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Important Digital Marketing Facts That Your Boss Wants to Know

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Published: July 10, 2014

Think of digital marketing as the union of Internet-based technology with traditional marketing methods. At the end of the day, it’s still all about identifying the needs and wants of a targeted group of consumers, and presenting them with a product that helps answer their questions and gets their problem solved.

The technology that drives digital marketing continues to expand at a mind-numbing rate that almost defies comprehension, and challenges the ability of any one person to remain current with the latest developments. Rather than attempt to become an expert in all things digital, your boss needs a working overview of the bigger issues that affect the success of marketing in the twenty-first century.

The Current State of Search Engine Optimization

The days of slapping together a website and getting it ranked overnight in the search engine results are long gone. Today’s SEO landscape is ultra-competitive, and in a constant state of evolution; Google updates its organic search algorithm 500 times per year on average. The most recent best SEO practices include

  • Natural-appearing inbound links. Links are still one of the important factors in determining how well your web properties rank in the search results, and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. What has changed is the accepted tactics employed in building links. Google’s focus is now on link quality over quantity, and links are expected to be freely given based on content quality rather than purchased from a link broker or harvested from a link farm.
  • The incorporation of Schema.org markup in your website structure. In short, this coding will allow the search engines to better understand and index your content. Through Schema coding, your web pages will be better optimized to compete for top search rankings.

The Importance of Social Signals and Online Reputation

Despite Google’s policy of secrecy regarding its organic search ranking algorithm, we know that it includes data input from both social media signals and online reviews. The message is clear: lack of social engagement and a poor online reputation are going to cost you rankings.

Aside from search engine ranking, social media has become an important communications channel to prospective customers.

  • An estimated 58 percent of the population is active on at least one social network, 56 percent of them on Facebook alone.
  • Users spend an average of 15 hours per month on Facebook.
  • Especially among the younger demographics, social media is one of the few remaining communications channels available; these groups don’t read newspapers or watch much TV – their lives literally revolve around social media.

Closely tied to social signals, online reputation is a critical ingredient in your company’s success. Today’s consumer has access to dozens of online forums to express their opinions and experiences about any business they choose. What’s more, online reviews have become the digital equivalent of word of mouth advertising.

  • An estimated 85 percent of consumers search for online reviews of local businesses before making a purchase decision.
  • Online reviews are trusted as much as personal recommendations by 79 percent of those consumers.
  • Studies have shown that a single negative online review can lead to an average loss of 30 customers.
  • A one-star increase in positive ratings has been tied to a 5 to 9 percent increase in business.