Not all Digital Marketing Skills are the Same

by James Cavagnaro

Creating and managing a digital web presence can be perplexing for business owners. The emerging new options for marketing a business online certainly make it more complicated. For some, it's become so complex that many companies choose to work with a team of digital marketing experts rather than trying to conquer everything internally.

As a trusted advisor for business owners and corporate executives, I am sharing my insight about the types of individuals it takes to form an effective team--one that helps businesses determine the most effective ways to market products and services on the Internet. Perhaps, with this information, managers will gain a better perspective of what to look for when evaluating digital agencies, web development and digital marketing teams.

Marketing Strategy

The basics are the same. It just takes different players.

In simple terms, nothing's really changed. Digital marketing is a primary way to promote and advertise a company, its brand and services. An effective digital marketing project team is usually comprised of experienced web developers, SEO experts and conversion specialists. Traditional media publishers, directory companies and news media organizations might compare a digital project team to what it takes to produce printed publications.

From this perspective, a web developer might be seen as the person who runs the printing press, sets up the ink, preps the tolls and implements what's been provided by others. The SEO expert is the person who makes sure everything is properly formatted as well as distributed to the right locations. And the conversion specialists are the writers, reporters and photographers who build awareness and capture interest through the messaging that they compose and publish.

Key Players on a Digital Project Team

Website Developer -codes the format, layout and functionality of the website to meet stakeholder requirements. A programmer is usually not an SEO expert nor are they the best resource for writing content.

Search Engine Optimization Expert -specializes in both page "on page" and "off page" content that supports products or service categories and keywords related to the business and its prospecting targets.

On Page Optimization:   there are about 150 thigs that digital marketers can do to ensure that websites are search engine friendly. At the top of our list, besides creating site maps and setting up Google Analytics, is proper URL structure, navigation, page titling, meta-data, keyword density, site maps, alt text for imaging, internal linking, contract strategy, adding content, privacy policy, terms of use, footer, location schema and much more.

Off Page Optimization:  this is an-going process for managing everything from citations and directory listings to relevant back links, social media structure, design/use and continuous upkeep with search engine best practices.

Responsive Design:  for quality control the SEO specialize assures reponsive design, page speed and hosting requirements are met for compatibility with desktop, tablets and smartphones.

Conversion Specialists -leverage their communications skills and graphic design experience to create content, messages and that compel site visitors to navigate site paths and respond to calls for action or engagement. On our teams, these people are the brand developers, image builders and creative types who engage with clients throughout the entire development process.

Bringing It All Together

With the right players, everyone can work in harmony to achieve common project goals and individual objectives. Having an experienced team provides the agility needed to prioritize user stories and the software development sprints neccessary to deliver the best marketing results possible, while managing the quality of the user experience in the process.

As a benchmark, from our experience, nearly 30% of small business or enterprise sales can be made as a result of company websites. For this reason, it is important to establish the right web development team--one who follows best practices; tests for speed, mobility and security; and measures performance and reports on key metrics with transparency.  

About Me

Jim Cavagnaro is founder, managing partner and CTO for Shrewd Marketing LLC. For over 25 years, Jim has been providing strategic direction and digital marketing solutions for companies interested in growth. If you have questions or feel the need to evaluate your company's website or digital web presence, contact us at (202) 681-2635.