Is Digital Advertising Necessary?
Marketing a business in the 24th century requires you to know two important concepts: digital advertising and SEO. Both of these topics are a necessary part of any digital marketing strategy. What is digital advertising, you ask? Digital advertising is using the internet to deliver your advertising message. Do you really need digital advertising to market your business? The short answer is...Absolutely. The real beauty of digital advertising lies in the precision targeting of your key demographics. Think of it like this, when you pay to have an ad aired during a commercial break of a popular television show, there is a high likelihood that your product won’t be relevant to everyone watching that show. Digital advertising eliminates this inefficiency since it allows for advertising to target specific types of people. It’s able to do this because when you’re surfing the web, you’re leaving breadcrumbs everywhere you go that everyone can see. Those breadcrumbs, called cookies, tell your story via what sites you’ve visited, keywords you’ve searched for, and even your location. Then, with a high degree of accuracy, marketing automation is able to display ads to you that are tailored to your interests.
Alternative advertising mediums such as television, radio, and print are largely inaccessible to small businesses with small budgets relative to online options. On top of all that, digital advertising makes it easy to see where your customers are coming from before they arrived at your site. This valuable trove of data helps you better refine your message and optimize your ad spend. It’s much more difficult to accurately do that with a billboard, radio ad, or commercial.
Here’s a clever strategy that’s fun to share because almost everyone has seen it in play but might not have realized it. Say you have a competitor that is hosting an event of some sort and it would be very beneficial for your company to get some exposure at said event. Well, your competitor is going to deny your request to place an ad at their event (or they might agree to it but only at an absurd cost). So, what do you do? Easy, you buy the keyword that is the event name so that anytime someone searches for the event your business’s advertisement appears at the very top of the list with the sponsored content. This is called competitor targeting.
Defending yourself from a competitor trying to implement this technique is the same as using it against a competitor, buy the keyword, and dilute your competitor's ability to pirate your traffic. Keep in mind that purchasing a keyword can get expensive, depending on the number of hits that keyword attracts. But even if you can’t afford to divert all of the potential traffic to your site, it’s still worth grabbing what you can.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), another one of the important marketing terms, is structuring your web presence in a way that helps ensure your website will rank high in the search results of search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Search engine optimization is important because “the majority of search engines users are more likely to click on one of the top 5 suggestions in the results pages (SERPS),” according to ReliableSoft.net and if you’re on the second or third page your chances of being clicked decreased substantially.
The algorithms search engines use to rank sites are continually changing and becoming more advanced. The primary reason for these upgrades is that talented marketers continue to figure out ways to hack the algorithms and get their sites to the top of the list even if they don’t belong there.
For example, in the early day's search engines ranked pages by combing through the text on a page and adding up the keywords found. So if you searched for ‘dog,’ then the page with ‘dog’ printed the most would be at the top of the list. As you can probably imagine, once this was discovered, people started exploiting this flaw by typing a keyword hundreds, if not thousands, of times in a text color that matched their background color. Now the search engines would see tons of a particular keyword while the user wouldn’t.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy anymore. Search engines' algorithms have become so sophisticated that your site is not only ranked based on the content held within but also on the quality of inbound links to your site. This means if your website sells dog food and other pet-related sites provide a link to your site, then you’re going to have an excellent ranking with regard to the keyword ‘dog food.’ However, if you sell dog food and there are a bunch of motorcycle sites linking to your website then your ranking is going to take a hit.
Making your business visible on the internet is the fastest way to succeed in the digital age and having great SEO is the best way to gain that visibility. Caring about SEO and digital advertising is simply a necessary part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Vaughn is the CEO of VTR second, and a loving husband/father first. He took control of VTR in 2016 when he saw a platform and associated content that was not being utilized to it’s full potential. He has always had a passion for learning and wanted to provide the masses a low cost means to study the building blocks of running a business. VTR was born from this passion. Seeing that only MBA programs offered the knowledge that everyone deserves to know, he took an online MBA program and put a team in place that could scale down the courses in to bite-size chunks that everyone could afford to pursue. Thanks to a dedicated team VTR continues to grow and hopes to one day be the go to for Continuing Education needs.