If companies want to remain relevant and continue to be competitive, they need to be marketing digitally.
But, despite mounting evidence of the benefits of digital marketing, many business owners are sticking their heads in the sand and refusing to come up for air.
And, at the same time, many of them have tried to market their businesses online and for one reason or another, they feel like it’s just not doing anything for them.
Maybe they’re resistant to change, don’t want to put out the money, or they don’t believe it will benefit their business. Maybe they’ve been burned by a marketing firm that doesn’t know what they’re doing or is just out to scam people. Or, perhaps they tried to do some of their own Internet marketing with little or no success.
Whatever the case, there are many reasons why digital marketing might not be working for your business. But luckily for you, The Best Media has compiled a list of some of the factors that can cause your digital marketing efforts to fail.
Backlinks (links to your website from other sites) are one of the most important Google ranking factors.
There’s no denying the importance of backlinks. A study by Moz on the relationship between external links (backlinks) and Google rankings showed that over 99 per cent of the top 50 results on Google had at least one backlink.
But, as important as backlinks are, it’s even more important to make sure you’re getting legitimate, high-quality backlinks.
You’re probably wondering what all this means.
Well, a backlink that’s considered high-quality comes from a website with high domain authority, which is determined by factors such as how popular and trustworthy the site is. A good backlink would also be obtained in a way that didn’t violate any of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, which advise you to not do things such as buy links, or use automated programs to create links.
High-quality links obtained without violating these guidelines should improve your Google ranking, whereas links obtained by breaking these guidelines, regardless of their quality, will get you penalized by Google.
So, you need to get any links that break these guidelines removed, unless you want your ranking to suffer.
And the best way to obtain legitimate, high-quality backlinks is by creating compelling content that people are going to want to link to on their websites and share on social media because it provides value.
Which brings me to my next point…
Content shouldn’t be created just to fill space.
If this is what you’re doing, you might be better off having no content at all.
For instance, if the articles on your blog have horrible grammar, spelling and structure, and provide nothing of value for the reader, any discerning visitor is quickly going to determine that your content is nothing but crap.
With content like this, it’s unlikely that many visitors will return to your website, and if people are leaving your site quickly, this will increase your bounce rate, which affects your ranking on Google.
Relating back to my last point, because Google has outlawed the buying of links, and several other practices related to backlinks, you’re basically expected to earn them.
And the most effective way to earn links is to have a great content marketing strategy.
Your content can earn you links in a totally organic way, such as when someone shares your content on social media because they love it so much, or it can be done more methodically, by doing things like reaching out to websites that accept guest postings and including a link in your post.
But either way, you’ve got to have killer content.
A Content Marketing Institute survey shows just how important content has become. 91 per cent of survey respondents said that their organization uses content marketing, and more than 90 per cent of respondents said their organization views content as a business asset.
If you’re one of the billions of people on social media, you might be surprised to find out that there are still many businesses out there that, for whatever reason, have no presence on these platforms.
I’m sure they’ve all got their reasons, but in many cases, business owners are just plain old-school. Either they don’t use social media themselves, they don’t see how it’s going to benefit them, or they don’t even know what it is.
In any case, if you’re less than impressed with the results of your digital marketing efforts, a lack of social media presence could be a contributing factor.
Social signals such as likes, followers, retweets and shares have been proven to increase your Google ranking. In addition to this, when people link to your content with a share or a retweet, it’s diversifying your backlinks and you’ll gain traffic from the people who end up clicking these links.
There’s also a massive amount of user data available that can be tapped into if you’re advertising on social media. With access to this information, you can hone in on whatever audience you’re looking to reach, making your ad campaigns that much more effective.
In short, if you’re not on social media, you’re at a disadvantage and you’re falling behind your competitors.
A survey from Clutch found that 94 per cent of businesses that have invested in SEO have also invested in social media.
Making sure you’re targeting the right audience is crucial if you want your digital marketing campaigns to succeed.
You can expose thousands of people to your ads, but if they’re part of the wrong audience, very few people will click on them, and even fewer people will convert into paying customers.
Here’s where programmatic advertising comes into the equation.
This form of advertising uses software to automate and inform the purchasing of ad space.
Not only does it allow you to increase your efficiency by automating the buying and selling of ad space, but it vastly improves your ability to target by using huge amounts of data.
When you’re deciding where to run your ads, instead of just choosing several websites or social media platforms at random, you can tell the software exactly what you want. With this information, it will determine where to find the demographics you’re looking to target and only serve your ads to people who meet the criteria you’ve chosen.
You can target people according to their location, interests, income, gender, age, education, and a host of other criteria. You can also target based on what kind(s) of content they like to browse, which apps they use, or whether they’ve already been to your website, among many other factors.
Your ads will also follow your target audience across all the websites and apps they use, making it much more likely that they’ll take interest.
If you own a business and want to take the do-it-yourself route to digital marketing, you should know that you’re signing up for another full-time job.
The digital marketing industry and all the technologies involved with it are extremely fluid. This means that marketers are continually educating themselves on best practices and constantly tweaking their strategies and customizing campaigns to fit the current paradigm.
For you, the business owner, who’s probably not an expert on any of this, where would you even start?
You could read an article on how to obtain backlinks, for instance, do exactly what it says, and end up doing more damage than good.
How? Well, that article could be four years old, and practices that were acceptable and beneficial back then might get you penalized today because of changes to Google’s algorithm.
Then, as you watch your ranking on Google plummet, you might throw up your hands and decide that this Internet marketing thing just isn’t for you.
Dealing with the endless complexity that is digital marketing, many businesses have opted to leave it to SEO experts. The survey from Clutch referenced above also found that 55 per cent of businesses choose to hire experts to help with their SEO optimization.
Are you sick of social media and tired of trying to rank on Google? Why not contact The Best Media and let our team of experts take care of all your digital marketing needs under one roof?