By Elizabeth Williams, Senior Project Manager
“Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
This is exactly how many organisations are feeling about their online presence. After years of spending time and money on ‘digital pivoting’, many people are finding their whizz-bang digital destinations or websites are unseen in an ocean of activity.
We know customers are online in record numbers and growing by the second. We know they’re actively looking for products and services just like ours. So why can’t they find us?
With the explosion of online consumption, so too has come the explosion in online providers. The growth in the number and types of websites, platforms and shared online stores with easy commerce functionality is finally catching up with demand, and your target market is flooded.
To reach people quickly and accurately, and open up the wide end of the sales funnel, you need to utilise the most powerful tools in the digital marketing playbook – SEO, SEM and SMM.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Optimising your website to get quality, organic traffic ahead of your competitors has become standard operating procedure, however, you’d be surprised how many organisations build and maintain their websites with little to no regard for SEO. We recognise it can be daunting however, there are fundamentals such as using key phrases in natural language, maximising quality links in, and ensuring it is fast and secure to load on all devices, that should be applied as a minimum when planning or refreshing your website.
If you already have a website and want a tip to improve your SEO, focus on your Title Tags. These are the executive summary of a page for the search engine to understand, so make your text powerful, accurate and natural.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Over 92% of the world’s online traffic uses Google as a search engine, Search Engine Marketing is generally considered Google Marketing or Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords).
If you are a beginner in this space, or are still relying on simple search pay per click (PPC), single keywords or outbidding for rank, you may be throwing good money after bad.
Your SEM is used to make your website visible where organic traffic on search engines wouldn’t otherwise find you. Often used interchangeably with the term Paid Search Advertising (PSA), it is fast and can deliver your products and services directly into the hands of huge numbers of potential customers, however, as with all advertising it requires targeting, management and constant refinement to ensure your mix of message, audience and channel delivers quality click throughs.
My tip to improve your ROI on SEM is to target, re-target and micro-target your audience.
You can do this by changing your approach from keywords to key phrasing; using the full spectrum of Google tools at your disposal such as remarketing, local, display or shop; and making full use of the entire suite of analytics to double down on audience.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social Media Marketing is used to reach audiences your organic social media presence can’t, in a space not controlled by the search engines. Social Media Marketing is often referred to as Social Media Advertising (SMA), however, as the saying goes ‘Not all marketing is advertising, but all advertising is marketing’.
As social media platforms move closer to search and commerce providers in their own right, and as they increasingly grow their share of eyeball time, they also continue to expand their paid offerings. However, with each platform offering so many different ways to advertise, how do you know where to start?
My tip to improve your SMM is to start small with a single platform (or dual Meta Platforms if you’re on Facebook and Instagram) and run a few tests. Utilise their individual tools such as Lookalike Audiences or smart features and let the platforms tell you in the results what will work for you.
SEO, SEM and SMM are the holy trinity of digital marketing, shining their combined spotlights on your offering and making you visible to your audience.