The following blog post was submitted to me to coincide with the interview I conducted with Bill Craig of WebpageFX back in October 2013.
The evolution of web marketing, naturally, is relative to the evolution of the web. A website that may have proven to be a viable source of referral traffic one year ago, might lose its value or even completely disappear the next year.
For that reason alone, web marketing is an undeniably fluid industry. There are very few aspects and tactics which remain the same for more than a few years.
That being said, the higher-level objective is rather concrete: to maximize digital strategic communication efforts to ultimately increase revenue from the web by securing a larger piece of the digital market.
Building an effective, modern web marketing strategy starts with integrated research. This process heavily relies on digital market research and competitor analysis. The goal during this process is to identify opportunities that can be tapped into which fuel strategies such as digital advertising, search engine optimization, and conversion rate optimization.
Core elements of a modern web marketing strategy
- Integrated Research – Start your web marketing strategy taking a look at any existing market data. Next, plan out research goals such as identifying online trends and profiling your primary competitors.
- Digital Advertising – From web banners and sidebar ads to interstitial and sponsored search, digital advertising has become the norm of any web marketing strategy. Pay Per Click advertising is arguably the most effective ad form, as it drives immediate and targeted results.
- Search Engine Optimization – 80 to 85 percent of search engine clicks are going into the organic results on a search page, while the rest filter into PPC and new searches. SEO determines how potential customers discover your business, such as keywords, locations, and referrals.
- Onsite SEO – Planning and executing proper onsite SEO helps search engines crawl your site better. Onsite SEO can also be thought of as housekeeping. This organizes everything on your site (even if you have thousands of products) and helps visitors navigate your site better.
- Link Building – A big factor that determines the success of an SEO plan, is the quality and quantity of links pointing to your site. By creating high-quality content such as resources, info-graphics, and video-graphics, other sites will be more inclined to share a link.
- SEO Pricing – A good overview of the costs and deliverables associated with an SEO plan can be found on the WebpageFX SEO pricing page.
- Conversion Rate Optimization – Split testing and multivariate testing have become one of the emerging web marketing tenets that increase traffic, click through rates, and ultimately, conversions. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing the color of a call-to-action button, while other times it’s designing a completely new landing page.
- Social Media Marketing – The largest time investment web users commit to is social media. Reaching social media users effectively is difficult without being intrusive. This is where content marketing overlaps, compelling users and potential customers to click through to your website and convert.
Gauging web marketing efforts
During the execution of a web marketing strategy it’s fundamental to consistently gauge efforts. The following measurements are the most common:
- Return on Investment – The basic ROI formula is (gain-cost)/cost. This formula evaluates the efficiency of web marketing tactics. High ROI results demonstrate the longevity of web marketing.
- Cost Per Acquisition – Essentially, advertisers can pay for a specific action or metric such as impressions, clicks, registrations, sales, etc. This is a great way to drive direct traffic and responses. An appropriate extension of CPA is eCPA (effective cost per action) which measures the effectiveness (basically, ROI for your CPA).
- Conversion Rate and Goal Completion – This is generally applied to every web marketing effort as a multi-form measurement with goals. For example, conversion rate can measure how many people click through from an infographic to your website, or how many people stayed on a particular page for more than three minutes. By assigning goals to valuable actions (such as spending a lot of time on a popular product page) we can use that information to help increase conversion rates.
These are just a few of the most common measurements. Google Analytics allows web marketers to create their own measurements and hone in on intricate user data.
Let’s touch back on that 80-85 percent of search engine clicks funneling into organic results. Ranking higher for keywords has a direct correlation with receiving more clicks to your website. SEO and digital advertising help businesses earn a larger piece of the organic results (the 80-85 percent share) and the paid results (20-15 percent share).
Without SEO and digital advertising, businesses receive little to zero visibility. The days of sifting through Yellow Pages or manila folders jammed with local listings are fading. When we want to find a product, business, or service we use search engines. We can read reviews, compare prices, and complete purchases – all in a matter of minutes.
This is why it’s vital for businesses to adopt a web marketing strategy and increase their share of the digital market.