1. Build A Holistic Strategy
The most successful internet marketing strategies begin with a holistic approach that uses a mix of complementary marketing tactics, like SEO, content marketing, and digital advertising.
None of these efforts are meant to stand alone and while cherry-picking one or two internet marketing initiatives may offer some short-term gains, you won’t achieve the best results possible in the long run. Below we’ll explore the roles that each of these tactics play in a successful internet marketing strategy and why having a mix of them to create a well-rounded strategy matters.
Solid Technical Foundation
The first step in search engine optimization is ensuring that all the technical elements of your website are in tip-top shape. A technical audit will identify if your site currently has appropriate meta titles and descriptions, H1-H2-H3 hierarchy, page redirects, and URL structure, and whether there are any issues with duplicate content, inadequate content on key pages, or site speed.
Through on-site optimization, SEO gives your website the very best chance to be found in appropriate online searches. Your SEO team will collect a comprehensive list of all the keywords and phrases that represent your brand and will work to make on-page content changes to incorporate these keywords into your home page, product and service pages, blog posts, and resource pages.
Once your site is technically solid, SEO can move on to off-site optimization. In this phase, SEO works to create inbound links to your website from other sites. Inbound links are still one of the most influential ranking factors that search engines pay attention to. When influential, relevant websites link back to you, it’s seen by the search engines as a “vote,” that speaks in your favor. When your website receives more relevant links or “votes,” it tends to rank higher.
Websites that regularly prioritize adding fresh content are proven to have higher amounts of traffic. With input from SEO on user search habits, you’ll know what kinds of quality content users want to read and share. Every time you add new content to your site, in the form of a product page, FAQ page, blog post, video, or podcast, Google has the opportunity to index another page that will lead users to your site.
Repurposing content into infographics, animated videos, white papers, free checklists, or other downloadables can also yield benefits for your marketing. Building a library of visual content can help you get found on video platforms like YouTube or in image searches, and it can lead to higher engagement when shared on other channels like social media or email.
Social Media Marketing
Social media allows you to engage with and gain insight from users who have chosen to follow your brand. With your social media strategy, you can build personal relationships with these users, to build brand loyalty. Social signals are a growing indicator of your brand’s authority and expertise. When users share, like, and comment on the content you publish on your social channels, it shows that your brand is popular and trustworthy. As a result, Google is more likely to give your website more presence in the search results.
Better Brand Recognition
Advertising on social media can allow you to get in front of the right audience, who have interests and demographics that fit with the issue your product or service is solving. When you engage in social advertising regularly, it will help increase awareness and better recall around your branding. In turn, with enough exposure that can lead to people interacting and then converting.
Be First In Search
Timing is everything. And while it’s imperative to have a solid organic SEO strategy to rank toward the top of the page in search results, that can take months to influence. If you need a fast-acting strategy now, paid-per-click advertising gives you immediate visibility at the top of the page. Plus you can target keywords that have conversion intent to capture someone further down in the marketing funnel. The only caveat is that if you pause or turn off PPC advertising, you’ll lose that opportune placement.
Putting It All Together
SEO, content, and digital advertising truly rely on and support each other. Choosing to only engage in just one or two without a cohesive strategy is like rebuilding a car where you have almost all the parts, but are missing the engine or the tires. You won’t get as far without them.
Content + SEO
This pairing is where you see a lot of the work happen on your site. A consistent schedule of unique and relevant content plays a big role in your SEO strategy.
Fresh content prompts Google to crawl and index your website which can improve your standing in search engine results. Identifying the topics that users are searching for and ensuring that all content is keyword-optimized are two important ways that SEO supports content.
Social + PPC
Social media ads can help get your brand in front of the right audience with enough frequency that they can recall who you are and what you do. If they move to search and you come up at the top with a PPC ad, they’ll already know your brand and have more trust in it, which can lead to them clicking and help increase the potential of conversion. Plus, the intent and keywords you glean from SEO research to set up PPC campaigns can ultimately feed real-time info on what people engage with. You can use that data to inform your messaging on social media.
SEO + Social
SEO and social media may seem like the furthest removed components of Internet marketing, but in reality, they work closely together. Social media can offer SEO plenty of insight into the topics that followers are searching for and responding to, as more and more users are taking internet searches off the standard search engine platforms. In response, SEO can offer social media-focused keywords to drive their posts. The two also partner together to build relationships with influencers, experts, and thought leaders in your industry, which opens up the door to link-building opportunities.
2. Define Your Target Personas
There are two simple ways you can derail the success of your internet marketing strategy:
- Delivering the right message to the wrong audience.
- Delivering the wrong message to the right audience.
Luckily, both can be avoided by building personas that define your target audience. Working with a specific persona in mind makes it easier to execute a successful internet marketing strategy.
Try using free tools like Google Analytics, social media account insights, and other data hubs you have access to. You can build as few or as many personas as you need. Just make sure to define important demographics like age, gender, and geography for each.
From there, you’ll then want to give your persona(s) a personality. This will help you gain a better understanding of how your audience thinks, works, and lives.
To get into the mind of your target user, ask yourself these types of questions:
- What is their job? What does that position look like in their company?
- What does their family look like? Is this person single? Married? Have kids?
- Is this person the final decision maker or the information gatherer?
- How and where do they gather information?
- Who are the other influences in their business decisions or buying habits?
- What social media sites do they use? What websites do they visit frequently?
Take an extra step by assigning a name or picking a celebrity who embodies the target persona you’ve created. It’s not necessary, but it does help to add a face to your audience, that everyone can relate to.
If you’re new to doing this, SEMrush has an excellent free persona builder you can also use to help guide your brainstorming.
3. Determine Your SMART Goals
Goals are essential for proving that you’re running a successful internet marketing strategy. Start by identifying the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you want your internet strategy to improve. These can include engaged website sessions, social engagement, top visited landing pages, clicks and click-through rate, or conversion completions.
Once you determine your KPIs, you have to get SMART with your goals. S – specific M – measurable A – attainable R – relevant T – time-bound and trackable
Here are a few examples of SMART goals that you can set for your marketing strategy:
- Increase the number of qualified leads through Request More Information by 20% in twelve months.
- Increase the number of landing pages on the site by 30% within the first six months and by 50% in the first year.
- Increase engaged sessions by 10% by the end of year one.
Ready to start building your own successful internet marketing strategy? Explore our results to see how our team can help your marketing grow.
This blog was originally published on December 6, 2016, and was updated on October 11, 2023.