According to myth, there was once a great battle between the Greek hero Hercules and the many-headed beast the Lernean Hydra. This famous story (also known as Hercules’ Second Labor) has been depicted, recreated, retold, and redone many, many times in the intervening millennia. So often has this myth been shared that thousands of years later it still one of the most well-known stories in much of the world. We bring this myth up because as digital marketers we often feel like we are battling the many-headed beast that is modern online marketing. There is so much that goes into creating a successful marketing strategy for a website – and don’t even get us started on apps! Many times it feels like when you cut off one head, two more pop up in its place. Fortunately, we have decades of collective experience, online and offline marketing strategies – as well as a mixture of both. For almost two decades SDI has helped businesses and entrepreneurs grow their businesses into a success beyond their wildest dreams. Our strategies use coding, designing, and good old fashion content: we attract the traffic, we engage the visitor, and we convert the visitor into a paying customer. The Right Team There’s something that those familiar with the 1997 Disney adaptation of Hercules may not know: in the original telling of Hercules’ Second Labor, Hercules only survived by working in concert with his Charioteer Iolaus. Only through teamwork was Hercules able to finally defeat the Hydra. All corniness aside, this holds true for digital marketing as well. A properly designed marketing strategy starts in the web design phase. This means that you need to have someone with UX/UI expertise. Good digital marketing also means that you have to be fluent with code; the ability to spot and correct broken links, to create robot.txt files, and to edit code for other Search Engine purposes. Finally, you need a good ol’ fashion marketer. Someone who knows how consumers think, how to massage interest into full-blown conversion, and so on. So, in other words, you not only need an Iolaus to help you cauterize, but you need a whole host of other people on your side. This is why SDI’s team is so effective: our training process ensures that all of our employees, leads, and managers wear multiple hats with ease and expertise. We function flawless because we’ve had to – and we’ve had to do it for years, across hundreds of projects. Google and Search Engine Optimization Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is probably something you’ve heard of. It is, in the context of the rapidity of the modern age, old news. But it is still extremely useful and absolutely necessary to get the web traffic you need. SEO refers to a whole host of techniques that not only make your website more attractive to Google and other search engines, but more will help raise page ranking (thus higher visibility. In brief, the major tools used in SEO are: • Site Indexing is the process by websites essentially inform search engine directories that said website exists. Google Search Console allows users to create a sitemap that enables search engine crawlers to find all pages associated with a website. • Back and cross linking between all of a website’s pages can help improve visibility to Google’s crawlers. This is a simple but essential process; the best way to do this is simply to add hyperlinks to other pages within content, just like this. • Content is absolutely vital (hence the old saw content is king). Not only should it be good content that is relevant to the website and the business itself, it also needs backend web coding (i.e. title tags and meta descriptions). Plus, it needs to be seeded with popular, long-tail keyword phrase (not just keywords) that apply to the topic. A keyword is a popular term that is searched by a bunch of people. The more keywords your content has (to a point) the more visible your website will be. The more specific the keyword phrase is, the better. But too many phrases, or using keywords not applicable to your service will result in Google punishing you and decreasing your visibility. So keep it relevant, and try not to have content with more than 15% being keywords. ○ Keyword: tacos. ○ Long-tail keyword phrase: where to find the best tacos in Silicon Valley. • Robot.txt files are used to tell a search engine what pages should be crawled and what content should be displayed. This helps because you can highlight portions of your content for searchers that may be a very popular search topic. Engagement and Conversion Engaging a user requires a design that attractive and relevant to the service offered. For instance, eCommerce websites need to use the Shopping Cart button. You may think you have a way to revolutionize the industry but revolutionize elsewhere. Certain design elements are comfortable and familiar, which helps streamline the engagement process. Knowing where and what you can revolutionize requires an expert designer, someone who will give you a frank appraisal of what will and what will not work. But it isn’t just about design. Again, Content is possibly the most important element to engaging and converting users. Good content catches a user’s eye, using language that is appropriate to the industry. Using the right language is important because it tells users that you know this industry. It tells visitors that you are familiar with the terms and definitions. Essentially, it places you in a rarified group of industry specialists. The best content not only keeps a visitor interested but gently guides them into conversion, the ultimate goal. So we’ve told you how to bait the hook (SEO) and how to reel in the catch. We’ve touched on how to wrap it up (or how to bring the catch on board, to continue our analogy), but if you want to know all of our secrets you will have to give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!