Originally at https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/03/16/paid-search-and-social-an-introduction-to-your-first-steps-in-digital-marketing/

So you’ve realized, for one reason or another, that it’s time to crank up the volume of your business and invest in digital marketing.

You’ll be faced with an immediate question: there are so many different channels in digital marketing, which one do you try first?

Well, the first step is knowing what each channel does, then we can narrow down your options with some recommendations.

Breakdown of channels

Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a webpage to increase the volume of traffic entering the site by obtaining a high-ranking position on search engine results pages (SERPs).

SEO is typically a long-term play, can take months of optimization to increase rank and requires tons of maintenance to hold or improve your position.

Paid search

Paid search (also know as pay-per-click – PPC) is a method of online advertising used to direct targeted traffic to websites through search engine results. This is done by bidding on keywords to enable your ads to show for relevant searches.

Paid social

Paid Social advertising involves placing ads on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, directly in the news feeds of targeted users.


Display advertising consists of banner ads on targeted websites that present your product/service to large sets of audiences.


Native advertising is promoting branded content that matches the form and function of the user environment it is served in.

Which one do I choose first?

No doubt there are lots of options to choose from. If you’re a small to medium size business, chances are you’re looking to kick-start your growth and want traffic to come in fast, but also to keep ROI and efficiency as a focus.

With this in mind, you can narrow things down to paid search and social as these are the channels that can bring in volume faster than the others while also offering plenty of levers which you can pull to optimize efficiency…

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