When you Google “digital marketing Minneapolis,” you’ll see a wide range of results. How do you know which digital marketing agency is right for you?
You’re here because you’re curious about how digital marketing can help you grow your business.
As a business owner or decision making employee, you know you should be marketing yourself online, but you have questions.
Should you be on social media? If so, which channels? Does social media marketing matter in your industry?
Perhaps the most important question is what will digital marketing actually do for your business?
You want to take your business to the next level, but you want to make sure you’re getting a return on your investment.
Before we dive into specific answers to each question, let’s start with this premise.
Digital Marketing is a Tool to Grow Your Business
At MLT group are digital marketing goals for you are simple.
We use digital marketing to help you find more customers, increase your brand awareness, and engage your visitors.
Instead of starting with digital marketing tactics and going back towards the needs of your business, we start with your business goals in mind and create digital marketing solutions to meet your needs.
The best digital marketing campaigns are customized because one size fits all solutions don’t work in business on or offline.
In our guide, we’ll discuss some of the individual components of digital marketing and give you the insights you need to make an informed decision for your business.
Why Digital Marketing is a Necessity for Minneapolis Business Owners
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a second.
He or she is looking for a product or service you offer.
What do they do next?
Do they grab the nearest phone book? Look in the newspaper?
No. Either on their desktop or phone, they go to searching for information online.
They go to Google and enter the service or product you offer into the search box. When they see the results, do they find your business?
This is someone with either the curiosity or intent to buy your product or service.
From a logical standpoint, it seems like a no-brainer to display your business in front of people who are already looking for what you have to offer, right?
If the idea of putting your products and services in front of people who are actively searching for them isn’t enough, consider some startling pieces of data:
- 93 Percent of online experiences start with search engines
- 50 percent of users who perform a local search on their smartphone visit a physical store within one day
- 87% of smartphone owners use a search engine at least once per day
These numbers suggest that core digital marketing strategies are needed in 2018. Let’s talk about each of the individual components that can go into your strategy.
Digital Marketing Strategy # 1 – Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Consider search engine optimization the backbone of any digital marketing campaign.
Google accounts for a large amount of traffic on the web. SEO puts your business front and center for people looking for the services you provide.
If you search for a product or service online, chances are the results you see didn’t make it to the top of the list on accident.
SEO uses a number of different techniques. When you combine them, your website can begin to climb the search engine rankings.
On-site SEO is the process of optimizing your website by entering researched keyword data into your sites code, content, and link-structure.
Effective on-site SEO combines dozens of techniques implemented on just a single page of your website such as:
- Adding keywords to your title tag
- Creating keyword rich content
- Adding keywords to photo alt tags
- Adding keywords to headings
- Providing relevant links to your pages
- Creating a great overall user experience
Not only do these techniques need to be used on a single page of your website, rather for each page of your website.
This is where working with a smart digital marketing company comes in. At MLT group, we take the guesswork out of your hands and do the heavy lifting to make sure each page of your website makes Google go gaga for your Minneapolis business.
On-site SEO is just the beginning. You must also use different techniques to show the search engines why your site deserves the top spot.
Google uses links to determine how much ‘authority’ your site has.
It considers a link from another site to yours as a vote for the quality of your information. In digital marketing terms, we call links from another site to yours ‘back-links’
To increase the authority of your website, you want to get as many backlinks from quality sources as possible, because they increase two important metrics:
- Domain Authority – This metric measures the authority of your entire website
- Page Authority – This metric measures the authority of a single page on your website
Take a look at our DA and PA shown from the Moz Backlink Researching Tool:
To gain our current level of authority, we had to earn links from 107 different sources.
Link-building is an art form, one that doesn’t come easily to business owners with little digital marketing experience.
We’ve built a network of reputable sources in various industries to help our clients gain the links they need to boost their authority and climb the search engines.
How does it work? Sparing you the nitty-gritty details, we reach out to our network to find reputable places on the web that feature businesses like yours.
If you work with us, you can focus on running your business while we focus on getting the right websites to notice it.
Research, Tracking, and Strategy
Research, tracking, and strategy are important before during and after you launch your SEO campaign.
Pre-launch, you need to make sure you’re using the right phrases in important areas of your website.
For example, you may consider yourself a ‘maid service’ but the phrase ‘house cleaning’ might receive more searches per month.
Once you find the key phrases you want to use, you’d perform on-site optimization and begin your link-building campaign.
You’d want to track the following important metrics to measure growth over time:
- Positions of target keywords – Even a well-optimized page will take time to reach page 1 on Google, so it’s important to know where the pages on your site stand in the beginning. This helps set expectations and keep you focused on long-term growth.
- Traffic – You’d expect to see your traffic numbers grow over time. Quarterly measurements provide solid data.
- Traffic sources – Traffic can come direct, via search engines, from social media, or from people clicking on links to your site from other sites.
MLT Group Provides ‘Done for You’ Tracking and Reporting
We consider an SEO campaign mature after 12 months and measure the progress of important key metrics each quarter.
We provide our clients quarterly ‘scorecards’ giving them an easy to understand snapshot of their site’s SEO progress.
Imagine you’re working with us on an SEO campaign after 12 months.
You check your scorecard to find many of your services ranking on page one.
Your traffic has improved quarter over quarter, meaning more leads and customers to your business.
You notice a service doing well but in need of a little love. What do you do? You simply speak with one of our digital marketing specialists and we alter your strategy, implementing several micro-techniques you’re unaware of but get the results you want.
That’s the power of working with a digital marketing company.
Keeping up with your digital marketing on your own and running a business is a tall task. Why not work with a professional?
Case in point, Search Engine Optimization is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Strategy # 2 – Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) is different than search engine optimization (SEO).
With SEO, you can perform techniques on your own or work with a Minneapolis digital marketing agency to get traffic through your website from ‘organic’ search rankings.
Organic simply means you didn’t pay for the search results. As we discussed earlier, Google uses a variety of techniques to choose which pages show above others.
Search engine marketing involves the use of paid listings, which can come in many forms.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Take a look at this search engine results page (SERP).
At the top, you’ll see the paid listings (PPC), move further down and you’ll see the organic listings:
You’re probably wondering how pay per click advertising works in comparison to organic search techniques.
Here’s the way to look at both.
Pay per click advertising does work, but it isn’t as effective as ranking your website using SEO.
Why? Because the click-through rates are much lower.
Source: Modern Marketing Partners
Think of your own user experience. How often do you click on advertisements?
With PPC advertising, you can spend your way to the top of the results. With organic search, you must earn your spot, which is why they’re more trustworthy and convert much better.
The benefit of PPC advertising over organic SEO is the fact that PPC can provide instant results.
Since an SEO campaign can take up to 12 months to mature, a PPC campaign can help you get traffic, leads, and sales in the short term. Many companies opt for using PPC while their organic results improve.
How Pay Per Click Advertising Works
Pay per click advertising involves bidding dollar amounts (per-click) to get your business to show up in paid listings.
You can create a PPC campaign and set metrics like:
- Daily budget
- Bid amounts (the highest you’re willing to spend to receive a click for ‘x’ term)
- Ad groups – these groups contain the keywords you want to target for the campaign
Each campaign will have a set daily budget limit, and you pay each time someone clicks on one of your results that appear for one of the search keywords you targeted.
The highest bidders get the top results. You must decide whether the terms you want to target are worth the cost-per-click (CPC).
This can be based on the price of your product, the number of leads you can convert to sales, and potential conversion rate of the page you send the ads to.
If you do use a PPC campaign, the following techniques will help them perform their best.
For your campaign to be effective, you must make sure to use the right keywords as part of your PPC campaign.
How do you find the right keywords?
A few techniques are:
- Competitor research – You can use tools like SEM Rush to see where your top competitors are spending their money on ads
- Google Keyword Planner – The Google Keyword Planner is a tool provided by Google to give you important data such as average bid amount, traffic volume, and competition (example below)
- Brainstorming variations – Once you have a sample of keywords you find through the keyword planner, search for variations of those terms to see if they are viable too
You can then use this data to come up with a comprehensive PPC plan.
After setting your target keywords and budget amounts, you can run a test period (one to two weeks) and check the results to answer important questions like:
- How well are the ads converting to leads/sales?
- Are you spending too much/too little for your target keywords?
- How does your click-through rate stack up against your impressions?
These insights provide information you can use to alter your strategy over time.
If this sounds like a tall task, you can rely on a Minneapolis digital marketing agency like MLT Group to handle the process from start to finish.
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Digital Marketing Strategy #3 – Content Marketing
Content marketing goes hand in hand with SEO
Many smart SEOs know the benefits of a solid content marketing campaign.
The search engines want to provide the best results to users and it analyzes content to help make that decision.
Content marketing comes in many forms, but it’s the process of creating content that gives users what they want, is optimized for search, and persuades your readers to take the desired action.
So what forms of content does content marketing encompass?
- Page content – From homepages to category pages to service/product pages and more, each page on your site can be used to attract visitors
- Blog posts – You can use your blog to cover a wide variety of topics related to your industry
- Social media – We’ll discuss in-depth soon, but social media can be an effective content marketing tool to build your brand and even convert casual visitors into loyal audience members or customers
- Email marketing – Email is another useful channel to communicate with your audience, share informative content, offer promotions, and more
- Media – Videos, infographics, photos, and all forms of media count as content marketing even though they aren’t in written form
These are just a few examples of content marketing. It’s an all-encompassing term that covers any aspect of communicating with your audience.
If you decide to work with us, we can explore each option in-depth. For now, let’s talk about how to create a successful content marketing campaign regardless of the medium.
How to Create An Awesome Content Marketing Strategy
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a second.
What impression will they have about your business when visiting your website?
Does your content answer their burning questions and address the problem they need to be solved?
Can they find the information they need quickly?
Will they stick around to check multiple pages of your site because they’re informative and persuasive?
Is your offering clear? Do they know why they should choose your business over the competition?
Do they feel like you understand not only their needs but the means with which they like to interact with your type of company?
Is it easy for them to engage with you?
These are the questions you need to answer before you create any piece of content.
Once those questions are answered, you can create a content marketing campaign that works.
Content Marketing With MLT Group
When you work with MLT Group, we collaborate with you to understand both your business goals and the target audience you serve.
Then, we conduct research to decide the best types of content to create, which channels to use, and a strategy to continue drawing in new visitors while keeping your current audience engaged.
Instead of treating content as an afterthought, we consider it a core piece of your digital marketing strategy.
Without content that reflects your brand, engages visitors, and works toward the desired result, you’ll end up with wasted time, effort, and money.
This is why choosing the right digital marketing agency in Minneapolis is important. You need to know they have the expertise and resources to help you grow your business with content marketing.
Our company puts you in touch with one of our SEO specialists to create the perfect campaign.
Then, we work with our staff of SEO content experts who can write content both humans and search engines love.
We’ll distribute your content across the right channels and track the results to make sure your traffic, brand-equity, and other important business metrics are seeing steady growth.
Digital Marketing Strategy # 4 – Design and Build
When you think of words like digital marketing, SEO, content marketing, etc you don’t necessarily think about the way your website is designed and built.
These two factors are critical to SEO success for many reasons.
At the end of the day, Google’s number one priority is giving their users the best experience possible.
Again, putting yourself in your users’ shoes, imagine how they view your website.
Does your design look professional? Does it match the impression of your business you want to portray?
Is the site navigation simple and easy to understand?
Does your site appear and function well on a mobile device? Does it load quickly?
Designing and building a website with responsive coding, SEO-friendly coding, a simple-sitemap, and clear calls to action (CTAs) showing the visitor where to go or what to do next are all hugely important for digital marketing.
Let’s look at some of the important digital marketing and SEO factors related to design and build.
Design and Build Related Digital Marketing Metrics
Search engines keep track of the following factors that are informed by design and build:
- Mobile friendly – Your site must be mobile friendly or it won’t receive favor on search engines, period, because Google has switched to mobile-first indexing
- Bounce rate – A bounce occurs when someone visits your website and leaves right away. Slow loading websites, unprofessional looking design, and difficult to understand navigation can cause more bounces, which harms your SEO
- Dwell time – The longer a visitor spends on your website the better. Professional design with effective calls to action and simple navigation can keep visitors on your site longer
- Crawlability – Search engine bots ‘crawl’ through your website to find pages to ‘index’ or place on search engine results. Your sitemap, link-patterns, and site errors (or lack thereof) affect crawlability.
As a full-service marketing company, we keep your digital marketing goals in mind from start to finish, including design and build along with content marketing, SEO, PPC, social media, and all other forms of digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Strategy # 5 – The Suite of Additional Strategies and Services
When you work with us, we focus on providing the best solutions for your business.
This is why we’ve created an ‘a la carte’ menu of services where you can see exactly how much each service costs, how it benefits your business, and information on if the service is a good fit.
SEO, content marketing, SEM, and design/build are all core services almost any business should employ.
The following list includes services that can add even more value to your business.
Social Media Marketing
You know your business should be on social media, but which platforms do you use, how do you use them effectively, and how do you know if social media will provide good ROI for your business?
Working with a digital marketing agency will help you answer those questions in-depth.
There are two forms of social media marketing you can use — free and paid.
Paid Social Media Marketing
Companies like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linked in have paid advertising platforms you can use to promote your business.
You have many options to target potential customers like demographics, interests, geography, and more.
You can pay for impressions (simply the number of people who see your ad), clicks to your web page, or even more advanced metrics like email sign-ups, video views, page likes, and more.
There is a lot of opportunity to do well with paid advertising on social media right now because it is a newer industry, which means (for now) the costs aren’t as high as PPC ads on Google.
This is a section that deserves an entire guide of its own. The simplest way to understand the breadth of paid social media marketing is to talk to us.
Organic Social Media Marketing
Similar to SEO, you can create content for social media on your own or work with a team of experts at a digital marketing agency to help you.
The key here is to remember that social media isn’t just about likes, comments, and shares.
Just like SEO and other digital marketing techniques, it’s first and foremost a tool to help you grow your business and brand by giving users what they want and love.
There are many aspects that go into a social media campaign, but here are some useful tips:
- Promote all blog content through social media to give it extra reach
- Share interesting and informative tips with your audience
- Use creative forms of media like video and infographics
- Update your pages regularly
- Gear your social media content toward a certain result and use strong calls to action
Online Review Campaigns
Did you know that the number of positive reviews your website gets affects your search engine rankings?
Positive online reviews also let potential customers know your brand is trustworthy and provides quality services or products.
We can help you create a review building campaign to reach out to your customers and generate positive buzz around your business.
Email marketing is still one of the best marketing channels because it provides direct access to your customers and potential customers.
You can use email marketing to:
- Share useful tips and information directly with your audience
- Offer promotions and discounts
- Sell directly to your customers (after educating them about your product)
- Gather reviews
- Encourage your audience to share your brand with their networks
We can help create custom messaging, design, strategy, and implementation to use email to reach your business goals.
From creating corporate videos and commercials to creating logos to making infographics to creating custom graphics to use in your content, we provide a wide array of media services to add flair to your digital marketing campaigns.
Our marketing strategy services help to create a full marketing plan for your business.
We can help you define your target audience better by using in-depth market research techniques and tools like surveys, data-driven research, and interviews.
We can help you craft a unique selling proposition, tag-line, and promotional messages.
We’ll help you cover every aspect of your marketing campaign from budget amounts to recommended channels, target campaign launch dates, the frequency of messaging and promotions, and much more.
Some companies come to us with a good idea of where their marketing needs to be and we provide the right solutions. If, however, you need a ‘ground-up’ solution requiring a digital marketing agency that works just like an in-house marketing professional that handles everything, we’ve got you covered.
Digital marketing is a tall task.
As a business owner, you already have a ton to focus on.
Why not work with a digital marketing agency that helps you save the time, headache, and frustration of having to be a marketing expert for your business.
We have the expertise. You have the drive and ambition that made you a successful business owner.
Let’s work together to build a successful digital marketing campaign. Fill out the form below and let us provide a custom plan to help you grow your business.