SEO & Digital Marketing Explained
There are a lot of options available when it comes to digital marketing. It can be overwhelming knowing where to start and what to do first, but this is where we can help.
By looking at our digital marketing overview, you can start to understand what options are available. And then we can work with you to figure out what might be a good fit for your business.
The best place to start is usually SEO, and getting the website sorted, as Organic Traffic generates the highest quality traffic. Then you could bring in a paid campaign with a small budget to test the waters and see how it goes. If we don’t get the results we were hoping for, we can tweak the campaign, or try something else! It can be a bit of trial and error for some industries to see what people respond to the best. But the main benefits of digital marketing are its flexibility and scalability.
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss how we can help your business grow it’s presence online, get in touch, we would love to hear from you!
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves making changes to your website and online presence to help drive Organic Traffic to your website. The goal is to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website (with the emphasis on quality). Organic Traffic generated from SEO is far better quality than paid traffic.
SEO today requires you to consider your users, what they need, and trying to solve their problems. It is a long term strategy and can take months to start seeing results. Good quality, relevant content plays a huge role in how well your website will perform. Many other factors also have an impact such as how many quality links you have pointing to the website, how often you get shared on social channels, how user friendly your website is, how fast the website is etc. As you can see it is a complex combination of factors that determine how well your website will perform. There are three main components of SEO – on-page, off-page and content.
On-page SEO is usually the easiest place to start, and involves making sure a few key elements are set up correctly on your website, to make sure it is as search engine friendly as possible – you have to get the basics right so search engines can crawl your pages and understand what the website is about. This involves things like page headings, Meta data (titles and descriptions for each page that search engines use to understand what the page is about), and image optimisation.
We always do keyword research first to make sure we are using the right keywords on the website, in the most important places. However, keywords by themselves are not the main focus. What is important is understanding what real users are searching for in the real world, and what their pain points are, so you can make sure your website meets their needs and answers their questions. If you achieve this, search engines will be more likely to show your website in search results for relevant searches.
Other components of on-page SEO include the speed of your website, how user friendly it is and how it behaves on mobile. These factors can all have an impact on your website’s performance. Search Engines want to know the website meets users’ needs and is easy to use.
On-page SEO is where we always start. By focusing on this first it also helps to make sure the website is set up well if any paid advertising is to happen.
Off-page SEO involves your general internet presence away from your website. This is harder to control, but involves things like getting other reputable websites to link back to you, social media, and Google My Business listings. Off-page SEO can have a large impact on how well your website will perform in search engines. SEO relies on getting real people to the website, social sharing, and also backlinks. If no one visits your website, it’s very difficult to improve your SEO.
Content involves more time investment, but is very important. As the saying goes, “Content is king”. Content is the reason people come to your website, and businesses that include relevant, useful content on their website will bring in more traffic. And generally, websites with more content also do better in search engines. Making sure your pages have enough content on them, and you are providing useful, relevant information for your visitors is really important. As mentioned above, understanding what your customers are searching for in the real world, and what their pain points are, will help you create relevant, useful content that meets their needs and answers their questions. This will improve your SEO, and will also help to build trust and credibility for your business, making it more likely that people will share your content. This is also critical for organic link building.
Adding sections like FAQs, blogs, news, and help articles creates a lot of possibilities for adding fresh content to your site on a regular basis. And when you focus on adding content that people are actually searching for (which we can determine through keyword research), you potentially have the opportunity to bring in more traffic to your website. Often this is people who might not be ready for the service or product you are offering, but you are planting a seed and creating awareness of your business. And then when they do need what you can offer them, you’ve already taken that first step. This is the essence of content marketing.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines content marketing as “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”
Another step that we always do before embarking on any digital marketing work is making sure you have a Google Analytics account set up. Google Analytics records all the visits to your website so we can see what people are doing on your website. It gives us data on how your website is being used so can we track the effectiveness of any SEO or marketing work that we do. It is also important to define goals for the website so that we have a source of measurement to see if the website is meeting your objectives.
Digital advertising has a more immediate impact than SEO, can be a great way to bring in traffic to your website while it is gaining momentum in Organic Search. Whereas SEO tries to bring in free, Organic traffic to your website, with digital advertising you are paying for these visits.
There are 3 key sources of advertising that we deal with, Google Ads, Social Media Advertising, and Display Advertising. All methods have pros and cons, but the benefits of digital advertising in general (as opposed to print advertising) is that you can start small, and have a lot of flexibility with budgets and changing things up if something isn’t working or getting good results. The other key benefit is the results are measurable.
There are a few different types of Google Ads (aka Google AdWords), including Search, Display, Video, Shopping and Apps. The main ones we manage are Search, Display and Video.
- Search advertising is when you show ads to people on a Google Search Results page when they are specifically looking for something. We call this intent based advertising, as you are advertising to people who you know are looking for something, based on the keywords they use. Ads are text-based ads that we write in conjunction with you and the key selling points for your business.
- Display advertising is when you show ads on other websites, and people are targeted based on their interests, online behaviour and demographics. Display advertising is good for brand awareness and getting your business in front of a lot of people. You tell Google what type of people you want to show your ads to and how much you want to spend per day, and then Google does all the rest. Google Display ads are usually image-based ads. There are 2 methods for setting these up:
1. Responsive ads: these are automatically generated based on a selection of images and text that we provide, and Google combines these into different combinations to fit the relevant ad space on a website.
2. Designed ads: these are complete image ads that are created by a graphic designer. They can have a bigger visual impact if done correctly, and are a good option if you really want the ads to be on-brand. However, they have a higher setup cost due to the need to involve a designer.
If you are looking to drive a particular action, then usually Search is better. If you want to get your ad seen by a lot of people, then Display works well.
Often running Search and Display at the same time gets the best results as they feed off one another – people see the display ads, and then when they are searching for what they need they are more likely to click your Search ad because they’ve seen your Display ad and are already familiar with your business.
- Video advertising involves video ads being shown on YouTube, and also on other websites if you opt in for this. Video is a high-impact marketing tool and can get great results if you have good footage and good quality video.
Facebook advertising is similar to Display advertising and is targeted based on interests, demographics etc., but typically there are more specific options because Facebook knows more about people. Facebook ads can also be pushed to Instagram. As per Google Display campaigns, these ads are based around images, so you would need good imagery and/or graphic designed ads created.
With Facebook you can pay to boost a post you have created on your Facebook page, to give it a higher reach, and you can also create specific ads that did not start out as a Facebook post.
Display advertising is image ads shown on a specific website, that is booked directly with the business. For example, on Stuff.co.nz or other news websites, Metservice, Trade Me, etc. They can be large or small websites, but the main difference compared to Google Display is you have control over what website the ad is shown on and how many impressions or clicks you will get for your money. Large websites often have a minimum spend, which can sometimes make it prohibitive. However if you have a decent budget, the right type of business, and get the targeting right, these ads can get good results.
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