One of the biggest problems in Digital Marketing today is that when brands or companies run their campaigns and realize that they can achieve their targets through Social Media Marketing and Facebook Marketing alone, they tend to neglect the rest of their digital assets. But that’s where the problem lies: these brands or companies end up overlooking one of the most critical aspects of their business: their own website.
Your website is what you refer to as an owned asset. You fully own and operate this, and have either built it yourselves or paid to have it made.
Imagine for a second you and your team have invested hundreds or thousands of dollars into growing your Facebook presence, and then suddenly, Facebook tells you that they will no longer allow brands to promote their content on the platform. What then?
That’s why it’s crucial to not only invest in your own property but also to maintain it and have a strategy around it because no matter what happens to any other platform out there, you retain control and direction over your asset and can continue operating your business online.
According to data collated by WebsiteHostingRating.com, it is vital that your website is “Mobile First” or built mobile-friendly because
In 2018, mobile internet usage was 48.2%, and 80% of users used a mobile device to search the internet. As of March 2017, 80% of top Alexa websites were mobile-friendly.
Not only should your website be mobile-friendly, but it should also be extremely fast. According to research done on the top 100 retails sites in the world, a website has to load within 3 seconds, and every second longer a page loads, the chance of a user accessing the site drops dramatically. In terms of eCommerce websites, a 1-second delay in page loading speed can cost you 7% of your eCommerce conversions.
Speaking of eCommerce, global online retail sales are growing and are estimated to reach 8.8% of total retail spending in 2018. The UK has the highest recorded eCommerce sales, followed by China, Norway, Finland, and South Korea, mainly because
One in four people will continue to shop online at least once a week, and yet surprisingly, only 28% of U.S. small businesses are selling their products online. Additionally, user behavior for physical purchases have also changed: 82% of customers use their mobile phones while deciding on purchasing in-store, and nearly half of users read reviews of all purchases on their mobile phones–81% of consumers trust information found on blogs and 61% of US online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations by a blog.
Don’t be alarmed, though, as the fastest-growing eCommerce categories are traditionally strong brick-and-mortar sectors moving online.
So again, you need to have a proper website that is fast, mobile-friendly, and discoverable.
To ensure discoverability, one needs to invest in SEO as well as SEM.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is what you do on your website or webpage to make it more search engine friendly. Whether it’s fixing the back end code, how your website writes URLs and folders, or even how you word your content, all of that is optimization that will allow your website to become more discoverable.
SEO is excellent for Long-Term ROI and allows you to acquire more exposure, branding, and awareness. The problem with SEO is that it is often difficult to quantify and requires a lot more work to get it right–SEO is not a short term solution and usually takes a while before your labor bears fruit.
SEM or Search Engine Marketing, on the other hand, is when you use paid services like Google Ad Words to drive more traffic to your website. PPC (Pay Per Click) and / or bidding for keywords is the most common form of SEM and can get expensive, especially if you’re bidding for popular keywords. Sure, it’s quick to set up, but again if you’re unsure how to run SEM campaigns, you end up spending more than necessary.
The great thing about SEM is that because you are using paid tools, it is highly measurable and quantifiable so that you can see immediate results and ROI–but beware of a phenomenon called ‘ad blindness’ where users tend to skip the first few sponsored linked in their search results. Remember: 75% of people never scroll past the first page in search results, and 80% of people ignore Google ad–meaning users still prefer to click the higher ranking organic links and prefer to stay on the first page results.
In short: SEO is ‘Organic,’ and SEM is ‘Paid,’ and, to have a more successful website, one needs to invest in both SEO and SEM to achieve better results. But if you were to decide what to focus on first, 57% of marketing executives say on-page content development is the most effective SEO tactic while 70% of marketers see SEO as more effective than PPC.
To further how effective your SEO is, you also need to have content on your website. Whether it’s articles, news, announcements, or blogs,
For eCommerce sites and user behavior, 81% of online consumers trust information found on blogs, and blogging continues to be the number one marketing strategy for companies. Additionally, long-form blog posts generate 9x more leads than short-form posts.
Speaking of content, you also need to invest in video. Once again, according to data found on top-performing websites, a page is 60% more likely to be pushed up in rankings if there is a video on the landing page. And once again with being mobile-friendly: mobile content gets 60% more engagement than standard posts, mainly because 75% of all video plays are on mobile devices. Not to mention using product videos can increase product purchases by an impressive 144%.
So let’s say it again:
Website development is no joke, and you need to plan for it, spend time and effort into putting it together with the right features and infrastructure. Don’t just rely on social media for your digital marketing needs–your website has to be part of your overall digital marketing strategy.
Once you have your fast, mobile-friendly website up, invest in making it more discoverable. Video content and regular, long-form blog postings are the best way to bring up its discoverability, and SEO and SEM will help improve its page ranking a great deal.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to the “old man” if you need help! Ping him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s figure out how to build you a fast, mobile-friendly, discoverable website!