Online marketing is not a small time industry. This is a type of industry that has always room for improvement and requires online marketers to keep learning and improvement. Also, businesses and individuals can get higher return on investment if the marketing is done right.
Although it takes time to see good results from the beginning, it is worth the wait. However, online marketing is also not an easy to learn industry. You need to spend a lot of time reading, learning, collaborating, testing and more to become good at what you do.
Online marketing is a technical industry where a lot of technical terms are widely used. In fact, there is a glossary available from A-Z about those terminologies which can be found on directom.com.
So if you are planning to learn the crucial parts in online marketing the right way or start your own blog, below are some technical needs you should be aware of:
1. Ability to Target the Right Audience
Before you start any online marketing campaign, you need to know who you want to reach. Knowing your target audience is crucial in online marketing. Because they will be the main reason why you exist in your industry. You can’t randomly target anyone from the web to visit your blog because there will be an interest conflict issue.
To begin with, you need to identify the perfect users with high interest in your industry. For example, you are planning to put a blog about tennis. From this initial stage, you will then need to figure out if there are people interested in tennis and actually search online.
You will need to use an online marketing platform to get an average insight into for the data you need. This is a product by Google which gives you the average monthly traffic with cost estimation for every single keyword.
How to use this:
- Go to https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner
- Select your target country location – You can narrow it down from region to city.
- Choose your category
- Enter your broad keyword
- Download the report into excel file
- Choose the perfect keywords you want to target
You can see in the graph above that the average search monthly search volume for tennis is a minimum of 1.5M, but you wouldn’t have to target the broad keyword tennis alone. You can narrow it down to which has a decent monthly search volume and fair competition:
Now that you have an average idea of search volume for each keyword in your chose industry, you can safely say there are people going to read and visit your blog. But the targeting does not end there. You need to know the gender, age, location, occupation of the people you are targeting to know the proper way of addressing your audience.
2. Ability to Provide Informational Content
Content is the key to impress your audience. You can’t keep someone read every single word of your article if it does not give them any value. Information is what everyone is looking for. No matter what industry you belong to, you will always search for information. This has to be given to your audience in a presentable and good looking web page lay out.
To begin with, you need to know what content is applicable to your audience. You need to consider where they are coming from to better understand the content they need. For example, you are planning to launch a blog about tennis for beginners. Since you are aiming to provide informational content, adding images illustrating each section of your article is definitely a good idea.
There are a lot of content ideation method you can follow. To give an example, there is one recent blog post that I read written by Jamie on his blog. You can get some ideas of which content you can produce for your audience.
While some content you may think of have already been covered by your competitors, it does not mean you can’t cover the topic anymore. If they lack of some information, you can highlight it to your article and make sure you can provide something better.
Few tips on how to provide quality content:
- Style your tone and formatting based on the level of your audience.
- Add resources or supporting documents to your content such as screenshots/images as proof of validity.
- Style your content to be easy to digest and understand.
- Create a flow of your content.
3. Ability to Identify the Appropriate Social Channel
Correct utilization of social channels to reaching your audience is a must. You have to distribute your content to where your audience hangout. Having it done the right way can help you drive the best traffic you need. You need a lot of traffic if your business rely on it and if this is one your KPIs.
There are many social platforms out there such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and more. But do you need to have all of them? If people in your industry don’t use LinkedIn, there is no reason why you should that site. You need to decide which social media platforms you should use. Apart from that, you need to figure out how much time you should spend on each.
You need to look at statistics to see which platforms your audience spend most their time on. There are many sources you can check out there, but Business2Community recently provided a fresh statistic report in demographic location for each social media platform users.
Tips on using social media for content distribution:
- Incorporate social media snippets to all your social media posts
- Keep your title post within character available. Each social platform has a different title post character limit
- Keep your post description descriptive as possible with call to action
- Add post image whenever you share sometime on your social platforms
- Schedule or re-post your social posts to get the most attraction from your audience
4. Ability to organize Site Structure
Site structure is a important. You need to have a clear and easy interface to navigate website for your audience benefit. Having a clear lay-out site structure can guide your users of what you want them to do. This includes email subscription, product purchase, take action in a conversation and more. The interaction of your users is highly depend on how structured your website is.
This is one of the crucial technical needs you need to succeed in online marketing. Because if the traffic you worked hard to drive to your website did not find what they came their for, they will just leave. No matter how high your traffic is, no matter how dedicated they are to convert, none of those won’t matter if your site structure isn’t user friendly.
Tips in organizing your site structure:
- Make your navigation user friendly and prominent
- Make your call to action clear
- Ensure your URLs are user friendly
- Don’t forget to add breadcrumbs
- Include important pages in footer links but add no-follow attribute
- Add internal links to move your audience from one page to another
For in-depth information about site structuring, read my post about how to improve user experience.
5. Ability to Guide Audience to Conversion
User funneling is a must. You need to guide your audience to convert. It is your responsibility to assist them the moment they landed on your website throughout their journey to conversion. You need to add strong call to actions on all of your pages that will lead your users to conversion pages.
If you don’t set it up correctly, you may not be able to get your expected conversion out of the traffic you get. A good clear funneling is a requirement to your buyer’s journey. You can’t expect them to figure out what needs to be done with a website with no clear series of events.
For example, if you need your audience to subscribe to your newsletter, you need to make your subscription form noticeable rather than placing it in the corner of your website.
For this section, you need to make sure that your website is using the right hosting provider hosting provider and has a good speed performance to limit distractions.
Tips on how to clear user funneling:
- Be direct to the point in your micro conversion attraction
- Avoid too many distractions on conversion pages
- Make the text format of your calls-to-action readable than the other parts of the page
6. Ability to Interpret Data
Data interpretation is also one of the important part of online marketing you need to learn of. You need a set of data to see how your website is performing or how your audience perform while they are on your website. This includes the average of time they spent on a single page of your website. This also includes the pages they visit from first to last page of a website.
This is very challenging part in online marketing because this require a high technical understanding the set of data. From that data, you can make necessary actions whether to change or improve the content on your website. Data interpretation needs to be segmented based on your needs. For example, you are only looking for visits from specific countries, sources, or even gender of your visitors.
This is crucial in online marketing because you need to analyze which of your marketing channel is performing well compare to others. And this is also an important method to analyze which of your conversion pages or information pages need improvement.
There are a lot of data tracking software out there but only Google Analytics is my preferred. In fact, I even wrote an article about how to measure your success online. I covered the major part of sections in Google Analytics to measure the performance of your website to see if you are improving or not.
Tips in data interpretation:
- Segment your data based on what you need
- Customize the time frame of data you need to analyze
- Don’t rely on one single metric for quality performance
7. Ability Use Data into Action
The purpose of analyzing data is to use it for your own benefit. This will guide you throughout your decision making process. Because you already have the data and you need to make actions of what to do next. Data transformation will guide you which areas of your marketing channel need more attention or conversion pages that need improvement.
There should be no questions asked if you don’t see any good results in your online marketing campaigns. You can just reference the data you have to understand the causes.
Pulling this data can’t be hard at all. In fact, Google provided a free and useful tool to understand the user behavior known as Google Analytics. Google Analytics will tell you what is happening on your website, you will have to interpret it for improvement.
For example, in your Google Analytics report, your website gets a lot of traffic in weekends rather than weekdays. That said, this could mean that weekend is when your audience look for information you have on your website. So you can spend more marketing efforts during weekends.
Tips in Analysing the data
- Look at all possible indication of when you get traffic spike
- Look at all possible indication of how your a website increased its email sign ups
To succeed in digital marketing, there are a lot of methods to do it. Whether your goal is short or long term, there is always a way to make it. However, ability to identify, analyze and strategise activities to get something done and use it for your benefit is even more fun. I hope the seven technical needs I highlighted above is a good start to guide you in your marketing career.