Amp Up Your Digital Marketing Strategy

In this second episode of Amplify, we continue the conversation about digital marketing strategy with SEO pro, Rod Holmes. Rod is the Managing Partner and the Director of Sales at Pilot Digital Marketing. He has been working with the web since its inception in the mid-90s and has been focused on digital marketing for more than 10 years.

Did you miss Part One? Check out the first half of our conversation with Rod Holmes.

Video Transcript:

Every time you do a search on Google and Bing, an auction takes place. Basically, Google says, “Hey, somebody just searched for this keyword. Who would like to put their ads in front of these people?”

Welcome to Amplify with White Knight Productions.

I’m your host, Gavin Tice. At White Knight, we’re all about amplifying voices through storytelling. And in this series, we’ll be connecting with industry professionals who know how to boost messages far and wide. Today, we’re very excited to have on our show, Rod Holmes, Managing Partner and the Director of Sales at Pilot Digital Marketing.

Are there ever any common mistakes that you see people making with their marketing or SEO work?

Well, on the SEO side of things, the biggest mistake is not paying enough attention to the technology of their websites. People kind of feel like if I just throw up a website on any, you know, Wix or Weebly, or Squarespace, that it must be as good as other platforms. And the unfortunate thing is that they’re not, from a technical perspective.

The foundation of SEO is the technology that’s powering your website and how optimized it is. And so from an SEO perspective, that’s the biggest deal. A lot of people spend time trying to write content that is keyword-focused, and that’s good. But if the underlying technology of the website is garbage, it doesn’t matter what you build on top of it, it’s just not going to work.

On the PPC side of things, the paid advertising (PPC stands for pay per click advertising), the biggest mistake is trying to do it yourself. Honestly, you cannot compete in Google Ads any longer without extensive background knowledge and a variety of artificial intelligence tools. You just, it’s impossible, it has grown to be so complicated, and you’re competing against people who are using these AI tools.

And it is a competition. Every time you do a search on Google and Bing, an auction takes place. Basically, Google says “Hey, somebody just searched for this keyword, who would like to put their ads in front of these people? Okay, and how much will you pay?” And people say, you know, companies say, “I’ll pay $1.50, I’ll pay $3, to have my ad show up.” Don’t just try Google ads and see what happens. Because what’s going to happen is you’re going to give Google your money and get nothing in return.

What’s your advice for someone who’s trying to develop a digital marketing strategy? And are there certain steps that they should take?

Yeah, yeah, that’s easy. The first step is to understand your keyword market. So you need to understand, and a lot of people will say  “keywords are dead.” That’s not true. Understanding how people are searching for your products or services is the foundation of everything you do. It’s the foundation of how you build your website, it’s the foundation of how you do any paid advertising. So you have to understand the phrases that people are using to find your product and service. And you have to make a decision on which one you’re going to go after.

So keywords tie very closely in with the buying funnel – people who are just getting started researching buying a product or service, and on down to people who were there shopping, and they’re looking for the best price or the best value. And you have to make a decision with the keywords of, do I target someone who’s at the very top and just getting into this? Do I target somebody who’s at the very bottom, and they’re ready to buy? Or somewhere in the middle? Because the keywords are all indicated where people are in the buying funnel.

Your digital marketing strategy should target levels in the buying funnel

Which tools or resources do you recommend to those wanting to amp up or ramp up their digital marketing strategies?

We use WordPress, by and large, for making websites. It is the market leader. It has anywhere between 35% and 45% of the market share depending on what you read. And because of that, all of the latest tools, all the latest gizmos that are available for websites, usually they start with WordPress. So WordPress usually has the most options, and it is incredibly easy to optimize from an SEO perspective. So we like WordPress.

It almost goes without saying your website should be using Google Analytics. And you should have Search Console, Google Search Console. So Google Search Console is a free console that lets you communicate with Google and Google communicate with you about your website. And you just have to sign up for it. It’s incredibly valuable, incredibly valuable.

And then the last one I’ll mention is, a lot of companies do not measure how many phone calls they get based off of their website or their online advertising. And we highly recommend a service called Call Rail. And it lets you basically track your phone calls and learn how many phone calls came from Google organic searches, how many came from advertisements via Bing or Facebook or wherever. If somebody can call you as a way of converting, you need to measure and it’s inexpensive and a great tool.


Thank you so much Rod for sharing your expertise and insights into digital marketing. To learn more about Rod and his company, Pilot Digital Marketing, visit and to hear more insider scoops on how to amplify your story. Be sure to follow White Knight Productions on your preferred social media for updates on future episodes.