April 12, 2022

How to find the balance between digital advertising tactics and SEO.

When it comes time to figuring out what strategies work best for you and your organization, there are a lot of choices. What do you need? Digital Marketing or SEO? Or both? There’s a lot to weigh, especially with the number of choices and the need to make sure your budget use is effective.

Determining what avenue to take when it comes to digital marketing and SEO centers around what you measure as success. Our award-winning team of experts weighed in to answer some big questions to consider as you’re figuring out what avenues work best for your company.

What is Digital Marketing and SEO?

Digital marketing is a broad term. This is because digital marketing refers to any effort made that can be viewed on a device or computer. This can include websites, social media, mobile apps, advertising, email, many agencies even include SEO as one piece of the digital marketing pie.

Using a large omni-channel approach can give you a lot of data and insight. Using multiple digital marketing platforms and methods can be a solid way of understanding where your target audience is, how they’re finding you, and what makes them want to engage your product, services, or whatever you may provide.

Digital marketing is also helpful to find specific ways to reach your audience. If you are just getting started and need people to be aware of what you offer, using digital ads and social media with impressions as the key measurement is easy to setup. You can tangibly see how many people are getting eyes on your new product or service as a key piece of your marketing strategy when people are unfamiliar with you in their customer journey.

If you are further into a product launch, or need direct actions to be taken, then using pay-per-click may be a better way to utilize your ad spend. Those direct CTAs (Call-to-Action) gives you a measurement of how many people visit your online shop, website, or sign up for your newsletter. It will depend on the action you setup with your agency and team.

The above examples are just some methods of measurement you can use with digital marketing. Email campaigns, another piece of digital marketing, can also help reach a dedicated group of followers who have opted to receive direct communications from you. This grants unrivaled access to speak to your target audience directly and build a number of campaigns or messaging sequences that run automatically.

With all of these tactics, you can also implement SEO into your strategy. Organic SEO is when you create content for your website or social media accounts, and people find you without any paid placements. The way you enter key phrases and terminology helps boost your website presence, it can potentially increase your rankings on search engines such as Google, Bing, and others.

Paid SEO is where you build ad placements so when people look for what you offer, you pay to have people see you in early results. If your website is fairly new, and doesn’t have a lot of content built up, paid SEO may be the only way you can show up on the first page of search results.

Do you need Digital Marketing Services or SEO?

In an ideal world, we’d all have unlimited funds to try everything. However, our agency is also realistic about what can, and cannot, be accomplished given most companies' limited resources. Oftentimes you have to choose what’s best for you, your organization, and works within your budget.

If you are a service provider whose terminology is commonly looked for, that’s a great indication that SEO would be ideal. For example, a mental health provider who provides on-call services in case of emergency 24/7, there’s a good chance someone who needs fast help in their neighborhood will simply Google the term “24-hour counseling” and if they have optimized for that term properly they will win that business. If you service specific zip codes, that can be even better. Because broad terms like “emergency counseling services” with SEO may be too expensive and it might make sense to optimize for terms like “emergency counseling services in XYZ (your local neighborhood/town).”

There are likely large corporate mental health providers that are putting a ton of money to own those common, wider terms. It will probably be cost-prohibitive to use “emergency counseling” as a campaign.

However, if you run a SEO campaign such as “emergency counseling services after hours Denver,” then you’ll only find people who need services in your area. You can get even more specific with your zip code(s) to filter out audience members who would be too far for you to help. That way you’re not paying for search ads for users who don’t live anywhere close to you.

On the other hand, if you sell incredibly well-designed products as a part of your business, there’s a definite appeal to using visual platforms like Instagram or Tik Tok. Using Google search ads may not work because there’s nothing to show them, it’s all text. As a result, you could be missing out on a key opportunity to let your design work do the talking for you.

Non-profits may have a big event or sponsorship push coming. In that case, you may want to use an existing platform with dedicated people who believe in your cause to be a rallying call for new donors or volunteers. In that case, email marketing is a great route to build a campaign around. Because existing subscribers opted in, likely donated, or volunteered in the past. This way you can ask for them to contribute again or bring their friends and family to expand the impact of your organization and the event you have coming up.

If there are so many options, what is the right choice?

You’re probably hearing that there a ton of choices. And that’s okay. The reason there isn’t a cookie cutter shape that works for everyone regarding digital marketing and SEO, it’s because it has to work for you. It has to meet you where your business is in its journey. It has to be where your target audiences are.

Our agency specializes in building intelligent strategy to inform our choices regarding digital marketing, SEO, and all other marketing and branding projects. While we have practices and tools in place to move efficiently, we also use strategy first and adapt to what you truly need to succeed.

If you want to find out what digital marketing and SEO can do for you, reach out to our A-Train team of experts here to get started.