Why Should Web Developers Learn Fundamentals of Digital Marketing?
Web Design & Development
Becoming a top-notch web developer indeed requires a broad range of skill sets. However, if you think being merely proficient in several programming languages is sufficient for you to be successful, you are seriously mistaken. Especially if you’re a part of a leading web development company or work as an individual full stack web developer, it becomes all the more essential for you to get a firm grasp of the fundamentals of digital marketing.
According to Forrester’s latest US Digital Marketing Forecast, digital marketing spending is all set to hit $150 Billion by 2023. Additionally, various studies show that the digital marketing industry is growing at an unprecedented rate of between 25 and 30% per year. Thus, getting well-familiar with digital marketing basics can drastically improve your prospects as a web developer.
In this blog, we will discuss the fundamentals of digital marketing and some genuine reasons why web developers should level up their digital marketing skills, but before going any further, let’s understand what digital marketing exactly is.
What is Digital Marketing?
Simply put, digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes digital channels and electronic media, such as desktop and mobile devices, social media, and search engines, to help you reach potential users or customers and promote products or services. In other words, digital marketing is the combination of all strategies and efforts you put to advertise your business online. The most prevalent form of digital marketing involves online marketing.
Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
Before you learn how digital marketing can prove beneficial for you as a web developer, it’s crucial to understand what it includes. Here is a simplified list of the components of digital marketing:
#Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs) to increase organic traffic. As a web developer, you can use numerous SEO strategies to improve the ranking of your website on major search engines, like:
- Employ a mobile-first design strategy
- Clean up your website’s code to decrease page load time
- Deploy HTTPS on your site
- Streamline your site’s design and navigation to enhance the user experience
- Add meta tags and schema markup to your site
#Social Media Marketing & Optimization (SMM + SMO)
This involves leveraging the power of social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, to improve brand identity, build brand awareness, connect with potential customers, and drive more traffic and sales, either by advertising or captivating content. As a web developer, you should never forget to add social meta tags to your website to ensure your content is shown correctly on social media channels.
It involves all marketing and communication efforts made through an email platform using fully-responsive email templates.
It entails creating and distributing relevant, engaging, and persuasive content consistently to drive profitable actions. Digital marketing content typically includes blog posts, email newsletters, landing pages, eBooks, video content, and podcasts.
#Conversion Rate Optimization
This is the process of understanding what is working and what is not to convert potential visitors to customers, testing and improving accordingly to achieve the best possible results. It usually involves creating a landing page and implementing a successful conversion rate optimization strategy.
It involves collecting, analyzing, and reporting your website’s data to see what works and what doesn’t and improve accordingly. The most widely used tool for website traffic analysis is Google Analytics, while other popular options include Matomo, Crazy Egg, and Adobe Analytics.
#Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
It is the practice of promoting a website on search engine results pages primarily through paid advertising, which includes pay-per-click (PPC), pay-per-impression (PPI), and display ads.
It is a multi-channel, digital marketing strategy focused on reaching a target audience on mobile devices through emails, websites, SMS, MMS, social media, and apps.
The Importance of Digital Marketing for Web Developers
Now let’s move to the main point: the benefits of getting familiar with the fundamentals of digital marketing as a web developer. Here are a few reasons why all web developers need to acquire digital marketing skills:
#Allows You to Work Individually
If you’re developing a website and have no idea about the right placements of elements, you won’t work individually. You’ll always have to hire somebody else to help you design the website appropriately, keeping the optimization in mind.
On the contrary, if you’re familiar with digital marketing basics, you don’t need to outsource any work, saving you a fair amount of money and eventually increasing your income.
#Helps You Become an All-Rounder
If you’re a web development professional seeking to start your own business by launching your own product line or services, familiarizing yourself with digital marketing fundamentals will help you venture out into different digital marketing areas. You can gradually begin offering other services to your clients.
However, this doesn’t essentially mean that you have to do everything on your own. You can hire dedicated web developers to help you out and make things easier for you. Nonetheless, being a business owner, it will always be beneficial for you to have a fair knowledge of digital marketing basic concepts to guide your team to work efficiently.
#Enables You to Build an Up-to-Date Website/App
When you take up a project as a web developer, the client expects you to stick to the latest web development trends and technologies. By acquiring digital marketing skills, you get an added advantage of naturally designing a leading-edge, visually appealing website that performs well across all devices and search engines, just the way the client expects it to be.
#Helps You Better Understand the User Feedback
Under digital marketing, you learn how to track analytics. This allows you to check if your website design is well optimized or you need to improve it further. You can monitor each page’s performance and make a few changes to pages having a higher bounce rate than others.
Using analytics, you can analyze users’ behavior, check if your call-to-actions are yielding the desired results, and identify the pages where visitors tend to exit the site so that you can make necessary changes accordingly.
#You Can Perform A/B Testing
A web developer understands the importance of website testing, and a digital marketer knows well how to use analytics results effectively. By combining both skills, you can do A/B testing to compare the outcomes before and after the changes to identify which design elements your users prefer the most.
#Helps You Become a More In-Demand Candidate
As a web developer, you already create aesthetically pleasing websites that work like a charm. But, if you have the skill set to drive targeted traffic to the site and boost conversion rates, it will automatically increase your market value as a developer, making you more attractive to clients’ eyes. You can then offer bundled services like content marketing, AdWords management, SEO, SMO to give more value to the client and grab the opportunity to earn even more.
On the other hand, if you’re a part of a web development company, you can approach your manager or employer to apply your skills to ongoing and prospective projects to get a promotion or salary increase. In short, mastering the basics of digital marketing adds more value to your profession as a web developer.
#Have a Great Fallback Career
This statement sounds pathetic, but the reality is that if you’re an ordinary web developer just like others, your job would always be at stake. On the other side, a web developer who knows digital marketing basic concepts would always be in the safe zone due to additional skills. So why not acquire digital marketing skills before the need arises?
Where to Learn Digital Marketing Basics?
Here are some of the best resources to help you learn and study digital marketing fundamentals, broken down by category:
- Search Engine Optimization: Free SEO Learning Center by Moz and SEO Training Course by HubSpot.
- Social Media Marketing & Optimization: Free Social Media Marketing Course by HubSpot and Free Social Media Marketing Courses and Tutorials on Udemy.
- Email Marketing: Email Marketing Course by HubSpot.
- Content Marketing: Free Content Marketing Course by HubSpot and Promote a Business with Content by Google.
- Conversion Rate Optimization: The Guide to CRO by QuickSprout.
- Analytics: Learn Analytics for Free by Google.
- Search Engine Marketing: Your Guide to Google Ads.
The Bottom Line: Web Developer + Digital Marketing Skills = WOW!
While digital marketing is not directly related to web development, combining these skills will give you a specialized skill set that is beneficial to you in every manner. Whether you’re an independent web developer, working at a web development agency, or running a web development business, your digital marketing knowledge will help you create profitable websites that generate leads, lift sales and drive more revenue. So go ahead and level up your digital marketing skills to become a competent web developer.