This guide was designed for anyone who is new to Digital Marketing and SEO with the desire to learn, grow, and practice.
Whether you’re looking to become a consultant or a freelancer, and you just don’t know where to get started, or maybe you want to create a blog or website of your own.
Perhaps you already have a website or blog, and you’d like to learn how to manage it better – whatever the reason – you’ve come to the right place.
- Search Engines
- SEO & Digital Marketing
- Keyword Research
- Content Marketing
- Link Building & Outreach
- Website Design
- The Teleporters Initiative
NOTE: Before getting started, we want you to know that throughout this guide, there will be several posts we would like you to read under each topic.
While some may be difficult to grasp at first (given the myriad of acronyms and concepts you’ve likely never heard of), we will do our best to define as much as possible for you. Also bear in mind that the more notes you take, the easier this will be.
The best way to learn about all things digital marketing is to constantly read about it! Trends change.
What is a Search Engine?
As defined by Google itself, a search engine is “a program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user, used especially for finding particular sites on the World Wide Web.”
Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the most used “general” search engines that exist today. Some others include Gigablast, DuckDuckGo, and Dogpile (which is Philly-based. Hooray Philadelphians!)
Why are Search Engines Important?
Gee, they only connect us to ALL of the existing information on the web, which kind of makes them important, don’t yah think?
How do Search Engines Work?
SEO & Digital Marketing
A.k.a the “things” you need to manipulate the SERPS!
(SERPS = Search engine results pages)
See, there was your first acronym. There are acronyms EVERYWHERE. Seriously. We weren’t kidding.
What is SEO, Exactly?
As defined by Webopedia, SEO, which stands for search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP). 😀
Or in simplified terms, SEO is essentially the organizing of information online.
What is Digital Marketing, Exactly?
We’ll let Techopedia give you this one, because they define it quite well.
“Digital Marketing is a broad term that refers to various and different promotional techniques deployed to reach customers via digital technologies. Digital marketing is embodied by an extensive selection of service, product and brand marketing tactics, which mainly use the Internet as a core promotional medium, in addition to mobile and traditional TV and radio. Digital marketing is also known as Internet Marketing, but their actual processes differ, as digital marketing is considered more targeted, measurable and interactive.”
So, anything digital that you use as a means of getting a business’s information out there for the world to see is digital marketing. Pretty straightforward.
How the Two are Related + How They’re Different
SEO and Digital Marketing are sister terms in that they are often used to supplement each other. It’s total taboo for a business to focus more on one over the other, and if this is done it’s likely to hurt financially.
However, just because the two are supposed to be applied with each other does NOT make them synonymous. Here’s what we mean…
An SEO, or “search engine optimizer” is more likely to handle the tedious work, such as:
- Keyword research
- Manipulating data / Analytics
- Back-end development
A Digital Marketer is more likely to handle:
- Content creation
- Social channels
- Advertising & PPC
- Front-end development
These differences are by no means set in stone, or under any specific guidelines. Oftentimes Digital Marketers and SEO’s responsibilities overlap.
Being that SEO itself is relatively new (less than 20 years old) there has been some controversy on terms that have been used to effectively define it.
Back in the late 90’s when SEO first became a practice, it was referred to as several different things, such as website promotion, search engine placement, search engine ranking, search engine submission, search engine registration, and search engine positioning.
Over time the general population of people practicing SEO decided upon search engine optimization as their preferred term, which makes things a whole lot easier for you needing to know less terms, and all…
SEO & SEM
A current misconception of SEO is that it is no different from search engine marketing (commonly acronym’d as SEM).
Search Engine Marketing involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in SERPs primarily through paid advertising.
SEO has nothing to do with paid advertising (also known as “PPC”), and instead focuses on organic search traffic as its primary delineator.
Further Reading + Valuable Resources on SEO
Here are some additional resources that delve further into SEO and its importance. There may be some overlap between the resources below and this guide, just keep reading. We promise it’s all relevant.
What is Keyword Research?
“Keyword research is a practice SEO professionals use to find and research actual search terms that people enter into search engines. Search engine optimization professionals research keywords, which they use to achieve better rankings in search engines.”
Why is Keyword Research Important?
To put it simply, until you know what words and phrases are most important for your website to rank for – you cannot properly optimize the pages in your site, nor your content strategy to help draw qualified traffic and leads to your site.
If your site is optimized for keywords that don’t directly relate to your business, you’ll get traffic to your site – but it will be something called “unqualified traffic”, meaning NO LEADS FOR YOU!
(And believe us when we say you want those).
P.S. See Vocabulary for the definition of ‘unqualified traffic’.
Further Reading + Valuable KW Research Tools
- Term Explorer
- Google’s Keyword Planner
- Google Trends (perfect for comparing keyword search trends over time)
What is Content Marketing, Exactly?
“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
– Content Marketing Institute
Tips for the Content-Development Process
Producing effective content requires a combination of creative originality and being able to accurately define your audience. If you can manage to do these two things with poise and relevance, your post or article is likely to be a hit.
While writing to promote a brand is (usually) beneficial, there can be some scary black holes that just about anyone can fall into if they don’t balance their content marketing efforts well enough.
Here’s a post from BufferSocial on how they lost nearly half of their social referral traffic (and why they think this happened).
Obviously this is something everyone will want to avoid, because less social traffic (and less “traffic” in general) = less conversions, which then = less money and therefore less success for an online business.
Traffic is literally everything.
Further Reading + Valuable Resources on Content Marketing
- “Your Content Doesn’t Matter [as much as you think]”
- “Our First Year as Content Marketers at GetAPP”
- SEER’s List of Influencer Marketing and PR Tools
- Siege Media’s Guide to StumbleUpon Marketing
- 5 Methods To Empower Curated Content by Linkarati
- A Growth Marketing Bedtime Story From Social Tools
- 24 Evergreen Content Types That Will Boost Your Traffic
What is a Conversion?
A conversion can be defined by many things… such as a user clicking on any button on a site, purchasing an item, or signing up for a newsletter.
In electronic commerce, conversion marketing is the act of converting site visitors into paying customers.
The Importance of Conversions
Conversions are important because without them any online business cannot thrive. You need conversions to gain subscribers, purchases, etc.
Conversion Rate Optimization, Explained
Conversion Rate Optimization, more commonly written among SEO’s as “CRO” focuses on the conversion as the core metric when optimizing any specific page.
Tools Used to Measure Conversions
Further Reading + valuable resources on Conversions
- Moz Explains CRO
- SEW “Think Conversions, Not Rankings”
- V9SEO “Traffic Without Conversions is a Traffic Accident”
Linkbuilding & Outreach
What is Linkbuilding?
Link building is the process of exchanging links with other websites to increase your own site’s backlinks.
What is Outreach?
Outreach is the process of “reaching out”… 😉
The Importance of Linkbuilding & Outreach + How the Two are Connected
You can think of linkbuilding and outreach as sister terms, kind of like SEO and Digital Marketing. The two are practiced in tandem in that outreach is used to supplement linkbuilding.
Linkbuilding is especially important because Google uses links as a means of discovering new websites and then using it’s UNEARTHLY algo to then rank the pages it finds on each site.
Tools used for Linkbuilding & Outreach
Further Reading + Valuable Resources
- MOZ Guide to Link Building (MUST READ)
- SEER’s Guide to Effective Outreach
- PointBlankSEO’s LinkBuilding Tactics
Assuming you know what the term “website design” means (pretty obvi), here is the pyramidial hierarchy of how website design is defined. It looks a little something like this:
Website Design > UX/UI Design > Front-end Development > Back-end Development
UX/UI Design + the Differences
UX is just a fancy way of writing “user experience”. It’s the literal experience a user has while viewing/checking out a website.
Also called “client-side development”, refers to the coding of a website that can be seen. Front-end code is what the user needs in order to interact with the interface. Ex. Colored or non-colored text, buttons, images, videos, links, bookmarks, tabs, other media, etc.
- Sometimes jQuery
Refers to the coding of a website that cannot be seen. The people who do back-end dev. are commonly called “programmers” over “back-end developers”.
- Ruby on Rails
- MySQL … and several others.
Helpful Tools for Website Design
- Adobe’s Creative Suite. Or more specifically the following applications:
- Pixlr – a free, online photo editor.
- Avocode – a beautiful collaborating tool for designers and developers.
- Sketch – a web app made solely for UX/UI designers.
- UxPin – a UX design platform that allows you to organize and work with multiple design files. Compatible with Sketch and Photoshop.
Further Reading + Valuable Resources on Website Design
- A Look At Uber’s Landing Page Testing from 2015 (remember, “trends change”? This is a great example of that).
- Be Careful About These 6 Web Design Trends in 2016
- Search Engine Watch’s 12 Good, Bad, and Ugly Web Design Trends for 2016
Digital Marketing Glossary
Below is an alphabetical list of terms and acronyms that refer to Digital Marketing, SEO, and everything inbetween. Many of these terms already exist in this guide, so consider below a recap.
Afterall, repeating things over and over again for the sake of learning them is what studying is. PLUS, knowledge of these will prevent you from sitting at your computer like this:
While we do want you to be a source of comic relief to the people around you, we also realize it’s a pain in the neck to not know what a term means after reading it several times.
That said – You’re welcome 🙂
Understanding ALL Those Acronyms
301 Redirect – Code meaning “moved permanently,” used to point browsers, spiders, etc. to the correct location of a missing or renamed URL. Pages marked with such a code will automatically redirect to another URL.
404 Error – This means that the webpage you were trying to reach could not be found on the server. It is a client-side error which means that either the page has been removed or moved and the URL was not changed accordingly, or that you typed in the URL incorrectly.
# – We hope you know what this means.
Acquisition – Refers to the point in time when a visitor becomes a qualified lead or customer. Think of the root word “acquire”.
AdSense (Google AdSense) – A pay-per-click advertisement application available to Web publishers as a way to generate revenue from the traffic on their sites. The owner of the site selects which ads they will host, and AdSense pays the owner each time the ads are clicked.
Aggregator – An Internet-based tool or application that collects and curates content (often provided via RSS feeds) from many different websites and displays it in one central location. Ex: Google Reader.
Algorithm – Mathematical rules and calculations a search engine uses to determine the rankings of the sites it has indexed. Every search engine has its own unique algorithm that gets updated on a frequent basis. Google’s has more than 200 major components. :O
Anchor Text – The non-URL text that is displayed in a hyperlink. Careful use of anchor text can produce both reader and SEO benefits. Example: in this hyperlink to Traffic Safety Store’s website, “Traffic Safety Store’s website” is the anchor text.
BL (Backlink) – an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website. The more backlinks you have pointing back to your site, the more popular it will be.
Blogging – the act of chronologically updating the world with your views via your own webpage (blog). People commonly blog about the following: their feelings, world events/news, science, books, and health and fitness to name a few.
Bounce Rate (also “Abandonment Rate”) – Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
Broken Link – Links to pages which no longer exist or have been moved to a different URL without (301) redirection. These links usually serve pages with the “404 Error” message. Incidentally, most search engines provide ways for visitors to report on broken or “dead” links.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) – The Cascading Style Sheet Specification is a computer language that is used to write formatting instructions, otherwise known as rules. These rules tell a web browser how webpage content should ‘look’— in terms of: layout.
CPC (Cost Per Click) – Refers to the actual price paid for each click in pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns.
CMS (Content Management System) – A content management system is a computer application that allows publishing, editing, modifying, organizing, deleting, and maintaining content from a central interface. Example: WordPress
Content – Any text, image, video, audio, app or other material published on the Internet for audience consumption.
Conversion – A desired action taken by a website visitor, such as making a purchase, registering for an event, subscribing to an e-newsletter, completing a lead-gen form, downloading a file, etc.
Conversion Rate – The percentage of visitors to a site or ad who actually take a further action, like buying a product or filling out a survey. Example: You have a goal to collect survey data through your site, 20 people visit it, but only 5 people complete the survey, you have a conversion rate of 25%.
CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) – Represents the ratio of the total cost of a pay-per-click campaign to the total number of leads or customers, often called “CPA” or “conversion cost.”
CPC – “Cost Per Click”
CRM – “Customer Relationship Management” (self explanatory)
CTA (Call-To-Action) – an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as “get access now”, “find out more” or “subscribe”.
CTR (Click Through Rate) – The percentage of people who actually click on a link after seeing it. Example: email message or sponsored ad.
Directory – An index of websites where the listings are compiled by hand, rather than by a crawler.
General Keywords – Keywords that aren’t particularly specific. Ex. “dog” vs. “longhaired german shepherd dog”
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on World Wide Web pages.
Hyperlink – Known as “link” for short, a hyperlink is a word or phrase which is clickable and takes the visitor to another Web page.
IBL (Inbound Link) – See “Backlink”.
Index – The actual collection of data and websites obtained by a search engine, also known as “search index.”
Java – A powerful programming language which is independent of platforms. Java can run on multiple computers and operating systems.
Keywords – The terms entered into a search engine by a user.
Keyword Density – The proportion of keywords to the total number of words in the copy of a website.
Keyword Stemming – A practice search engines use to group search results not only by exact KW matches, but also by variations of keywords in semantic groups, such as singular-plural, related suffixes, and synonyms.
KW – Acronym for “keyword”.
Landing Page – A standalone Web page that a user “lands” on, commonly after visiting a paid search-engine listing or following a link in an email newsletter. Landing pages are specifically designed for persuasion purposes. Example: to sell a product.
Leads – Potential buyers, subscribers, etc.
Lead Generation – In marketing, lead generation is the initiation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business.
Link Equity – Link equity (or as it’s often referred to, link juice) is a term used to describe the authority, trust, flow, and ultimately the power of a page within the context of inbound links. A page with strong link equity means that it has established a trusted and authoritative link profile from acquiring links from other trusted, contextually relevant, and authoritative websites.
Link Juice – See “Link Equity“.
Listing – A website’s presence in a search engine or directory.
Longtail Keywords (*sometimes* seen as “LTKs”) – Long–tail keywords are used to target niche demographics rather than mass audiences. LTKs are more specific and often less competitive than generic keywords.
Meta-Description – Also called “meta tag”, is a tag on a Web page located in the heading source code containing a basic description of the page.
Niche (also “niche market”) – A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused.
OBL (Outbound Link) – Any link on a Web page to an external Web page.
Open-Source Software – Computer software with a special license that allows users in the general public to edit and improve the source code. Ex: Wikipedia.
Organic Traffic – Traffic on a site that occurs organically, or without being purchased.
Organic Results (also “Organic/Natural Listings”) – Search results that haven’t been paid for.
PPC (Pay Per Click) – a business model whereby a company that has placed an advertisement on a website pays a sum of money to the host website when a user clicks on to the advertisement.
PR (in Marketing) – “Public Relations”
PR (in SEO) – “Page Rank” – The location of a listing on any given page in search engine results. Theoretical example: _________.com is listed on page 4 of Google’s SERPs.
Qualified Traffic – Search traffic (users) who are actively seeking or in the market for the product or service that you offer. AKA people who want to be on your site.
Query – Also called “search query”, the words/questions entered into a search engine by the user. Can be synonymous with KWs.
ROI (Return of Investment) – ROI is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. ROI measures the amount of return on an investment relative to the investment’s cost.
SE (Search Engine) – A program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user, used especially for finding particular sites on the World Wide Web.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – Search engine marketing is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page(s) – A search engine results page is the listing of results returned by a search engine in response to a keyword query.
Target Keywords – Target Keywords are the keywords used and pursued in SEO that are “targeted” for a website. They are often the most competitive terms, and usually also the hardest to rank for.
Target Market – The consumers a company wants to sell its products and services to, and to whom it directs its marketing efforts.
TLA – Three-Letter Acronym. Yes, this is real. There are acronyms for acronyms.
UGC (User Generated Content) – User–generated content is any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasting, pins, digital images, video, audio files, advertisements and other forms of media that was created by users of an online system or service. (Often made available via social media).
Unqualified Traffic – Search traffic (users) that are directed to your site via SERPS, but don’t have an actual need to be there. In other words, you dont have what they want.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – a reference (an address) to a resource on the Internet.
So, how are you feeling? Stressed, we’re sure.
We totally understand. This was a lot to take in, and you’ll probably have to go over it a few times in order to digest it all thoroughly.
While this guide will help you kick-start your marketing efforts, it’s just the basics. If you REALLY want endless value, we’ve made a special, futuristic thing for that…
The Teleporters Initiative
As an organization, it is our goal to be perpetually useful; just like evergreen content.
Be it to our clients, our peers, or our readers.
Teleporters is our digital marketing training program run through a private Slack channel. We created this initiative to help aspiring marketers reach their digital goals and dreams.
Through Teleporters, you will have access to our internal training materials (includes the same lessons and guides we provide to train new team members), on-going discussions about inbound marketing strategies, and the opportunity to engage directly with companies looking to hire digital talent.
The best part about Teleporters, is that it’s completely free, forever.