Online Marketing – What Works Best in 2023.

by Ash Horton
November 2, 2022

Online marketing is at the centre of most businesses success stories, so In this article, you’ll learn what marketing works best in 2023, by industry. I’ll explain the technical jargon in everyday English and give you a guide to self-start for your digital marketing agency before engaging an agency.

What is Digital Marketing?

Marketing is a really broad term and no one person could ever hope to know it all – it’s just not possible. People devote their entire careers to niche specialties within the marketing realm, and I’ve never met someone who’s stopped learning within the industry, but why this matters is because if you think you’re going to hire a marketing manager in your business, they’re not going to have the well-rounded skills, you’d find when engaging an agency.

Think of marketing as an engine that needs lots of moving parts to work simultaneously to gain traction. If you don’t use the right oil or you’re missing a few vital parts, you’re not going anywhere.

Another point to make about online marketing is that business owners often come to Thinkroom asking for a product. They’ll say “I just need Facebook advertising”. But what they’re actually looking for is more high-quality leads. It’s not a product you need, it’s an engine that outputs leads.

Changing your mentality to creating an engine, and ensuring that your engine is well maintained and fuelled correctly, is the answer. You need to fire on all cylinders or you’ll never have a chance of winning, or even competing.

Types Of Online Marketing

Digital marketers throw around terms like Local SEO, EDM’s, GA4 – Analytics, Remarking, PPC, Content Optimisation, Bounce Rate, Keyword Research and the list goes on. I’ll attempt to explain a few of these in the easiest possible language for you.


SEO (search engine optimisation) is a type of online marketing technique to attract traffic organically to your website. When I use the term organic, I mean it is traffic that you’re attracting without directly paying for it. Instead, Google is recognising you as relevant, and dishing you up as a result to the user searching that topic.

With SEO, you’re not bumping yourself to the front of the list of search results and paying Google for the click, like you would with Google ads. If you think of Facebook advertising and Google ads as “push advertising’, then SEO would be thought of as “pull advertising”.

SEO is a long-term game. You can’t gain Google’s trust overnight. It takes consistency and making life easy for Google, for them to want to rank you. There are two parts to SEO. The technical aspects and content optimisation.

Technical SEO

It’s best to think of technical SEO as keeping a tidy, well-maintained house. Your house is your website, and as websites age, technology leaves them not being able to cope with the demands of online marketing in 2023. Similarly, if you had a 1960s home, you’d expect that the wiring and fusebox needs replacing to prevent a fire hazard. Not to mention all the gadgets requiring more load that we’re powering nowadays. Tech-geeks will also make it super easy for Google to index, read, understand and therefore recommend your website to people who search relevant terms.

For example, a techy will add Schema’s to the backend of your site. An FAQ schema is a structured way to say “Hey Google, these are the FAQs that people always search”. Maybe you should promote these and deliver them in search results.

SEO tech-wizards also run reports to find and remove duplicate content. They’ll reduce image size for fast loading, they’ll make sure your site displays correctly on all kinds of phones. All of which, if done incorrectly, costs you penalties in rankings.

There’s a lot more to Technical SEO, but let’s not dive too deep into the rabbit hole, or your eyes might glaze over. Just know that it’s valuable stuff.

Content Optimisation

Content optimisation starts with Keyword Research. First, you’ll have to research all the keyword phrases that people are searching on Google and the volume of searches per month. Without this, your website will be floating around cyberspace, never being able to be found. You’ll map your website and assign keywords to specific pages. The idea is to rank for those searched phrases by writing them into the content on the page. There’s a real science to this, meaning that you can’t just write the keyword phrase 100 times within the content, because Google will know you’re trying to be sneaky with your online marketing. There’s a metric called keyword density to keep you honest. First and foremost, content needs to be written naturally.

A talented SEO content writer will know all the tricks to start having you rank in these terms. They’ll plan out the strategy, the keyword sitemap, and monitor, tweak and optimise on an ongoing basis.

Content optimisation is valuable for all businesses that have a website, but for an eCommerce website, it’s important that the content doesn’t get in the way of excellent user experience. No-one like a website flooded with hard to read text.


PPC is another type of 2023 online marketing. PPC advertising means you’re paying per click. You’re paying Google, or Facebook, or Instagram, for example, to be promoted to the front of the listings, or feeds, but every time someone clicks on your ad, it costs you money. To keep it simple, consider it “push advertising”. You’re pushing your ads towards people, rather than pulling them in by attraction.

Facebook ads

Facebook ads are a form of PPC online marketing. You’re interrupting someone’s feed with your promotion. If people click on these ads, it costs you money. How it works is that you’ll set a budget and an audience in Facebook ad manager, you’ll create an ad, and almost immediately, you’ll be shown to your selected audience. If only it were that easy.

First, you’ve got to understand that when advertising on someone’s social feed, they’re not necessarily in a buying mentality. In fact, you’re interrupting them. A PPC agency, or a specialist Facebook advertising agency will help you bunny hop all the mistakes that most advertisers make and although this is interruption advertising, if you have a product that no-one searches for, then it’s ideal for getting in front of people.

Google Ads

Google Ads are another form of pay per click advertising but you’re not interrupting someone’s feed. Instead, the user is directly searching for keyword phrases, often with buyer’s intent. There are many types of Google ads, there are display ads, Google Shopping for eCommerce sites, and more. Get this right, and you’ll discover an online marketing winning formula that you can turn on when you need more sales, and turn off when you’re at capacity. Think of it as a tap and instead of water, out flows the leads.

There are other forms of PPC in 2023, such as Pinterest Advertising, TikTok, LinkedIn and if to summarise, if they’re a social platform, you’re engaging in interruption marketing. Be clear on the channels you choose and remember, it all starts with keyword research to validate your assumptions.


If you’ve ever felt like you’re being stalked around the internet by ads, then this is remarketing. Some people call it retargeting – it’s the same thing. Thinkroom will usually set up remarketing for our clients using Facebook and Instagram. You can use Google also, but we find that Facebook and Instagram are most effective.

How this works is that if people show an interest in your website, or even a specific page / service on your website, then we know they’re potentially in the buying cycle. Often, people won’t buy instantly. If you think about when you last purchased a car, it’s likely that you researched the cars, the pricing or similar cars, online reviews, the milage per litre and took a matter of months to make the buying decision. What this means is that you easily could start looking the car from Company A, but over time, forget about Company A, and buy from Company B.

Remarketing is an online marketing method in 2023 to stay in front of potential buyers over a period of time.

A good digital remarketing agency will set the frequency just right, without seeming like a stalker. They’ll know who on your site was interested, versus who had a look and didn’t engage.

They’ll know what budget to set, because believe us when we say, Facebook will use all of your budget, regardless of what you set.

Quick Note

As a quick interlude, it’s important to go back to the fact that marketing is an engine. Think about this for a moment. Although unwritten, if you were spending money with Google on ads, do you think they’re more likely to rank you for SEO too? Would it be likely that they’d see the activity that you’re firing on two or more cylinders, rather than one, and therefore you’re more likely to be a legitimate, trustworthy business?

Next, we’ll discuss EDM’s

What is an EDM?

EDM means electronic direct mail. We all refer to it as email marketing. It’s using MailChimp or Drip, or HubSpot to send bulk, or automated emails to your client database.

EDM’s are a cost effective way to stimulate your sales, especially for those running eCommerce websites. eCommerce sites will typically send out Black Friday Sale EDM’s, or setup automations to ask clients for customer reviews.

Where businesses can go wrong with this is the timing of the mailers. A digital agency will test, measure and go through the analytics of all campaigns to see when recipients react the best. They’ll have proven ways to write compelling, effective headlines, and they’ll provide useful information to the readers.

Get this wrong and you can really numb your customers to your brand. Get it right, and you’ll use it as a tool to spike revenues and create a fun, engaging brand personality.

EDM’s have been around for years, but rumour has it that in online marketing in 2023, you’ll be able to transact directly in the email, as opposed to having to go to the website. This makes like more convenient for the user, and convenience always wins the race. An example of convenience winning is that you never thought you’d trust loading your credit card onto your phone, but yet, it’s now the norm.

Local SEO

What is local SEO and how does it differ from normal SEO. Well, to keep it simple, Google dishes up search results on a map sometimes and pins businesses to that map. Normal SEO is your standard search result that displays in text.

This is really important because if you were searching for a hairdresser in Noosa, and the results you got were in Sydney, you’d be less than impressed. Local SEO is a quick way to get you found by locals searching for the products or services you have. It’s perfect for trade businesses, or any business with an address that customers can visit.

Local SEO requires keyword research and your website to be optimised with the right content also. Google wants to see that your website says the same as what you’re writing in your Google Business profile too. So, coming back to the engine analogy, one product won’t work independently.

If you haven’t got local SEO in your marketing mix, you’re missing opportunities and traffic with the intention to buy. Remember all SEO doesn’t have a cost per click, so it’s a no-brainer to set these foundations that you’ll reap rewards from for years to come.

Review Strategy

Why reviews are important in online marketing is not only to maintain your reputation but also because Google see’s this as a major trust element and it affects your ranking in both SEO and local SEO. Get as many reviews as you can because if you get a negative review, you’ll want all the positive ones to dilute it.

Google is now also recognising that old reviews are out of date, so although you may have banked a tonne in the past, you need a continual review strategy to get new ones. You need to answer your reviews, and ideally your keywords are popping up in the content as well.

What is GA4?

GA4 is a new version of Google Analytics and why it’s important to be using this is because if you’re investing time and money into your online marketing in 2023, you need to make sure you’re getting the cold hard facts about your effectiveness.

If you have an agency showing you Facebook reports, it’s best to ask for your final invoice and move on. The analytics from a platform doesn’t measure conversions. It measures clicks, engagements, likes and stuff that makes no sense at all, while making you look good.

The reality is that as a business owner; you want to increase revenue. This means you must be measuring conversions and the way to do this is by adding something called a tag to the code in your website. Adding Google tag manager means you can track any leads coming from PPC channels such as Facebook, or Google Ads, etc. and then track the lead to watch their behaviour on your website. You’ll track how long they spent on your site, which pages they visited, and the ultimate question – did they buy?

GA4 is an overhauled version of google Analytics, allowing these metrics so our data geeks can tell all the PPC and SEO guys if they’re doing their jobs effectively.

Google Analytics is top of the food chain when it comes to digital marketing. If you think you’re getting a lot of traction with an ad, yet GA4 tells you if you’re getting a high bounce rate, then GA4 is king, and you’ll stop advertising on the channel, or change tact.

Brand Story

Lastly, let’s discuss brand story. There are over a million websites added to the inter web per month, and guess what, they’re mostly boring.

How do you separate yourself from competitors when you’re offering the same? A business coach will harp on about company values and that’s great. They’re not wrong, but the execution of telling a great story will win the hearts of your readers. People will personify your brand and resonate with your values. They’re more likely to choose you because they like you, as opposed to only having price as their measure.

I’ve planted a seed. Here’s ours.

There comes a time in one’s life where grinding away at the corporate 9-5 comes soulless, unfulfilling, and mind-numbing. You’ve earned your stripes at the top of your profession, money really isn’t motivating anymore, and having a balanced, healthy lifestyle is. Most importantly, life should be fun.


  • If it’s not fun, don’t do it.
  • Help good, not evil.
  • Don’t use industry jargon, be a human.
  • Communicate better than any other agency.
  • No materialism – no fancy cars, offices or suits.
  • No contracts, there’s no need.
  • Help small to medium business owners. Don’t work with corporates.
  • Only help people that we enjoy working with.
  • Support NGO’s.
  • Encourage working remotely & experience the world.

Life is short, so we may as well enjoy it. These rules have forged a culture that has us in hysterics, that has us dedicated to the winning formula, establish friendships beyond just client/supplier relationships and as corny as it sounds, it’s a culture of family.

We value our team mentality. We don’t overwork, because that’s when ground-hog day sets in and creativity dies. We limit the clients we work with, allowing performance results, personal time, happiness and friendships. We stay small. If we grow Thinkroom, we’ll be managing employees rather than doing what we love. We keep it tight, down-to-earth and with a theme of excellence.

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