clients feel like they are interacting with a real human being, not a machine.
12. It’s cost-effective
While social media is not strictly free (although many of these social networks mediums are), social media marketing is still very affordable when compared to traditional marketing methods.
Moreover, because the social media marketing industry is highly competitive and constantly growing, paid products for businesses are offered at low cost.
Even if you hire a social media expert, the long-term benefits still outweigh incurred costs, making it a strategic investment.
In digital marketing circles, a phrase that gets thrown around a lot is “Content is king”.
Why? Because well-written, original, valuable content is the foundation of any business’s online presence. We can’t stress this enough: quality copy is the backbone of any decent website and marketing campaign.
But unless you have a background in writing and content marketing, writing your own website copy is generally unadvisable. Spelling and grammatical errors look sloppy and unprofessional, and a lot of skill and care goes into creating the right voice for your brand.
Some reasons to consider hiring a professional copywriter:
13. It creates a professional, trustworthy image
It goes without saying that grammar, spelling and linguistic gymnastics aren’t skills that come naturally to everyone. Chances are, what you do best is running your own business. And that’s totally fine.
But when it comes to writing web copy, every element of your content needs to be on point. You can’t afford to make even the slightest typo or spelling error, because these can reduce the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand in a heartbeat.
A professional copywriter will be able to craft each word to reflect your brand and your business’s message, to captivate your reader, and to highlight the benefits of your products or services.
Engaging, relevant content will also help establish you as an authority in your field, developing your reputation as the go-to person in your given industry.
14. Your products or services will be showcased perfectly
There is a distinct promotional advantage to hiring a professional copywriter. This is about capturing the advantages of your products and services. It’s about being persuasive.
Copywriters are trained to learn as much as they can about various industries to make sure the content they write is accurate and relevant. A skilled copywriter can also deftly combine the informational (ie. what your products do, how they work) with the enticing (ie. what your products can offer your customers, what problems they solve, why your customers need them) in creating magnetic copy that sells.
15. You want to beat your competition
The best way to stand out amongst all of those other companies online – including your direct competitors – is to ensure that your content is amazing.
As you may have noticed, many websites are filled with subpar or dull copy. This can verge on embarrassing. On the other hand, filling yours with original, genuinely valuable, well-written content is a sure-fire way of getting noticed amidst all of the shonky grammar and confusing calls to action.
16. Google loves high-quality, original content
The power of original, informative, relevant content is undeniable when it comes to maximising your website’s search engine’s results.
SEO and copywriting are digital marketing tools that work especially well in conjunction, and specifically SEO-targeted copywriting is a very popular service. SEO copywriting ensures that you will be found by the search engines, and by the right customers. An experienced SEO copywriter will be up-to-date on the latest algorithm-related protocol and best SEO practices.