Skip to main content

Due to its complexity, the digital marketing space can be difficult to navigate for seasoned traditional marketers, let alone small business owners. To make matters more confusing, the digital landscape is constantly changing and there seems to be a never-ending and growing list of service providers, all claiming to be ‘the best’ in their respective fields. This combination makes it difficult and potentially dangerous for small business owners to choose the right service and provider without the appropriate guidance or education.

To help you wrap your head around the digital marketing space, here’s an outline of the four main services available and the potential pros and cons of each.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO is the process of improving your website’s search visibility within search engines such as Google or Bing. In other words, improving your website’s ranking. SEO is perhaps the most effective method of boosting your website’s traffic or visits if done properly. It involves improving the ‘authority’ that your website has within search engines by having other websites linking to it and containing unique and original quality content. To get started, make sure you ask any company or sponsor you work with for case studies and testimonials linking back to your website to build your authority.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords is a product provided by Google where you pay-per-click (PPC) in order to be ranked within the ads section of the search engine. The price you pay-per-click is based on the keywords you target (e.g ‘home builders’) and it works on a bidding system. This means that the more competition there is for bids on a particular keyword, the higher the price. This can be an effective method depending on your business and industry and generally, businesses with higher value products or services have better success. When looking into this service, it’s important you pick a company that evaluates a range of digital marketing solutions to ensure it’s the best fit for your business and needs. Companies who specialise in this may not take into account other services that may be more appropriate.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is a powerful tool to reach your specific target audience. In saying this, advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms can have a lower cost per click, but a more expensive cost per conversion, in comparison to other digital products. It combines a mix of direct and indirect marketing though, which is something that AdWords or SEO cannot do, assisting to build brand equity. Facebook is the most common platform to advertise on but like other services, it’s best to speak with an agency who offers marketing on a range of social platforms to ensure the options presented are the best for your business objectives.


Retargeting or remarketing is the process of re-advertising to people who have already visited your website. It’s likely you have been retargeted yourself at some stage and have been served an ad for a website you have visited recently. This is a highly effective and generally inexpensive way of ensuring you get the most out of your website visitors. Retargeting is generally done through Google AdWords and it works best in combination with SEO and (or) AdWords, so this is something to consider when looking at the other services.

To help plan and track where you need to spend your time and focus – download our free guide; 7 Habits of Highly Effective Small Business Owners – and work smarter, not harder on your business.


Author Anna

More posts by Anna