webDigital marketing can appear pretty daunting to newcomers. It seems quite exciting at first doesn’t it? Then you start reading about all the things you need to know and it’s confusing.

Let’s change that. This is an easy-to-follow guide to digital marketing so that you can make a start without any hassle or time wasting. That way you can get back to running your business!

Understanding search engines

When running an online business it is important to know how search engines work. Without getting into the technical detail, the principle take-away is that search engines work using keywords.

Keywords enable search engine crawlers to identify the content on any one page so that it can be indexed and matched against search terms typed in by the end-user. Labelling your page content with relevant keywords is therefore vitally important.

Search engines also recognise what is known as semantic text, in other words they can understand the context of the content on any one page. It is advisable then to concentrate on one specific facet of your business on individual pages.

The exception to the rule above is the homepage. Search engines also reward websites that provide a good user-experience, therefore access to other pages should be well signposted and easily navigated.

Your website should also be designed to work on mobile phones – known as responsive web design. Ask your web developer to make sure your website is “responsive” otherwise known as mobile-friendly.

Search engines also give priority to local searches, so make sure your contact page provides full address, email, telephone and a Google (or Bing) map identifying the specific location of your place of work.

One final word on your website. Make sure you have strong sales copy that talks to the reader in a voice they trust. Your copy should be written as clearly as if you were explaining your services face to face with a customer that has just walked into your place of work.

Social Media Marketing

It goes without saying these days, but you need a blog and you need social media networks. The latter is essentially an extension of your business premises in the virtual world. This is where you can meet and engage with prospects and existing customers.

A blog on the other hand helps to drive traffic to your online store. By posting quality content that catches the eye with strong headlines, engages the reader with entertaining content and provides something of value, you will gradually build a following of visitors to your blog which improves you search engine rankings and your conversion rate.

The best way of reaching customers with your content is through social media networks. But there is a code of conduct for social media marketing to work. For starters, don’t think of it as marketing. Social networks are not a platform for selling products, but for offering advice.

And herein lies the key to accruing customers from your following. Engage with your followers by joining in with their conversations, liking comments and sharing content.

When anyone post a question you can answer, provide detailed and relevant information to demonstrate you are an expert in your field. Direct them to a source where they can get more information.

When referring your followers to further information, it does not have too be content on your website, it could be a third party site. For example, if you sell electrical equipment, you could point your followers to a review in a technology magazine. By helping your customers make a decision they are more likely to purchase from you.

There are several social media networks to choose from, and too many to manage them all. Pick one or two depending on your type of business. B2B firms fair better with Linkedin, B2C may do better with Facebook. One other thing, don’t accrue as many followers as possible, connect with customers you think will have a genuine interest in your content.

So the take away information is to label your website with appropriate keywords, target an audience that has a general interest and engage in social media smooching rather than firing off sales pitches. Take it from there and see how you get on!