Digital marketingAs a small business, there are hundreds of different ways in which to spend your marketing budget. Digital marketing is the trend that all businesses should be part of – though a recent UK Digital Marketing report shows there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding it. So why does your business need to add digital to your marketing portfolio?

Consumer searches as a sign of the times

When searching for products or services, the Internet is now the default starting point for your customers. Where we once used the Yellow Pages to identify local companies, now we’re not only using online search engines (Google, Microsoft Sites, Yahoo, Bing, etc), but we’re increasingly doing so on the move from mobiles, not from our desks.

With consumers looking dynamically for the information they need, businesses are responding by spending marketing budgets differently. Research shows that more than 50% of advertising spend this year will be on digital channels.

Visibility is key

The Internet means that your field of competitors has massively increased. Your business is now challenged by organisations from across the globe, all fighting for the attention of the same pool of customers.

This means that your business needs to be easily visible online, or face further erosion of market share. Visibility requires not only online ads, but mastering the elusive art of making search engines work for you to boost your website’s ranking and thus visitor numbers.

Mastering search engines

The starting point for most customer sales journeys is the search engine – today, more than 65% of users favour Google. A good search-result ranking is required in order to drive more traffic to your website – be aware that over 70% of click-throughs from searches are from page 1 of the results only, and within that, the first 5 results account for 67% of all clicks. So getting a better ranking is essential – and it relies on two key techniques: SEO and PPC.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

Search engines use an automated system to identify and index websites ready for display in search results. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a collection of techniques designed to make your website more attractive and visible, helping to boost rankings. Google’s algorithm updates in recent times have favoured quality content using organic keywords, and have penalised the old technique of keyword stuffing, so SEO is now a true art.

PPC – Pay Per Click

PPC ads are small sponsored options displayed at the top of search engine listings. Your business is charged each time a sponsored listing is shown to a user, and again if they click through. Buying PPC is simple, but you need skill and experience to ensure advertising spend is properly targeted for maximum conversions.

Other elements to consider

Digital marketing extends beyond search engines. Other factors that make up a balanced digital multichannel campaign include email marketing, social media content promotion and other desirable, free or gated web content such as instructional videos, white papers or ebooks.

All of these channels work together to increase brand visibility – the trouble is that they are quite time consuming for a business with limited resources. Most SMEs will find that their marketing pound goes much further (and is more effective) by partnering with an experienced digital marketing agency.

To find out more about digital marketing and the massive benefits it offers your business, contact the Broadband Cloud Solutions/NS Design team today.

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