Jason Boyd is the Founder & Director of Evolve Digital, a firm that specializes in SEO & Digital marketing services. We recently interviewed Jason to know more about his company and to understand the latest trends in the Digital Marketing world.
Jason, Thank you for talking with us. Kindly describe your journey as an Entrepreneur so far.
I started in the digital marketing industry way back in 1998 when I had a landscaping business, and I wanted to learn how to advertise on the internet. Back then, search engine marketing was mainly based around AltaVista and also some of the online directories. So, I did that as an addition to my landscaping business.
Then in the mid-2000s, I transitioned into purely doing SEO work for myself and for other clients. I gave up my landscaping business and worked for a combination of agencies and on some private projects.
In 2010, I started my own search engine marketing business and had all my own clients at that point. Then in 2018, I rebranded that business to Evolve Digital Agency and expanded my range of services to include paid advertising and Facebook advertising.
Covid 19 has taught us that if you are not online, you are literally out of business. As a leading SEO & Digital Marketing agency, what has been your experience during this ongoing pandemic?
COVID-19 has taught me that there has been a clear shift in the attitudes of many businesses towards their online presence. Businesses that traditionally relied upon non-digital marketing services have realized that to survive, they now need to have an online presence. Most businesses cannot get by without an online presence these days.
Having said that, there’s no doubt that this pandemic has reduced the income of many businesses, and so these businesses are now very cautious about where they spend their money and who they spend their money with. They’re now looking for genuine companies that give a positive return on investment and are much more cautious at choosing which supplier to use.
What are some of the leading SEO trends one should watch out for?
One of the SEO trends that we should watch out for, is that Google and other search engines are heading down a path of offering very localized results. And, that’s not just in the Maps listing, that’s also in the organic listings. So, if you are a business that’s based in a particular suburb and your services are primarily in that suburb, this will be beneficial to you. If you’re a business that services a large range of suburbs or a whole city, or even a larger area, it can be a harder task to get traction in this larger range of suburbs.
Another trend is that Google is investing heavily in identifying the owner of a business or the author of the website content. They want to give results that have some authority to them, and so they are now looking at the person or the business who has written that content to make sure that that person is qualified to give the advice they’re giving. This is a positive step from Google and will mean that we have results that you can rely upon. It means for a business owner, it’s important to show your skills and your authority and tie that to the information or the website your own.
If for a particular keyword, your business is not appearing on the first page of the search result, chances are, no one is visiting your website. What are some of the factors that affect search engine results?
To get to the first page of Google, there’s two main areas of SEO that will help you. These are onsite and offsite.
Onsite is the work you do on your website, and that’s about ensuring your website follows Google’s best practice. This includes things like correct page titles and URLs, and ensuring your content is structured in a way that fits what Google is looking for.
Offsite is about having other websites mention your business and link to your business website. This is an ongoing thing and something that a good SEO company will specialize in.
In your view, which works better, Facebook Marketing or Search Marketing or a combination of both. In your opinion, are these marketing strategies underutilized?
The better option ofFacebook marketing or search engine marketing largely depends on the current position of your business. To simplify things, I believe Facebook is best used for branding and remarketing, not direct traffic. I believe that search engine marketing is best if you don’t have a lot of traffic and you need to get that traffic.
So, if you currently have a small amount of website traffic, then your best approach is search marketing. If you already have traffic, or once you get that traffic, then you can look at Facebook for increasing that traffic, or increasing your conversion rate.
What suggestions would you give to small businesses who do not have big marketing budget but want to spend something in their marketing campaigns? What should they focus on?
If your business does not have a big marketing budget, they should focus on small gains in Google’s organic, non-paid results. This is often highly relevant traffic that you don’t need to be constantly paying for.
As a business, you should establish what are your non-competitive search terms. These are things that people will type into Google to find your product or service. Once you’ve established what those are, and you find some that you are not competing against other large businesses, then target your website efforts towards those search terms. This will give you an initial traffic boost that you can then use to fund further marketing efforts.
As an expert in this field, what is the future of SEO?
The future of SEO is about providing the search engines with useful, well-presented content. This will always be a winning strategy. Once you have written the content or provided the content on your website, then it’s about proving that you’re an authority in your field. This is so the search engine will trust you and present your website at the top of the results instead of your competitors.
Digital Marketing Made Easy: The Simplest Guide to Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing has become an indispensable tool in the hands of marketers all across the business spectrum. Be it a traditional brick and mortar business or a tech startup dealing in an AI product, any marketing strategy nowadays involves a balanced combination of traditional and digital marketing techniques.
But there is a lot of mist around the definition and application of digital marketing, making it a ‘mysterious thing’ for those who are not tech-savvy. In this post, we will understand digital marketing in a simple manner so that the reader does not get overwhelmed by the jargons thrown by digital marketing gurus and they themselves can decide which digital marketing is best applicable for their business scenario. If you have recently started a business, you can also go through this amazing guide to digital marketing for small business.
What is Digital Marketing?
Simply put, Digital Marketing is a marketing strategy that involves the use of digital platforms including social media platforms, blogs, and websites to promote a brand.
Many experts believe that marketing using any electronic medium can be termed as digital marketing. However, others believe that marketing using a traditional electronic medium such as a Television or a radio should be regarded as a traditional marketing strategy. For simplicity, we will stick to the former definition.
Different types of Digital Marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Affiliate marketing
These are some of the online digital marketing techniques in use today. Let’s go through each one of them to understand them in detail.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
With the rapid increase in the usage of smartphones, finding an answer to your query has become super easy. Whether you are looking for a cake supplier nearby or you want to know the best hotel in your vicinity, chances are that you will invariably lookout for this information on the internet.
PPC or pay-per-click marketing is a type of digital marketing in which advertisers pay an amount every time one of their ads is clicked i.e. they pay for every click on their promoted links. You must have seen that when you search any product on Google, on top of the search result, there are links with the ‘Ad’ prefix. When you click on these links, the advertisers have to pay for those clicks.
The cost per click depends on the nature of the keyword, how hard it is to rank for that keyword etc. Essentially, it’s a way of paying search engines to send prospective clients to your site. Many experts don’t consider PPC marketing as a sustainable way of bringing clients on board. For them, organic traffic to your site is a better and sustainable marketing strategy.
However, some of the major established brands are known to have used this strategy given the massive competition in the online sphere. PPC marketing can be broadly put in the category of Search engine marketing (SEM) which is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages primarily through paid advertising.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Before we understand what is social media marketing, check out this post –What is Social Media to understand what exactly social media mean and what different forms it has taken over the years.
Now that you clearly understand what social media is, let us try to understand what social media marketing is. SMM is the use of social media platforms and websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to promote a good or service. According to datareportal, there are around 4.14 billion social media users. Even if this number is contentious, this gives an indication that if you are not spending on social media marketing, you are losing a lot of eyeballs.
Email marketing involves sending emails to a group of people in order to promote a product or service. Over the years, email marketing has evolved dramatically. Email marketers have also adapted to the way how users view emails and the privacy associated thereof. Nowadays, when you visit a website, you see access to a lot of free offerings, including free ebooks, newsletters etc. In order to make use of these free materials, you just have to provide your email address.
Marketers typically send free stuff initially building a funnel and present their products or services at a later stage of email transactions.
Broadly speaking, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.
Content Marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of digital content such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc. that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to arouse interest in its products or services.
In simple words, Affiliate marketing allows you to earn a commission while promoting products or services. If you have a website, you can promote a service or product using affiliate links. When a user clicks on that affiliate link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission.
With several blogs and websites doing well, advertisers are using this marketing technique more and more.
Digital marketing is here to stay. Companies all over the world are spending millions of dollars on digital marketing campaigns. Also, with the increasing penetration of the internet and widespread usage of smartphones, digital marketing is bound to be a major marketing tool for marketers world over and it would not be wrong to say that one who has won the digital marketing war has won the marketing war.
4 Top Digital Marketing Strategies and How to Use Them
People have seen massive growth in digital marketing as compared to how it was many years ago. It has helpedmany businesses reach the target audience that will most likely buy the products.Therefore it is not only a budget-friendly advertisement, but it is also beneficial for your new or ongoing business.
Fortunately for you, we have gathered up a few types of digital marketing strategies to help you better understand where to invest if you want to enhance your product marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing:
SEO marketing is the most important one because it can help your business rise by appearing at one of the top results when someone is searching for your brand, your products, or other words and phraseson Google
When your brand shows up in the search results, it appears as your brand is an authentic one and creates a good customer objective.
How to Use It:
You need good valuable content to start with for SEO marketing. If you are just starting up, the plugins are a good option, but if you are a company with a large budget, you can hire an expert to do the job for you in a more efficient way.
Pay per Click is a paid advertisement that stays up in the search engine as long as you pay them to do the job. It is quite similar to SEO, like the way to increase search engine traffic for your business. PPC is the ads you see at the top side of the page when browsing the internet, like the ads before YouTube videos or other ads in mobile games and apps.
How to Use It:
For example, You can work with a London based digital marketing agency to have them create a couple of great keyword searches to target the right audience towards what your business is selling. Also, if someone clicks on your ad, you pay for the click as per the name.
Social Media Marketing Strategy:
Compared to other marketing tactics, social media advertising has become one of the biggest and more reliable sources for connecting to your customers on different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You can say that every business needs to be on one of these social media networks.
How to Use It:
All you have to do is post about your products in a comprehensive way so the people will see it and buy from you, and if they are satisfied with your marketing, they will further share it with their family and friends, thus creating more customers.
One of the oldest techniques to sell your brand is by email, but it is still one of the most effective ways to help you in digital marketing. Create eye-catchy subject headings, so no one misses out on your email in their inboxes.
How to Use It:
Your company can create email newsletters on your website, so the customers are the first ones to know about your new product.
These were the top 4 types of digital marketing that you can ponder on for your business. Think about which strategy suits you and what you are looking to achieve, then pick a few of the marketing media to get you started.
5 ways Big Data can add to Digital Marketing
Long gone are the days when marketing success would be heavily dependent on subjectivity, intuition and huge promotion budgets pushing out marketing messages in your face at all possible touch points. It is a completely different ball game today, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that marketing as a whole has evolved towards being a completely customer-centric and data-driven activity today; and the most effective strategies, irrespective of industry verticals, aim to deliver personalized customer experiences. This has been possible only due to the advent of big data, to gain valuable insights into customer preferences.
So, what really is big data?
Most organizations today have systems in place to capture and store massive data points from their all their customer interactions from research, sales and marketing. This data can be structured, semi structured or unstructured and will likely continue to increase in size. It can get overwhelming to make sense of this increasingly dynamic information. Big data is a means to analyze and extract valuable information from these complex and interlinked sets of data, and observe patterns that can help guide decision making.
Put simply, big data is a means of processing large volumes of complex data sets to derive actionable insights. Given that the world is going digital, there is already much rich data available from earlier marketing activities, consumer behavior tracking, other databases and research, and it is now possible to paint an accurate picture for almost each consumer and create predictive models for future interactions. This could be used throughout the sales funnel, right from identifying the right consumer, to product design, marketing communication, demand forecasting as well as customer retention.
How can integrating big data into your digital marketing efforts help?
In today’s fragmented marketing landscape, one of the biggest challenges that marketers face is to engage with the right consumers at the right time with the right message. Here is where big data comes in – big data can not only help us understand customers better, it can also help us develop better strategies that are sure to give your business a competitive edge.
Being able to understand and predict consumer behavior accurately using various data based insights can indeed open up a whole new world of opportunities. Here are some of the ways you could use big data to bolster your digital marketing efforts:
- Data Visualization
Big Data makes it possible to make sense of the data, helping marketers recognize patterns, trends and problems, using different types of visual representation. This provides an easier way to understand what the data wants to say, and the different ways in which the data can be interlinked to mine new insights. Think of your social media analytics charts, or even the charts that you can find in Google Analytics, both of which are great examples of big data visualization.
- Consumer Insights
One of the key ways organizations can stay ahead of competition is by mining accurate consumer insights, and leveraging them in their business and marketing strategy. Why settle for ambiguous demographic and psychographic segmentation when you can get richer data for each of your consumers? Data such as what your consumer likes and what products he prefers, what he thinks about your company and preferred distribution channels or modes of interaction, repurchase patterns and more, can help you paint an accurate picture about consumer sentiments, and tweak your marketing initiatives accordingly.
- Predictive Analytics
Historical consumer data and current data can be combined to make fairly accurate predictions about their future behavior. For instance, which product are they more likely to buy and when, how much will they spend, which payment mode they will most likely use and so on. This could help you with forecasting demand for a specific product model in advance. You could also predict beforehand how your campaign might perform given certain parameters, or even when the demand curve for your product could go up or down. It is almost like having a looking glass into the future, which can help you segment and target your consumer groups accordingly, and design marketing initiatives that would better resonate with each segment.
- Customize Consumer Interactions
Once you are able to access latent consumer insights, it will also be possible to create customized online interactions with almost any consumer, based on data from your past interactions with them. Not only will this increase relevance, it will also likely increase engagement and ROI as well. Product recommendations from ecommerce sites, video recommendations on YouTube and Netflix are a case in point. This doesn’t stop at product recommendations. You could even customize your marketing communication in real time, based on past consumer interactions. For instance, you could send personalized emails or text messages based on their past purchases, life cycle stage, demographics and their internet search history, how they have spent their time on your website or mobile app and for that matter, even their response to your past marketing campaigns.
- Budget optimization
A thorough knowledge about whom to target, when to interact, what to say and where to say will make it easier to allocate your marketing budgets more effectively, and focus them on initiatives or consumer segments which are more likely to give you the results you want. This, when combined with data from which of your digital marketing channels are giving you higher CTRs and conversions is a recipe for success. Needless to say, this will also help to prevent budget spillage into areas by casting your marketing net too wide, or in the wrong sea! As you continue to use big data along with AI & ML, you will only get better at optimizing your marketing spends to a point where you will even be able to predict the results you can expect.
- Campaign Evaluation
With specific metrics for each of your multiple campaigns, it will become much easier to measure campaign performance. Unlike the days of yore when it wasn’t possible to accurately attribute campaign results, big data visualization can help one see precisely the ROI on each campaign, including but not limited to increase in sales, how each channel has contributed and even changes in consumer sentiment. This can be used as a blueprint to plan your future marketing campaigns.
As we would all agree, big data is transforming how marketing is done today, as it takes the guesswork out of what digital marketing initiatives will work. I would go on to say that the contribution of big data can only be limited by our imagination, because from where we stand today, the possibilities are truly endless.
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