The fastest way for a startup to gain traction in the marketplace is through digital marketing. Even if the business sells services or physical products, it will do much better if it has an online presence.
But before we discuss how to bring traffic to a website or other online properties, it’s important to define what we mean by digital marketing.
What is Digital Marketing?
Neil Patel, a recognized expert on online marketing, has a broader definition about digital marketing than most people in the field. He says, “I want an easy definition I can remember! Here’s one: Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services, which involves electronic devices.That’s the reason it has been around forever (because electronics have) and why it doesn’t necessarily have to do with Google ads or retargeting. Digital marketing can be done both online and offline.”
Attracting Traffic to Your Website
Thus, digital marketing includes the entire infrastructure of your online business. This infrastructure can include a website with a blog and a network of social media channels.
However, this infrastructure by itself is inert unless it has traffic. Traffic is the lifeblood of any business. With sufficient traffic you can get subscribers to your emails and followers on your social media channels. Over time, these visitors– whether subscribers or social media followers –become prospects and then customers.
There are two ways to get traffic. One is to buy it and the other is to get it free.
The way to get free traffic is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO brings visitors from the search engines. Once someone does a search online, they will be directed by the search engine results page to your website. The magic that connects you to your customer is choosing the right keywords and optimizing your website so that the search engine spiders recognize the value of your content through that chosen keyword or key phrase.
How well you optimize your website can be measured through tools like Google analytics. Metrics give you a clear idea of how well you are doing and they can help you troubleshoot problems if you are not getting the number of visitors you think you should attract. Perhaps, you are using keywords that people are not searching for or perhaps, Google spider’s don’t recognize the value of your content based on the keywords you are using.
PPC or SEO?
It’s important to note that deciding between PPC and SEO is not always necessary. You can also use both—provided you have metrics to measure where your visitors are coming from. Without this piece of knowledge, it’s difficult to know where the traffic is coming from and you can’t do more of what is working.
The main advantage of PPC is that you get immediate traffic, but the disadvantage is that once you stop paying for it, the traffic stops, too. The shift can be as dramatic as turning a faucet on and turning a faucet off.
The main advantage of SEO is that you get a steady stream of traffic, but the disadvantage is that it takes a lot longer to get the traffic and you have to stay consistent in your content creation and keyword optimization to keep attracting it. While there is no cost to get this traffic, there is the cost of time and labor to build an infrastructure to attract this sturdy flow of visitors to your website.
How Important Is Keyword Research?
Google handles 100 billion search queries each and every month. These queries are all based on keywords or keyphrases. If you don’t use the right keyword and optimize it for your webpage, then chances are that no-one will come to your website from the search engines.
7 Tips For Finding the Right Keywords
So, how do you find the right keywords?
Here is a list of tips to help you figure out the right keywords:
1. They should describe your content.
2. They should that have a high search volume and low competition.
3. According to websitehelpers.com in their article on choosing good keywords, common mistakes in selection of search terms include targeting single-word terms, terms that are way too broad, and not focused to what you offer; terms that are too specialized, which nobody searches for; terms which are unpopular; and highly-competitive terms which you can’t hope to rank well for.
5. Prefer long-tail keywords over more popular keywords. The reason long-tail keywords are better is because they give you a better chance of ranking for that term in the search engine results page. Otherwise, you are competing with millions, sometimes billions, of websites for a popular keyword.
6. Leverage the power of keyword search tools. While brainstorming will give you a general idea of what to look for, keyword search tools will tell you exactly what phrases people have been looking for. Some popular keyword tools are Google Adwords’ Keyword Tool, WordTracker’s Free Keyword Demand Tool, and WordTracker’s Paid Keyword Research Tool.
7. You can have branded and non-branded terms. Initially, you may want to focus on non-branded terms until enough people became familiar with your website for your branded terms to begin to get recognized. Ultimately, of course, you want people to be searching for your website by name. In other words, your branded terms should increase in value over time.