Digital Marketing for the Layperson

Digital Marketing for the Layperson

You’re reading this because phrases like these don’t make much sense:


         Digital Marketing

         Social Media Marketing (SMM)

         Search Engine Marketing (SEM/PPC)

         Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

         SEO Audit

         Content Strategy

         Link Building


This list goes on and on and all of the buzzwords can truly make your head spin. We’ll try to break it all down for you, the layperson, so you have a beginner’s understanding of what we do and why we do it.

These are definitions of each of these phrases by OUR terms. Others may disagree. They’re probably wrong (just kidding).


Digital marketing encompasses everything we do – this includes but is not limited to creating, updating & managing your website, your company and products mentioned on other websites (like Yelp or Facebook) and advertisement placements. Everything to follow on this list is a small aspect of digital marketing.

Search engine marketing,
abbreviated to SEM, refers to any PAID activities that place an advertisement on search engine result pages, like Google and Bing. This is often interchangeable with pay-per-click (PPC) as you only pay each time someone clicks on an ad but not when someone views an ad (called an impression). The most well-known SEM platform is Google AdWords.

Social media marketing,
abbreviated to SMM, refers to any PAID activities that place advertisements on social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other sites.

Search engine optimization
, abbreviated to SEO, encompasses all activities with the explicit goal to help people find your website faster and easier through search engines, mainly Google.

The SEO audit
is a large document we prepare that encompasses a full evaluation of your website and digital marketing activities prior to starting a digital marketing campaign. It gives you tons of insight into your site and drives the direction of our campaigns. We perform a similar, but abbreviated, site analysis prior to creating a new website.

Link building
is hard to explain. It is critical to SEO.

We’ll explain it first with an analogy – if you were driving to a friend’s house for the first time located at 55 Sunflower Lane, you look for signs and other signals to get there. If there were no signs and no signals for Sunflower Lane, it would be damn hard to get there. It might take quite a while longer and you can bet you wouldn’t be able to find any shortcuts.

And when you did finally get to Sunflower Lane, what if all the homes looked the same with no house numbers?

It’s the same deal for a website without links.

No links means the website will be buried in search engine results (AKA not on the first page) and someone would have to click or look through 10’s or even 100’s of links before finding that buried website.

Your website, to be successful in search rankings, needs to have links from other sites pointing to it. In most cases, you’ll also have links on your site to other pages of the site, such as an “about” page or a “contact” page. Link building is the process of attempting to build links from external sites to your site.


Content strategy is just writing styled and coupled with imagery. We plan what topic to write about, where to place the writing, draft it with you, design it with other media (like images and video), style it into a webpage and launch it.

If we’re not an expert on the topic, we know how to find a writer that is.


We hoped this helped you understand what we do and some of the phrases you may hear in your digital marketing endeavors!