Digital Marketing, A Beginner’s Guide

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing is a broad term for the various channels and strategies used for marketing products and services online. Increasingly users access the internet through mobile phones in addition to various hand-held devices like tablets in addition to the usual desktop and laptop computers.

What are different kinds of digital marketing channels?

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines like Google have complex and comprehensive set of criteria using which they decide how to rank a webpage on their search results for a particular term. For example if a user searches for “Web Development Richmond VA”, Google wants to present results in order of their value to their reader. Intuitively it makes sense for Google to place those results higher up in the rank (on the first pages) which are going to be of greater information value to their users so that their users continue to prefer Google as their go to place for searches. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the collective scheme of actions and strategy to make your website or webpage more valuable and credible to Google and its users who search for a topic of interested related to your product or service. There are various ways to achieve that like on-page optimization, off-page optimization, creating backlinks etc. End result is that via SEO your web page starts appearing higher in search result ranking but this process usually takes a few months to take full effect. One ingredient is that the quality of content on your webpage also needs to be good and valuable for the readers of that subject matter.

2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

This constituents paying for ads which appear above or below search engine results. Many a times such marketing strategies involve Pay Per Click or PPC campaigns means you only pay when a user clicks on your ad which either directs them to call you directly or visit your website or a custom designed landing page. This is a highly effective means of marketing as this taps customers when they are actually searching for specific services and products. Many customers also like to click on the paid ads to find out what are competitive offers for the products and services they are looking for. Search engine companies like Google give advertisers the ability to target their ads on a number of factors including geographical location of the user, their demographic profile and most important what they are searching for. The search phrases the user enters into for example Google are called Adwords.

3. Landing Page Optimization (LPO)

Many a times, clicking on a paid ad in the search results on Google or Bing takes the user to a custom landing page which is especially designed to market a particular product or service using some kind of promotional offer etc. Such landing pages usually have forward links to the original website of the company or business. A good landing page optimization strategy involves designing the page and the content in such a way that the prospective customer is engaged and takes the actions desired by the business owner or campaign manager.

4. Social Media Marketing (SMO)

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, SnapChat are various social media platforms which give businesses the ability to advertise their products and services to their users. They also give advertisers the ability to focus their Social Media Marketing campaign on specific geographical, demographics and other factors so that advertisers are able to reach users who are most likely to buy their products and services.

Digital Marketing Options in Richmond, VA

There are a number of digital marketing agencies in the Richmond, VA area which provide all the above services. Many national level companies also provide these services remotely but it makes practical sense for a customer to be able to work with a local real person as a successful digital marketing strategy is based on a good mutual understanding of the business goals between the business or product owner and the digital marketing strategist or agency provider. The client’s are usually charged for these services on an hourly basis, whereby the hourly rate ranging anywhere between $50 to $200 over depending on the reputation and quality of the agency you work with. DevSoft Digital offers much lower rates despite providing local presence and accountability.

Can I do Digital Marketing for my business myself?

Absolutely you can! Is it recommended or is it a good use of your time as a business owner? No. Implementing an effective digital marketing strategy requires experience, time and effort. Many tasks and strategies are only learnt with time. An experienced Digital Marketing Company develops a good technical understanding of how search engines like Google and Bing rank their keywords and hence the websites available on the internet. SMM strategies have developed a good understanding of what are the most effective ways to advertise on Social Media as they have done that for multiple clients. Hence it is always best to work with professionals who are good and experienced at what they do to achieve the maximum return on your investment and spend your time focusing on your profession and trade to get the maximum value out of your time.

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