If you own a business, you must have some sort of digital marketing presence. It doesn’t matter if you sell physical products or virtual ones or if you offer a service. These days, most people are going online looking to buy things, even if they eventually will make the actual purchase in person in a physical location. In fact, more than three out of every five people starts the search for a product or service online, even if they will eventually make that purchase in person at a physical location. For large purchases, the number is even higher, with four out of five people doing research online first. To be able to capture all of these companies, your online marketing game has to be on point.

The first thing you need to know about online marketing is that you need to have your own website. Social media sites such as Facebook are a good way to market, but they should be a complement to your website. Having your own website gives you more control over content and message. Just having a website isn’t enough, though; you need to have good website design. This includes making sure there is unique content on every page, as well as having a design that is optimized for mobile users. If you or a staff member does not have web design experience, then it’s worth your while to hire a professional web design services firm.

Another very important part of your online marketing efforts is the proper use of search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO is the process of making sure your website and social media pages appear high up in internet searches. This is done largely through the use of the right keywords to drive people to your pages. Nearly everyone who is searching for a product online — 93% — uses a search engine, and most of those people use Google. Having someone on staff who has SEO experience is important, but you also want to make use of tools such as Google analytics to tell you what words will draw potential customers’ attention online.

It can still be a good idea to use traditional marketing means such as mailings and print ads, but you are going to get left behind if you are not doing most of your marketing online. Having a well-designed website and having a strong SEO game are certainly not the only ways to ensure you find customers online, but they are two of the best, and if you are doing those two things well, you should be on your way to success in the digital marketing of your products and services.

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