Digital Marketing Basics in 2017
Digital marketing evolves every year. While some variables stay constant, the way search engines deliver content to the user changes quite often with some changes being bigger than others. I’ve worked for organizations pre-Panda (Google’s search algorithm shift in 2011) that never made a full traffic recovery after the changeover. If you can recall, there were countless sites that existed purely to aggregate other sites’ content and generate a feed based on what was relevant to their site topic. While this was scoring well within Google’s search algorithm pre-2011, the algorithm shift buried those sites post-Panda.
The one constant that kept some sites up and boosted sites is original content. In today’s shifting sands compounding with authority from other sites, original content has to be written in such a way that in conducive to leveraging those authority-site opportunities.
Depending on one’s presence in search, different methodologies must be taken given the situation. While SEO should always be a priority, SEM and Advertising opportunities can take budget priority depending on one’s place in market. The most optimal risk and reward situation with short-term and long-term goals must be realized.
As a digital marketer who has worked for big businesses, PPC is always in the spotlight. From the perspective of a business, we can accurately analyze a site’s CPA (Cost-Per-Action) and make tweaks that improve our ROI (Return-on-Investment). We can run campaigns to maximize the dollars spent on certain goals and optimize what our business determines is a profitable spending budget. There are several ways to optimize:
- Reduce cost per action by attaining better quality scores for your ads
- Optimize the spend amount against the return ratio
The foundation of digital marketing comes with an understanding, at least at a high-level, on how SEO works. At the very core, search engines like Google and Bing want to return what they believe to be the most accurate, quality page to the user based on the search term. Algorithms can change at any time and some types of sites may rank higher or lower based on what Google believes is best. Sometimes, Google will have a business user define requirements for what the “best result” is which leads to Shopping Sites as a boosted type, over content.
When my site, Stickhunters.com, was active as an online archery and outdoor gear retailer, I was ranking on Google page 1 for all of my products. My content was ranked much lower, even though the content included in-depth review of the products I was targeting keywords for.
On the other hand, perhaps shopping sites are truly the best result, as products tend to have a lot of information including descriptions, reviews, specifications, and more. It’s easy to see why Google would rank these types of sites higher. Links between sites of authority influences the way Google may return a certain site to the user as well. No site is immune to algorithm changes, so the best way to stay consistent is to provide well written, well formatted, original content.