Digital Marketing is paradoxical, it is both robust and abstract, it changes from day to day and requires in-depth understanding to follow its trends. This is the responsibility of a Digital Marketer. There are many services a Digital Marketer offers, and all of them are intrinsically linked.
Everything a Digital Marketer does is done so to promote the growth of the product or brand they are working for, or alongside. From website management to the written content, to the social media management that ties it all together. Digital Marketing requires a lot of nuanced understanding that isn't immediately obvious to somebody that is uninitiated.
In this article, we will discuss the quintessential services that a digital marketer provides.
Search Engine Optimisation is one of the broadest aspects of a digital marketer's role. It involves the improvement and optimisation of your online content so that it ranks higher in search results. These are search results such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, the higher your content ranks, the more likely it is to be seen by potential customers looking for your service. Statistics show that up to 75% of people don't even visit page 2 of Google, so it's of utmost importance that your content is shown on page 1. SEO can be done both On-Page and Off-Page through a range of methods.
On-page SEO describes the use of keywords, keyphrases, accessibility options and other attributes in order to increase the ranking of a page. It's in the name, all the SEO happens on the webpage/website.
What makes your content relevant? How do search engines like Google know what your content is about? This is where keyphrases and keywords come in. When a user searches for a query on Google, like "What services do digital marketers offer?", Google scours the internet for webpages with content that matches the query the best. Digital Marketers can target this search query by using keyphrases in their content. So a Digital Marketer might make a blog post titled "All Digital Marketing Services" (See what we did there?). This is done through the use of keyword research.
Keyword research is the backbone of digital marketing. Content is made with search queries in mind, so a blog post will include a good amount of keywords and key phrases so that it has a high chance of showing up in search results. A keyword defines individual words that are relevant to the search query, so in this context, it could be SEO, Digital, PPC, Services.
A key phrase is more specific, potentially targeting an entire line of text that somebody could search for. Key phrases are best kept in the headings of web pages since search engines scan the page's headings for relevant keywords/phrases. In this context, a key phrase could be: "What services do digital marketers offer? Digital Marketing 2022".
We touch on some specialist tools that Digital Marketers use for their keyword research here: How Good SEO can put you ahead of your competition
Your business may or may not have a physical presence, but for the sake of argument, let's say it does. Now imagine all the ways you'd make your business accessible to the less able, you wouldn't have steep steps, tiny lettering on your storefront, or hide your menus in the storeroom, would you? This applies to websites too. Here are a few accessibility features that can have a negative impact on website SEO if they're not executed properly:
A digital marketer will create content that is as accessible as possible. They can measure the accessibility rating of a webpage with the use of tools such as Google's Lighthouse tool, Google Search Console, and Google Page Speed Insights. The Google web developer kit has nuances that a digital marketer will be aware of. A lot of Google tools come with their own qualifications that a digital marketer might also possess.
With the aid of these tools and some general knowledge, a digital marketer may compile a website audit or brand package which includes a number of assets. These assets can include, but are not limited to:
When uploading content onto a website in the form of an image, or video, an alt attribute is a descriptive piece of text that tells the browser what the content is. This is important for accessibility since technology such as screen readers will scan the page for alt attributes to describe page content to impaired users. Missing alt tags and attributes can hurt a website's SEO score and decrease a webpage's ranking.
One thing to bear in mind is whether or not your website user journey is circular.
The user journey of a website is the literal pathway a visitor on your website will take before exiting. So a user might land on the homepage, visit your product catalogue, then a product, add it to their basket, head to checkout, and exit your website. That is a generic user journey. If your website traps a user at any part of the user journey, it increases the likelihood that they will leave and not return. This is why it's important to give users the option to return to familiar pages like your homepage and create a circular user journey.
A digital marketer will give your website an audit, and determine whether the user journey is a detrimental aspect of the design. It will be up to the digital marketer to formulate a
UX (User Experience) describes how your users interact with your website. Good UX is seamless, you don't notice it (think: Youtube, Spotify, Netflix), if your UX is sub-optimal, you could be turning website visitors away from investigating your content. We cover bad UX examples in our article about redesigning your website for SEO.
Given that you've requested a website audit, digital marketers can use heatmaps, as well as tools such as Google Analytics, to determine what parts of your website are troubling users. They can then suggest or make changes to the UX of your website to maximise the conversion rate of visitors.
Off-page SEO is the act of optimising online content through methods that aren't carried out on the webpage in question. Whilst on-page SEO is easier to wrap your mind around, off-page SEO is full of technicalities and methods that require investigation and research to carry out.
Common methods of Off-Page SEO include, but aren't limited to:
Sitemaps are essentially maps of all the web pages on your website. The purpose of a sitemap is to provide a list of URLs that a search engine can display in search results. Sitemaps are read by crawlers. A crawler is a robot used by search engines such as Google, which analyse a website's sitemap to determine what webpages need to appear on search results. This is called indexing your website. A digital marketer can submit your website's sitemap to tools such as Google Search Console so that your website appears in search results.
Submitting your website and having it indexed by Google is an absolute must, otherwise, your website won't show up in search results!
Robots, such as Google's 'Googlebot', crawl your website and compile a list of URLs that web browsers can display in search results. Your website should have a 'Robots.txt' file that contains rules for these robots to follow. A Robots.txt file is a document that a digital marketer can create to include and exclude certain pages from targeting by robots. In other words, Robots.txt contains rules so that certain pages can't be crawled by robots and shown in search results.
Backlinks are essentially networking but for websites. A backlink is defined as:
An incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website.
Every website has a page ranking based on its level of SEO. Page ranking affects how high up a website will appear in search results, high ranking pages are valuable. If a high ranking website has a link to your website on one of its pages (a backlink), this is considered a high-value backlink. The more backlinks there are to your website, the more reputable you appear to search engines like Google.
There is a multitude of ways a digital marketer might build your backlinks:
Guest Posting - The act of posting blogs as a guest on other people's websites, and referencing your own as a backlink.
Online Business Directories - A bit like Yellow pages, you can submit your website to online directories to have it in a type of digital phonebook. This is considered weak SEO and can actually harm your ranking depending on the trust factor of the directories.
Backlinks are one of the hardest facets of off-page SEO. This is because it takes a lot of work to build a backlinking network, either with peers or websites you'd like to connect with. It can also cost money to buy backlinks, which is factored into the budget of a digital marketer.
Does your business operate through a physical store? And instead of online orders, do you need real foot traffic? Local SEO is the way to go, and it's relatively simple for a digital marketer to carry out for you.
Local SEO can be performed by setting up business accounts with search engines. Google My Business and Bing Places are massive tools for anyone looking to market their local business online. These tools allow users to create business pages on search engines, that can target users geographically. Both Bing and Google allow business owners to input an area of service, which is where they will be more likely to appear in search results!
Local SEO can also be helped by local online directories!
Your website may have a newsletter, or you want to alert past customers of new product drops or stockings. This is where email marketing comes in, a digital marketer can take your mailer list and target them with email advertisements in order to create conversions. Email marketing can also be used as a form of retargeting, which is where visitors to your website can be targeted after they've interacted with your content in one way or another.
Email marketing has some intricacies, such as avoiding spam filters, merge tags and a plethora of other psychological implications. Free tools such as Mailchimp can be used to perform email marketing.
One of the most well-known forms of digital marketing. Social media management includes posting content to social channels such as Instagram or Facebook. A digital marketer could be hired to manage your social channels for a set amount of time, creating content and measuring success through the use of analytics dashboards. This is where graphic design, content marketing, and content writing come into play.
Other facets of social media management include hashtag research, client engagement, and product linking!
All of the efforts a digital marketer makes to improve your business, culminate in analytics dashboards. These dashboards are available for a variety of platforms, whether it's social media or website monitoring. Analytics dashboards include, but are not limited to:
A digital marketer uses these tools to manage in the industry what is known as campaigns. If a brand or business owner has a directive, narrative or target audience, a marketer can set out a campaign. This involves storyboarding, creating and scheduling content to go out over a period of time, and measuring the success of said content with analytics tools. With these tools, we can gauge the success of certain strategies and make adjustments to the promotion in the next effort to maximise lead/conversion generation.
This article was written by our very own Digital Marketing Apprentice, Mathew. Mathew handles all of the topics in this article and more. Digital Marketing Apprentices grow with your business to create content that is organic to your brand, at a fraction of the cost of a digital marketing agency. If a digital marketing apprentice interests you, take a look at our apprentice candidates who are waiting for an employer to jumpstart their career.