On Monday, May 15, 2017, more than 50 members of the Bucks County Marketing & WordPress Consortium came here to 1SEO.com Digital Agency to soak up valuable information about digital marketing.

The goal of the consortium is to gather local companies, marketing professionals, WordPress developers and individuals once a month, so they can discuss current and future trends relating to technology that could help grow their businesses.

Four 30 minute presentations were shared by leading experts in the field, covering a wide range of digital marketing practices including local SEO strategies, pay-per-click, email and SMS marketing, social media and more.

Perhaps you couldn’t make the event, or you’re simply interested in picking up on some of the information that was passed along. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Here are 11 tips on digital marketing to help your business get ahead:

“Get Found: Local SEO Strategies to Grow Your Business Online.”

Lance Bachmann, President

1. Design a Thorough Plan for Your Local SEO Campaign.

When it comes to digital marketing, a lot of people see the water and want to jump right in. But everyone needs some swimming lessons first.

Save yourself from drowning in setbacks by doing all the right things before taking the leap, like performing keyword research, creating citations, filling out organized and consistent directory listings, implementing well-written website content and performing a competitor analysis to develop a better idea of what you’re up against.

While scouting the competition, check out your competitors’ online platforms including their websites and social media pages like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and YouTube. Find out what works for them and what doesn’t, and factor this research into your planning.

2. Work together as a TEAM.

If you run an agency, let your clients know right off the bat that this is a two-way street. Of course, you’ll be doing most of the heavy lifting. But your clients will need to provide you with the information necessary to help them establish a solid online presence, especially during the early months of their campaigns.

If you’re a client, on the other hand, expect to collaborate with your agency regularly. Your marketing team will need to know which demographics you’re trying to target and the goals that you want to achieve.

3. Build Trust with Google My Business.

Use this tool to improve your local search ranking by claiming and verifying information about your business. Maintain accurate business hours, add photos and videos, and respond to reviews.

Trust is a huge factor online, so make sure you tell your story. If you’re not sharing details about your business, just think about how that might look to potential customers…

4. Write Effective Call-to-Actions.

If you’re doing all the legwork necessary to more draw people to your website, make sure you let them know what the next step is moving forward. Keep it simple by using phrases like “Learn more,” “For a free quote” or “To speak to an expert.”

Do not make it overcomplicated. The point is to hook customers through a clear and direct message that tells them what they need to do to receive your service or buy your product.

“Maximizing Your Pay Per Click Budget”

Jolin Bachmann, Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Consider This: 96% of Google’s Overall Revenue Comes from Paid Advertisements (Statista, 2015).

This is a staggering stat, but it’s not surprising when you consider the drop in traditional media buying, including TV, radio and newspapers.

5. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is Vital to Modern-Day Advertising.

When using Google Adwords for display Ads for PPC, your Click-Through Rate (CTR) and Quality Score are both important factors to be aware of. Your Click-Through Rate (CTR) is based on the ratio of paid advertising impressions vs. how many people actually click on your ad and visit your website.

For example, if you have 100 impressions and you had two people click on your ad, you would have a 2% average click-through rate.

Moreover, a higher Quality Score equals a lower cost and a higher position. This depends on how relevant the keywords in your ads are to the website pages that users are landing on after clicking on them.

Let’s say that your quality score is a 9, for instance, and your competitor’s is an 8, that means you would pay one penny over what your competitor was willing to spend on that keyword.

FACT: Strategic Search-Engine Marketing (SEM), or “internet advertising,” accounts for over 25% of the entire advertising market (WordStream, 2016).

6. Keep Your Brand in Front of Users with Remarketing.

After someone visits your website, they will be tracked and view your ads elsewhere on the internet. This significantly increases the likelihood that a visitor will become a customer. In fact, 70% of visitors retargeted with display ads are more likely to convert (Digital Information World, 2015).

Even further, Dynamic Remarketing allows you to target key demographics based on things like interests, behaviors, life events, net worth and more. You can even use this tool to draw online shoppers back to your website after abandoning their carts.

7. You’re Missing Out if You’re Not Using Google Shopping for Ecommerce.

According to Sidecar customer data, Retail marketers spent 6% more on Google Shopping ads than on text ads in 2016. This accounts for a 13% year-over-year spend increase in Google Shopping.

The reason being, when you compare Google Shopping to the Search Network, a group of search-related apps and websites where your ads can show up online, the cost-per-click is significantly cheaper with Google Shopping.

This tool is based on titles and description—not keywords. The image, title and price are all included in the display. Different attributes help determine when the ads are shown.

“Growing Your List: Email and SMS Marketing for Beginners”

Bill Rossell, Vice President of Client Relations

8. Email Marketing is a Perfect Way to Reach Your Intended Audience.

For every dollar that you spend on email marketing, the average return is $44.25 (EmailExpert, 2014). Clearly, this is an effective method of delivering messages about your business to prospects. Make sure you establish obvious goals for every email by figuring out exactly what type of action you want your audience to take.

Use clear, concise and captivating subject lines to spark interest among recipients, and get creative by promoting special offers, personalizing messages, providing tips and advice, showcasing reviews and taking polls.

9. It’s Time for You to Take Advantage of the “Mobile Age.”

According to Mobile Marketing Watch, 75% of Millennials prefer Short Message Service (SMS) communications for deliveries, promotions and surveys. For most of us, our phones are the last things that we look at before going to bed and the first things that we look at when we wake up.

So make sure you optimize your email templates for mobile platforms. But don’t make the mistake of bombarding your audience with annoying emails or texts that end up disengaging prospects.

Consider your end user’s perspective (scrolling through their smartphones) while planning your email marketing and SMS campaigns. Again, with captivating call-to-actions, you’ll do a better job of reeling in potential customers. Maintain a positive tone in your emails and use terms like “Welcome” and “Thank You” to make strong impressions on readers.

You can also perform experiments to test which time of the day recipients seem to be opening and clicking through emails the most. As reported by HubSpot, the highest click-through-rate for emails is at 11 a.m. ET. Why? Because it’s around lunchtime—when people typically have more time to spend looking through emails.

Use email segmentation, as well, to split your subscriber list into different sections based on any number of factors including signup date, interest groups and subscriber activity. In fact, segmented email campaigns have an open rate that’s 14.32% higher than those that are non-segmented (Mailchimp, 2016).

Capture the name, phone and email addresses of potential clients whenever you get the chance. To get more contacts, utilize things like contests, giveaways, free tools, ebooks, the promotion of social media posts, client testimonials, case studies, webinars and birthday lists.

“Let’s Get Social: Social Media Marketing For Your Business”

CJ Bachmann, VP of Operations

10. Social Media Marketing Takes Your Audience Behind the Scenes of Your Brand

Sharing posts on social media will help you build the credibility of your brand, expand your network, build relationships and have genuine conversations with your audience.

Use these pages to promote events and discuss your products or services to quickly generate leads for your business. By interacting with customers, you’ll create a positive opinion, gain support and spread brand awareness.

This is the best place to connect with your audience on an emotional level, which is why more and more businesses are creating active social media pages as a part of their digital marketing campaigns. In fact, Forbes has reported that over 40 million small businesses have active social media pages.

11. Choose the Right Platforms Based Your Industry and Audience

This is the biggest piece of the puzzle for social media. Think about where your audience is—not where you are, where you friends are, or which ones you hear about the most.

Learn the purpose of each platform and determine where your audience spends their time, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram or Google Plus. Every platform has its own niche, so make sure you choose to share posts on those that relate to your industry in some way.

Plus, with paid ads on social media, you can set a budget and determine your ad placement based on your end goals and the types of posts that you’ll be sharing.

Without a doubt, there’s a lot involved with launching a digital marketing campaign. However, we did our best to narrow down all the information presented at the May consortium to what’s most important. We hope that you can leverage this knowledge to help grow your business!

Want to know more about digital marketing? Explore our website to gain more insight on the industry.