The most important thing that drives business is marketing.
For a lot of business owners, digital marketing can be scary. CPM, CTR, Keyword Volume, If these buzzwords conjure up images of hip millennials who were born with a cell phone in one hand, and a vape pen in the other. Who went to an expensive school for data science and are with online technology far more than you will ever be, you are not alone.
You might imagine that it’s a skill that takes years to learn, and more to master. Something that is a mountain to climb to begin to understand even the basics.
Even educated CEOs, Some of whom achieved their MBA are perplexed when an agency shows up at their door and shows them all that is wrong with their website from an “SEO perspective”, and tells THEM how many visitors they get, how their competition is killing it on Social, and how they’re being left behind.
The following then happens. They propose a sale to you of thousands of dollars per month. They show you a Facebook post they made, with thousands of views, and they give each other High Fives all around. The business owner asks why the sales are the same, and the answer. Well, we’re working on “Brand Recognition”. It’s BS.
You know it. They know it, and they know how to sweet talk it.
The Next fact that we need to face is that only YOU and your sales team knows your business and how to sell it. For digital marketing in business, the old adage is 100% correct. If you want something done right, it’s best you do it yourself.
So let’s begin our quick guide of Digital Marketing for Dummies. So you can get started today, making better decisions about your company’s marketing.
BEFORE ANY SEO – THE NEED TO KNOW
SEO is work done on how search engines view your page, and it’s an attempt to get you to the first page of google. You as a business want people to type in words that relate to your product or service somehow. Search engines judge your page by a bunch of secret algorithms that nobody knows completely.
But what we do know is this:
You should choose what words you want your business to be related to. “Key Words”.
If you’re unsure about what keywords to use, Google has a tool called Google Keyword Planner.
They will rank keywords by how many searches there are. If you pick keywords with a high number, then it’s going to be very hard to search for because chances are there’s established players in the market doing SEO for years to earn that spot.
If you choose a low number, you will rank first for something nobody is looking for. You’ll be the king of “nothing and” so to speak.
For businesses who are just starting their SEO strategy, the idea is to pick strings of words that are precise to what an imagined customer would use when looking to buy. Then, take those ideas and find the ones with a medium search volume.
Boom! Half the job is done.
SEO is divided into 2 categories:
Search engines want to bring the most relevant information to the user. They also want the best experience for that user. So there are a few simple things to keep in mind
- 1. Make sure you have 1 headline per page & the headline is relevant to your chosen keyword.
- 2. Make sure your site loads fast – a lot of things that might make the sight look great, can slow it down if it’s not coded correctly. Keep it simple.
- 3. You want a combination of good user experience, like a beautiful website, but also have content for the search engines can find relevant words. Words you want people looking for to find you. This takes some creativity. Keep the sentences short and to the point. The rest, focus on making the page interesting so people stay on it. The time on the page is an important metric for search engines deciding what pages to place wherein their ranking
- 4. Don’t stuff keywords. – search engines know all the tricks. If the keywords are stuffed in the content and don’t appear to be natural, you’ll get a penalty for that.
The most common and usually the best idea for a website platform is WordPress. Chances if you had a website made, it’s on WordPress.
There is a bunch of WordPress plugins that can speed your site up, there are plugins that check if you’re “keyword stuffing” and can give you a checklist to optimize each page for SEO.
Learning WordPress can be a breeze, and you don’t have to be a professional coder. A few hours course and you’ll be pretty well versed in WordPress and understand how to make your site attractive to both customers and search engines. Find more info about digital marketing at onlineacademy.com/
So, this is basically how many times you are mentioned elsewhere online and by whom. These mentions are called “Backlinks” – Backlinks from small websites which Google itself doesn’t rank well, they’re just not as valuable as backlinks from other sites which Google ranks high and “Trusts”.
But as we’ve said before, Google does know all the tricks. And if it sees that a site with no backlinks suddenly has links to big sites who have been around for many years, it will assume pay for play deal which search engines frown upon.
You what to start with small blogs linking to your site, and move slowly up the ladder to bigger more trusted blogs and news sources.
Where do you get these links?
- You can do a lot of surfing, find blogs relevant to your industry, and reach out to them and offer to write a guest blog.
- You can pay services who’ve already catalogued blogs they will write a guest post relevant to your industry. This is pay for play, but it looks natural. Especially if you start with small blogs and move up
- You can also use social media to get your blogs and content around in hopes someone will reference them… if you have AMAZING content. Someone will…
The need to know –
Social is great. Advertising on social allows you to bring in customers that you KNOW will have an interest in buying. Social companies know ALOT about their users. After all, their use is their product.
So before setting out for any social campaigns, sit down and write out three imaginary people. What are their names? What do they look like? What are their jobs? What are their interests?
You can even take some existing customers, and do some research to find common denominators. Knowing in detail additional things about the type of person who buys from you is a big asset.
There are also two categories of “Social” in Digital Marketing.
Let’s begin with our organic campaign.
Organic Social Media Marketing
We have our imaginary customers. Now we need to make some content that will entertain and educate them. The goal of organic social is to build an audience, so when you post something it gets around without you having to pay for it.
But people are tough to convince to hit the “Like” or “Follow” button for a business. They certainly won’t be in your audience if you keep trying to sell them things. So you need to deliver value to them.
Read More: What is Social Media Marketing?
You know the people that drive sales at your business, what makes them laugh? What do they read about? What tugs at their emotional strings?
These are the creatives you want to make. Make some great content and drop them into groups where your “personas” hang out online… if you deliver value, you’ll get an audience in no time.
Paid Social Media Marketing
Paid is straight to the point. You want to make creatives that get them to press that button and SIGN UP for a sales call. You know your personas. So start with an educated guess about what they want to see.
Now, Social media companies want people to click on those ads. That’s how they make their money. And there’s a limited amount of ads they can put on each user feed. There are also other companies competing over the same people. So they want to maximize the amount of money they get from advertisers. Either by getting a lot of clicks, or charging a lot per click.
How do they decide? you need to constantly watch your “CTR – Click Through Rate” This is the percentage of all the people who looked at your ad, how many clicked on it.
If a lot of people look at your ad and don’t click, the social media company is going to give that space to your competitor who may have a higher CTR. You’re constantly in a bidding war with your competitors for you to use that ad space.
The way you get a high CTR is having the right MESSAGE for the right AUDIENCE at the right TIME. Simple as that.
It will take some trial and error. But if you know you have the right audience, then you may need to change your ad. Conversely, If a whole bunch of different ads isn’t working, you may need to re-think who your audience REALLY needs to be.
Lastly, Back To GOOGLE – Paid Ads
Google Ads is a way to cut in line to the top of the search engine. Here you don’t have personas but geographic areas (markets) and words people are looking for.
They also work on a bidding system for ad space. If it’s a big market, and a keyword with low competition, placement will be cheap.
The opposite is also true. Small market + High competition = Expensive Ad Space
They also check your CTR. And they are serious about their ad space pricing. Your Cost Per Click or CPC can jump in a number of days 100s of a percent if they show that ad to a lot of people and they don’t click.
So in that limited amount of space, make sure your message entices a click. But also make sure that click is to the point, so you get a customer.
ALOT of expertise is needed in this particular area of digital marketing. The longer you’re allowed to write, the more of a chance something fairly well is written has a good chance of coming out. But in just a few characters to write something brilliant, well, you might want to take a copywriting course.
So that’s what we can fit in a quick guide. I know this work of art didn’t make you a master of Digital Marketing, but I do hope that it made it less scary, and you’ll have the confidence to know you can learn to do it yourself.
As stated, “Nobody knows your business like you”. So I would suggest something simple. Do what the majority of “Agencies” out there do. Take some online courses.
This stuff is not rocket science, and if you’ve already jumped the hurdles of running a business, or getting investment money, or even have just been brave enough to start your own independent venture, invest in the one most important thing that drives business, and learn digital marketing yourself.
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