Best Practices Guide to Digital Marketing

The following is a brief outline of the various best practices tactics used for Digital Marketing Campaigns.

Create a Digital Marketing Plan

First things first, you have to have a roadmap to know where you’re going. Create some goals and a plan on how to achieve them.

A Digital Marketing Plan should consist of:

  • Define Objectives – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time
  • Asses Current Environment
  • Business & Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity and Threats or Customer, Company, Competitors and Change
  • Tactics to be used
  • Budget & Variables
  • Measuring ROI
  • Conclusion


Analytics are not just important for tracking your progress, but essential to knowing how people view and find your website. Without this information you may not know what is hurting or helping your brand.

Suggested tools:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Bing Webmaster Tools
  • Quantcast
  • Alexa

Suggested Practices:

  • Setup your analytics accounts
  • Establish conversion goals & funnels
  • Annotate important events in Google Analytics
  • Create custom dashboard reports
  • Discover under-performing areas of your site

Organic Search (SEO/SEM)

Improving your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) will increase the amount of organic traffic that comes to your site. Organic being that when someone is searching for a solution that you offer, your page should be one of the first to come up.

Suggested Tools

Suggested Practices:

  • Setup webmaster tools
  • Architect your site for search
  • Track your search rankings on a monthly basis
  • Build quality backlinks to your website through PR efforts or community sites
  • Research and define your core organic words – if you want people to find your website with a certain term or phrase, make sure to use that term/phrase in your website’s content!

Social Media Marketing

Social Media is the new “Word of Mouth”, but people online don’t like ads, so make sure your interactions with your audience are human and talk to their interests instead of just directly trying to sell them your products.

Suggested Tools

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • SocialOomph
  • Twitalyzer
  • TweetReach
  • FriendorFollow
  • WeFollow
  • Twellow

Suggested Practices

  • Claim your brand name on social sites regardless if you’ll plan to use them or not
  • Seed Fans/Followers (25)
  • Have something to say, consistently
  • Speak to the interests of your audience, do not just try to sell your product
  • Create a Viral Contest
  • Include social media information on all marketing collateral
  • Make sure people can “Like” or “Tweet” your web pages
  • Interact with like-minded and influential people on Twitter or Facebook

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

If your website is new or hasn’t been SEO’d, a well-funded PPC campaign can direct a significant increase in web traffic to you.

Suggested Tools

  • Google AdWords
  • Microsoft AdCenter

Suggested Practices

  • Create Google Adwords and Microsoft Adcenter accounts
  • Send traffic to landing pages
  • One landing page per ad group
  • Monitor and improve keyword usage on a monthly or quarterly basis

Content Marketing

Content is king on the internet, the more content you have about yourself or company online the better and more likely people will know and trust you.

Suggested Tools

  • StumbleUpon
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • Wikipedia
  • Yahoo Answers
  • Quora

Suggested Practices

  • Start a corporate blog
  • Submit blog content to aggregators/social hubs
  • Bookmark your website’s content on social bookmarking services
  • Create an editorial calendar
  • Write guest posts for other blogs
  • Write about others to build relationships

Email Marketing

Email is the easiest way to keep in touch with your customers and inform them of new products or solutions for their needs as well as any special promotions you’re offering. However, be cautious you don’t send too much email, or emails that aren’t relevant to your customers as this could drive them to unsubscribe from you.

Suggested Practices

  • Choose an online email provider
  • Create a branded email template
  • Segment your email lists
  • Do not send too many emails, but don’t send too few, find your balance
  • Do not use your companies email server to mass email

Lead Generation

Every company has a lead generation practice that works best for them based on their market, but there are a few key things to think about to improve the amount of leads you gain.

Suggested Practices

  • Track submissions
  • Gather submissions for product launches
  • Give something away in exchange for customer information
  • Answer questions on LinkedIn, Quora or Yahoo Answers

Conversion Optimization

After you’ve increased awareness to your site through digital marketing you’ll now want to gather your data and begin planning on how to optimize your initiatives.

Suggested Practices

  • Test your landing pages
  • Gather feedback from site visitors
  • Try a 5 second test – can someone find X in 5 seconds of coming to your page for the first time?

Other Activities to Consider

Create a Benchmark

Take a look at your competition or businesses that are similar to yours and see what they are doing that works well. While you never want to copy others, you can get ideas that will benefit you with your competition’s successes or failures.

Things to consider:

  • What social media outlets do they use? Which ones seem to have the highest engagement?
  • How much traffic do they have? Estimate using tools like Quantcast and Alexa.
  • What is their demographic? Use above mentioned tools.
  • Do they use a unique web service that may work for you as well? This could be unique community sites such as or

Website Makeover

Thinking of having a website makeover? Make sure you do your due diligence and come up with a project scope and timeline and stick to the plan. Also, now is a good time to really evaluate your website’s content and messaging focus.

A project scope should include:

  • Project Overview
  • Project Approach
  • Project Schedule
  • Hosting Overview
  • Project Approval Requirements



    • admin

      Yeah, I accept guest bloggers. Send submissions to mgh at michaelghurston dot com

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