Category Archives: Marketing

While the term “digital advertising” has been in the online ecosystem for more than 25 years, it still can be mystifying to some business owners. It shouldn’t be though! Digital advertising is simply an online, targeted, integrated method for driving potential customers through the conversion tunnel to create sales.

So, what are the types of digital advertising? There are 6 types of digital ads that digital advertising companies rely on to create a rock solid campaign for your company.

what are the types of digital advertising

What Is Digital Advertising & Why Is It Important?

In The Tipping Point journalist Malcolm Gladwell describes the moment a person decides to accept a new concept or take a specific action as the “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” To reach what Gladwell describes, a company needs to create consumer touchpoints 7 times or more in order for the prospect to remember, opt-in, or buy what is being sold.

This is commonly known as effective frequency or “The Rule of 7.”

These concepts are actually quite old, effective frequency was first referenced in a 1880 psychological study on higher mental processes by Hermann Ebbinghaus, and The Rule of 7 was a marketing maxim developed by old Hollywood producers in the 1930s.

Despite their age, these concepts are still extremely relevant to digital ads and comprise a lot of information that will help digital advertising agencies create a comprehensive roadmap to successful strategy for your company.

So how do you use digital ads to get to those 7 touches with a consumer? Do you just throw up a graphic on your company Facebook page and hope people will find you? Nope! That’s so 2007. In the digital advertising ecosystem of 2020 there are 6 types of digital advertising that create touchpoints for your potential customers.

2020 DIGITAL ADVERTISING TREND: While a large size of the consumer ad community has seen sharp ad sales drops due to the COVID-19 pandemic, direct-to-consumer product ads have seen an 11% increase in sales. They are one of the only types of digital advertising which is seeing solid ROI during this crisis. With consumers spending more time in front of their screens on a daily basis and brick-and-mortar services being extremely limited, there has been a large shift towards online purchasing for day-to-day products/services. [Via Forbes] Want to create a direct-to-consumer ad campaign? ComboApp has you covered!


6 Types Of Digital Ads

Digital advertising is a powerful tool when used properly. Before we start to discuss what digital advertising is, we should define some commonly used terms by digital advertising agencies and marketers:

  • Impression – When a digital ad is shown to a consumer.
  • Click – When the consumer clicks the digital ad and enters the conversion funnel.
  • Action – When the consumer completes the desired action of the digital ad (sale, opt-in for email, register, download, etc.)
  • Conversion Rate – The percentage of consumers who go through the conversion funnel and complete an action.
  • Cost-per-mille (CPM) – The cost of having a digital ad shown to a consumer.
  • Click-thru-rate (CTR) – The percentage of consumers who clicked on a digital ad and reached an online property.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC) – The amount of money spent to get a click on an ad.
  • Cost-per-action (CPA) – The amount of money which is required to make a conversion from a digital advertisement.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) – A method of using Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to advertise your company and products.

terms used by digital advertising marketers

In this guide, we will explore the ins-and-outs of the 6 types of digital advertising to help you determine which digital ads will work best for your company. Some of these concepts are easy to grasp and execute on your own, and some are more technical and will require learning or professional assistance. Let’s take a look at each one of these digital ad methods in depth and explore what types of digital advertising work, what ROI they will provide, how much they can cost, and how they overlap with other types of digital ads.

1. Digital Display Advertising

Digital display advertising is the most straightforward type of digital ads on our list. In short, there are only a few types of digital display advertising you can create. Those types of display ads are: Static, flash, and video. Most display ads are composed of an image with text, including a call to action. The most used types of digital display advertising are formatted according to very simple rules. Examples of digital ads used as collateral in display ads are the simple square ad, the digital banner ad, or the 15-second digital video ad.

Digital display advertising appears everywhere, these ads are ubiquitous. A digital display ad can show up as a pop-up ad, landing page, website banner, social media ad, or in-app banners. However, there are some pros and cons to relying on this strategy:

  • PRO: Digital display advertising creatives can be very affordable and can be repurposed on multiple platforms.
  • PRO: You can directly link to a sales page or app redirect in a digital display ad.
  • PRO: Most digital display advertising is run by digital advertising platforms that support programmatic ad purchasing, such as the Google Display Network (GDN,) Adobe Marketing Cloud, and Double Click.
  • PRO: Because programmatic ad tools automatically bid on digital outlets with the lowest cost to place your ad on, the cost per click (CPC) for digital display advertising is considerably lower than other methods, with an industry average of $.69 per click.
  • CON: Because the format of display ads are meant to be short, you cannot deploy more effective media collateral (like a 30-60 second digital video ad or interactive digital ads) as you are restricted in format style and size.
  • CON: You cannot target a specific audience in a microgranular way, display ads are targeted in a very broad nature to reach many people.
  • CON: Because display ads are typically run through programmatic ad tools, there is very limited control over where an ad is placed on the Internet. The ad might show up on websites or in apps you’d prefer it not to.
  • CON: While the CPC is low in display ads, the CPA (or, cost-per-action) can run extremely high, with price tags ranging from $5 per sale to $60 per sale.

The main objective of display advertising is to deliver a general message for your company or brand and to drive people to click through to learn more about your product or service. While many think digital display is dated and ineffective, there is actually still a lot to be gained from producing these ads in 2020. Take the GDN, for example, Google’s algorithms allow them to reach 90% of all web users. As of April 2020, there are 4.57 billion active Internet users, globally. Google, alone, has access to 4.11 billion of them!

This makes Google one of, (if not the,) the strongest digital advertising platforms in the world.

pros and cons of running digital display advertising

Not to mention, the other programmatic digital advertising services have their wiley tendrils into the areas Google may not be able to penetrate.

While many executives will tell you the concept of “buck shot strategy” is ill advised and you should focus solely on targeted (or, “bullseye”) marketing, consider this: With the relatively low cost of programmatic display ad creatives and CPC, and the absolute pervasiveness of the Google algorithm, why would you not invest in this strategy?

Still not convinced? Consider these statistics:

  • Pay-per-click ad campaigns (PPC) using display collateral create 80% more brand awareness than other types of creatives
  • People who click on an ad to learn more about a brand/product are 50% more likely to make a purchase or download in the following 30-days

While the CPA might be cost prohibitive for direct sales purposes, if you are looking to make an initial impression on consumers or to introduce your audience to a product or service, digital display advertising is a great place to start.

Let’s chat about how ComboApp can assist you in making creatives and deploying an effective display campaign.


2. Social Media

Social media is not just restricted to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter these days. There are many other channels that cater to specific demographics of users. It is entirely possible that you have intersected with digital ad examples on your own SM accounts and not even known they were advertising.

The saying in 2014 was “there’s an app for that.” In 2020 it’s been amended to “there’s a SM platform for that.” Social media advertising can be hypertargeted and microgranular in it’s effectiveness. If you have enough insight, trend awareness, and budget you can reach any audience you want.

social media advertising

Of all the types of digital campaigns, social media is the area where you can flex your creative muscles to create impactful and fun content. You can use veritably any type of collateral on social media. Whether you want to repurpose digital banner ads from a programmatic digital advertising campaign, or create a masterpiece video, or even code an interactive immersive ad experience, you can do it.

What is important to remember is there are two types of social media strategies: Paid and organic.

Paid Social Media Advertising:

Advertising on Facebook

The bald truth is Facebook is still the monolithic platform to advertise on. It owns a “family” of products that include Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, Oculus VR, and Giphy, among 84 smaller apps/services they have rolled up into their company over the years. (Anyone remembers Jibbigo, Vidpressio, or Beluga? No, we don’t either.)

Statistics show in 2019 there were an estimated 2.95 billion active social media users per month globally. This number is expected to grow to 3.43 billion active users by 2023.

Over a third of the world’s population logs into and spends at least 10-12 minutes per day engaging with general social media content.

The Facebook Family claims across all of their platforms they hold a share of 6.314 billion active users per month!

Of course you have to correct for cross platform users, but that still is roughly 81% of the world’s population logging into, and spending an average of 10-12 minutes per day, consuming Facebook specific social media content. This represents billions of intersections your products can make with a potential customer’s eyeballs. The digital advertising market size on Facebook is huge!

Considering these impressive statistics, the default of most novice social media advertisers is to rely heavily on the Facebook Family for their total campaign needs.

This is a mistake. While there is a time and a place to run cross-platform ads on Facebook, the cost of running Facebook centered campaigns can add up.

Here are some statistics to consider:

  • The average price for 1000 impressions is $7.19 cents
  • The CTR from impressions on Facebook is 2%
  • The average CPC is $1.72 across all industries
  • Per 1000 impressions, you will get 20 clicks on your ad
  • An ad can have anywhere from a 26% to 70% bounce rate on your CTR
  • 9% of people who click on a Facebook ad will convert into sales
  • This means you will have 1.8 CPAs per 1000 CTR
  • Most campaigns need a minimum of 10,000 clicks to convert to meaningful sales numbers
  • In order for your content to stay sticky in the platform feed, your campaign needs 50 conversions in the first 7 days of the campaign, otherwise it will be suppressed by the Facebook algorithm
  • To close 180 sales, you will need to allocate an approximate ad buy budget of $17,200

The good news is when you create a Facebook Family ad set, you can share your ad between platforms. On Facebook you can cross advertise on Instagram or IGTV. On Messenger you can cross advertise on WhatsApp. This is particularly valuable for sharing digital video ads.


Here is nice infographic to summarize Facebook advertising in 2020

infographic about Facebook advertising in 2020

Facebook Family advertisements need to be impactful and used sparingly. At ComboApp, we prefer to use these ad spends for product launches, significant product changes, or campaigns targeting a specific audience of users only found in the Facebook Family. Further, we recommend a minimum ad budget of $12,000 to even begin with modest returns from a Facebook ad.

2020 DIGITAL ADVERTISING TREND: Content and targeting are still the king and queen of paid social media strategy in 2020. Digital video advertising content continues to perform extremely well, while the industry is seeing more emphasis put onto integrative, dynamic content and experiential content. In targeting we are seeing expert advertisers take aim at closed groups and social tribes that have been previously difficult to advertise to via microtargeting. The goal is to become more authentic storytellers to Millennials, Gen Y, and Gen Z. The industry is questioning the value of celebrity and social influencer content. Many marketing forecasters are predicting the age of influence is over and Peer-to-Peer advertising will take its place. In Q1 and Q2 of 2020 there has been a huge shift away from celebrity and social influencer partnerships displaying wealth and social privilege, towards creating content that speaks to cause and community via social listening. Brands should focus more on how they can help and give back to consumers if they want to retain current and create new customers. [Via Sprout Social]

Do you need help finding your audience? Let ComboApp perform a targeting audit and see who’s listening to what you have to say.

A better way to approach paid social media ad strategy
Despite Facebook being the industry leader in paid social ads, there are still many other channels you can use to advertise your product. Platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, and Twitter have large market shares of specific demographics who you can easily microtarget with compelling, relevant ad content.

The CPA on many of these niche sites is substantially lower than the averages in the Facebook Family. Instead of sinking all your budget into Facebook, spread your dollars around to a few of these demographic specific platforms. If you know your audience, you’ll see great conversion results.

Organic Social Media Advertising:

A smarter, more cost effective day-to-day strategy is to find the niche social media platforms who cater to your specific audience and plug your content dollars into advertising to potential customers who will end up becoming brand ambassadors for your product.

An organic, small brand ambassador program costs between $5,000 and $15,000 to execute. Which makes organic social media smart digital advertising for small business.

A brand ambassador is a customer who loves your product or service and will evangelize it to their friends, family, and social network without being paid to do so. They will create a community around your product which will spread awareness and convert new customers.

find brand ambassadors to advertise your product

Brand ambassadors are invaluable to organic social media strategy, but you have to work hard to convince them to opt-in. Still, it makes sense to invest in organic brand ambassadors, as their impact is high and costs lower than traditional social ad strategies.

How do you find brand ambassadors? The key here is knowing your audience and finding the specific social media habitat they engage in. It also helps to understand which platforms are birthing the most organic viral content for your demographic.

For example, TikTok is heavily populated by teens and their (often corny) parents. While their market share is much smaller than social properties like Facebook, TikTok produces far more viral content per month than Facebook does. TikTok’s content is then shared by users to other social media platforms.

This is true of a multitude of other platforms. LinkedIn is the best platform to court b2b brand ambassadors. Twitter is the best platform to find customers who care about social and political issues. Pinterest is where you find people interested in fashion, home, and parenting. Twitch is where you find gamers. Instagram is where you find people with aspirational lifestyle interests and parenting interests. Reddit is a savage wasteland of people complaining about pop culture and politics, find your appropriate /r and tool your ad carefully if you want to live.

The thing to remember about organic social media advertising is it is all about authenticity and reputation. It takes time and patience to cultivate an organic audience. You may have to go outside your comfort zone to create really creative, compelling content that differs from your “business voice” to engage users. And, when you find a piece of content that sticks, that is the time to use organic social media tools to amplify the reach of the content to a targeted audience.

Promoted content on average costs less than straight up advertising and is shared more between platforms by users. Think of the times you have retweeted, shared, or reposted a piece of content. You have either found that content based on people you follow sharing the content with you, or a boosted post targeting a demographic you belong to.

Boosted posts will have a CPS (cost per share) between $.20 and $5.00, but the goal isn’t necessarily conversion, it’s impressions and shares. Given how little time it takes to press “retweet” or “share,” users are far more likely to do so than click on a paid advertisement. Plus, organic content is considered more authentic than produced advertisements.

The beauty of a boosted post is that while it is a paid exposure, it appears organic in your social media feed. This makes it an important part of growing your organic audience. A larger audience means better reputation. And, eventually, that will translate into sales and brand ambassadors.

running digital video ads campaign

The most valuable kind of organic content has to be UGC (user-generated content) digital video ads. Not only does it tend to stick, but it cements your authenticity as a personalized advertiser. UGC was the reason why companies such as Yelp and GoPro were able to penetrate such huge markets upon their launches. They leveraged the power of brand ambassadors to create conversions and solid customer bases.

2020 ADVERTISING TREND: Creating sticky, viral content has been a mystery to digital ad professionals since the concept was invented. In 2020, there are a few best practices for creating sticky content. One of the ways to get sticky is to create high-quality content like a top-tier media company. With the advent of technology it is possible for companies or agencies to move their media creation in-house and produce high impact content that they traditionally would have hired a production company to turn out. From graphic creation, to high-quality digital video ads, to animation – with the right social media team, you can do this all for yourself for less. High-quality content converts, that is a simple fact. Want to create a high-quality piece of sticky media? ComboApp’s content team is here to help.



There are some important aspects of organic social media advertising that companies need to pay attention to in order for their strategy to pay off:

  1. Practice social listening. Do your reconnaissance work and dig into what topics are trending with your demographics and tool your content to speak to those issues.
  2. Whenever possible, use humor. Nobody forgets content that makes them laugh. Want some examples of effective humor used in organic social media ads? Check out how brands are using Twitter and TikTok. (Pay close attention to The Washington Post’s TikTok channel. We stan Dave.)
  3. Be authentic. 2020 has been rife with crises. It behooves brands to speak authentically about the impact of social issues on their staff and the community. Speak to your company’s values. For digital ad examples of how authenticity drives brand loyalty, check out the Penzeys Spice social media strategy. This is a beautiful example of how a little company leveraged the power of organic social media to build massive brand loyalty across multiple demographics and created an unparalleled sales increase.
  4. Keep it simple. Take the time to work with your content creators to boil down your brand message into simple, easily understood, digestible slogans. So many of the legendary ad campaigns of the 20th century used this concept to create slogans that are immediately brand recognizable without ever saying the company name. Examples: “Got Milk?” “Where’s the Beef?” “Can you hear me now?” “The quicker picker-upper.” “Just do it!” “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” (We could go on, but you get the idea.)
JULIAN SMITH - Malk

The investment you make in having an organic content based ad strategy will pay off in the long run, but don’t expect to see immediate results. It takes time to build reputation and community in an organic fashion. When investing in this strategy, make sure you are in it for the long haul.

3. Native Digital Advertising

Native advertising is the sister of display advertising. There are two important differences:

  1. Native digital advertising is extremely targeted to audiences and is based on individual audience data points. They are packaged as “recommendations” based on your likes, previous purchases, other ads you have clicked on, liked/shared, and what content you organically post.
  2. Native ads appear seamlessly in whatever environment you are using online. You can see native ads on all social media, Google, Amazon, in your email, and other online locations. It’s like they are meant to be there, because they are.

what is native digital advertising

Basically, native digital advertising is everywhere. It is controversial. The controversy surrounds what this method of ad serve has to do with personal content storage. Big companies (like Facebook, Google, Amazon) have access to enormous amounts of data points that you, as an individual, have willingly given to them by using their platforms.

And, no – Big Data isn’t listening to your conversations via the microphone on your phone, computer, or other device to target and collect data points from you. You give away enough information on a daily basis without companies needing to do that to serve you native digital advertising.

So, exactly what kind of data do these companies and platforms collect? It breaks down into three main categories:

  1. Behavior – This refers to your commercial online actions – including what kinds of apps you download, where you make purchases from, what you purchase, the games you play, the platforms you post on, and other related data points.
  2. Interests – This data is specifically tailored to you and is based on your likes, shares, job, hobbies, groups you belong to, where you went to school, events you have expressed interest in or attended, and other data points that express what you like.
  3. Demographic – This is straightforward as data can be. Demographic refers to age, sex, location, relationship status, political affiliation, education level, hometown, parental status, and more.

When used properly, native ads can make a strong impact. It is a way to reach individual consumers based on their specific interests multiple times across online platforms. This quickly gets you to 7 touchpoints to convert a sale.

The next time you open Google, Gmail, Amazon, or Facebook take a look around. You’ll see native digital ads examples everywhere.

2020 MARKETING TREND: Data-driven strategy is a top priority for companies investing in digital ad campaigns. The next stage in native advertising is data-driven personalization. Creating native advertisements which add value to a consumer’s life will not only create brand authenticity but will also encourage consumers to click, converting the ad into action.

Learn more about how ComboApp can help you create personalized, data-driven content.

Native ads are the most unobtrusive type of digital ad strategy you can engage in. Ads usually show up as suggestions – it relies on the “because you liked/searched for X, you will also like/purchase Y” concept. On Google and Amazon, native ads will appear in your top 3 search results labeled as ads or promoted or suggested products based on what you search for. In Gmail, native ads show up in a folder prominently displayed in your primary inbox labeled “Promotions.”

When running a native ad campaign it is essential to A/B test and information test your campaign to optimize the returns. The cycle of optimization testing includes testing concept, format, creatives, font, text size, video length, and other performance indicators that can be used to make your ad perform its best. It also includes analyzing conversions so that you can gain insight into what products and services are converting the best so that you can use those results across other platforms and advertising methods.

make A/B test when running a native ad campaign

However, much like Facebook, you get what you pay for. In order to get the best results from a native advertising campaign you need to commit a dedicated budget to running high volumes of ads.

Everyone in business understands the basics of search advertising. It is programmatic. It is Google Ads. It is keyword oriented.

But, in truth, it is a bit more complex than just that.

Why are keywords important to all types of digital strategy?

Keyword research doesn’t just inform PPC and SEO strategy. According to Neil Patel, keyword research is “the foundation of all these other digital marketing and [advertising] practices.” Meaning that huge importance should be put into performing keyword research in order to inform all your digital practices. And, you should refresh your keywords often, as search trends change with the wind.

As it pertains to this type of digital advertising, keywords are essential for targeting your audience. The goal of any search campaign is to propel your advertisement or company onto the first page of Google. Because most consumers do not look past the first page of search results, it is critical to use the correct keywords to get to either the top placed PPC advertisement or the last SEO placement on that front page.

The best way to research keywords for beginners is simply to go to Google and enter a topic and see what the top 5 predictive text results are. This will give you a solid idea of what terms people who are searching for similar products use.

For example, if you are a bath and body product company who is about to launch a new body butter, you might search “body butter” and then use the top 5 results of predictive text to create your keyword set.

search for keywords for your SEO strategy

Plug those 5 results into a tool such as Moz or Wordstream and you will generate a list of search terms per volume for you to use in your search campaign.

How do keywords translate in digital search ads?

There are two basic types of search ads: Pay-per-click (PPС) and search engine optimization (SEO.)

PPC advertising for search is pretty easy to understand. Using Google Ads you will create an ad set of clickable headlines and meta text descriptions to take the user directly to what they searched for on your company page. You will then decide how much you are willing to pay-per-click (the average is between $1 and $2,) then buy your keywords. The cost of keywords is variable, with some being extremely inexpensive, and others -in crowded, competitive business verticals – being extremely costly. What you have to decide is if you buy more keywords that perform slower per volume, or if you buy one or two important keywords that have huge volumes of search history attached to them.

Keep in mind that the goal is to get your advertisement to the top spot on the Google search page for your product. The first 3-5 results on any Google search are Google Ads or Google Shopping Ads. So the competition is fierce.

Which would you choose? Get in touch with ComboApp and let’s talk about keyword strategy.

SEO is different from PPC in that you are deploying keyword strategy within your website or within content published to your website to impact your organic search position. Like organic social media advertising, this is a slow burn process. It can take months of testing and tooling to find the right combination of keywords to slot your website or product into the number one spot on the Google homepage.

how is PPC different from SEO

ComboApp recently published a comprehensive SEO Best Practices study that gives you a step-by-step checklist to creating a solid search strategy for your website, including ad strategy. Check it out!

5. Video Ads

There are so many reasons why video is considered the “king of content.” Videos can explain anything and build an emotional connection with viewers, sometimes in as little as 15 seconds. Most importantly to the digital advertiser, videos excel at increasing traffic, boosting conversions, and sales.

running a digital video ad campaign

The cost of video ads is quite manageable and not at all out of reach for small business advertisers. At ComboApp, we are able to provide high quality videos for standard ad use between $1,200 and $2,900. (Ads are priced individually and may exceed those prices if they include playable or animated content.)

Social media platforms love video. They are coded to push video content into the feed so that it can be seen by a wider audience than regular static content. Having high quality, professionally shot, and edited video is essential to any digital ad campaign.

Smart Insights reports that users will spend 88% more time on a website with video than one without. They also report that in 2020 long-form video (15 minutes or more) will convert better than shorter videos due to personalization and authenticity. This has led many brands to create IGTV “scripted series” advertisements with characters and plot twists and all the other conventions you would find in a television show.

2020 ADVERTISING TREND: In 2019, 360 video advertisements and experiential ads were just beginning to be explored by digital advertisers. In 2020 the improvement of smart devices and VR headsets are allowing digital video producers to create innovative, immersive, personalized ad experiences for customers. Not only are these ad experiences unique and cool AF, but according to Google, 360 VR ads drive people to share, subscribe, interact, and view more videos. What promising stats for this emerging category of content advertising!

Do you want to be an innovator in the 360 video space? ComboApp can connect you with our animation and VR teams to make your reality virtual.

The Forest - 360 Experience

Videos can be used as a stand alone ads across multiple platforms -or- you can deploy your video as an advertisement attached to the top of a different, somewhat related video. This is known as a “pre-roll ad.”

It is true, 65% of consumers skip the pre-roll ads on videos they want to watch, and they do it fast. However, this digital video ad strategy can still convert for smart advertisers.

CNBC reported that there are strategies that can boost the conversion numbers on digital video ad pre-roll collateral. They include good storytelling, forging an emotional connection to the viewer, and keeping your pre-roll short and to the point. One of the most impressive hacks to converting pre-roll ads we have seen is placing clickable, branded assets close to the Skip Ad button. Very tricky, yet smart and effective.

Everyone can think of an exceptional, engaging video advertisement that they have watched. Video is king and using it creatively will engage your customers and benefit your bottom line in ways your company should explore.

6. Email Advertising

Everyone is familiar with the concept of email ad blasts. Since 1978, companies have been using these types of digital advertising as a channel of communication to directly connect with their customer base. In the last 42 years, email ads have grown up and become a nuanced, integral method of obtaining and retaining customers. According to the team at Optinmonster, there are 13 types of essential ads that companies need to send to their email lists.

email advertising as one of the types of digital ads

Developing your outbound email list is a daunting task. When starting from scratch there are some best practices used to acquire more targets to your list. In fact, you can run an ad campaign using the methodology described in this guide just to build a solid email list. From creating display and native ads -to- appealing to your current customer base -to opt-in via social media or your website, there are many ad centric strategies that can help you build an effective list that will meet your email KPIs.

Buying email lists is considered a no-no for a multitude of reasons. Cold blasting random targets that another person has chosen to fit into your intended demographic is costly and provides a low ROI. In purchased lists, the addresses can be stale, inactive, or abandoned. If the source you purchased the list from was less than scrupulous, you run a risk of having targets categorize your emails as spam, which will affect your ability to continue to use email to reach customers.

According to MailChimp, an average bounce rate is 2% of your email targets. If your bounce exceeds that, you need to reevaluate both your content and list.

The most important things to remember when creating email content for distribution to your list are:

  • Subject lines are important! You need to write a subject line that clearly communicates value straight off the bat in order to get your targets to click into your email.
  • You need to mix up your message. You cannot hammer your audience with sales pitch after sales pitch. Smart email advertisers send a variety of email types. Using email content like surveys, offers, or customer requests will ensure that your targets stay engaged with your email process. (And, the Welcome! email is an absolute essential for all new subscribers.)
  • The key to conversions with email is a strong CTA. To really make the most of your email campaigns, you need to create a compelling call-to-action that you can feature multiple times throughout your content. The old adage is true, if you don’t ask for what you want, you won’t get it.

Direct-to-consumer email ads aren’t the only types of digital advertising savvy companies can use to leverage email to obtain more exposure and conversions. As we mentioned in our native ads section, you can use programmatic ad buys to place your email content into a targeted audience’s inbox or into a native subject environment. (For instance, your email newsletter about body butter will be placed onto platforms that bath and body product enthusiasts engage in.) Native email ads are extremely high performing, one of the most lucrative constituent bases advertisers can tap into.

Notably, email marketing is the essential type of digital advertising for small business that ComboApp recommends as a first strategy to local and ecommerce businesses.

Do you need to revamp your email strategy? ComboApp’s email experts are happy to help you build a new list, create a CTA, or program a native email ad to suit your needs.


How Do We Choose What Digital Ad Strategy To Purchase?

As digital advertising experts, at ComboApp, we ask clients to consider three questions before we advise them on what ad strategies to engage in:

  1. What are your campaign goals?
  2. How quickly do you expect significant ROI?
  3. What is your budget?

If your goals don’t match your ROI and budget, it’s a no-go. Likewise, if your ROI doesn’t match your strategy, you’re sunk before you’ve begun. And, if your budget doesn’t align with your preferred methodology, you’ll only be frustrated with the limited results you see from your campaign.

hire a digital advertising agency to achieve KPIs set

In most cases, a custom mixture of digital ad strategies is what we recommend. For instance, there are high value results that come from overlapping organic and paid media ad strategy. And, direct and customized customer contact is always recommended.

In conclusion, there are many many ways that digital advertising can help you grow your business, engage customers, and convert sales. The ComboApp team looks forward to helping you optimize and execute your strategy.

FAQs

1. What is digital advertising?

Is the practice of advertising using online tools and platforms to create awareness and drive sales for companies.

2. What are the types of digital advertising?

The 6 main types of advertising are display, social media, native, search, video, and email.

3. How do digital display ads differ from native advertising?

Digital display ads are not targeted, so they only appear where the programmatic tool you are using places them. Native ads are highly targeted, personalized based on user data, and are tooled to appear in specific environments as ads, promotions, or suggestions.

4. When is a good time to hire a digital advertising agency?

There are two great times to hire a digital advertising agency. When you are launching your business and when you are scaling up your business/creating significant updates to your product.

5. How to choose what digital ad strategy to start with?

You need to examine three things: Your goals, your expected timeline for ROI, and your budget. Based on that information, look at the types of digital advertising and decide what will work best for you.

6. What is the minimum budget for a test digital ad campaign?

Budgets vary depending on what strategies you deploy and how long you want to run your test campaign. At ComboApp, we recommend allocating a budget of at least $17,500 to $35,000 for a test ad campaign.

7. Can ComboApp develop a digital advertising strategy for a small business?

We sure can! No matter what your budget, ComboApp can advise and create advertising that will help create conversions to grow your business.

The rapid outbreak of COVID-19, the deadly infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has rendered many traditional marketing methods useless, forcing businesses across all industries to leverage digital marketing channels in their fight for survival.

While some businesses are already skilled in digital marketing because they’ve been doing it for years, other businesses barely know what digital marketing is. Regardless of which group you belong to, this article will explain to you everything you need to know to effectively use digital marketing during these trying times.

What Is Digital Marketing?

The term digital marketing refers to all marketing efforts that utilize the internet or other digital technology to promote products and services. It was coined in the 1990s, and it didn’t take a long time for it to become the hottest topic in the marketing industry.

By the late 2000s, most major businesses had registered their own domain names and understood the role of digital marketing and digital technologies such as desktop computers and mobile phones. Today, businesses spend over $100 billion on digital marketing worldwide, and the figure is only expected to grow.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing includes marketing channels such as printed media, billboards, snail-mail, and trade shows. What traditional marketing channels have in common is their ability to convey a brand message loud and clear to a large audience in a non-interactive way.

Digital marketing channels, on the other hand, are inherently interactional because they produce instant feedback, which can take the form of views, clicks, likes, comments, retweets, and other actions.

role of digital marketing for business growth

They are also far more precise, allowing businesses to target each individual customer with a customized message that’s likely to produce the best marketing results. This is akin to printing a different magazine ad for each subscriber or airing a thousand versions of the same TV commercial.

When Traditional Marketing Channels Shut Down

Despite the numerous benefits of digital marketing, many businesses have until recently relied solely on traditional marketing channels.

In every town, there are mom and pop businesses whose customers know about them solely thanks to naturally occurring word-of-mouth referrals. On the other end of the spectrum are B2B companies that promote their products and services exclusively at trade shows and exhibitions attended by other companies operating in the same industry. Between these two extreme ends of the traditional marketing spectrum are countless small and medium-sized businesses that spend significant amounts of money on print advertising and billboards.

All businesses that have so far been faithful to traditional marketing channels are among those who are hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing measures implemented by countries around the world to slow down its spread.

With people sheltering in place and avoiding interaction with others as much as possible, even the most captivating billboards are next to useless, and the same goes for print ads in magazines no one’s buying because everyone can read the news on the internet without stepping a foot outside the door. Unsurprisingly, all large B2B events, such as Cisco Live and the Gartner Marketing Symposium, have already been canceled by their organizers, and nobody knows how long it will take for them to come back.

So, with all traditional marketing channels shut down, how can businesses communicate with existing and potential customers alike? The answer is, of course, digital marketing.

The Role of Digital Marketing in a Time of Crisis

Since the only way to fight the new virus at the moment is to hunker down at home, that’s what people around the world are doing. To entertain themselves, most individuals have been browsing the web, and this is evident from web usage statistics. Since the novel coronavirus crossed the borders of China, traffic to popular websites increased significantly, and so did mobile phone data usage.

To stay in touch with loved ones and connect with the outside world, many people have turned to social media platforms, virtually all of which have experienced a significant increase in user activity. Digitally savvy businesses have been quick to notice the opportunity to deliver the meaningful engagement digital users in a time of crisis crave.

“We have seen a real spike during the last few weeks from companies wishing to create or update websites, launch new e-commerce channels and create social media campaigns focused on home-workers and a real focus on using influencers and SEO to reach new audiences,” said Scott Jones, CEO of 123 Internet Group.

Businesses that have no previous experience with digital marketing should reallocate their marketing budgets and finally embrace the plethora of digital marketing channels that are available today. Getting started with it is nowhere near as complicated as it may seem, and the results can be nearly instantaneous.

Getting Started with Digital Marketing

In many ways, it has never been easier to get started with digital marketing because of the wide variety of digital marketing channels available:

digital marketing vs. traditional marketing

  • Paid search: Search engines like Google have become the entry points to the web, and any business can appear right at the top of the first search results page just by bidding on keywords relevant to the user’s search query. Paid search marketing delivers predictable results, and it can be easily scaled up or down to fit any digital marketing budget.
  • SEO & content marketing: Instead of relying solely on paid search, businesses should also strive to increase their visibility by performing searching engine optimization, or just SEO for short. SEO is most effective when combined with content marketing, whose purpose is to attract and retain a clearly defined audience by targeting it with valuable, educational content. Unlike paid search, SEO and content marketing don’t produce immediate results, but their long-term impact can be massive. During the ongoing pandemic, many businesses have been educating their customers about its impact on their industry and helping them cope with the gloomy situation by publishing informative blog posts and sharing interesting content.
  • Social media: With billions of users around the world, social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are among the most popular destinations on the web. Businesses can use them to engage their customers and share all kinds of content, ranging from behind-the-scenes pictures to lighthearted jokes intended to keep their spirits up.
  • Webinars and podcasts: Live, virtual events are currently the only way for many businesses to engage potential customers face-to-face and provide them with informative content. For example, a local bike shop may host a public webinar to give helpful bike maintenance tips to essential workers whose only means of transportation is their bicycle. Podcasts are another effective marketing channel that can be used to engage customers who are stuck at home and don’t have much to do. If you have an interesting story to tell, you can appear as a guest on a podcast related to your niche, or you can simply advertise on any popular podcast whose audience will likely be receptive to your message.
  • Email: Thanks to smartphones, email is, once again, one of the most effective digital marketing channels. If you already have an existing customer base, you can reach out to it with a personalized email campaign featuring coronavirus-related tips, special promotions, or any other engaging content.

Regardless of which digital marketing channel you decide to start with, you need to keep in mind what consumers expect from businesses during a crisis and adjust your digital marketing tactics accordingly.

First and foremost, be mindful of your tone and avoid being humorous or inappropriately casual. Even a well-meaning joke may offend consumers who have been hit by the pandemic hard. Instead, be positive, helpful, and inspirational.

Unless you’re one of the businesses that have been deemed essential, you should focus on providing value to your community. Simply seeking conversions is guaranteed to turn people against you and possibly even result in a massive online backlash.

Finally, don’t promise what you can’t deliver. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the entire global economy, so there’s no reason to hide the fact that you can deliver products or services as quickly as you can normally.

By keeping in mind these essential digital marketing tactics, you will be able to get your digital marketing campaign off to a great start and make the most out of the current situation.

The Future of Digital Marketing

The sad truth is that the novel coronavirus won’t disappear anytime soon. Leading experts estimate that life won’t get back to normal until 2021 because it takes some time to build herd immunity and develop an effective vaccine or cure.

how digital marketing can help your business during crisis

For this reason alone, the role of digital marketing will only become more important. The global digital marketing software market size alone is expected to reach $151.8 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 17.4 percent from 2020 to 2027, according to research conducted by Grand View Research.

Businesses that had until recently relied exclusively on traditional marketing channels need to come to terms with the revelation that the future of marketing is digital and act before it’s too late. Those who do will have the best chance of surviving not only this crisis but also the next one.

Conclusion

The year 2020 will go down in history as the year the world changed. Many businesses will also remember it as the year when traditional marketing channels ceased being effective. If your business is among those that still rely on the old marketing tools, now is the time to start planning your digital marketing strategy and prepare yourself for doing business in the new, virus-conscious environment.

 

For a limited time ComboApp is offering free marketing strategy audits to businesses affected by COVID-19 crisis. We can help you navigate through this challenging time and come out stronger and more prepared for what comes next.

The web is a large place, and most websites are destined to live in its dark alleys, where visitors rarely dare to go. For companies who would like to gain visibility on the web, paid search marketing has proven itself to be one of the most effective forms of digital marketing.

The goal of paid search marketing is to generate traffic by purchasing ads on search engine results pages (SERPs), and this guide explains everything you need to know before launching a smart pay-per-click (PPC) search marketing campaign.

What Is Paid Search Marketing and How It Works?

Paid search marketing is the process of advertising to consumers who are searching for a specific answer or product online. It has become synonymous with PPC advertising, which is an advertising model in which advertisers pay a fee each time their ads receive a click.

what is paid search marketing

Because of its cost-effective nature, PPC advertising is now the go-to way of driving website traffic for 74 percent of businesses with more than 50 employees and 45 percent of businesses with less than 50 employees. It’s estimated that businesses make an average of $2 in income for every $1 they spend in Google AdWords, the most popular PPC advertising platform in the world.

Clearly, paying for search ads pays off, but how does PPC advertising actually work?

Search engines like Google feature dedicated ad spots on their search engine results pages (SERPs), which are the pages displayed in response to a user query. Advertisers can participate in automated auctions during which ad spots are sold for specific keywords based on bid amount, ad quality, and ad relevance.

When an advertiser wins an ad spot, the winning ad instantly appears on the relevant search engine results page. At this point, the advertiser hasn’t yet paid any money for the ad. Only when the user clicks on the ad is the advertiser charged the bid amount.

what is ppc advertising

Glossary of Common PPC Terms

Ad: PPC ads have a headline, text, and URL. Their goal is to persuade consumers to take a certain action.

Audience: In PPC advertising, an audience is a method of targeting a specific market segment at which an ad is aimed.

Campaign: Multiple PPC ads can be grouped in a single campaign and share the same budget, location targeting, and other settings.

Conversions: The point at which a recipient of an ad performs the desired action.

Cost-per-Click (CPC): One of the most important metrics in pay per click advertising, CPC is the amount of money an advertiser pays for each click on one of their PPC ads.

Impressions: The number of times an ad has been displayed on search engine results pages.

Keyword: A word that triggers the appearance of an ad on search engine results pages.

Quality score: A hidden formula used by search engines to determine the quality of ads in order to maximize ad legitimacy.

Return on Investment (ROI): Determining the profitability of paid search advertising, ROI is a ratio between net profit and cost of investment.

Search query: A query based on a specific keyword that a user enters into a web search engine like Google.

Of course, there are many other PPC terms that all experienced advertisers encounter on a daily basis, but it would be beyond the scope of this article to list them all.

If you’re already finding PPC advertising to be confusing and would rather let someone else manage it for you, we recommend you partner with a paid search agency like ComboApp, which has a lot of experience and a proven track record of delivering first-rate results with PPC advertising.

Benefits and Downsides of Paid Search Marketing

Paid search marketing is just one of many forms of digital marketing, and it has its pros and cons. By familiarizing yourself with them, you will become able to decide whether paid search marketing is a good choice for you and your business.

Benefits of Paid Search Marketing

  • Quick results: It can take months for a website to gain a prominent position in search engines by relying on search engine optimization techniques alone. With paid advertising, you can instantly have your PPC ads displayed right on the first page, where consumers are most likely to see them. That way, you can start generating traffic from day one and quickly gain unstoppable momentum.
  • Precise targeting: The best PPC advertising campaigns precisely target the right prospects with the right message and at the right time. The extremely granular level of control provided by all major paid search platforms lets advertisers maximize their ROI by using proven paid search strategies, such as those described in the next chapter.
  • Measurability: PPC advertising campaigns generate a ton of useful data that advertisers can analyze in real-time. Not only can detailed data analytics help advertisers optimize their campaigns, but they can also inform businesses about their customers.

Downsides of Paid Search Marketing

  • Click fraud: Paid search platforms don’t like to discuss this topic, but all pay per click advertising leaves open the possibility of click fraud, a type of fraud that costs businesses money because the clicks their ads received are generated by bots—not real people.
  • Hard to master: As much as guides like this one try to make paid search marketing accessible, there’s no denying that its mastery can take many years. Because of how complicated paid search marketing is, some companies decide to partner with an experienced PPC agency like ComboApp.
  • Bidding wars: All experienced advertising experts know that it costs money to make money, and paid search marketing is no exception. Some keywords are so competitive that businesses with smaller budgets have no chance of outbidding industry giants, forcing them to target less frequently used keywords.

6 Effective PPC Advertising Strategies

Now that you understand the essence of PPC advertising, it’s time to take a closer look at 6 effective PPC advertising strategies that are guaranteed to help you maximize the impact of your ads and get ahead of your competition.

1. Optimize for Mobile Devices

Consider the following statistic: average daily media consumption on mobile devices was around 39 percent lower than on desktops in 2013. Today, more than 50 percent of traffic comes from mobile devices, and the number keeps climbing up.

According to MarketingLand, mobile advertising now represents around 70 percent of all digital ad spending in the United States, and 71 percent of marketers believe mobile marketing is core to their business.

Paid search optimization for mobile devices is all about getting into the mindset of mobile users. Ask yourself the following questions: Who are your customers? What are they searching for on their mobile devices that you could help them with? When do they usually search for information online? Are they at home or outside?

Mobile users tend to use different keywords than desktop users, so do your research and don’t be afraid to experiment with different keyword combinations and phrases. Negative keywords let you prevent your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase, and you can use them to filter out bad keywords that could compromise the effectiveness of your mobile campaigns. The click-to-call button is another great way to make your ads perform better on mobile devices because your business becomes just one click away.

2. Use SEO Tools To Optimize Your Paid Search Strategy

Using SEO tools is absolutely paramount for running a successful paid search campaign. One of such tools we can recommend is Keywords Explorer by Ahrefs. For example, you would like to run PPC ads for a video editing software to attract new customers, Keywords Explorer by Ahrefs can provide you with an average CPC price that should be paid when someone clicks on your ad in paid search results.

information about pay per click advertising in Ahrefs

Moreover, Ahrefs is currently testing an “Ads history” feature that shows the history of paid search results for your target keyword in a given country. By checking the “By domain” tab, you will see which websites have been competing for your target keyword over time.

paid search optimization with Ahrefs

Keywords that your competitors are consistently bidding on could be very lucrative, so you need to consider targeting them as well.

In the “By landing page” tab, you can also see the ad copy that appeared in the SERPs and find out which pages advertisers are sending paid traffic to. This is a great way to gain inspiration for your own landing pages.

PPC ads examples in Keywords Explorer by Ahrefs

3. Make Your PPC Ads Irresistible

In his book, “How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market,” Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman claims that 95 percent of purchasing decisions are subconscious, influenced by our emotions. Of course, this is something advertising professionals have known since the days of David Ogilvy.

To make your PPC ads irresistible, you need to make them resonate with your target audience. First and foremost, make sure that your ads are relevant, which means that they align with their respective keywords and landing pages. Consumers typically don’t read ads word by word, so don’t bother with flowery prose—you’re not trying to make Shakespeare turn green with envy.

Your headline should convey your message in just a few words and instantly grab attention. You should always test multiple headlines and measure which of them performs the best. Sometimes, even the best headline isn’t enough to generate a click, which is where promotion extensions come in, making it possible for you to include monetary or percent discounts for your products or services directly in your ads.

Promotion extensions instantly grab the attention of all consumers who don’t want to miss out on a good deal, and you can use them both during seasonal events like Black Friday and during the rest of the year. Google claims that ad extensions can boost the CTR up to 15 percent, so don’t neglect them.

4. Remarketing

The average PPC ad conversion rate across all industries is about 3.75 percent for search. That’s not great. The reason why PPC advertising doesn’t convert better is simple: most people don’t care about your product or service, regardless of its relevancy or usefulness. Most but not all.

Do you know who cares about what you have to offer and is very likely to click on your ads? People who have previously used your product or service. Remarketing is a highly effective PPC advertising strategy by which online advertising is targeted to consumers based on their previous actions.

“It allows you to strategically position your ads in front of these audiences as they browse [the web], thus helping you increase your brand awareness or remind those audiences to make a purchase,” explains Google.

Remarketing typically relies on web browser cookies to track visitors’ browsing habits and target them at the best possible moment. Advanced remarketing ads can lead customers who have begun an online order back to their shopping card so they can finish it with minimum effort. If you decide to implement remarketing, don’t forget to require opt-in consent for the use of cookies.

5. Voice Search Preparation

It’s estimated that more than 66 million Americans now own a smart speaker, which is just one reason why 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches by the end of this year. Despite the rapidly growing popularity of voice search, most advertisers don’t optimize their PPC ads for voice nearly as well as they could.

Voice search queries tend to be more conversational than regular search queries, and their length is typically over 5 or 6 words. They correspond to the main question asking words (How, What, When, Where, Why?) and are highly localized. The following searches are good examples of how the typical voice search query looks like: What’s the best sushi restaurant near me? Which electronics store in Liverpool is still open? How do I recover data from an SD card?

When creating a voice search campaign, keep the main question asking words in mind and use them to hyper-target people trying to find. If you haven’t done so yet, create relevant and contextual landing pages and don’t forget to test their mobile performance because most voice searches come from smartphones.

6. Test New Channels

Most advertisers focus only on Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Yahoo Gemini, but there are many other marketing channels worth exploring when it comes to pay per click advertising.

For example, Facebook is used by over 2.5 billion users, which advertisers can target with incredible precision using a variety of ad formats. If you’re interested in professional and business ad targeting, your ads need to be on LinkedIn, the largest business and employment-oriented in the world. There’s also Pinterest, whose 200 million active users are constantly searching for the latest trends, creative ideas, and useful products.

When testing a new channel for PPC advertising, always make sure to measure its performance to determine whether it’s worth your time and money. You might find out that a channel that seems like a great fit for you doesn’t perform nearly as well as expected.

Conclusion

In this day and age, business owners should no longer be asking, “What is PPC advertising?” Instead, they should be embracing this effective tool as an integral part of their inbound marketing strategies no matter how large they are and which industry they operate in. If you’re still intimidated by PPC advertising even after reading this guide, don’t hesitate to contact ComboApp, an experienced PPC agency known for delivering customized and impactful digital marketing solutions that help businesses grow.

Simply call us at 773.305.0886 or click on the Contact Us button in the header of this site. Whether you need help with promoting a new app, website or an existing business, we look forward to putting our PPC advertising experience and expertise at your service.

 

SEO techniques are in a constant state of flux. What worked last year may not yield the same results this year, and that’s especially true when it comes to local SEO. If you’re wondering how to promote your business locally in 2020, you’ve come to the right place. This article explains the top 7 most effective local SEO techniques you need to implement in order to outrank your competitors in 2020.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of optimizing websites for searchers seeking local information.

Think of an exchange student who is looking for a bookstore in a city he or she doesn’t know well. Such a student doesn’t care about bookstores that are 50 miles away regardless of how large their inventory is or how low their prices are. They are interested only in local bookstores, creating a huge opportunity for small business owners to outrank even the largest players on the market and attract new customers.

According to statistics shared by Go Gulf, 46% of the 3.5 billion searches that happen on Google every day are seeking local information, and 97% of search engine users searched online to find a local business. The growth of such searches has been fueled largely by smartphones and mobile internet, which have made it possible to use search engines anywhere and at any time.

Google, whose search engine market share both worldwide and in the US is around 90%, displays local search results above organic search results, in a dedicated section known as the Snack Pack, Local 3 Pack, and Map Pack. Local search results are also prominently displayed in Google Maps, and our tips on how to promote your business locally will help you rank highly there as well.

Top 7 Best Local SEO Techniques

Local SEO can be an exhausting topic, and it’s possible to write an entire book about it and still have plenty left to discuss. We selected the top 7 best local SEO techniques described below based on their importance for promoting a business online in 2020.

If you would like to take your local SEO to the next level, we recommend you partner with a provider of local SEO solutions like ComboApp, a full-cycle local SEO company that provides a full range of on-page and off-page SEO services.

1. Create or Claim Your Google My Business Listing

As explained by this local SEO case study by Moz, Google My Business signals (such as proximity, categories, keyword in business title, etc.) are the number one local ranking factor, so that’s where you need to start.

local SEO with Google My Business listing

If you haven’t done so already, list your business on Google My Business. The process is very simple, and it’s likely that one of your customers has already listed your business. In such a case, all you need to do is claim the listing. Google will send a postcard to your business address with a PIN that allows you to verify the ownership of your business.

Having your business listed on Google My Business is arguably the most important item on any local SEO checklist, but you can do a lot more to increase your chance of being discovered by potential customers.

To optimize your Google My Business listing, provide accurate information about your services, hours of operation, accepted payment methods, parking, and other things your customers might want to know before they pay you a visit. It’s always a good idea to include at least a couple of images that show your business both from outside and inside.

When you’re done with your Google My Business listing, you should also put your business on Bing Places for Business so that Bing users can discover your business just as easily as Google users. In the US, the search engine market share of Bing is a little over 6%, which is not an insignificant number.

local SEO tactic with Bing for business

2. Sign Up for Local Directories

Local directories that list businesses within a particular niche represent a great opportunity to score valuable backlinks and improve your local SEO. To find directories that are relevant to your business, search for keywords like “[your city] business directory” or “[your niche] directory.”

how to promote your business locally

Most local directories won’t charge you any money to list your business because they make money from advertising. When listing your business on local directories, make sure that all information about it is accurate and consistent.

At the very least, your listings should include your business name, address, phone number, and website. It’s also a good idea to briefly describe your business (it’s okay to use the same description over and over again) and add a few photos.

Some directories charge money for featuring your business more prominently, but they’re hardly ever worth it because roughly four out of five consumers use search engines for local searches anyway. If you stumble upon a local directory that refuses to feature your business unless you pay a membership fee, feel free to avoid it.

3. Get Reviews from Customers

Customer reviews are an important local SEO ranking factor, and they also make your business appear to be more trustworthy, making it more likely for local customers to buy from you. BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey revealed that 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and, out of those who read them, 88% trust them as much as personal recommendations.

Google advises business owners to remind their customers to leave online reviews and let them know that it’s quick and easy to do so both on mobile devices and desktop computers. The search giant also recommends business owners to reply to reviews, arguing that customers who feel valued are more likely to come back.

Confusingly, Yelp actively discourages businesses from asking for reviews, warning that those who ask may hurt their Yelp rating. The business directory service explained this policy in a blog post that links to a study claiming that solicitation leads to bias.

“Instead of asking for or incentivizing reviews, businesses should let reviews accrue organically. The best way for businesses to earn good reviews is to focus on providing excellent products and customer service and encouraging all customers to check out their Yelp reviews,” explains Yelp.

If Yelp is the biggest driver of new customers to your business, you may want to play by its rules as much as you can. If not, don’t hesitate to follow Google’s advice and ask your customers to leave online reviews. Just make sure you ask them in a neutral way and don’t encourage them to write positive reviews or, even worse, offer rewards for positive reviews.

4. Perfect Your Local Keyword Targeting

Since the rollout of the Google Pigeon ranking algorithm in July 2014, Google has been using distance and geographical location as important ranking factors. By targeting the right local keywords, you can rank above all your competition and drive more customers to your business.

To perform local keyword research, all you need is Google’s own Keyword Planner. This free keyword research tool lets you filter keyword searches based on location, making it easy to discover popular search terms in your area. Another great tool to research keywords for a specific geographical location you want to target is KWFinder. For example, when looking up search queries for the keyword “barbershop” in the Chicago area, KWFinder will get you not only the most popular searches related to this keyword but also provide an average cost per click for a paid SEO campaign in that region.

KWFinder local SEO keyword research tool

In case you want to compare how CPC and keywords search volume in the selected region differ from other locations, just change the region in KWFinder and you’ll get updated numbers. Below you can see search queries containing keyword “barbershop” in New York area and their respective costs for paid search campaigns.

search for local keywords with KWFinder SEO tool

Once you have researched and compiled a list of popular local search queries, you need to target them by including specific keywords in your website’s title and meta description tags, section headings, and, of course, the content itself. Make sure your meta description tags fit Google’s meta description length limits. You can use the Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool from SEOmofo to simulate Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool

5. Have a Mobile-Friendly Website

Online searches, in general, are shifting from desktop computers to mobile devices, but this shift is especially pronounced when it comes to local searches.

A 2017 study from Acquisio revealed that 75% of all mobile searches that exhibit local intent actually produce in-store, offline visits within 24 hours, which confirms what many practitioners of whitehat SEO techniques have known for a long time: local searches can be highly lucrative.

In general, a mobile-friendly website is any website that displays well on desktop computers and mobile devices alike (dual websites are a big no-no in 2020), is optimized for readability on smaller screens, and loads quickly even with a slower mobile internet connection.

You can check if Google considers your website to be mobile-friendly using Google Mobile-Friendly Test. All you need to do is enter the full URL of the website that you want to test, and the tool will list any mobile usability problems that it finds.

Google Mobile-Friendly Test

If you don’t know how to fix mobile-usability errors, you can contact ComboApp, leading experts in digital marketing solutions, product management, app marketing, SEO and content strategy, user acquisition, and analytics.

6. Invest in Local Content Marketing

Content should be an integral part of your local SEO strategy because it can increase traffic to your website by hundreds of percent.

The main thing that separates local content marketing from traditional content marketing is the target audience. You should always strive to create content that people in your area are likely to be interested in the most. If you run a small brewery, for example, you can talk about the history of beer in your city, your brewing process, community events you’re participating in, and so on.

Make sure to include relevant keywords in title tags, meta description, body copy, anchor text, section headings, and alt text in images. If you keep producing high-quality local content—either by yourself or with the help of a company that provides local SEO services, such as ComboApp—it will be only a matter of time before people start sharing your content on social media and linking to it from other websites, earning you valuable backlinks.

Instead of waiting for potential customers to find your content via search engines, you can also target potential customers directly by publishing guest posts on other blogs or in your city newspaper.

7. Optimize for Voice Search

Voice search, the use of speech recognition to search the web, is one of the biggest local SEO trends in 2020. Around 60% of smartphone users have already tried it at least once in the past 12 months, and it’s estimated that the number of voice search users will increase to 122.7 million by 2021.

Compared with regular search, voice search users tend to use more long-tail keywords, and they also show a strong preference for conversational language. Whereas “best barber Central London” would be a good example of a regular search query, most voice search users would say, “What’s the best barbershop in Central London?”

As a business owner, you can optimize your website for voice search by including long-tail keywords in your content and adjusting its tone to fit the more conversational tone of speaking. It’s also a good idea to look beyond Google and optimize your website for Bing, which provides search results for Alexa and Cortana.

Because 40.7% of answers to voice search queries come from featured snippets, you should target them by answering specific questions in a concise manner. A recent study from Backlinko found that voice search results are typically 29 words long, so that’s a good number to target. To incorporate concise answers to specific questions in a natural manner, you can create a dedicated FAQ page or add a short FAQ section to each article you publish on your website.

Conclusion

No business in 2020 can afford to ignore local SEO. By implementing the 7 local SEO strategies described in this article, you can get a head start on your competition and secure a top spot for your business in search results. If you’re new to SEO, not sure how to promote your business locally or simply prefer to maintain focus on your core business, we recommend you partner with a full-cycle local SEO company like ComboApp and let experts in local SEO solutions come up with the right strategy for your business.

Simply call us at 773.305.0886 or click on the Contact Us button in the header of this site. Whether you need help with promoting a new website or an existing business, we look forward to putting our SEO experience and expertise at your service.

FAQs

1. What is local SEO?

Local search engine optimization is a process of optimizing your website for searchers seeking local information, thus attracting more business from relevant searches.

2. How to promote your business with Google My Business listing?

List your company on Google My Business, provide info about your services and business hours, upload images and videos, respond to customer reviews.

3. How customer reviews can improve local SEO rankings?

Google has confirmed that customer reviews improve your rankings for targeted keywords, as they send a signal to search engines that your business is trustworthy. Moreover, if there is a tight competition in your area, positive reviews will help potential clients make a decision in your favor.

4. How to promote your business locally using keyword targeting?

Use Google’s Keyword Planner to discover and filter popular search terms in your area. By targeting the most effective keywords and choosing the right whitehat SEO techniques, you can rank higher than your direct competitors and, thus, drive more customers to your business.

5. Why is a mobile-friendly website a crucial local SEO checklist point?

In September 2020 Google will be switching to mobile-first indexing for all websites. This means that if your website is not mobile-friendly, it will take a significant penalty in search results listings regardless of how good the rest of your SEO is.

6. What are the best local SEO strategies to promote your business?

Create your “Google My Business Page”, develop engaging website content targeting the right keywords, make sure your website is mobile-friendly, optimize your content for voice search and sign up for local directories, improve your social media presence and get positive reviews from your customers.

7. When may you need the help of a local SEO company?

Proper SEO can be complicated and time consuming, reach out to a marketing agency with experience in local SEO services if you don’t have time or necessary skills, want guaranteed results, or simply prefer to maintain focus on your core business operations.

There are many answers to the question, “What is B2B marketing?” In fact, Google finds about 15,000 results that include the exact phrase. The only problem is that most B2B marketing definitions are long-winded and difficult to understand. In the simplest terms, B2B marketing (business to business marketing) is the business process of creating relationships with other companies in order to sell them products or services.

In 2020, there are several important B2B marketing trends that all marketers should understand in order to adjust their B2B marketing strategies accordingly. So, let’s take a look at them and explain what marketing strategies for the business-to-business market work in 2020.

What Is B2B Marketing and Why It Matters?

Business to business marketing, the practices used by businesses to sell products or services to other businesses, are constantly evolving and maintain their relevance and effectiveness. Those who keep up with them and take advantage of the latest tools and strategies can capture the most lucrative business opportunities and achieve all their objectives.

In the past, business to business marketing happened largely face-to-face. Companies used to employ teams of sales agents, who would arrange meetings with the owners of other companies and try to turn them into paying customers. Today, most B2B digital marketing activities take place online, and they include B2B social media marketing, B2B web marketing, B2B content marketing, and others.

Because it can be difficult for companies to maintain a sharp focus on their core business and, at the same time, market their products and services to others, a B2B marketing agency like ComboApp is often hired to handle all marketing activities on their behalf.

B2B vs B2C Marketing: What’s the Difference Between Them?

Business to business marketing and business to consumer marketing have the same goal—sell products or services—and they rely on similar techniques and principles. The biggest difference between them is actually in their target audience.

Consumers are irrational creatures who select products and services based not just on their price and value, but also on their popularity, status, and other emotional factors. Businesses, on the other hand, make decisions predominantly based on price and profit potential.

In most businesses, there’s a specific group of individuals who make purchase decisions, and the goal of B2B marketing strategies is to hyper-target these select individuals and provide compelling arguments about why their products or services are the best.

Many marketing strategies for the business-to-business market are used when marketing to consumers, but they are tweaked to meet the unique needs of B2B marketers.

B2B Digital Marketing Trends and Best B2B Marketing Strategies in 2020

Marketing strategies rarely stay relevant for a long time. Some become outdated and fall out of fashion, some stop being effective, and some become replaced by more modern marketing strategies.

best B2B digital marketing trends in 2020

In the following section, we describe 10 B2B marketing strategies that are guaranteed to deliver great results in 2020. The strategies we selected are based on the current B2B marketing trends and supported by an extensive body of research conducted by experts from around the world.

1. Consolidation of Marketing Tools

In 2018, marketers could choose from over 8,000 marketing tools, which is a staggeringly large number considering that only around 4,000 companies were part of the MarTech landscape in 2016. To say that the supply of marketing tools has exceeded the demand for them would be an understatement.

Experienced B2B digital marketing experts are familiar with the countless tools that do nothing but extract readily available data from Google Analytics and turn it into a pretty dashboard—for the small fee of several hundred dollars a year.

2020 is the year when B2B marketers should take a step back and tidy up their toolboxes. If possible, choose marketing tools that encompass multiple functions. Not only will MarTech consolidation save you money, but it will also make it easier to train new people and process marketing data.

When you encounter a new, shiny marketing tool, ask yourself whether its value justifies its price. More often than not, you’ll discover that you can achieve the same results with an existing tool, even if it takes a few more clicks.

2. Going Beyond the Blog

Informative blog posts have been the foundation of B2B content marketing for years because they are relatively straightforward to produce (you just come up with an idea and hire a writer to turn it into a blog post). But marketing statistics indicate that other types of content are becoming increasingly important, sometimes even outperforming blog posts.

Millennials are now the biggest B2B decision-makers, and they love video marketing because videos can be easily consumed on mobile devices and generate a huge impact in just a few seconds. Google is aware of this trend, ranking video content higher than text-based content.

By including short videos in your blog posts, you can attract 3 times more inbound links and increase the time visitors spend on your website by 2.6 times. You can also tap into YouTube and reach its 2 billion users worldwide, many of which are your potential customers.

Companies that aren’t afraid to experiment with emerging technologies should consider virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) as two exciting ways to tell their brand’s story and present their products or services.

3. Marketing Personalization

According to Salesforce, 72% of buyers expect B2B companies to personalize their communications with them. For that to happen, B2B marketers need data—lots of it. They also need a suitable promotional strategy, and account-based marketing (ABM) seems to be the answer.

Also known as key account marketing, ABM is emerging as one of the most effective marketing strategies for the business-to-business market because it concentrates resources on a set of target accounts, relying on heavily personalized campaigns to engage each account.

Yes, it’s true that ABM requires more effort than traditional marketing because all promotional messages have to be written and designed in a way that addresses the specific needs and motivations of each buyer, but the amazing return on investment justifies it.

Back in 2013, 85% of B2B marketers said that ABM outperforms other marketing investments in terms of ROI, and the number has gone up since then. In addition to being a wise financial decision, ABM can also improve relationships with customers and, consequently, the reputation of the company.

If you don’t have enough human resources to personalize your B2B digital marketing campaigns for each target account, you should consider a partnership with a B2B marketing agency like ComboApp, which can help you achieve your business goals with comprehensive digital marketing solutions aimed to engage your target market, be it B2B or B2C, and produce tangible growth results.

4. Advanced Reporting and Data Visualization

B2B digital marketing experts today have access to such massive quantities of data that they sometimes struggle to make sense of it. Yes, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and other similar reporting tools have been around for some time now, but they represent only one category of reporting and data visualization tools.

Newer tools such as Google Data Studio make it possible to connect data from spreadsheets, Analytics, Google Ads, Google BigQuery, and other sources and unlock its power with interactive dashboards and engaging reports. Without any code or queries, Google Data Studio can transform your raw data into the metrics and dimensions so that you can arm the right people with the knowledge they need to make the right marketing decisions.

Google Data Studio b2b marketing tool

Large B2B companies with equally large advertising budgets can explore machine learning for marketing analytics. Despite still having a long way to go, machine learning can already help B2B marketers create new revenue streams, optimize their content, and reduce marketing waste.

5. Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising, the automated transaction of buying and selling advertising online, has become the dominant form of digital advertising, and experts predict that about two-thirds of all digital ads are now programmatic, reaching around $84.9 billion.

The chief objective of programmatic advertising is to use analytics data to automate the bidding process and increase ad relevance. You can think of it as the next evolutionary stage of traditional ad buying methods to purchase ad spots.

The process itself is fairly easy to understand: A visitor lands on a website that serves programmatic advertising. Instantly, automated bidding begins to serve an ad to this particular visitor. After analyzing information on the ad space and the visitor (geography, demographics, interests, etc.), advertisers select the most suitable ad space and ad variation. This entire process happens in just a few milliseconds and without any human intervention whatsoever.

For B2B marketers, programmatic advertising is a great way of how to spend their advertising budgets more wisely and achieve better conversion rates. Over the next few years, programmatic advertising is expected to overshadow all other forms of advertising, and those who learn how to take advantage of it now will be positioned for success later.

6. Chatbots for B2B Lead Generation

Chatbots are software applications that use artificial intelligence to conduct conversations with users in natural language. Such applications are increasingly often being deployed on messaging applications and websites to help customers with common issues, but they can also be used for effective data mining and smart lead generation.

Based on sophisticated behavior analytics, a chatbot can engage a visitor at the best possible moment and offer a personalized solution. A single chatbot can chat with multiple visitors at the same time, speeding up resolution times and saving precious time for customer service professionals.

chatbots for b2b marketing

Most large enterprises have either already invested or are planning to invest in chatbots, and smaller companies are expected to follow suit very soon, as the technology becomes more accessible. By 2024, the chatbot market is expected to reach $9.4 billion, up from $2.6 billion in 2019, a compound annual growth rate of 29.7%.

7. Greater Emphasis on Mobile Apps

According to Usablenet, 78% of B2B companies believe that mobile devices and B2B e-commerce mobile apps are the future of their industry, which is why research firm Strategy Analytics predicts that growing demand will drive the B2B apps market to $140 billion by 2023, a staggering figure considering that there was barely any B2B apps market a decade ago.

B2B companies use mobile apps to sell products and services and share information about them, notify their customers and business partners of upcoming conferences, trade fairs, and expos, deliver software updates, provide customer support, and much more.

Mobile apps boost loyalty because they are always available with a single tap and can deliver push notifications with special promotions and discount coupons. They also improve efficiency and customer experience because they can take full advantage of platform-specific features. A well-designed mobile app can be much faster than a website with similar content and features, and it can remain accessible even without access to the internet.

The mere existence of a mobile app places the company behind it on the digital map and signals a certain level of trustworthiness and industry relevance. Today, developing a mobile app is more affordable than ever thanks to modern mobile app development frameworks like React Native, Ionic, Xamarin, and Adobe PhoneGap, just to name a few.

8. High-Quality Content

Content is the king—it always was, and it always will be. Last year, 41% of advertising budgets were spent solely on content marketing, and everyone who is familiar with the average conversion rate of a well-executed content marketing campaign understands why.

What all marketers who are tasked with B2B content marketing in 2020 need to realize is that not all content is created equal. In the past, search engines were not that smart, and they would happily index content without any substance or value behind it. That’s no longer the case today.

All major search engines are implementing quality algorithms aimed at helping their users find sites with high-quality content. In the future, it’s likely that artificial intelligence will be in charge of search engine quality control, making it impossible to rank high for websites with low-quality content.

As a B2B company, it’s in your best interest to come up with a well-thought-out B2B content marketing strategy as soon as possible. Figure out what your potential customers care about, what they want to know, and what obstacles they struggle to overcome. Use the information you gather to create an engaging multi-layered content plan that includes text, images, and video.

9. Email Marketing Is Here to Stay

For an advertising channel that’s nearly 40 years old, email remains exceptionally popular when it comes to B2B online marketing in 2020. In fact, 83% of marketers use it as their preferred mode of communication with businesses.

Email marketing is popular because it’s effective. 59% of B2B marketers say it’s their most lucrative channel in terms of revenue generation, and 80% of retail professionals indicate that email marketing has the greatest positive influence on customer retention of all advertising channels.

Marketers can thank smartphones for these encouraging numbers because open rates for email on smartphones have risen by over 40% in the last few years, while open rates on desktop computers dropped by over 18%.

On smartphones, incoming emails announce themselves with push notifications, and it takes a single double-tap to open them. Thanks to mobile data, smartphone users can receive, read, and respond to emails anywhere and at any time of the day.

10. Up-to-Date SEO Practices

It’s estimated that Google makes between 500 and 600 changes to its search algorithms a year. Many of these changes reflect the constantly evolving nature of the internet, but some are meant to increase the accuracy of Google’s search results and punish bad players who use blackhat marketing practices. What’s clear is that you must constantly update your SEO practices to avoid being left behind.

In 2020, your SEO strategy should take advantage of featured snippets, which are special boxes that show short selections of text above all other search results. Over 50% of clicks from Google originate from featured snippets, so ignoring them is guaranteed to cost you a lot of potential customers.

best b2b marketing strategies

To have a chance of being selected by search engines for featured snippets, your website must be secure and use the HTTPS protocol. If you’re collecting personal information from visitors, make sure that you’re handling it responsibly and in accordance with privacy regulations like GDPR.

Because featured snippets play a huge role in voice search, it’s a good idea to optimize your content for conversational searches, which tend to be more specific, pointed, and personally relevant. Such searches are performed with the help of intelligent personal voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Voice Assistant, and Apple Siri.

Conclusion

Technology has revolutionized every aspect of our lives, including the way businesses market their products and services to other businesses. The 2020 B2B marketing trends and strategies highlighted in this article paint a picture of a rapidly evolving industry where opportunities abound for those who manage to stay a few steps ahead of the pack. ComboApp is here to help you capture these opportunities and aid you with the implementation of a B2B digital marketing strategy that creates real business impact.

ComboApp is a full-cycle B2B marketing agency that provides a broad spectrum of services, ranging from app and web development and design to SEO and marketing promotion, making it a one-stop-shop for all companies that would like to take their marketing efforts to the next level without spending large sums of money on recruiting and maintaining in-house marketing teams.

Simply call us at 773.305.0886 or click on the Contact Us button in the header of this site and accelerate your growth through innovative digital solutions.
 

FAQs

What is B2B web marketing?

B2B web marketing refers to the marketing of products or services to other businesses and organizations utilizing online tools and resources.

What is the difference between B2B and B2C marketing?

Both ultimately mean selling products or services to people, but the key differences between the two include length of the decision making process, number of involved stakeholders, and length of relationship.

What is B2B content marketing?

B2B content marketing is the process of creating, publishing, and distributing content with the goal of expanding your business’s audience, strengthening and developing brand affinity, and ultimately driving leads and sales by appealing to other businesses.

What are the best B2B marketing strategies?

– Display Advertising
– Contextual Advertising
– Email marketing
– SEO
– Online branding.

What are the best B2B marketing tools?

– CRM | SalesForce
– Marketing automation | HubSpot
– Social sharing | Hootsuite
– Video Hosting | Wistia
– Webinars | GoToWebinar
– Interactive Charts | Infogram
– Live chat | JivoChat
– Sales Collateral | Stencil
– Analytics | Google Analytics.

Why is it recommended to invest in B2B digital marketing?

Investing in digital marketing and establishing a digital presence became crucial for B2B companies who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 situation and are looking for new customer acquisition channels.

According to Mill For Business’s research, 547,000 new websites were launched every 24 hours in 2019. The number is staggering, isn’t it? Given how many new sites are added every day, it’s understandable that many website owners wonder how to promote a new website when established competitors have more authoritative domains that naturally rank better in search engines.

What are the chances of getting your new site to rank on the first page in Google search? How long does it take for Google to index a new website? What are the SEO steps for a new website launch? Is it even worth marketing a website if it is less than six months old?

Continue reading to get answers to these and other questions on how to SEO your website. We have put together a new website SEO checklist that will tell you how to get your website on Google and achieve high rankings.

SEO Checklist #1: Semantic SEO. Keyword Research For New Website Launch

Semantic SEO is a marketing technique aimed to improve website traffic by using metadata and semantically relevant content that clearly answers specific search queries.

The first step in semantic SEO is researching the semantic core—a list of phrases and words, describing the type of goods and/or services offered on the website, and, at the same time, matching the search intents of your target audience.

The purpose of this is to identify the low-volume and high-volume search queries, and use them to achieve a higher search engine ranking.

However, never forget that more important than any item on our SEO checklist for new websites is writing content for actual readers—not search engines.

Make sure that your copy sticks to the topic and all the keyword phrases are relevant and used naturally as part of the content. Maintain a keyword “density” between 1% and 3% to prevent your content from looking spammy. There are a number of SEO tools to help you find the best keywords, including Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, and SEMRush.

Let’s take a closer look at the search for “digital marketing” topic in one of the best semantic SEO tools, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, and explain how to SEO your website with it.

how to SEO your website with Ahrefs tool

Search volume represents the average monthly number of searches for the keyword in the selected country. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer shows that, on average, people search for the term “digital marketing” 65,000 times per month in the US. Therefore, we can consider this keyword to be a high-volume one. At the same time, global volume for the term “digital marketing” accounts for 546,000 monthly searches worldwide, so ranking on the first page in Google search for this keyword is likely to result in a substantial traffic from various countries.

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer also provides an option to explore multiple keyword ideas relevant to the term “digital marketing”. For example, the “Having same terms” section shows you all possible keyword combinations that contain the term “digital marketing”. Suggested phrases in this section include “digital marketing agency” with 10,000 monthly searches in the US, “what is digital marketing” with 9,300 searches, etc.

The “Also rank for” section shows all the keywords that the top 10 ranking pages for your target keyword also rank for. This section is very useful for getting new ideas on the other keywords and phrases relevant to your target search. For example, if your content is dedicated to “digital marketing”, you may also consider using terms such as “online marketing” and “internet marketing”.

semantic SEO with Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

Once you have compiled a list of relevant keywords, you can start developing content for every page of your site. It’s important to keep in mind that your text copy should be unique, useful, and up to date. It’s also recommended to mix text with other types of content, such as custom images and videos. If the site copy has already been written, you will need to update it by including semantic keywords and phrases as a part of your new website SEO.

SEO Checklist #2: Technical SEO. Conduct a Technical Audit of Your Website

Technical SEO refers to the task of optimizing a website for crawling and indexing. However, it can also include any technical process aimed to improve search visibility, such as mobile optimization, structured data markup, page speed optimization, etc. A technical SEO audit is the very foundation of all SEO efforts.

You can check your site for having “technical errors” using such SEO tools as Screaming Frog SEO Spider, Site Audit tool by Ahrefs, Google Search Console, Majestic, and others.

Technical SEO checklist:

  • All web pages should respond with 200 OK success status. Make sure you don’t have pages that result in 4xx (page not found) and 5xx (server error) response codes. Below is an example of how to find web pages with such errors in the Screaming Frog SEO tool.

technical SEO audit with Screaming Frog SEO Spider

  • All web pages should have SEO meta tags, including page title, meta description, H1/H2/H3, etc. Meta tags are invisible tags providing information about your page to website visitors and search engines, and they should be included in every basic SEO checklist. Meta tags should comply with the search engines’ recommendations, be unique, and contain the target keywords. Don’t underestimate the importance of filling out the required meta tags for every page of your site even if it contains more than 100 pages.
  • Check out the loading speed of your website. We recommend using PageSpeed Insights tool to analyze your site speed performance. This web tool was specifically created by Google to help you identify ways to make your site perform better and be more mobile-friendly.

website SEO checklist includes PageSpeed optimization

PageSpeed Insights tool will define exactly what issues are slowing your website down and provide recommendations on how to fix them. Keep in mind that fixing all issues and hitting the “yellow” or “green” page speed zone is just as important part of search engine optimization as having a good content strategy and checking all marks on your new website launch checklist.

  • Check if your web pages are mobile-friendly. Since July 1, 2019, all new websites are indexed using Google’s mobile-first indexing. You can check if your site’s pages are mobile-friendly using Google Mobile-Friendly Test. During this test, Googlebot analyzes how your mobile users see your web page. If the page passes the test, you will see a green message saying, “Page is mobile-friendly”.

Google mobile-friendly test for SEO audit

In case your website does not pass the test, the tool will give you the reasons why it failed and what it recommends you to do to fix the problem.

  • Make sure you don’t have duplicate content. In other words, this refers to content that might be replicated within your website or on other web domains. If your website structure presumes duplicate content, it can be addressed with canonical link elements or redirects, depending on the cause.
  • Make sure your website has a correct sitemap.xml file. A Sitemap is an XML file providing search engines with an efficient list of all live URLs on a site. You will need to make sure that this file doesn’t contain non-existing pages or pages with redirects and duplicate content. Another important file is robots.txt, and you need to make sure that it’s configured correctly.

Robots.txt is a text file used to instruct web robots (search engine robots) how to crawl pages on the website. These directives specify which parts of the site should be hidden from search engines. In case there are no applicable directives, search engines will crawl the entire website.

We also recommend indicating the location of any sitemaps associated with your domain at the bottom of this file. You may check Robots.txt specifications from Google for more details on how to create this file correctly and how to SEO your website with it.

  • Build an SEO-friendly website architecture with internal links. Internal links connect pages on your website with each other. Overall it gives Google an idea of your site’s structure and gives more link value to its most useful and valuable pages. Check out the best practices of internal linking from Yoast.

To make sure that your site is fully technically SEO optimized and all items on your new website launch checklist are completed, you may need a review from an SEO agency such as ComboApp. ComboApp SEO Strategy team has extensive experience in running technical SEO audits, managing new website launches and new website promotions, as well as optimizing sites of varying complexity for search engines. Experts at ComboApp know how to market a new website in any industry and deliver guaranteed results.

SEO Checklist #3: SEO Link Building. Develop an External Link Building Strategy

When your brand-new website is ready to go live, you may be asking, “How long does it take for Google to index a new website?” On average it takes from 4 days to 4 weeks for Google to fully index a website. However, if the site contains more than 1000 pages, it may take from 2 to 4 months to crawl and index all pages.

To check if your web pages have already been indexed by Google search engine or not, you need to sign in to Google Search Console. Select the URL Inspection section from the left menu. Then, enter the web page URL you want to check in the search bar at the top. If this page has already been indexed by Google, you will see a message saying, “URL is on Google”.

how long does it take for Google to index a new website

Once you have completed semantic and technical SEO and made sure that the site pages are indexed by major search engines, it’s a good time to develop and implement a link building strategy to boost your new website SEO.

Link building for the purposes of new website SEO doesn’t have to be aggressive. In fact, you need to create links to your content as naturally as possible. It is recommended to gather links from web resources of various types, such as forums, social media platforms, questions and answers sites, catalogs and web directories, etc.

Another great tip is to avoid the overuse of “anchor” links. Anchor text refers to the clickable words used to link one web page to another (Ahrefs). For a new website SEO, it is recommended to create a small number of keyword anchor links while increasing the number of links without anchor text (so called “naked” URLs), when the URL is entirely visible to the content readers.

The HTML code for a naked link should be like this <a href=”https://www.yourwebsite.com”></a>. To make it look more natural for search engines, it’s also recommended to create brand anchor links such as “your website name”, “your product name” and generic anchor links such as “click here”, “view more”, etc.

Let’s dive deeper into the main types of websites that you can use to collect links for your site in the early stages to help you better understand how to get your website on Google.

3.1. Sign Up for Catalogs and Web Directories

For a new website SEO, we recommend you start with manual submission to the most relevant and useful web directories. Create a thorough description of your business, include a link to your home page, add images, and include other information that potential customers and clients might find useful. There are a number of lists of the best web directories and catalogs in 2020, such as this one.

As we have mentioned before, if you are wondering how to promote a new website and how to get your website on Google, you need to remember that you need to carefully choose the most relevant, authoritative, and trustworthy domains to get links from during the early stages of your website’s presence on the internet.

For example, it is highly recommended to add your company to Google My Business and Bing Places. This will help you get trust from search engines and potential clients, increase visibility on local search results, attract new clients, and drive sales. Here is a great guide for getting the most out of your Google My Business listing.

3.2. Create Member Profiles on Relevant Forums

Many forums let you add a link to your website when you fill in your member profile. As a result, you will get a dofollow or nofollow link in the profile itself, and, in most cases, you will also be able to add a website link to your forum signature. This way, each time you create a community post, your website link will appear in your signature after the post message.

It is a good practice to participate in the conversations which are relevant to your business or product. You will be able to recommend other forum members to test your product or service and encourage them to share their experience with other members. You will not only get real user feedback but also create quality backlinks to your domain. Just like with web directories, make sure to choose the most relevant forums during the first months after your new website launch to make it look more natural.

3.3. Get “Profile Backlinks”

Many websites allow members to add a website/blog link on their profiles. All you need to do is to spend some time creating profiles and linking to your domain. Some websites to consider are About.me, Crunchbase, Foursquare, etc. You can easily find many more similar sites on the internet. We recommend you check this comprehensive list from LateNightBirds and add the most relevant ones to your SEO checklist for new websites.

3.4. Get Quality Backlinks from Guest Posts for Your New Website SEO

“Guest posting” refers to the practice of writing a blog post for a site other than your own to build links and gain exposure for your brand. One of the link building tactics is reaching out to websites and blogs relevant to your niche (healthcare, finance, technology, education, lifestyle, etc.) and asking for an opportunity to submit your guest post. In case this option is available, you will be provided with the requirements to the text such as its length, preferable topic, uniqueness, number of links allowed and others.

During the first months of your new website SEO, it is not recommended to order a lot of sponsored guest posts (on a paid basis) even if you have a sufficient marketing budget. Instead, build your young website backlinks profile slowly and continuously while choosing websites for guest posting that are relevant to your niche.

3.5. Reach Out to Journalists

Reach out to journalists and bloggers who write in your niche and may be interested in testing your product/service or mentioning your business in an article. You may google relevant keyword phrases and check the “News” section to see the most recent articles featuring the selected keyword.

Another simple method of how to advertise new websites with the help of journalists is to analyze your competitors’ backlinks. For example, in Ahrefs SEO tool you will be able to review all domains referring to your competitor and choose posts covering their business or product. After that, you will need to find contacts of the authors of those posts and reach out to them with your pitch.

how to get your website on Google with Ahrefs SEO tool

This link building method will be worth the effort and could bring you quality backlinks from authoritative and trustworthy domains if you find the right journalist or blogger who covers your niche, making it an absolute staple of any basic SEO checklist.

Another option on how to get news about the recent articles on your topic is to set up Google Alerts. You will need to choose keywords and keyword phrases to track in Google Alerts and set how often you want to receive a selection of new articles. For example, you can track your competitors’ names and get a notification when someone writes about your competitor. There will be a good opportunity to reach out to this journalist and ask about the possibility of adding your business/product as an alternative solution.

SEO Checklist #4: Social Media SEO. Be Active on Social Media

This article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning how to get your website on Google by leveraging social media for search engine optimization. There are several reasons why you need to actively manage the social media pages of your business or product, and we would like to highlight the most important of them:

  • Social Media Builds Authority and Brand Trust. These are the platforms where you can engage your target audience, interact with your potential customers, and provide expertise. You can also gain new ideas from communicating with people who use your product or service.
  • Social Media Content Gets Indexed. Of course, it doesn’t mean all your tweets or posts on social media will be indexed by Google. It should be relevant enough so that your content can be found by people searching for this topic. The more comments and other types of engagement your blog or post gets, the faster search engines will find such content because of the social factor.
  • Scale Your Social Media Exposure to Boost Traffic. Participate in relevant groups and tell people about your business and how it can satisfy their needs. Remember that people spent an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes per day on social media in 2019. So, there’s a great opportunity to find your potential customers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

Aside from traditional social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, it is highly recommended to create profiles at Quora and Reddit and promote them as well. These question-and-answer and discussion platforms are sources of enormous traffic. Imagine that Quora has 300 million monthly active users while 1.2 billion comments were added in Reddit in 2018.

You will need to search for relevant topics or questions and share your expertise while recommending your business or product where appropriate. This marketing strategy will not only bring your new website quality backlinks, but it will also drive potential leads and clients to you, making it one of the most important SEO steps for a new website promotion.

SEO Checklist #5: Content Development For New Website SEO. Write Blog Posts Regularly

Building links becomes much easier when you have content worth linking to, and blogging stats confirm this statement: companies who blog receive 97% more links to their sites while the best length for a blog post is 1,600 words, which takes around seven minutes to read (SEO Tribunal).

You don’t have to write a certain number of blog posts each month. However, there is a clear positive correlation—the more blog posts you publish per month, the more traffic you’ll get to your website. According to HubSpot research, companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5x more traffic than companies that published between 0 and 4 monthly posts. Let’s take a closer look at how to do SEO for website step-by-step with SEO content development.

Choose the topics for your blog posts based on the list of keywords that you’ve already created during the semantic SEO for a new website. Try to include only one keyword group in your blog post. There is no need to use the same or very similar keywords in multiple posts. Google search engine understands which words are synonyms and expects all posts to be unique, useful, and SEO optimized.

For instance, if you want to write about project management tools, you don’t need to create separate posts about the “best project management software” and “best project management tools” as these keyword phrases are synonyms. It is a much better idea to write one blog post about the “best project management software for Mac” and another one for the “best project management tools for Windows”.

Developing site content featuring insightful and interesting information will increase your chances of getting organic backlinks from independent journalists. If they find your content useful enough, they will likely quote your article and link to it. Therefore, conduct research, share your expertise, and create content that others will want to link to.

Do not forget to share your posts on social media accounts and other professional content sharing platforms.

SEO Checklist #6: Off-page SEO Strategy. Analyze your competitors’ backlinks profiles

One of the tips on how to promote a new website launch is to analyze the backlinks of your main competitors. You can use the Ahrefs SEO tool to get information about which domains link to your competitor’s website. You will need to add this website to the search field and click “Referring domains” in the menu bar on the left. By changing the “Link type”, you will be able to choose domains only with dofollow links which are more useful for search engine optimization as they transfer so-called “link juice” (share the authority of the referring domain). Getting backlinks from such domains would be your priority goal in order to build your own strong backlinks profile.

off-page SEO strategy for new website SEO

When analyzing your competitor’s backlinks profile, you may group referring domains in the following way:

  1. Dedicated reviews and mentions in posts. Here you can see all the articles featuring your competitor and try to send your pitch to their authors. You may ask them to test your product/service and add it to the old article as an alternative solution. The other option is to feature your product or service in a dedicated review. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a sponsored post. Try to find the journalist who will really want to try your product and share comments and honest opinion about it for free.
  2. Catalogs and other web directories. Look for the catalogs and directories your competitor has a profile on and create your business or product listing there as well.
  3. Forums. Find out if there were any discussions about your competitor on relevant forums. Explore forums threads and messages containing the backlinks to your competitor website and try to post a reply recommending your product or service as an alternative solution. Make sure that your member profile looks natural to avoid getting banned. Add your picture and other information and post several messages in other threads without promoting your website.
  4. Any other categories of the websites linking back to your competitors. Make an assumption that all the domains referring to your competitors, whether this is a Web 2.0 website or a Q&A platform, or any other site type, would be a good fit for the backlink to your site as well. All you need is to find out how the backlink to your competitor was created and replicate it. Consider your competitors’ backlinks as tips for your link building strategy.

Conclusion

Assuming that your new website is fully optimized and demonstrates positive user behavior patterns, while both on-page SEO and off-page SEO are done correctly, there are high chances of ranking in Google’s Top 100 for low-volume keywords in a couple of months.

The next important question will be, “How well does your website satisfy users’ search intent for these low-volume keywords?” Search engines will consider the following metrics: how much time users spend on your web pages, do they continue browsing other websites from the Top list after visiting your site, do the users switch to the other pages of your website and how long they stay on those pages, etc.

If most of the above-mentioned factors have a positive value, your website will start ranking for middle-volume keywords and high-volume keywords afterward.

We are confident that getting your new website to rank in Google search in a couple of months is a realistic goal. However, in order to make this happen, strategic planning and consistently precise tactical execution are required. Don’t have time or resources to do it yourself – hire our experienced SEO professionals to do the “heavy lifting”, so you can focus on a bigger picture.

Simply call us at 773.305.0886 or click on the Contact Us button in the header of this site. Whether you need help with promoting a new website or an existing business, we look forward to putting our SEO experience and expertise at your service.

The way we interact with the web is constantly changing. Before smartphones took over, the vast majority of search queries came from desktop computers. Now, the search landscape is in the middle of yet another dramatic transformation, with increasingly many queries coming from various voice-controlled devices and applications, such as virtual assistants, smart speakers, and car systems with support for speech recognition.

The rise of voice search was predicted years ago. In 2018, Forbes contributor Gabriel Shaoolian forecast that 30 percent of all website sessions would be conducted without a screen as a result of improvements in audio technology and speech recognition. Indeed, we’re now surrounded by devices that constantly listen to our questions and commands, constantly ready to answer.

But is your business ready for the era of voice search SEO? Do you know how to optimize for voice search and turn user queries into leads and paying customers? By learning and implementing some of the most effective voice search optimization strategies in 2020, you’ll become able to reach the ears of customers in your local area and around the world.

What Is Voice Search SEO?

Google, Bing, and Yandex are at the center of the modern web. They represent the starting points of most online journeys, and some people even think they’re the internet itself. According to recent statistics, Google now processes approximately 40,000 user queries every second, or a little over 3.5 billion searches per day.

In the past, virtually all queries were entered by typing, first on desktop computers and then on mobile devices. Now, users can surf the web through spoken commands thanks to voice search engines implemented by all leading search providers.

For businesses whose customers arrive mainly from search engines, voice commands change the game dramatically.

When you type a query into Google, you receive a whole page of results sorted by their relevance, and it’s up to you to select which website you want to see. That’s not how voice search works. In this case, the answer to your query is automatically pulled from the featured snippet, which is a special box that sits above all other search results and contains a concise, direct answer to the user’s query.

Whereas normal search results are selected based on ranking factors such as domain age, keywords, content length, page loading speed, image optimization, content recency, link quality, grammar and spelling, and hundreds of others, the featured snippet is selected chiefly based on its ability to completely answer the user’s query.

Develop SEO strategy for marketing a product

Businesses that embrace voice search marketing and optimize their website content can skip straight to the first place in search results, earning them guaranteed visitors who most likely won’t bother checking other sites.

The Growing Importance of Voice Search SEO

A report from Juniper Research estimates that there will be 8 billion digital voice assistants in use by 2023, up from the 2.5 billion in use at the end of 2018. Already, 71 percent of those surveyed by PWC would rather use their voice assistant than type in the query on their desktop computer or mobile device.

The fact that so many people would rather search by voice has everything to do with our natural preference for speech over typing. A query such as “What’s the weather today?” seems completely natural because that’s exactly what we would say when asking a friend for the same information. On the other hand, typing something like “weather today in Chicago” into Google instantly reminds us that we’re interacting with a computer program.

Besides feeling more natural, searching by voice is also faster and less distracting. When driving on a busy highway, would you rather ask Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri to give you the directions to the nearest rest stop or fumble for your smartphone and risk getting yourself and other people injured? Even when cooking dinner, it’s much more convenient to ask a voice assistant for advice than look for it the old-fashion way, with hands messy from cooking.

The number of voice-enabled devices in the average household will only continue to increase and motivate people of all ages to search by voice. Businesses that would like to capitalize on the latest voice search trends must start optimizing their websites right now before everyone else catches up, and competition becomes too fierce.

How to Optimize for Voice Search? 5 Proven Strategies for 2020

You don’t need to become a voice search SEO expert to improve your website ranking and gain more visitors. Some of the most effective voice search optimization strategies in 2020 are just as easy to implement as changing voice search settings on a mobile device.

1. Answer Commonly Asked Questions

Multiple surveys have revealed that people who use voice commands feel like they’re talking to a friend. They’re much more likely to use natural language and ask longer questions. If you run a plumbing business, make sure your website directly answers questions such as “How to fix a leaking faucet?” or “What should I do when my dishwasher is leaking?”

These and other similar questions are exactly what someone who’s in the middle of an emergency would ask a voice assistant to find help as quickly as possible. Likewise, you can implement the same strategy as the owner of a food and recipe website, answering questions such as “What temperature should cooked chicken be?” or “How to prepare tofu?”

how to optimize for voice search with FAQ structured data markup

You can even create a dedicated FAQ page with multiple questions and answers. Just make sure to focus on conversational, long-tail keyword phrases because most voice queries involve the use of natural language. However, just because both the questions and the answers to them should have a conversational tone doesn’t mean you can throw grammar out the window. Likewise, all questions have the right HTML tags around them (typically <h2> or <h3>) to make it easier for search engines to find them.

2. Perfect Your Local SEO

It’s a known fact that 22 percent of voice queries are looking for location-based content. When a person asks Siri, “Where’s the nearest hairdresser?” she’s not interested in hairdressers in another city or even on the other side of the city where she lives regardless of how much content they have on their site and how many high-authority backlinks they’ve gathered over the years. She’s interested in the hairdresser who’s actually the closest to her.

Start by setting up your Google My Business profile. The more information you include in your public profile, the better. Your customers will want to know your exact business address, contact details, and opening hours. You should have the same information published on your website and social media to reinforce its accuracy and relevancy.

optimize for voice search with google my business

When creating content for your website, make sure to include local keywords, such as the name of your city. Instead of publishing an article titled “5 hairstyle tips for women,” use a title that will speak more directly to customers who live in your local area, such as “5 hairstyle tips for women to survive Chicago weather.”

3. Make Your Website Faster

Currently, most people use voice queries on mobile devices. Often, they’re connected to the internet using mobile data, and they have no interest in visiting websites that don’t provide a polished mobile experience. Voice search engines understand this, and they prioritize websites that are responsive, load fast, avoid Flash, and use structured data, among other things.

Google’s Mobile Friendly Test provides what’s arguably the most straightforward way to determine if a website is deemed mobile-friendly. There’s also Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which gives useful advice on how to make websites perform better on mobile devices.

page load speed optimization for voice search seo

If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website at the moment, and you’re determined to fix this issue, remember that it’s always better to start from the ground up instead of hosting a separate version of your website for mobile devices. A single responsive website will always be easier and cheaper to maintain instead of two versions of the same site.

Once you have a solid foundation to build on, you can experiment with content caching, content delivery networks, and other performance-optimization methods. It may seem like a lot of effort for slightly faster page load times, but you need to remember that every additional second makes it much more likely for your visitors to close your site and visit your competition instead.

4. Embrace Structured Data

Voice search engines work hard to understand the content of web pages and select the most relevant information. You can make this difficult job easier for them by adding structured data code to your HTML markup. Here’s Google’s example of structured data that you may find on a contact page:

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "Organization",
  "url": "http://www.example.com",
  "name": "Unlimited Ball Bearings Corp.",
  "contactPoint": {
    "@type": "ContactPoint",
    "telephone": "+1-401-555-1212",
    "contactType": "Customer service"
  }
}
</script>

Structured data makes it possible for search engines to create rich snippets, which are known to receive a lot more clicks than regular top results.

Structured data formats typically use schema.org vocabulary, and each major search engine provides its own documentation that’s specific to its web crawlers. Google makes things really easy for web developers with its Structured Data Testing Tool, which checks structured data code and flags any errors it encounters.

voice search seo using structured data

5. Create Valuable Content

Anyone who knows anything about SEO will tell you that the only timeless voice search SEO strategy is to produce valuable content. Yes, there are many ways how you can nudge search engines toward your site, but they all amount to very little unless your site is packed with articles people want to read, products they want to buy, and services they would be more than happy to pay for.

Conclusion

Voice query is the latest chapter in the evolution of search engines, allowing users to obtain information from the web with natural voice commands. As is always the case when the search paradigm changes, voice search SEO gives businesses an enormous opportunity to get their websites featured at the very top of search results. The key is to get started with voice search optimization before everyone else does.

For a limited time, ComboApp is offering free SEO audits to marketers interested in taking their SEO and content strategy to the next level. Interested? Let’s talk.

Education marketing is a type of marketing that promotes valuable educational content and helps institutions and individuals take advantage of it.

Educational content includes everything from courses and how-to videos to research papers and books to software applications for desktop computers and mobile devices. With the right education marketing strategy, educational content can spread like wildfire and ignite curious minds from all over the world.

In this article, we explain the top education marketing strategies that professionals in the education sector need to know about in 2020, providing several specific examples to consider when planning marketing activities this year.

Why Does the Education Sector Need Education Marketing?

The education sector has been experiencing a massive boom thanks to the numerous opportunities created by the internet and modern technologies in general. According to Orbis research, the global e-learning market worldwide is set to surpass $275 billion value by 2022, driven largely by the escalation in the number of internet users and growing access to broadband internet and mobile phones with online capabilities.

Traditional educational institutions, as well as private developers, have so far released over 500,000 educational apps, many of which are available on the App Store and Google Play. Besides education apps, the e-learning market is also saturated with online courses, videos, eBooks, and websites, making it very difficult for new players to get noticed.

Education marketing’s purpose is to implement various marketing strategies to promote valuable educational content. And it is often the only way for new educational content to reach students and gain traction.

Education marketing shouldn’t be confused with education-based marketing, a specific marketing strategy that involves the education of prospects, rather than pitching them, to establish trust. On the other hand, education marketing encompasses all marketing activities in the education sector, including the following:

  • School marketing: There was a time when schools didn’t need marketing because they relied solely on their reputation and word of mouth. That time is forever gone because millennial parents are more tech-savvy and use the internet to support their decision making. Schools that don’t actively market themselves are destined to be ignored by many millennial parents who would otherwise be greatly interested in what they have to offer.
  • Marketing for higher education: Education marketing and higher education are a match made in heaven. Colleges and universities benefit from marketing for higher education because it helps them elevate their brand and drives enrollment. Students benefit from it because higher education marketing helps them make the right choice when choosing their education path.
  • Digital marketing for the education sector: In today’s digital world, traditional marketing strategies are no longer suitable for targeting younger demographics. Educational institutions must embrace digital channels if they want to convey their message to a large audience in a cost-effective manner. Such channels include email, web content, social media, paid search, and others. Harnessing these and other marketing channels is not easy, but the potential to greatly increase revenue and decrease cost per lead is huge, making digital marketing an important cornerstone of every education marketing strategy.
  • Social media marketing for educational institutions: Parents and students alike spend a lot of time on social media sites, and educational institutions should establish a presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to engage with them and learn more about their wants and expectations. Content published on social media should be bite-sized, captivating, and in line with the image the institution is trying to build.
  • The promotion of educational apps: The current educational app market is so competitive that it’s no longer enough just to have a great product—one must also have a great educational marketing strategy that is executed to perfection to get ahead of the competition.

While leading providers of marketing services to educational institutions, such as ComboApp, often use education-based marketing when promoting education services and products, the fact remains that it is just one of many effective education marketing strategies that can be used in 2020.

5 Best Education Marketing Strategies in 2020

The best education marketing strategies in 2020—regardless of whether they’re used in marketing for schools or in marketing for educational apps—take advantage of the tremendous opportunities created by the internet.

That’s not to say that traditional advertising strategies, such as billboards, flyers and brochures, print ads, and face to face meetings, have no place in the digital era, but their return on investment makes them far less attractive than modern digital marketing strategies.

Best education marketing strategies in 2020

1. Use Social Media Platforms to Connect with Your Audience

There are now approximately 3.2 billion social media users worldwide, which equates to about 42 percent of the population. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit are the most popular among millennials, followed by Gen Z, Gen X, and baby boomers.

Since their early days, social media platforms have matured in every way imaginable, and they now provide a myriad of different ways how they can be used in higher education marketing. Regardless of which social media platform you decide to target, your goal should always be the same: establish meaningful connections with your target audience by providing engaging content.

It’s helpful to create a social media marketing (SMM) persona to represent your target audience. The marketing persona should include information such as age, gender, education, goals, challenges, and primary values. When deciding what content to create, always keep your social media persona in mind but don’t be afraid to experiment.

Collection of relevant data

As you build your social media following, you gradually reach a position where a single piece of content can instantly reach millions even if your actual follower count is much lower. Unlike other schools marketing methods, SMM lets you see exactly who’s sharing your content, providing you with useful information that you can use to tweak your promotional efforts.

2. Include Digital Advertising in Your Marketing Budget

Digital advertising can be a very effective way of marketing education services, which is part of the reason why worldwide digital advertising spending is predicted to reach over $375 billion by 2021. eMarketer, the company behind this mind-blowing statistic projects that advertisers in the United States will spend 54.2 percent of their advertising budgets on digital ads. By 2023, that figure is expected to reach 66.8 percent.

The biggest advantage digital advertising offers over traditional advertising is precise targeting based on demographics, intent, engagement patterns, and other things. For example, a higher education marketing agency that’s marketing for schools can target only graduate students who live in a certain area and have in the past shown an interest in a certain product or service. Such targeting can have an incredibly positive effect on the click-through rate of advertising campaigns as well as all other important metrics.

History of data-driven marketing

Some of the most commonly used digital advertising channels in 2020 include search engine advertising, social media advertising, display or banner ads, and video ads. Each of these channels has its pros and cons, which is why advertising experts generally recommend using a mix of all channels.

Regardless of how much of your marketing budget you dedicate to digital advertising, make sure to gather as much data as possible so you can monitor its effectiveness and make educated decisions to improve it.

3. Create a Mobile-Friendly Website with an Optimized Landing Page

It has been several years since the number of mobile internet users has exceeded the number of people who access the internet from desktop computers and laptops. In 2020, the number of smartphone users worldwide is projected to reach 2.87 billion, which means that nobody who wants to succeed in education marketing can afford to not have a mobile-friendly website with an optimized landing page.

For a website to be mobile-friendly, it must look and feel great on mobile devices, which means that all links and navigation elements must be easily clickable, the site itself must be responsive, and page loading times shouldn’t exceed three seconds (that’s how quickly a half of the online population expects a website to load).

In 2020, it’s also worth considering using AMP, which is a web component framework and a website publishing technology developed by Google that provides a straightforward way to create web pages that are fast, smooth-loading, and prioritize user-experience above everything else.

If nothing else, make sure your website passes Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, whose purpose is to determine how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device.

Google's mobile-friendly test

To use it, enter the URL of your website and wait for the tool to finish testing. Mobile-Friendly Test will tell you whether your website is or isn’t mobile-friendly, and it will also provide you a detailed overview of all the page loading issues it has encountered so you can fix them.

4. Encourage Students to Leave Online Reviews

It’s a well-known fact at this point that 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business or paying for a service. That’s why online reviews should be an integral part of all higher education marketing strategies.

The best way how to encourage students to leave online reviews is to make the review process as easy as possible. Better yet: make it fun! Instead of forcing students to fill miles long forms, you can implement a star-based rating and make verbal feedback completely optional.

Capture user feedback to adjust and optimize product roadmap

When you receive an online review, make sure to respond to it as quickly as possible. Don’t ignore negative reviews but, at the same time, avoid being dismissive. You should see every negative review you receive as an opportunity to show potential customers how you deal with worst-case situations.

If you find that you aren’t getting as many reviews as you’d like, you can always incentivize the review process by offering discounts, gift cards, bonus points, and other incentives. Often, it’s enough to politely solicit reviews in emails or some other one-to-one communication channel.

5. Create Engaging Video Content

Increasingly more marketers say that video content gives them a great return on investment, and it’s easy to see why. After all, 78 percent of people watch online videos every week, and 55 percent view online videos every day, according to HubSpot. That’s a lot of potential viewers that can be targeted by creating engaging video content and publishing it online.

Because educational content is among the most popular types of video content, education marketing professionals seldom have to look far for content ideas. They can simply transform existing products or services into entertaining videos and publish them on leading video-sharing platforms, such as YouTube.

Use educational video content for education marketing

Video content can have many different forms, including demo videos, brand or event videos, expert interviews, educational or how-to tutorials, explainer videos, animated content, case study and customer testimonial videos, live videos, virtual reality videos, and others.

You should let your audience tell you which video content to produce, and that’s possible only if you keep an eye on important metrics like watch time, average view duration, average completion rate, audience retention, re-watches, click-through-rate, engagement, subscriber growth, peak live viewers, and others.

Conclusion

With the five education marketing strategies explained in this article, you shouldn’t have any problem successfully marketing your education service or product to students of all ages. If you still feel intimidated by marketing for education or just want to avoid making a potentially costly mistake, you can always rely on ComboApp to make your offering stand out with innovative digital marketing solutions.

Simply call us at 773.305.0886 or click on the Contact Us button in the header of this site. We look forward to helping you become the next unicorn!

 FAQs

1. Why does the education sector need education marketing?

Traditional educational institutions, as well as private developers, have so far released over half-million educational apps. Besides education apps, the e-learning market is also saturated with online courses, videos, eBooks, and websites, making it nearly impossible for a new product or service to get noticed without a carefully planned and well executed marketing strategy.

2. What is social media marketing for educational institutions?

Social media marketing for educational institutions is no different from social media marketing for any business. It is a means to communicate targeted information, gain referrals, and cultivate strong brand connections with existing and prospective educational product or service users.

3. What are the advantages of digital marketing for the education sector?

Digital marketing provides cost-effective, compared to traditional marketing methods, ways of introducing new educational products and services to a wide range of audiences. Allowing for both wide reach and precise targeting as well as accurate performance tracking of the campaigns.

4. Why does your educational product or institution need a mobile-friendly website?

Most of the content on the web is accessed from mobile devices, meaning that anybody who wants to succeed in bringing a new educational product or service to market can not afford to not have a mobile-friendly website with an optimized landing page.

5. How to use online reviews as an education marketing strategy?

Online reviews provide an invaluable opportunity to identify and address any issues with the product or service early on, highlight your brand’s strengths and competitive advantages, build relationships with existing customers and show potential customers how much you care.

6. How to market education services with video content?

Listen to your audience, they will tell you what kind of video content to produce and where to publish it. Use analytics tools, like Google Analytics, to keep an eye on engagement metrics such as number of views, average view duration, average completion rate, audience retention, re-watches, click-through-rate, subscriber growth, peak live viewers, and other audience engagement KPIs.

Healthcare marketing applies traditional marketing principles and tactics to facilitate relationships between healthcare providers and their patients. In 2020, a healthcare marketing strategy can take many different forms and span multiple channels to target the right patients at the right time and in the right way.

Healthcare marketing strategy for 2019

Compared with businesses operating in many other industries, healthcare providers must comply with various federal health marketing laws and regulations, which only increases the need for a comprehensive healthcare marketing strategy. To enjoy a steady supply of patients, providers need to master the unique nature of healthcare digital marketing and stay on top of the latest healthcare marketing trends.

What Is Healthcare Marketing and Why It Matters So Much?

A study by Prophet explored the current state of the patient experience and uncovered this alarming statistic: 81 percent of consumers are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience. What’s more, 43 percent of Millennials are likely to switch primary care providers in the next few years, according to research by Solutionreach.

Clearly, patient expectations have evolved considerably over the past decade, and they now have more options than ever before to get the care they want from themselves and their families. For this reason, healthcare providers should see healthcare marketing not just as a great investment but as an absolute necessity.

With over 89 percent of consumers immediately turning to an online search engine when they’re looking to solve their healthcare queries, not marketing healthcare services on the internet is akin to self-sabotage.

10 Healthcare Marketing Strategy Tips

Healthcare digital marketing best practices in 2019

But how should a healthcare digital marketing strategy look like and what it should include? Let’s take a closer look at 10 healthcare marketing strategy tips that all providers should at the very least strongly consider when brainstorming their healthcare marketing plans.

1. Stand Out in a Consistent Way

From the patients’ point of view, most healthcare providers look more or less the same, advertising the same services while wearing the same white coats. That’s why it’s critically important to figure out what makes you unique and reflect this uniqueness in your healthcare marketing strategy. It can be the way you treat patients, your friendly staff, or your modern facility.

Regardless of what makes you unique, make sure to market it in a consistent way so that patients can remember you and understand what makes you different from all the other providers. Of course, you don’t have to stop implementing new healthcare marketing ideas and improving existing ones. Just make sure that your marketing doesn’t become confusing.

2. Take Advantage of Paid Search Ads

Search engines have become the first stop for 8 out of 10 people seeking health information, which creates a huge opportunity for healthcare providers to take advantage of paid search ads and include them as part of their healthcare marketing strategy. One important benefit of pay-per-click or PPC ads is that they can be precisely targeted to reach only those individuals who are likely to be a good fit for your practice.

Because patients typically come from 5 to 7 miles from their home, PPC ads can be used to generate local traffic by targeting keywords and key phrases that include the city or area of your practice. Since you only pay for clicks and not impressions, the return on investment tends to be much higher compared with display advertising.

3. Focus on How You Help

When businesses engage in marketing, they often focus on what they do because that’s where their expertise lies. They describe their technologies, past results, important partnerships, and future goals. The only problem is that they often forget to mention the most important piece of information: how they help.

As a healthcare provider, you should advertise with headlines that say, “Get instant relief from headache with these 10 tips,” instead of headlines that say something like, “The effect of B-complex supplementation on headache.” The difference may not seem important to healthcare professionals, but it has a profound effect on patients seeking solutions for their problems.

4. Ask for Reviews

Consider the following three facts: First, 72 percent of patients in 2019 used online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor. Second, 88 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Third, 48 percent would go out of their insurance network for a doctor with great reviews. The conclusion is clear: you need to ask patients for reviews and display them prominently on your website and social media.

When you receive a review—both negative and positive—respond to it as quickly as you possibly can and always be polite, even if the reviewer is being unreasonable. A negative review may feel discouraging, but it gives you a great opportunity to show potential patients how you handle worst-case situations.

5. Partner with a Digital Marketing Agency

As a healthcare organization, you need to balance online medical marketing with patient care and professional growth, which is no easy feat. To excel in all areas, you should strongly consider partnering with a digital marketing agency capable of helping you connect with patients across modern digital platforms.

ComboApp is a full-cycle digital marketing agency that provides marketing services to healthcare organizations, offering comprehensive digital services and mobile marketing solutions to help them plan, build, and execute their products to perfection.

6. Build a Mobile-Ready Website

In 2019, over 60 percent of people accessed the internet from their mobile devices. All major search engines are favoring websites that are mobile-ready, which means they automatically adjust to the size of a screen and are mindful of performance.

According to studies from Aberdeen Research Group, a 1-second delay in your site speed can result in a 7 percent reduction in conversions. Fortunately, tools like Google’s Pagespeed Insights can be used to monitor and improve the speed of your healthcare website across all types of devices. Healthcare website design that’s optimized for both desktop and mobile devices may require a larger initial investment, but such an investment is well worth it because it pays off quickly.

7. Optimize for Search Engines

Search engine optimization (SEO) remains an important part of marketing medical services. You should spend some time researching your target keywords, especially long-tail keywords, three and four keyword phrases which are ultra-relevant to your business. Instead of using the term “optometry practice,” it’s a much better idea to target long-tail keywords such as “optometry practice in central London” or “wheelchair accessible optometry practice Chicago.”

While long-term keywords see much less traffic than shorter keywords, they are also much easier to rank. In addition to keywords, SEO also involves image optimization, sitemaps, backlinks, meta tags, crawl errors, and more. Most marketers today create highly optimized landing pages, and there’s no reason not to use them in marketing for healthcare.

8. Be Social

Two-thirds of all internet users are active on social media, and 41 percent of consumers say that content found on social media will likely impact their choice of hospital or treatment center. Too many healthcare providers refuse to include social media in medical practice marketing because they don’t consider it to be a good fit for them. In reality, social media marketing should be an integral part of every healthcare marketing strategy.

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube make it easy to engage a large number of users with organic content as well as paid advertising. They provide an opportunity to engage with potential customers in a more personal manner and build long-lasting relationships with them.

9. Don’t Neglect Content Marketing

Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of various online material, such as videos, blogs, and social media posts to promote a brand and attract and retain a clearly-defined audience. Healthcare content marketing can help medical providers build authority in their field, which is why it’s such an important part of healthcare public relations and medical marketing in general.

Healthcare content marketing may involve anything from health tips to blog posts on relevant health conditions to “meet the doctor” interviews to patient testimonials and personal stories. The opportunities are virtually endless.

10. Track Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy

Regardless of which healthcare marketing ideas you decide to incorporate in your healthcare marketing strategy, you should always track its performance with your preferred analytics software solution, such as Google Analytics. Hard metrics, such as revenue, cost per lead, website traffic, landing page conversion rates, or return on investment are always better indicators that something works than your marketing intuition.

Healthcare Marketing Trends 2020

Digital marketing trends for 2020

The healthcare market is becoming increasingly competitive, and it’s the job of marketers to stay on top of the latest healthcare marketing trends to know how to convert leads into patients. Here are the top 10 biggest healthcare marketing trends for 2020:

1. Digital first

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that digital marketing channels continue to dominate healthcare marketing in 2020. Potential patients are reading online reviews, visiting social media profiles, and consuming many different forms of content.

2. Location-based SEO

Smartphones and wearable devices have made ultra-precise location-based SEO one of the most effective tactics healthcare marketers can use to target patients at the right time and in the right place.

3. Video marketing

The year 2020 is expected to be the year when 5G mobile connectivity hits mainstream, and it’s very likely that it will lead to the explosion of video consumption among mobile users. Healthcare providers can capitalize on this trend with video marketing on sites like YouTube and Instagram.

4. Healthcare apps

The cost of developing a mobile app has decreased tremendously in recent years, and more and more medical providers are adding them to their marketing strategies as another way how to communicate with patients.

5. Telemedicine

Patients welcome the option to get access to medical assistance from the comfort of their home, and healthcare providers shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to establish themselves as dominant players in the telehealth market.

6. Zero-click search

In 2019, marketing analytics firm Jumpshot revealed that 48.96 percent of all Google searches in the United States ended without a click. Seasoned marketers understand the implications of this important finding: people pay attention to the information in Featured Snippets and the Google Knowledge Graph, and they seem to be content with answers that don’t exceed a couple of sentences.

7. Reputation management

In the old days, patients would typically find doctors through personal recommendations. In the digital era, social media networks have become an integral part of how patients find healthcare professionals. Online reviews posted on these networks by other patients play an especially important role in their selection process. Even a few negative reviews can convince patience to seek help elsewhere, which is why reputation management is a growing priority for all professionals in the healthcare industry.

8. Healthcare-specific websites

It doesn’t take too many Google searches to notice that most reliable medical information is found on a few large websites, such as WebMD. Knowing this, many patients bypass Google and head directly to these healthcare-specific websites, virtually all of which have implemented some sort of search functionality. To keep these visitors from leaving, healthcare-specific websites should make good use of hyperlinks and intelligently suggest additional content based on the information they collect about their visitors.

9. Wearable technology

Wearable technology has enormous potential beyond the fitness market, and healthcare is one of the industries where it can really make a difference, potentially saving human lives. By embracing this technology and developing their own wearable products, healthcare professionals can be with their patients around the clock and provide proactive health support when an anomaly occurs.

10. Social media

To many internet users, especially those in emerging markets, social media is synonymous with the internet itself. They visit different social media platforms to socialize with friends, read current news, and get information and advice from professionals they trust. When utilized for healthcare marketing, social media can deliver an excellent return on investment, making it an essential part of any healthcare marketing strategy.

Conclusion

Healthcare digital marketing continues to evolve as technology keeps on advancing and creating new marketing opportunities. In 2020, healthcare providers won’t be able to rely on word of mouth anymore to attract patients. Just like companies in other industries, they must master the craft of digital marketing and present themselves in a way that makes them stand out. For many, this will be a difficult challenge that won’t be possible to overcome without help from a full-cycle digital marketing agency like ComboApp.

Simply call us at 773.305.0886 or click on the Contact Us button in the header of this site. We look forward to helping you become the next unicorn!

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