SEO for Beginners: How to Optimize Your Content for Search

If you’re new to digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) may seem a bit mysterious. While it’s true there are a lot of rules, many of which seem to change frequently and aren’t totally transparent, there are some simple SEO basics that anyone can learn and apply to their content to increase traffic from organic search. 

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is exactly how it sounds: optimizing your website’s content for search engines. That way Google (and other search engines) can easily index your content, categorize each of your pages based on the information they contain, and then serve those pages up to people who are looking for that information on the Internet.

Why You Need to Optimize Your Website for SEO

By making some simple tweaks to your website’s content, users who are searching online will be more likely to find you, which means increased traffic to your site. One case study by Backlinko shows an incredible 385% boost in organic traffic that resulted from SEO efforts.

According to Search Engine Journal, 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing instead on organic search results. SEO is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to drive more traffic to your website. Frankly, by not optimizing for search, you’re leaving visitors on the table.

To develop an SEO strategy, it helps to first understand the basics of how search engines work.

How Search Engines Work

A search engine’s main process is threefold: crawling, indexing, and querying. Let’s define each.

  • Crawling: A search engine runs a software program called a “spider” to discover content on the web.
  • Indexing: The search engine analyzes the content it finds to determine what it’s about, then indexes itor organizes the contentso that it’s quickly retrieved when the next step occurs.
  • Querying: When you conduct a search online, the search engine fetches a list of search results for you to consider. These search results appear on a SERP, or a Search Engine Results Page. As Google puts it, “…our algorithms look up your search terms in the index to find the appropriate pages.”
    Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 8.17.14 PM

What’s an Algorithm?

Google’s algorithm is a computer program that analyzes a series of unique characteristics of each web page it indexes. This helps Google serve up the most relevant pages in response to a user’s query. 

Very few people know the actual details of Google’s algorithm. That’s because Google keeps its exact algorithm secret, and it updates it frequently, which keeps the SEO community on its toes.

That said, by studying how content performs, analysts have arrived at some conclusions as to how you can make your content more attractive to Google’s algorithm.

How Do I Attract Google’s Attention?

This is the crux of why we’re here: to learn how to get Google’s attention with SEO in order to rank higher and increase traffic to your website from search. So what exactly is Google looking for? 

First, let’s talk about what Google is NOT looking for. In the past, many SEO experts were in the business of gaming the system in hopes of getting top placement on SERPs to attract users. 

They churned out massive amounts of low-quality, “thin” (300 words or less) content pages on a variety of topics. They would pack these pages with keywords, which are words that appear in popular search terms. At first, this scheme worked, until Google caught on and updated its algorithm to foil this strategy.

These days, the most important thing to understand about SEO is that your content must be high-quality, informative, and satisfying to a user. In essence, if your content impresses a human, then it will probably impress Google.

If Google trusts your page enough to serve you up as a top result to a query, then that page better deliver a great piece of content to the viewer. If a high percentage of users leave your page without clicking through to another, resulting in a high bounce rate, Google will penalize you for it.

Here are two key characteristics of content that we know Google favors:

  1. Length: If you’re gunning for a piece of content to appear on a top search engine results page, aim for about 2,500 words for prized content pieces. Why? Content that is well-researched and covers a topic in depth impresses Google.

In a survey of 160,000 pages, serpIQ determined that the top SERP results were reserved for web pages that that were longer, with a decline in search performance that generally correlated with declining length of content.

  1. Freshness: To stay on Google’s good side, keep your website updated with fresh content on a regular basis. When Google’s spider crawls and indexes your site, they give you a freshness score, which factors into their algorithm. If you don’t update your site at least weekly, it will start to appear stale to Google, and therefore less appealing.

How to Use Keywords for SEO

See how we discussed the quality and length of content before explaining how to use keywords? It’s not because keywords aren’t important, because they are. But due to those algorithm changes we mentioned, keywords no longer hold the power they once did. If you don’t have great content, then all the keywords in the world can’t help you. (And in fact, too many keywords–or “keyword stuffing”–will hurt you, in the form of Google penalties.)

That said, keywords are still an important element to incorporate into your SEO strategy. Keywords can help determine what you’re going to write about so that you have the best chance of attracting traffic. How do you know which keywords are going to bring visitors to your site?

This bring us to the question: What’s a keyword? We explained it briefly above, but in a little more depth, a keyword is a word or a short phrase that shows up in popular search queries. By doing keyword research, you discover which keywords have the potential to drive the most traffic to your site. You use keywords by writing content that focuses on topics that cover those keywords, and you make sure to include those keywords in your content.

Google’s Keyword Planner is the SEO professional’s best tool when it comes to knowing how to write content that’s relevant and is bound to get organic search traffic. In a nutshell, you can use the keyword planner to discover what search terms are popular in your niche. If you want a detailed look at how to use the planner, check out Backlinko’s guide.

What Are Title Tags?

In brief, a title tag is the title of your page or article. Your title tag is going to appear on SERPs, at the top of the page in your browser, and when you share your page on social media media. Your title tag should display a concise and accurate description of the content on the page, as this is critical to both user experience and SEO. 

On a SERP, here is how your title tag looks (we used the title of this article “SEO for Beginners: How to Optimize Your Content for Search” as our example:)

When it comes to optimizing title tags for your website, you’ll want to follow best practices to have a positive impact on SEO. Here are some recommendations for optimizing your website’s title tags for search:

  • Keep your title tag between 50-60 characters. (The above example is 58 characters.) This prevents a too-long title from getting cut off in search results.
  • Your title must accurately describe the content on the page. 
  • Put your keywords toward the beginning of the title tag.

It’s also important to remember to never reuse the same title tag for multiple pages on your website. Duplicate content on your site will get you penalized by Google. If you have two pages that are similar in content, either combine them into one page, or come up with ways to differentiate and vary the content, which will include the title tags. 

What is a Meta Description?

Before we define a meta description, it helps to define a snippet. A snippet is the description that Google displays on a SERP beneath your title tag. The snippet is a brief summary of your page so users can get a preview of what the page contains before they click.

A meta description is also a brief summary or description or your page content, but it’s composed by you. You can install an SEO plugin within your CMS, such as Yoast, that allows you to offer Google the content of the snippet. If Google decides your description is relevant to a user’s query, your meta description shows up in SERPs as a snippet. If you don’t compose your own meta description, then Google will display its own snippet from the content on your page.

When you use a keyword in your meta description, search engines will highlight it in the snippet if a user has performed a query that includes that keyword. These highlighted keywords can draw the attention of the search engine user, which can result in a higher click-through rate to your content. Notice the keywords “sharing buttons” and “social” highlighted in the snippet below:

You can easily add keywords, title tags, and meta descriptions to your content with the All In One SEO WordPress plugin. Now that you’ve got some of the SEO basics down, we have one last topic to cover: links.

How Do Links Help With SEO?

Links on your website can provide great value in terms of SEO. There are two different types of links you can include in your web content: internal links and external links. 

An internal link connects one page of your website to another. For instance, your homepage might link to the “contact us” page on your site. In the case of an internal link, the source domain and target domain are the same. Internal links help users (and spiders) navigate your site easily and efficiently.

An external link is a link in your content that directs the user to a different, outside domain. Done right, links to external content should show that your content is well-researched from reputable sources, which Google likes to see. 

Although links can significantly help your SEO ranking, there are some things that can harm it as well. Be careful to avoid mistakes with your hyperlinks. Here are some factors to consider when using links in your content: 

  • Links from sites related to your product or topic are usually more valuable than links on unrelated sites because related sites provide more topical relevance.
  • The link’s text–commonly referred to as ‘anchor text’–matters, but not as much as it used to. Overly optimizing your anchor text can actually get you penalized by Google! In the past, SEO experts thought it was best to stuff keywords into anchor text. Now we know the best method is to simply write naturally and link accordingly, without trying to game the system.
  • The amount of links included on a page matters in terms of SEO. So you want to post enough links, but you also don’t want to post too many links. When a page links to multiple web pages, Google divides the value of the links by the number of links on the page. This means that the value of one link among many is diluted, compared to the value of a single link on a page without many other links. So if you have important content you want to call to Google’s attention–be it your own internal link, or a valuable outside resource–be careful not to water down that value by linking indiscriminately.

Now that you’ve got a solid understanding of the basic ways SEO can work for you (and against you, if used incorrectly), you can employ these strategies to create superior content. Plus, you’ll also increase traffic to your website from search. This means that new users who are searching topics that are relevant to your niche will be able to better find you among the sea of content creators on the Internet.

Five Ways to Encourage Customers to Share Your Brand’s Content

Content is everywhere. From YouTube videos to Tweets and Facebook posts to Pins on Pinterest, you can’t avoid it. The creation of content is a highly important aspect to any marketing plan because of how active today’s consumers are on digital. In order for your content to be effective, it needs to be visible. One of the best ways to make sure your brand’s content is being seen is to encourage your own fans and customers to share what’s relevant to their own channels, friends, and family.

Integrating social media tactics into any marketing plan is important considering that is where a lot of today’s consumers spend a majority of their time. Whether it is at home, on a bus, or during their lunch break, your audience has access to social media anywhere they are. To ensure your fans are sharing content on your behalf, you’ll want to give them a compelling reason to do so.

With an advocate marketing platform, a brand can easily manage and curate content while incentivizing their customers to share it. There are other ways to reward your advocates for sharing content other than simply providing discounts on products.

Here are 5 ways to encourage fans and customers to share your brand’s content.

Offer them exclusive ‘first-look’ content they’ll want to see.

Fans of any brand are particularly interested in feeling like they’re a part of something exclusive. A great way to encourage passionate fans to start talking about your brand is to offer them early access to articles, videos, product orders, and more. The chance to see something before anyone else will encourage them to jump on board and start sharing.

Let your fans pick the reward, (or vote on it).

One of the best ways to get anyone involved in content sharing is to offer them exactly what they want. How do you know what that is? Ask them! If you have a variety of incentives you can offer your advocates, let them vote on which rewards they’d prefer to receive. This way, everyone wins.

Prove to fans that their opinions count.

Brand advocates like to feel like their opinions matter, and in return they love brands that give value to those opinions. Ask your fans how they feel about a new product, store opening, or social event, then recognize them for giving you input. The more you interact with them, the more they’ll feel appreciated and want to share more of your content in the future.

Appeal to their benevolence.

Many people have the desire to do good things for others, especially if it’s made easy. For example, if a non-profit organization proposes to give $1 to their cause for every share or retweet, chances are most fans will participate. Give your audience the chance to get involved in a way that doesn’t require them to jump through hoops.

Create entertaining and shareable content.

This seems like a no-brainer, right? If you really want your advocates to share your brand’s content, it needs to be worth their time. Brand advocates will share content for rewards points, but more importantly, they’ll share it on their social media platforms if they truly want others to see it because it’s interesting. Images, videos, and other visually appealing content will likely receive more engagement. Give them a reason to share your content by creating something that is one-of-a-kind.

An advocate marketing program is meant to help your brand spread its message through passionate fans who love to share their opinions. In order for your brand to have a strong and positive presence, you need to make sure you are encouraging your advocates to do their part to spread your content across their social networks.

The Steps to Building Advocacy through Social Media

There are many benefits to using an advocacy platform for large corporations and brands. For starters, you let your advocates be your own personal marketing department. When you have fans that spread the good word of your business for you, there is no need to pay for expensive advertising.

Today, social media is such a significant part of the advertising industry’s marketing strategy that there are entire jobs and positions dedicated to it. You can use social to drive traffic, build brand awareness, improve your reputation, and eventually create new sales.

However, there is a missed opportunity, as not all brands employ social media for advocacy purposes. Social channels are a great way to create promoters and highly engaging advocates for your brand. They are a spectacular way to spread your message because they believe in your product and are willing to testify for your brand in a public way.

So why use social media for advocacy? It’s simple. It’s where your customers – and potential customers – spend the majority of their time. According to Mashable, more than 66% of adults are connected to one or more social media community. Sharing your brand’s content on social platforms can significantly help you reach new audiences. Incentivizing advocates to spread your message will also rapidly increase your fanbase, and in turn, your sales. According to a recent survey from Yesmail, social media users are more likely to respond to product offers shared by friends and family in their networks than to offers included in sponsored posts and social display ads.

Here are the steps to building brand advocacy through social media:

  1. Find your advocates.

It’s important to know where your advocates are and how to connect with them. Identifying who your brand advocates are on social media is the key to spreading awareness and increasing all-around engagement. The best way to do this is by searching for those who are already sharing and promoting your content.

There are many tools available online to help you discover which people are sharing your message, like Traackr or Viral Heat. These can help you monitor who is saying what about your brand. There are also free analytics tools on social media platforms that will help you narrow in on who your true advocates are, like Facebook Insights and Twitter Insights. They aren’t that difficult to find, either, because true believers in your brand are liking, commenting, and sharing your content already.

  1. Build rapport.

Starting, growing, and maintaining a positive relationship with your advocates is necessary if you want them to continue sharing content on social media. All relationships are a 2-way street, and if they don’t feel the the love from your brand, they’ll likely back away.

Once you’ve identified who your brand advocates are, you’ll want to be sure to keep them on board. When you build a rapport with them on social media, they’ll feel secure, engaged, and then more likely to continue their commenting and sharing for others to see. Engage with your customers and join their conversations. Replying to their updates, commenting on their blogs, and e-mailing them to brand advocates your appreciation will prove that you care about fostering your relationship with them.

  1. Encourage and Inspire

Brand advocates are well connected. They enjoy sharing content, reviewing products, and telling others about their experiences. In order to keep them active, they will need to feel inspired and excited to share new content. Surprise your customers by creating events and promotions worth talking about and watch the positive word-of-mouth spread like wildfire. Advocates are also more likely to share content than any other customer, so you’ll want to make sure they continuously have good reasons to vouch for your brand and keep your positive reputation.

  1. Measure and Analyze

The entire point of having advocates for your brand is to let them do the talking for you while you maintain a great and reputable business. If you’re using an advocacy platform like Spendsetter’s, you already know that there are many benefits to having a dashboard and reporting tab where you can measure the success of your advocate marketing. If you’re not already on board with an advocacy program, you probably at least understand the importance of being able to track your progress and stay in-tune with who is saying what about your brand. Spendsetter lets you create a fully customized dashboard with the information you value most to better understand your advocates and their actions. You can also manage all of your campaigns, rewards, and offerings all in one place.

When you invest in your brand advocates, they will bring incredible value to your brand. By using Spendsetter’s advocacy platform, you can manage, incentivize, and target campaigns to those in a certain demographic or location to positively promote your products on their social media channels.

5 Tips for Nurturing Your Brand Advocates

Advocates are a necessary marketing tool for your brand. They have high value and can help get you a great return on your investment. Advocates can account for large sums of money in purchases, from apparel to electronics. By sharing the good word of your brand, additional consumers will come to know and trust you.

Once you have discovered who your most powerful brand advocates are, it is important to nurture them. Developing a relationship with your most loyal customers doesn’t just happen overnight. In order to build a strong, trusting relationship with those who are willing to champion for your brand, you need to take time and understand how to take care of them in return.

Treating your advocates with respect and appreciation is essential to your brand’s reputation. They are people, after all, and not just a means to an end. Advocates not only purchase your products or services, but they evangelize your brand by providing testimonials, sharing your message on social media, giving feedback regularly, and motivating you to stay up-to-date with your marketing efforts.

Reach out to your advocates. There are plenty of ways to show how much you appreciate them.

Here are 5 tips for nurturing your brand advocates:

  1. Ask for their suggestions and ideas to generate participation. Starting a conversation and asking questions will prove that you acknowledge their opinions.
  2. Respond as often as possible to their social posts. Recognize their willingness to vouch for your brand and thank them for their support.
  3. Share their meaningful content they crafted to advocate for your brand. A simple retweet on Twitter or Facebook share can mean a lot.
  4. Feature them in a blog post to show your appreciation. Putting the spotlight on your most influential customers is also a great way to generate new content for your brand’s website.
  5. Reward them for spreading your message and brand awareness. You can give them additional rewards points, send products, or even offer a discount code.

When advocates encourage their friends and family to purchase from your brand, the buying power rapidly increases. In order to maintain a positive reputation, you’ll need to motivate your biggest fans to continue sharing your product or service on social networks.

The wonderful thing about fostering concrete relationships with your brand advocates is that they have a high impact on advertising at a low cost. As you continue to nurture a strong and healthy relationship with your advocates, they will have more reason to recommend your brand.

6 Simple and Free Tips for Increasing Traffic to your Blog

200197880-001Whether you’re a news journalist, lifestyle blogger, freelance copywriter, or you just have a passion for creating content; there are a few things you should know in order to promote your published work if you really want to extend your reach. In order to get the most out of your post, it’s necessary to promote it in places where readers find it relevant, interesting, and helpful. Your blog, just like a business, needs to be well-marketed in order to bring people in and keep them engaged. You aren’t writing content for nothing, right? Increase the awareness of your blog and give it the exposure it deserves.

Here are 6 simple & free tips for increasing traffic to your blog:

1. Use Social Media

Promoting your blog on social media should already feel like second nature to you. If you aren’t already publishing your posts through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and other social media platforms, start now. Leverage these networks to your advantage to gain traffic and engagement.

As soon as you hit “publish” on your blog post, make a habit of pushing the post’s link through Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. For added traffic, create an account for your blog on Pinterest and pin to your boards that are relevant to your blog’s topics. Programs like Hootsuite, Buffer, and SproutSocial are great resources for social media management.

2. Be Consistent.

Staying consistent is one of the most important factors to making your blog successful. Nobody knows your brand better than you do, so don’t compromise it by posting things that are irrelevant or incompatible to you and your brand. Also, search engines love webpages with quality content that is fresh and persistent. In order to keep a steady increase in your blog’s traffic, you’ll want to publish content at least 3 times per week.

3. Engage with other Bloggers

If you want visitors on your blog, try visiting other blogs and starting a conversation. Commenting on other blogs (and including a link back to your own) will promote ongoing engagement with other bloggers in your online community. It’s also important to reply to comments on your own blog so that your readers feel their comments and opinions are valued. The more connected they feel, the more likely they are to visit again.

4. Optimize Each Post

Keywords are important in your blog’s content. Using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool can help you find great keywords to be using in your blog posts that are both relevant to your topic and stand against your competitors. Also, avoid overkill by placing too many keywords into your content so that readers are distracted and turned off by your difficult-to-read blog posts.

5. Guest blogging

Another great way to gain some exposure is to write guest posts on other blogs with a similar audience. If you’re a fashion blogger, submitting a guest post on another fashion blog chock full with photos and outfit inspiration will encourage readers to check out your blog and potentially follow you. Be sure to include a brief bio about yourself and a link back to your blog for easy access to readers.

6. Utilize Multimedia in Blog Posts

Is your blog visually appealing? Would you want to look at it if it wasn’t yours? One way to bring readers in is by having attractive imagery and videos that readers can engage with. Visual content can be  just as important as the content you are writing. Also, referring back to #1, if you have great corresponding photos that are relevant to your topic, pinning the photo to your Pinterest account can be very beneficial.

There are a plethora of resources available online if you’re seeking new ways to drive traffic to your blog. Although great content is key, it’s not always sufficient. Bringing extra attention to your blog is simple and necessary. Follow these 6 steps and you’ll be well on your way to gaining readers and increasing your overall blog traffic.

Success metrics: Delivering Data that Matters to You

In today’s marketing world, there is a multitude of channels to select from when working to get your company’s name out there. New marketing solutions are being invented daily and sometimes it can be overwhelming to keep up with the status quo. Between the display campaigns, pay-per-click, SEO, blogging, and social media, it’s hard to keep your head above the hypothetical marketing waters.

It’s safe to say that there is no simple and quick answer as to which is the best marketing plan for everyone. Each company is different, and with different companies comes creating and customizing a marketing solution that works best for you. Every campaign has a different objective, budget, and target audience. What should matter is the results you receive and whether or not they are relevant.

Do clicks matter? Sure they do. What about page views? Yes, that can be important. However, some advertisers could be completely missing the point when the results of their campaign are delivered. It may be common nature to jump to the conclusion or have your eyes directly search for the click-thru-rate on the spreadsheet, and that’s not a bad thing, but it’s not always what really matters.

Let’s say, for example, you ran a display campaign for your mid-sized fine dining restaurant in a metropolitan area. Your main objective is to get more foot traffic and customers for an increased return on investment. Your budget is being allocated to a leaderboard and rectangle that will show up on webpages people are looking at because you want to grab attention. In order to track your increase in customers and sales, you have a call-to-action on your ad for a limited time only.

Now take a step back. Do you want these display ads being delivered to everyone in the state? What about the demographics? Are you looking to target high school students or adults of a certain household income? All of these questions matter and all of them can determine how successful your campaign is. By layering your campaign, you can make sure that your ads are only going to the people you really want them to reach, without wasting your budget on impressions elsewhere. If you don’t think people will travel across the state to visit your restaurant, tighten your geographical area to target those within range. If you definitely want to grab the attention of people ages 25 and up, you can do that.

Let’s jump to the delivery of your campaign results. Determining how successful your campaign is will depend on how you measure success. If increasing the amount of customers you receive in your restaurant to improve sales is you main goal, make sure you’re asking the right questions about your campaign results. As previously stated, although the number of clicks your ads received does matter, it does not necessarily determine how many people were impacted by the campaign and in turn brought them through your doors. A person does not need to click on a display ad in order to become a new customer of a restaurant. But how do you know if the display campaign worked on them? Here’s how:

A program called MOAT Analytics is changing the way we look at display campaign results. Rather than only showing the average click-thru-rate of a campaign, we can provide you with some of the following details for your ad campaign:

In-View Time: This shows the length of time an ad has been actively in-view on the device screen.

Universal Interaction Time: This shows the average length of time the user interacted with the ad.

Attention Quality: This shows the ratio of users that converted from hovering to interacting with the ad.

Heat Maps: MOAT can actually generate heat maps of your display ad to show where cursors hover over and where the clicks are happening. This can help you better understand the effectiveness of the creative design.

As you can see, although clicks are sometimes a great way to determine success of an ad, it is not the only factor to consider. The truth about your ad campaign is readily available with today’s technology. We will deliver for you more than just clicks. We think you’ll be amazed at what you will see.

5 Things You’re Doing Wrong in Digital Marketing

photo from imarketdx.com

photo from imarketdx.com

When done correctly, digital marketing can tremendously help a business grow in a number of ways. What some advertisers don’t understand is that focusing on one single marketing channel can be damaging to one’s digital strategy. Just like a delicious and satisfying recipe, a marketing campaign should consist of many ingredients. It’s important to use a multi-layered approach, understand the relationships between the marketing channels and how they can complement each other.

Winning the game of digital marketing can be a tricky concept. In order to see and prove success, goals must be clearly defined before the start of a campaign. Then, these goals must be attained using proper channels. In order to figure out if your campaign was a success or not, you need to refer back to your original set goals and compare metrics accordingly.

You already know that strategizing your marketing plan can dramatically help your business, but here are 5 things you may not know, or you’re doing completely wrong:

1. You’re focusing on metrics that don’t matter. Similar to what you read in this article called “Success Metrics: Delivering Data that Matters to You”, using the right tools to deliver the results and data you need is crucial. In order to manage a digital marketing strategy, one must have agreed-upon performance metrics and know what matters. You know your business better than anybody, so let us know exactly what you want to see in your results. Try streamlining your campaign by making a list of all of the elements you want to measure.

2. You’re letting anyone do it. Your business is your baby and you don’t want just anyone babysitting. Experience is key, so let the professional marketing and advertising executives handle your campaign with care. Staying on top of all marketing trends, not just social media, will keep your business ahead of the industry.

3. You’re not willing to fail. It’s fairly common in the marketing world to have a campaign that doesn’t perform the way you expect it to. If a program isn’t producing desired results, don’t just walk away from it without asking questions. A few tweaks can get it back up and performing stronger than ever. It is all about optimization.

4. You’re advertising in the wrong places. What works for one business may not necessarily work for you. Figure out where your presence should be, whether it’s in a display ad, blog, video, or anything else. You won’t see great results unless you use a multi-faceted approach to your digital marketing. Push your business through multiple channels, find where your success is, and go from there.

5. You don’t know your audience. Do you know your audience as well as you think you do? Unfortunately, guessing what your audience will do doesn’t cut it. In this day and age, we have access to search patterns, advertising interactions, data-driven decisions, social media conversations, and more. All of these factors can help us create an educated plan as to how to reach that specific audience.

Maybe you aren’t doing any of these things wrong. Maybe your ROI is through the roof and your business is booming. However, if that isn’t the case, reconsider your digital strategy and analyze these 5 common mistakes. It could completely change the way your campaign works.

Optimizing Your Brand to an Ever-Changing Environment

digital-marketing

Photo from L7 Software

Consider this: you’re a business and you want to be taken seriously. Who wouldn’t? In order to do so, you already know that you need to have quality branding. Your brand connects verbal and visual elements to create recognition, reach a target audience, and build a complete packaged experience to the consumer.

Now pile on another layer called optimization, a narrowly focused brand crafted to connect with very specific audiences that are looking for what you offer at a certain time and a certain place. A well-marketed and optimized brand will present its message with images at the very point when and where your target is choosing to respond. Whether it’s to inquire, refer, click, register, or buy, it’s a critical part of your marketing plan.

What’s the big deal?

The evolution of marketing is interminable and ever-changing. Today, the most successful marketing leaders focus on new and innovative ways to generate revenue and create buzz about their products or services. With the ongoing developments of technology, it’s safe to say that all branding campaigns need to continue to progress in order to stay relevant.

Gone are the days of allocating an entire marketing budget to a print ad or 30-second spot on the radio. Although those methods are still alive and well today, there has been a major migration of ad spending from traditional channels to digital ones. TV commercials today are pointing viewers to go directly online and visit their websites while radio advertisements have listeners visit mobile apps. All signs point to digital progression.

In a world where mobile devices are used universally, it’s critical for brands to be prepared to engage their customers in social media. More than 74% of Americans own smartphones. Of those users, one-third of them say they use their mobile device as their primary source for Internet. If marketers haven’t already caught on that it’s time to move forward and take advantage of mobile advertising, now is the time.

When it boils down to ROI and digital marketing, the real voyage is with how customers find and evaluate what they will purchase from whom. The initial touch points of discovery are digital; whether it’s through social media, mobile apps, search engines or other routes. In nearly every market, buying decisions rely heavily on digital content and user experience. It is completely necessary for a business to be present when a user is searching for them.

The solution to reaching the right audience while giving the right impressions is understanding the difference between inbound and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing, also referred to as ‘push’ marketing, imposes itself on people without an invite. Spam emails, telemarketing, and other unwanted ads like these are considered outbound.

Inbound marketing is initiated by its recipients, which eliminated the unwanted factor. The user will look for something that interests them, and a marketer delivers useful information or services. Thus begins a relationship between the buyer and the seller that has potential to be nurtured over buyer-invited interaction. With this type of marketing, it is possible to track engagement, see how many go on to become leads or customers, view shares or “likes” on social media, and receive feedback on what resonates with user.

What does all of this mean to you and your business? Adapting to digital media as it evolves is essential for branding. Optimizing all of your digital assets will help you reach prospective and new customers while maximizing your performance. Whether it’s your web page, display ad, blog, article, video, or social media network, you’ve got to put yourself out there so that your customers can find you.