Digital Marketing as an Ecosystem

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work” – Vince Lombardi

This is also true when it comes to the Digital Marketing. Comprised of Website Design, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing and Social Media, each with their own sub-set of tactics and best practices.

All too often, however, these individual contributors are seen only in silos and not how they contribute to Digital Marketing and each other. Often times this silo approach is because of a misunderstanding, due in part to companies need for immediate and measurable results.

Website Design

Good website design, both graphical and technical, can set the tone for the success of SEO, PPC, Social Media and Display Advertising.

If the design of the website doesn’t take into account elements for SEO, for example, a place for the H1 header tag or a responsive design that will display elegantly on mobile devices, it will be much more difficult to be successful.

The same holds true if the website was developed without considering SEO factors, such as page load speed, URLs, Open Graph tags, Schema Markup, header tag hierarchy, browser caching, etc. The website will receive a negative check mark and not perform as well as it could.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is much more than just keyword research of days past, or getting as many links back to a website as possible. Now, it’s about understanding user intent, quality content (not keyword stuffed content), links from domains of high quality and related industry, audience base and interaction on social media platforms and content marketing.

The similarities between SEO and Paid Search are so strong that if a business is only running a PPC campaign without SEO, they typically will have higher CPCs and fewer conversions as a competitor.

SEO and Social Media go hand-in-hand. Without understand your audience’s task and goals as well as their online behavior, it will be very difficult to cultivate your audience base and meet their needs. Social media is a ranking factor used by the engines (whether they want to admit it or not) and studies have shown the more tweets, shares and followers on G+ that there is a positive impact on rankings for a website’s pages.

Search Engine Marketing

Paid Search and Display advertising reports can provide great insights into what people are truly searching for. This information can help with a website’s design and architecture but also can assist with the SEO plan. For example, with Google AdWord’s you are able to see via the Search Terms Insights what people searched for and which keyword the search was associated with.

As mentioned, if proper SEO practices aren’t being followed for well-optimized landing pages, there might be a higher CPC due to a higher abandonment rate, lower conversion and a lower Quality Score.

Social Media

Think of Social Media as a direct pipeline to your customer and potential customers. By engaging and publishing content that speaks to customers, you’ll have a greater interaction and organic thumbs up from them when they share, retweet, or favorite your post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, etc.

This doesn’t go unnoticed by the engines. In fact, it helps build the engines’ trust in your website’s content and can help increase the authority of your domain. As one aspect of good Link Building practice, having a solid Content Marketing calendar in place that takes into account the messaging you will use along with cadence on various Social Media platforms, will help increase traffic to your website along with your brand.

With all aspects of Digital Marketing, competitive analysis and monitoring are necessary as they most likely are not operating in a silo with their online presence. Ensure your approach includes all aspects of the Digital Marketing ecosystem.

Sean Van Guilder About the author

Sean Van Guilder has been helping businesses get found on the internet for over 20 years. He has a 10,000 foot view of digital marketing that helps shed light on SEO as a business driver.  Sean has worn almost every digital marketing hat out there and brings strategies and tactics that have knocked the socks off of companies such as Microsoft, MSN and WONGDOODY, to name a few.  Currently, Sean is leading the SEO Practice for premier digital marketing agency, Point It, in Seattle.  Sean is a self-taught digital marketer and loves every minute of it.  When he’s not in front of a computer, he’s teasing his co-workers, playing sports, hanging with his kids, making music and collecting HO scale trains.

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