With so many types of digital marketing in 2020, it’s become such a broad term, making it hard to know where to start. Digital marketing is vital to business, especially when people are more online than ever. If you want to be found easily, it’s smart to have an online presence, whether that be a Google My Business or an Instagram account.
From SEO and SEM to social media marketing and social media management, we’ve broken down each of these to help clear the air for you. We’ll go through SEO, SEM, social media marketing, online review platforms, Google My Business, online directories, websites, social media management and content marketing. Keep reading to find out the 9 types of digital marketing we think you should be considering, along with examples and useful tips.
9 Most Popular Types of Digital Marketing in 2020
What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of optimising a website and its relevant online presence for organic search engine result pages, known as SERPs. When SEO is done well, your website will be displayed in more search results relevant to your target audience. As a result, you’ll increase organic traffic to your website.
As SEO is to optimise for organic search engine results, it’s an on-going process with no guaranteed results. So, be wary of anyone offering you guaranteed specific positioning.
SEO best practices.
There are more than 300 factors that can influence your SEO. This includes everything from keywords, site security, site speed, heading format, your images and so much more. Here are just 9 ways to improve SEO:
If you’re a service with qualifications, authority or expertise, like a medical, legal or financial service, Google wants to know. Google will want to show your business if you have expertise on the relative subject matter, as you may be more credible over other sources who do not have such authority.
2. SSL Certificate
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate allows encrypted communication between a web browser and a web server, ensuring your website is secure. Google wants to give their users secure results, so it’s essential to ensure you have a SSL certificate.
3. User-experience and SEO optimised content
By offering users a good experience on your website, they are likely to stay on your website longer. A poor user experience will result in them being frustrated and leaving. By optimising your content with effective SEO practices, this will better satisfy your user, therefore Google.
4. Easy-to-crawl code
Behind the scenes is your code (website backend), which is where your website communicates with the browser on what to display on the frontend (the part viewers see). When the code is too complex, it doesn’t provide a good experience and is difficult for search engines to crawl.
Developers write, read and test this code and when it’s not up-to-scratch it can have a negative impact on SEO. There are also different code languages, which even most developers won’t be trained in them all. An SEO specialist will know what to look for, and have developers they work with to fix problems.
5. Local website hosting
Website hosting is what gets your website published online. It’s vital to make sure your website loads quickly, as it impacts SEO and user-experience.
However, website hosting can impact your SEO too. Your website hosting needs to have a fast server response time, as well as be secure, as both of these are big factors for search engines. To ensure these needs are being met, your best bet is to go with a local hosting provider.
6. Off-page website optimisation.
Search engines also use other websites pointing to your website and business to decide where to place you in results. If a quality website mentions and links to your site, it tells them your website is also reliable, to an extent.
You can actively do this by listing your business on directory websites, doing link exchanges with other websites and similar activities. SEO specialists have ways to make this simple through their connections and experience.
7. Fast page speeds
If a website takes too long to load, people are more inclined to exit the site and try another one. Therefore, you can easily lose customers if your website is slow.
Many factors can slow down your website, from large image files to plug-in sizes. If you need help making your website speedy, it’s best to speak to an SEO specialist and developer.
8. Regular relevant website updates
Like your phone software, your website platform and plug-ins will need updating from time to time. This is crucial to do as it helps maintain your website’s performance and security. As we know, poor security and experience are not good for SEO, so they go hand-in-hand.
9. Consistent details
Keeping your business details consistent wherever displayed helps search engines identify your business and match all your platforms together.Wherever you display your business name, address and phone number (NAP), ensure you’re using the same details and presentation.
10. Keyword optimisation
A keyword is a word or phrase that defines a topic or body of content. Once you understand the keywords relative to your business, then you can use this phrase in your blogs, on your site security and any other platforms to help search engines recognise your business. Ideally, you want each page to have one focus to optimise these target words and phrases. Keywords work best when used every 150 – 300 words.
Example of how SEO works to put you in more relevant results.
Say you own an earring business called Katrina’s Fun Earrings and have an Instagram, Facebook and website. Yet, when you search for earrings designed on the Gold Coast or cute handmade earrings on a search engine, none of the results on the first page link to any of your pages.
This could be for a few reasons, including not focusing on the keyword you’re searching for, not enough content on your pages or any of the other 300+ factors. Let’s say your website loads 8 seconds after clicking the link, which turns away people who are trying to access your website. This will cause Google to favour your website less, as it’s not what users like. By ensuring your website is fast and user friendly (refer to section 7. Websites), this could fix the issue.
SEO can be complex, and time consuming. So, if you’re unsure or simply don’t have the time, it is best to get in contact with an experienced search engine optimisation specialist, like Localsearch.
SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, is the term used to describe paying to advertise a website’s visibility on search engine results pages. Most commonly done through Google Ads and Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads), they allow you to pay to post your ad/s on their search engines for relevant keywords.
By using tools like Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, AHREFS and Google Trends, you can find the most popular search terms for your service or product. You’ll want to be optimising your website for high-volume search terms, and using things like blogs to reach other keywords.
One of the most popular types of SEM is pay-per-click (PPC), where you only pay for the ad when someone clicks on the action, like a link to your website or contact.
Ads come in different formats, most commonly Search Network Campaign and Display Network Campaign. Search Network ads are shown on Google search sites and sometimes Google search partners, using text, Dynamic Search, call only, shopping, image or video ads. On the other hand, Display Network ads are shown on sites your target audience uses, by showing Responsive Display ads, image ads, engagement ads or Gmail ads.
How to improve your quality score to get a better ROI
Your quality score is the rating Google gives your ads, judging by the quality and relevance. By improving your quality score, you can produce a better cost per click (CPC) and positioning in the ad results, increasing your return on investment (ROI).
While many factors determine your score, it’s important to pay attention to them and fix or improve them. Having a good score is key to gaining loyal customers, staying ahead of competition and getting a better return on investment. If you have a low quality score, here are the factors to look into that may be the cause of the low score:
- Relevance of keywords.
- Poor click-through-rate.
- Landing page/website quality.
- Text relevance in your advertisement.
- Poor user experience.
- Your previous performance.
Furthermore, you need to assess your ROI to make sure your ad is worthwhile. ROI is used to determine the return on investment in relation to the cost of the investment.
Example of how you can improve your quality score:
For Katrina’s Fun Earrings, you may pay to bid on the keyword “Cute handmade earrings.” However, this keyword isn’t mentioned in the ad, the landing page or any of the text on your website. As a result, there is less relevance and the connection cannot be made from this keyword to your business.
By adding the selected keyword into blogs, on your website and in your socials, you are helping optimise your SEO. If you’re also paying to rank highly on this keyword, it can place you above competitors with similar SEO practices who did not pay. You may choose to pay for Google Ads, which can drive more of the traffic to your site over competitors as your website will appear above theirs on Google’s search result pages (depending on what you’re bidding on, your positioning, etc).
How to effectively use PPC.
When using PPC, you want to have more specific keywords over a broad one, as you only want people who are actually interested in your business to click on the link — otherwise, you’re wasting money. Having a lower cost-per-click can be done by bidding on keywords with less bids, using negative keywords, geo targets and using longer keywords.
Furthermore, you need to assess your ROI (return on investment) to make sure your ad is worthwhile. This can be calculated by using the benefit of an investment minus the cost of the investment, to get a percentage figure.
For example, say it costs you $2 per enquiry via Google Ads, and every sale averages at $20, after production costs. Your average return on investment per SEM-generated enquiry is $18.
Essentially, SEO is focusing on your positioning in organic search results, while SEM is focusing on the paid results. Paid listings will also say ‘Ad’ next to them, while organic results won’t have this same label. Some main differences are:
- SEO is organic, while SEM is paid.
- Good SEO practices are also good for SEM.
- Having good ad and organic positioning increases your chance of a click-through.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing uses paid advertising on social media sites to target your desired audience. Paying for ads on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Messenger can help reach more customers who may be interested in your business.
As the reach of organic posts can be quite limited, paid ads help you reach more people, and more specific people at that. By using ads on such platforms, you’re paying to be shown in more people’s feeds as they scroll through.
Different types of social media ads.
When setting up an advertisement on a social media platform, you will notice there are multiple options for which type of ad you’d like to publish. Each platform has multiple ad options, which can be modified to suit your brand, goal and other desires.
Most social media platforms have similar advertising options and we’ll have a look into Facebook ads below to show you how ads work on this social media platform. The Facebook Ads platform also allows you to advertise on Instagram and Messenger, so it’s a good place to start.
Facebook Ads can be displayed as a video, photo, link click, right column ads, slideshow, carousel, canvas, collection, boosted page post or even a dynamic product ad.
The most common ads on Facebook are photo, video, right column and carousel ads. Carousel ads are great for displaying products and have a high-engagement rate compared to other formats. Depending on your business, audience and what your ad is can change which type of ad you should use. Realistically, you can use any format, but make sure to research which type of ad works best for different audiences and businesses.
Facebook Ads are used with the purpose to either create and boost awareness, consideration or conversion. When creating your Facebook ad, you need to first consider the objective of the ad; do you want to boost awareness, entice viewers to want more information with consideration ads or to push those almost ready to buy over the line with conversion ads?
Example of how to improve a Facebook ad:
Using our previous example business of ‘Katrinas Fun Earrings,’ we can get a better understanding of how to implement social media marketing for a small business. Let’s say a new range of earrings have just been launched on Katrina’s Fun Earrings website. To boost sales, the business should run a conversion Facebook ad, targeted at the businesses target market, in the form of a carousel.
This type of Facebook ad will target consumers towards the end of the conversion funnel — those looking to buy now. Using the carousel will allow multiple designs to be showcased to potential customers.
Social ads are time consuming to set up and manage, which is why it’s helpful to speak to one of our social media marketing specialists.
It’s important to use online review platforms; they allow customers to leave their reviews on your business and for potential customers to read these reviews. Your target audience is much more likely to purchase a product or service if they see others who have had a good experience with your business and vice versa. As you can see, having customer reviews is pretty important.
Believe it or not (but do because it’s true), 93% of people say a review influences what and where they buy. You can create a profile and reply to comments on sites like TrustPilot, Google My Business and Localsearch.com.au. This helps boost awareness and let future customers see how others rated your business.
Best practice is to reply to all reviews; good and bad. 92% of consumers say they tend not to trust businesses with ALL positive reviews, which is why it’s important to reply to negative replies, rather than trying to delete them. It also helps with SEO when you reply to reviews and can attract new customers to leave reviews.
Examples of how to respond to a positive and negative review:
For example, say Katrina’s Fun Earrings receives a positive review saying how someone loved the specific design they purchased. You could reply, “Thank you for your kind words, [name], I’m also releasing new designs next week so keep your eyes peeled.” This shows you’re thankful for their review and mentioning upcoming releases encourages them to check your site again later on and possibly make another purchase.
On the other hand, let’s say the business receives a review saying, “Terrible service. The earrings didn’t look like the photos and were of horrible quality.” To reply, you want to demonstrate to the public if something went wrong you’ll do everything in your power to help. Recommend them to contact you on a specific number/email, taking the matter offline. Once it’s resolved, ask if they’d be happy removing or updating the review.
Google My Business (GMB) is an effective and free online tool you can use to help local customers find your business. When people search for relevant industries to your business, your GMB may show up in the local search results section, as well as Google Maps. However, to do this, you need to have an optimised profile.
GMBs are important to ensure people can easily find your business and have access to all the information they’re looking for. Especially during a pandemic, GMB is an advantageous digital marketing tool to have.
Localsearch has a Google My Business Optimisation service starting from only $19 a week. This includes optimisation of your profile, and regular posting.
Online directories play an important role in many areas of your digital marketing. Firstly, they give you another place to reach millions of Australians.
Localsearch.com.au receives more than 1.95 million page views a month, as well as visits to the Localsearch App. With features like reviews, request a quote and other features for optimised business profiles, it can be a great lead generator for businesses.
Quality online directories also provide a good backlink to your website. Backlinks from high-quality sites allow search engines to know you’re a reputable business. It also gives people another way to find your business.
Tips for optimising your online directory profiles:
- Keep your business name, address and phone number consistent with how it’s displayed elsewhere online.
- Upgrade your profile to allow you to add photos, additional services and more.
- Add a tagline about where you are and what you do.
Websites are the most crucial type of digital marketing and should be treated as such. A website that is mobile responsive or adaptive, secure, contains high-quality content that’s posted frequently and provides good user experience will increase people who visit it and turn into a lead.
Having a mobile friendly website means when you visit your website on a phone, it will still work as it should. With more people using their mobile devices over computers, it’s essential to make sure they have a good user experience on your website — no matter where they access it from.
You can ensure your website is mobile friendly by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Site to see if you’re on top of it or if you’re losing potential customers by not having a mobile friendly site.
The Difference Between a Mobile-Responsive & Mobile-Adaptive Website:
A website should be either responsive or adaptive when accessed by mobile devices. Responsive sites change the size of your site layout, fitting the space provided. On the other hand, adaptive websites are like having a website for computers and a separate website for mobile devices.
Both of these designs have positives and negatives, so it’s important to research them to find which one is best for you.
Building a website.
Setting up your website can be quite difficult and requires immense time and effort. From setting up your domain name, to testing and publishing your website, it’s no wonder most people leave it to the professionals.
As for what to build your site on, it depends on your needs. WordPress is a good choice for more customisation, while a website builder will help save money when you only want a basic design.
However, not all website builders are made easy. Many website build platforms (normally those offering free websites) don’t allow you to access what you need for full search engine optimisation. As a result, when you do get professional help, you may need to rebuild your site to get the results you want.
Websites are not a one-size-fits-all. For this reason, Localsearch customises all packages, from our website subscriptions starting from $19 a week to our flat-fee websites.
Social media management is the creation, distribution and monitoring of unpaid posts on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. By understanding your brand’s online reputation, analysing the insights and engaging with others on platforms, you can practice effective social media management. Unlike social media marketing, social media management is unpaid, utilising organic content.
Interacting with your audience and other social media users.
It’s important to engage with others on social media as this helps increase your following and boost your engagement. Platforms will recognise users who are more active, which increases your chance of being recommended in that platform’s search algorithms. Moreover, when someone likes or follows your Facebook page, it may show up on their friend’s feeds which encourages them to like it too. All of this helps to increase brand awareness.
Social media content.
Ensure you’re creating content that is cohesive and promotes your brand values, appearance and message. It’s also important to have content that educates, inspires, entertains and engages your audience.
Producing content with value will help increase your following and engagement. Additionally, it can help drive traffic to your website or platform where customers can purchase your product or service. Each social media platform had a different audience and algorithm, which you will need to adjust your content to suit.
Facebook is a dominating platform, with 1.62 billion users visiting the platform daily. Another important statistic to recognise is that 74% of Facebook users are high-income earners. With your potential audience using this platform, it’s beneficial to ensure you’re on there too.
By having a business page with all relevant details and posting regularly, you can grow your audience through valuable content and information. With Facebook being one of the most used social media platforms in Australia, it’s not surprising most businesses are on here, so if you’re not, your competitors will be.
With users accessing the Instagram app daily, it’s the second most popular social media platform for daily log ins, after Facebook. Instagram is great for businesses to find their niche audience, which can be done with the help of hashtags.
Even for those who wouldn’t consider having a profile on this platform can receive surprising results. For example, builders and plumbers can enjoy the app by connecting with their niche, utilising hashtags such as #renovations #plumbingaustralia, etc to build their audience.
LinkedIn is unique to networking. While some businesses post about PR and staff, others still try advertising. However, people are on LinkedIn for reputation management and growing their networks. Thus, this is a great platform to grow your professional networks and show off your business in a more corporate setting.
Pinterest is home of visual search results, commonly including DIYs, style inspiration and more. This can be a great platform to use for any business, even plumbers can post DIY plumbing tips and tricks, linking to their business for additional info or help. Creating pins can be easily done using Canva and other similar apps.
9. Content Marketing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the term used to describe the process of creating, publishing and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to a selected audience with the aim to gain attention and encourage leads. Content marketing includes:
- Email direct messages.
Benefits of content marketing.
Content marketing is great to increase brand awareness, drive sales and access to the message and image you want to send out, among other things. Additionally, Google recognises content, which is why it’s also great for SEO.
Always remember, quality over quantity, although both is best. Another way to create valuable content is to use visual content where possible. People connect best to visual content; reading can be tiring. Moreover, in the example below personalisation creates great value to customers, so personalise where possible, if it’s possible.
Example of how to use content marketing:
You own a local plumbing company and recently made your website. You start making content for your audience by publishing blogs about plumbing-related topics. From blogs titled “How to fix a clogged drain” to “Why are my walls shaking,” which help reach organic audiences on search engines. These blogs are also reconstructed for EDMs (email direct marketing) and made into tips and tricks as social media posts. By making content multi-purpose, it saves time, is cohesive and reaches a wider audience.
If you need help with your digital marketing, you can speak to one of our lovely Digital Marketing Specialists in your local area. Head to business.localsearch.com.au to get started.