There are tons of common questions about digital marketing we hear a lot at Bluleadz.
In an effort to pull back the curtain and reveal more behind-the-scenes magic, we’ve compiled this list of the 16 top digital marketing questions.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
“How long does it take for SEO to work?”
It takes around three months for a well-executed SEO campaign to start paying off. Anyone who tells you they can get SEO results faster than that is usually up to no good.
Pound for pound, SEO is the best way to achieve lasting online visibility and get a steady stream of qualified leads delivered straight to your business.
While there are other methods that may work faster – pay per click advertising is the biggest one – they entail bigger risks. SEO provides major competitive advantages market rivals can’t beat just by coming along with a bigger budget.
“When can I stop working on SEO?”
SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see results. On the flip side, the longer you keep it going, the longer those results will last.
The three-month “setup” period a good SEO campaign needs is well worth it. That’s the time when your whole website is aligned with SEO. Everything you do in the future will produce benefits you expect and keep fueling your search engine success.
If you stop paying attention to SEO, you might maintain rankings for certain searches you focused a lot of resources on in the past. In the long run, though, motivated competitors will leave you in the dust. It’s never a good idea to just quit digital marketing.
“Do small, local businesses need digital marketing?”
Yes! No matter how large or small, if you have a business, you need a website.
And if you need a website – and you want it to help you make money – you need marketing.
If you don’t plan to take orders, reservations, or even customer questions on your website, it still has a role to play. Google uses information from your site to answer queries from users on mobile devices traveling near your business.
So, for example, if someone types in “Italian restaurants near me,” your site will only come up if you’ve put some work into the marketing side.
This can help you add dozens or even hundreds of visitors to your foot traffic, so it’s very much worth it. In fact, small businesses can find modest digital marketing investments make a bigger bottom line splash than they would for a far larger “online-only” company.
“Is it true you can get banned from Google?”
Yes. You can get banned from Google – the technical term here is “de-indexed.”
Although this is a very serious setback and it does still happen occasionally, it was a lot more common back in the old Wild West days of search circa 2005.
Unscrupulous people would try to game Google’s system and would soon find their sites totally removed from search results, often never to return.
Complete de-indexing is rare nowadays, but sites found to be cheating face harsh penalties, often within a few days or weeks of the offending behavior.
If you are falsely found to be cheating, there is a human review process. But don’t worry: This is very unlikely to ever happen to you or your company.
“I’ve heard scary things about ferocious pandas and penguins. What does that mean?”
“Panda” and “Penguin” were names given to two major changes in the way Google scores and sorts search results back in 2011 and 2012. It’s not really important what they did (things have changed a lot since then), but their effect on how people see SEO is still felt.
Back then, Google would make dozens or hundreds of small but important changes to its rules over the course of a few days. SEO experts would have to pick these apart to figure out what they did, and sites found not following these new rules usually suffered seriously in search results.
Because of that, lots of shady characters started to use the words “Penguin” and “Panda” in their marketing – promising, for example, services that were “Panda-proof.”
These days, smaller tweaks to how Google operates are taking place all the time. Seismic shifts that get their own special names pop up now and then, but it’s not standard operating procedure.
If you hear about Panda or Penguin now, you know the speaker is behind the times. They might even be trying to spook you into buying something you don’t need.
“Does Google AdWords really mean immediate traffic?”
Yes – you can get traffic overnight with Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords), a paid traffic solution that shows ads to people when they search keywords relevant to your website.
But AdWords isn’t a silver bullet. It won’t get you sales unless your website is set up to take advantage of that traffic. (Heck, unless your ads are optimized very carefully, you won’t even get the traffic.)
All too many business owners have fallen prey to Google’s $100 AdWords vouchers. They punch in a few quick ads and hope for the best, but end up paying hundreds or thousands with nothing to show for it. Help from a paid traffic expert is essential.
Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing
“What is a blog?”
A blog is the part of your website that’s constantly updated. Every time you post a piece of writing – which you might hear called a post or article – it shows up on your blog.
It’s a great way to keep leads and customers up to date on the latest news.
“Okay, but why do I actually need a blog?”
Your blog is the most powerful digital marketing tool on your website.
This is true for a whole host of reasons:
- A blog will help your site appear higher in rankings for searches related to your products.
- People can subscribe to a blog, giving you a direct channel to communicate with them.
- Most early-stage conversions (such as email subscriber sign-ups) come from blog posts.
- When a blog is frequently updated, it makes your site seem more active and trustworthy.
Your blog is the centerpiece of your site because it’s where you showcase helpful, informative, useful content for site visitors. This makes them much more likely to pick you over a “brand X” website that doesn’t offer them value until they plunk down some dough.
“How do I know what to write about?”
Just about everything you ever write online will be aligned with a keyword – that is, a word or phrase users type into a search engine when they’re looking for what you have to offer.
There are plenty of great tools for keyword research that any professional SEO expert masters long before offering digital marketing services.
Once your website is optimized for search, you’ll have lots of other opportunities to figure out what kind of content will resonate with your audience. For example, data analytics software will constantly show you all the interesting and unexpected keywords people use to reach your website.
And, with social media and post-sale surveys, you’ll also be able to ask them what they want.
“How do I know HOW to write about it?”
Long story short, writing is a process. The best way to learn about it is to do more of it.
However, you don’t have to be a writer to be effective in marketing your business online.
Although content should always convey your expertise, you don’t have to write like Ernest Hemingway (or even like Dan Brown) to craft compelling work people will want to spend time reading.
A conversational, one-to-one tone has long been the key to showing warmth and building rapport with readers. If you want to get started with content, learn to write how you talk.
“How do I keep my content organized?”
In the most basic sense, all you have to do to keep content organized is make sure each blog post includes a keyword or two to focus on. On a strategic level, the answer is more complicated.
Blog posts should be aligned with a stage of the buyer journey, which basically goes like this:
During the Awareness phase, a (future) customer just realized that there’s a problem he or she needs to solve. This early research involves figuring out exactly what the problem is and what jargon is needed to learn more about it.
In this phase, the customer understands the problem and wants to figure out what the options are. That means developing buying criteria and putting together a list of possible solutions to choose from.
Customers have narrowed down the possibilities to just a few options at this point. Now, it’s time to take those and figure out which one is right for them personally.
Any one of the solutions could be effective, but only one will be the best solution for that individual. This is true in B2B, too.
Ideally, your site will have sophisticated, high-value content throughout the buyer journey.
“What social media network is best for my company?”
Strangely enough, there is a definitive answer:
- If you’re a B2C company, then you usually want to be on Facebook and Twitter.
- If you’re a B2B company, you can get away with focusing principally on LinkedIn.
The fun and freewheeling nature of Facebook and Twitter make them perfect for connecting with people who are making purchase decisions in their own lives.
On the other hand, LinkedIn’s most active users tend to be career-minded professionals. Many of them are B2B decision makers at one level or another.
Experts agree LinkedIn is responsible for the majority of B2B leads on social media – and it might actually be behind most B2B leads online, period.
“If I only have time for Twitter or Facebook, which should I use?”
This is a trick question. Twitter and Facebook have very different uses:
- Twitter is great for connecting with new contacts and meeting social influencers.
- Facebook is best for maintaining relationships with your pre-existing customers.
You can usually maintain both a Twitter and a Facebook account without too much extra fuss. Since the goals of the platforms are different, though, it’s often better to customize your message on each one.
The biggest difference between them is that while all Twitter “tweets” show up on every follower’s timeline, relatively few of your Facebook posts are delivered to your followers.
“How do I get more people to pay attention to my social media posts?”
Assuming you’re recruiting followers who have a genuine interest in what you have to say, there are some easy ways to get more attention – including likes, shares, and clicks – for your social media.
The first is to make sure you are adding lots of value.
The second is to include an accompanying graphic with every social update. Visual posts get much more engagement, including likes, comments, and shares.
“What’s the single most shareable form of content on the Web?”
Although video is highly shareable, a good infographic breaks the scale when it comes to shares. When an infographic is well-designed and presents data in an insightful, fascinating way, people will share it all over the place.
Just be sure it features your URL so they can trace it back to you!
“How does YouTube fit into digital marketing? Do I need a YouTube channel?”
YouTube is the world’s #2 search engine by queries, second only to Google (of course, YouTube is a Google property). While everyone should aspire to post video content at least occasionally, it requires a whole different set of skills. Your digital marketing campaign usually won’t start with video.
These 16 nuggets of wisdom are derived from our experience, but there’s always more to learn about digital marketing.
Have a burning question we missed?
Don’t hesitate to send us a comment below. Maybe your question will make it to a future post!