KARACHI:

Digital marketing has overshadowed conventional methods because the advantages of digital tools far outweigh the disadvantages. Digital marketing targets specific and eager customers.

IT professionals and mentors, speaking to The Express Tribune, highlighted the stark contrast between conventional and digital marketing. Conventional marketing relied on huge funds for billboards, broadcast, TV, or radio 15 or 20 years ago. While product introductions reached millions of people, not all were eager to make a purchase. For instance, if a housewife saw an advertisement for fertilisers, it would be irrelevant to her. Out of millions of viewers, only a few may be potential customers. This made it difficult for small-scale startups with limited budgets, like Rs5,000 to Rs10,000, to effectively market products.

In contrast, digital marketing offers numerous options to target specific customers. For instance, a fashion designer selling fancy, high-end dresses for women, can target women within a specific age group, residing in affluent areas. Tailoring product offerings can narrow down the target audience as well. However, it’s not guaranteed that the target audience is willing to make a purchase. For example, if someone recently bought a sweater, they might not be interested in purchasing another one immediately, even if the company is promoting sweaters. Ads are often displayed to audiences during website content consumption or social media browsing, through push marketing strategies.

Digital marketing encompasses various strategies, including content marketing, social media marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), email marketing, PPC (Pay Per Click), and Google ads.

SEO stands out as a particularly powerful tool compared to other digital and push marketing methods. When someone searches for a product or website, their intent is clear—they are fully interested in it, which is why they are searching for it. For instance, if someone is seeking a good lawyer in New York, they will likely search for “best lawyer in New York” and find top-rated professionals. SEO experts play a crucial role in bridging the gap between buyers and sellers. Service or product-based companies often enlist the help of SEO professionals to enhance their online visibility and attract potential customers.

The top three positions on the first page are highly coveted, both regionally and globally, depending on the client’s requirements. SEO or App Store Optimisation (ASO) professionals undertake approximately 50 activities to improve the ranking of a website or app, aiming to attract more businesses. They may advise clients to consider acquiring a new domain if their current site has fallen into disfavour with Google due to issues like plagiarism, typos, poor grammar, unauthorised image use, and other violations. Service charges for SEO or ASO practitioners vary depending on the location and the successful achievement of ranking among the top three positions.

Additionally, a significant number of local shopkeepers and traders are turning to SEO professionals to develop and enhance their respective e-commerce sites. This trend has contributed to thriving businesses, aided by the availability of motorbike riders ensuring efficient home delivery services.

“There are approximately 1.2 million SEO experts worldwide, with over 30,000 professionals based in Pakistan. Currently, we exclusively offer SEO services to foreign clients valued at $3,000 per month, assuring them of a top-three website ranking within six months. Local companies often have limited budgets for SEO services. However, other local SEO professionals cater to these companies, charging fees ranging from Rs50,000 to Rs100,000 per month. SEO learners can enhance their skills by acquiring knowledge through social media platforms and following the top 25 SEO experts recognised by Google. I am honoured to be among them, the only one in the country,” remarked Mehboob Shar, Eminent SEO Expert, Founder, and CEO of Icreativez Technologies.

SEO Professional Ghulam Mustafa underscored that SEO experts strive to ensure their clients’ websites appear on the first search engine result page (SERP). By achieving a prominent position within the top 10 to 12 results, visitors are more likely to browse the site, leading to increased business opportunities.

Another SEO Expert, Ms Mubeen Muzammil, shared her focus on enhancing the ranking of local sites. She highlighted the importance of metrics such as clicks, impressions, comments, and website or app visits. These factors contribute to improved site popularity and traffic, ultimately leading to more advertisements and better revenue generation.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2024.

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