How To Get Started With Digital Marketing For Local Businesses

Published on
July 7, 2023

There are many people out there trying to sell you search engine optimization (SEO) services. There are also millions of articles on the topic of SEO and it is difficult to simply get core information about SEO described in a way that helps you as a business owner make sense of it all. This is why my digital marketing articles are specifically for local business owners and not for the SEO community. This is so you get the information that is actually helpful for making decisions as it relates to the approach you take with digital marketing for your business.

You may or may not have purchased some SEO or digital marketing services in the past or perhaps you are in a contract right now but many times people are vague about what is SEO. As a business owner you can feel lost and sometimes may feel like you are getting ripped off because you do not understand SEO and wondering if what you are getting for SEO services is providing value for your business. It is OK to not be an expert at SEO because you are an expert at the services your business provides. That said, it is critical you have a fundamental knowledge of SEO to ensure you understand the services you are buying and their value. 

I went to college to be a teacher and I love taking complex topics and communicating them in a way for people to understand without taking up a lot of their time. I want to create content designed for local service businesses to help owners and business leaders understand the fundamentals of digital marketing and SEO so you can make the best decisions for your business. To kick off, let's get some terminology defined so we are on the same page. 

What is Digital Marketing?

Simply put digital marketing is marketing your business, brand, and services through digital channels. Those digital channels could be organic SEO, local SEO, social media, paid digital advertising, blogging, and any other marketing in the digital space. A professional Digital Marketer is going to have a larger understanding of how to market your business not just through SEO but through many digital channels to maximize your marketing success. Note that SEO plays a huge part in digital marketing which is why these terms are used interchangeably. 

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search engine optimization or SEO is a term thrown around and can mean so much it is very difficult for business owners to understand it. I will break it down as simply as possible.

SEO = Optimizing your website and online presence so your business can be found in search results and to create a great user experience to generate leads.

Now, while that is the core point, SEO is actually a very deep subject that people like me dedicate their careers to and continually learn about every day. The reason why it is so complex is it keeps changing but also because SEO has evolved into digital marketing. A decade or more ago, SEO was a lot simpler and businesses just needed a decent website and an SEO person to implement a few basic tactics and then the traffic came flooding in. But now most businesses have a website and most have some basic SEO to differentiate your business and to be competitive, SEO had to evolve into a strategic methodology which is better referred to as digital marketing. Note that SEO still exists; it is just that the small list of basic tactics has grown exponentially and a true expert understands the different tactics for optimizing your website for the search engines.

Value of A Marketing Strategy

Now you have a better understanding of digital marketing and SEO it is just as important to understand the different strategies there are for marketing. Understanding outbound and inbound marketing and how digital marketing play into each of them will help you make more informed decisions regarding your marketing efforts for your business.