Digital Marketing requires effective search engine optimization to beat back competition and win consumer confidence
Even in an age of instant gratification, somethings will still adhere to a process. Marketing expert Jonathan Gebauer said, “Marketing is a process, not a decision … and never a magic trick.”
However, in a digital age, marketing has had to revolutionize its process. Traditional marketing concepts are no longer effective because marketing is now a whole new perspective. Consumers don’t accept a one-to-many flow of communication. They want their views heard. So, they will not accept advertising that does not provide for consumer interaction. Yet, as a leader in search engine optimization, Rand Fishkin, says, “There is no black magic to successfully attracting customers via the web.” He tells marketers, “Best way to sell something: don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, and trust of those who might buy.”
And so, digital marketing has to be a compelling conversation, if it is to draw consumers to a particular web site. The millennial generation, which is the largest group of consumers in the market today, are firm believers of opinions of peers and friends. They discuss products and services and their qualities on social media before making purchasing decisions. So, successful marketing essentially needs to be a conversation with consumers. And as digital marketing pioneer, Ann Handley advises, “Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time. Worry less about sounding professional and worry more about creating remarkable content that other humans can relate to.” Therefore brands, in order to step on to successful digital marketing, need to perceive themselves as publishers, or creators of credible information.
As digital marketers understand, search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to their visibility to consumers. When potential consumers search online for a product or service, their interest will be caught by the first few web sites that appear on the first page of their search. No one is going to search pages and pages of search results. So, from a marketing perspective, it is crucial to get on the top of search lists. This need fueled the conversation on search engine optimization. As widely published SEO expert, Sam McRoberts, said, “It’s (SEO) changed so drastically that people really need to learn to think of it as less of a marketing tactic, and more of a branding play.”
In fact, today, search engines are able to pull more market share toward themselves. As Forbes says, about 80-90% of consumers check online reviews before making their minds up to buy a product or service. Therefore, being seen as a credible industry source is important, because Google ranks a web site higher if it perceives some web site as being open and credible. A search engine wants to provide only trustworthy and legitimate search results to their customers. So, the more a web site is able to convince the search engine of its trustworthiness and legitimacy, its chances of appearing at the top of the list, are higher.
There was a time when SEO and social media were separate threads that tied the product to marketing. Now, the two concepts are intertwined. Social media is now no longer separate to any SEO company. A potential customer can find a company or product on Twitter as well as on Google.
Engaging social media is returning search to human beings rather than to algorithms and search spiders. If someone wants to check if a product is worthy of spending hard-earned money on, the opinion of 10,000 other users would sway the purchasing decision, rather than a choice founded on keyword density.
Furthermore, search engines offer the opportunity for users to access deep insight into products and services and up-to-date information. This, as Bill Gates, says, is something digital marketers need to always keep focused on, and a reason why “Content is King.” Says Gates, “If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video. They need an opportunity for personal involvement that goes far beyond that offered through the letters-to-the-editor pages of print magazines.”
Credibility has a lot to do with believing in the product or service a marketer is offering. New York-based advertising and marketing agency, Ogilvy and Mather, says, “Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.”
Millennials are immersed in social media for about 18 hours a day. They are on their smartphones for a major part of the day, and share experiences with friends and followers. They share stories with honesty and openness. So the advertising jargon of earlier times sounds false in their ears. Fishkin says, “Tell a story. Make it true. Make it compelling. And make it relevant.”
Andrew Davis who has revolutionized publishing strategies and brand marketing in a digital world, simply says, “You can’t be everything to everyone but you can be something to someone.”