A Simple Digital Marketing Plan

Starting up a new business can be a daunting task. So when it comes to deciding on a digital marketing strategy, which is a plan on how you will go about marketing your business, you may feel as though you’re ‘drowning’ in a digital sea of marketing methods.

Why? There’s so much info out there!

I believe that keeping things simple helps new business owners find their feet during the early years of business planning.

Starting up a new business can be a daunting task. So when it comes to deciding on a digital marketing strategy, which is a plan on how you will go about marketing your business, you may feel as though you’re ‘drowning’ in a digital sea of marketing methods.

Step one to setting up a digital marketing plan, in my mind, is to understand what works for your business.

Essentially, the results you want is traffic. First and foremost. This will drive visitors to see your website and there they will see what products or services you provide. And how they will help their business so they can interact with you. That’s what it’s all about, after all.

So what do you do next? Most people will tell you to do ‘search marketing’ or SEM and SEO which is search engine optimisation.

Before we go any further, let’s see what the difference is between these two important search marketing terms.

Search Engine Optimisation: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of improving your search ranking in search engine results. SEO is how ‘search’ ranks and delivers results.   

Search Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the combination of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising.

SEM is now the fastest growing form of advertising and because of the complexities many companies rely on agencies to manage their search marketing. Advertisers spend billions in digital advertising. Check out our articles on Search

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of improving ranking in search engine results by making optimisation changes to your website.

PPC, on the other hand, is an online advertising tool in which advertisers pay their host in advance. It is possible to be top of the ranking immediately with ‘paid for advertising’. However, to achieve this and to remain on top of the list can become costly.

Your site is found by search engines in two ways: by submission to the search engines and link building and getting search engines to find you through optimisation. My experience has shown that the correct use of SEO can bring in phenomenal results to a start-up or new business.

SEO is then broken down into other important areas, such as Keywords, On-Page Optimisation and Off-Page Optimisation (link building).

Link building is important as search engines are known to trust websites with lots of high-quality incoming links. The most valuable links come from relevant websites which are already trusted by search engines. Avoid ‘link farms’ like the proverbial plague!

The largest ISP providers of SEM Search Marketing are Google, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft’s Adcentre.  As social platforms, like Facebook, grow in search strength they also evolve into providers of search marketing adverts.

SEM is often run in conjunction with SEO.

An SEO strategy can take up to six months or longer to take full effect so you may want to implement an SEM campaign to ensure you appear in the results of the search while your SEO gets going.

The Tortoise And The Hare

When I teach workshops in iHubbub's SEO Club or speak at various public speaking events, I encourage business start ups to think of SEO and SEM as the Hare and the Tortoise.

SEO is the Tortoise that sets a steady pace and doesn’t give up until it gets to the winning post, which is the pole position in Google.

SEM is the PPC Hare who darts up front, leaving the Tortoise behind, determined to be first and beat competitors. The Hare may, or may not, take a break (depending on budget), but it rests on the sidelines in Google’s right ‘paid for’ column, while the Tortoise overtakes and becomes Google’s No.1.

While a Digital Marketing Strategy (DMS) can be complex even a simple ol’ online marketing plan can work wonders when you go about marketing your business.

Before you rush off to be implementing a marketing plan, start by planning your digital or online marketing campaign for your start up business or online internet business.

Understanding, even in the simplest way, how search engines work, gives you an idea of the complexities behind keywords and search engine marketing.

The more you read and learn about digital marketing  the more you’ll realise that it is a myth that search engine marketing is a complex art only for the lion-hearted!

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