Back in the beginning days of Internet marketing, businesses were offered a limited, albeit potent, way to market their sites online consisting of few disciplines - search engine optimization being one of them. Today, the disciplines within Internet marketing have multiplied, and with the resources available to a business, Internet marketing campaigns are now more powerful than ever before.
Depending on the level of knowledge of Internet marketing within a company, some may not fully understand all the assets available to them to market their businesses online. Changes and trends move quickly in this fast-paced industry, so it's not always easy to stay abreast of them. It's also not always apparent how the various disciplines within Internet marketing can work together to maximize ROI.
Here at Bruce Clay, Inc., we call the merging of all the disciplines, "Internet marketing optimization." No longer is it just one type of Internet marketing that's important to a business website. We are now in an era where all the disciplines work together to offer a truly integrated online marketing experience, making online visibility and targeted reach stronger than ever before.
Let's examine some of the common disciplines in Internet marketing, their benefits, how they can work together and what's in it for the business to subscribe to the concept of Internet marketing optimization.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is essential to ensuring a website is best set up to be crawled by the search engine spiders, indexed and served up in the results for queries people are using to find content, products or services.
The discipline of SEO can:
Why you care: Ranking leads to Web traffic and online traffic leads to revenue. Plain and simple.
How a site is built, from the code to the layout to the navigation and other important factors, can either help or hinder SEO and conversions. In many cases, a site's performance can be improved through redesigned site architecture.
Proper site design can:
Why you should care: Decrease the cost of Web traffic by building in sound architecture from the beginning, plus improve a website's relationship with the search engines and users.
Paid search is a great way to reach a precisely targeted audience through various types of online advertising with the content, products or services a business offers.
The paid search discipline can:
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Every brand has a public to serve. Finding where this community resides online is essential to creating more meaningful relationships with its stakeholders.
Social media marketing can:
Why you care: Reach an audience who later becomes customers by strengthening relationships through brand awareness and public relations.
Web analytics gives essential data about countless facets of Internet marketing campaigns. This data is key in making well-informed decisions about the direction of the online marketing strategy and its tactics.
Web analytics can:
Why you care: Allows you to validate or modify programs to ensure you reach your goals within your Internet marketing plans.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Understanding a website's user once they come to the site is essential in offering what they want in order to facilitate a conversion. Without conversions, Internet marketing campaigns have not completed a full cycle.
Why you care: Conversion rate optimization maximizes the return on hard-earned traffic.
Blending the Disciplines for Holistic Internet Marketing
In a perfect world, companies would blend all the disciplines and resources available to them to suit their campaign goals and maximize presence online. This would include building fundamentals like website architecture and search engine optimization into the site to kick-start the Internet marketing campaign, and then integrating disciplines as needed, such as paid search, social media marketing, Web analytics, testing for conversion rate optimization, and so on.
Holistic marketing is a cyclical, often layered approach. Once a business has reached the end of a cycle, it can take the data and lessons learned to apply it to the beginning of a new round of strategy. Where one starts and ends in the Internet marketing optimization cycle is based on specific goals for that business.
When thinking of holistic online marketing, keep in mind not only the use of each type of discipline, but also how each discipline can be applied to the other to improve it. Some examples of this would include:
There are countless ways in which specific Internet marketing disciplines can work together. The important thing to remember is that integrated online marketing gives a business more control than ever before on their Internet marketing strategy, and the ability to reach goals and improve the return on investment.