A principle used in statistics called the 80/20 rule concludes that there is an 80-to-20 relationship between effects and their causes. Also called the Pareto Principle, after Italian mathematician and economist Vilfredo Pareto, this formula can help guide marketers in focusing their efforts and resources where they will have the most impact.  

Ensuring that time, energy, and money are directed to the 20% of digital marketing activities that deliver the best results is key to helping businesses drive revenue and growth. Today, there are a wide range of tools, solutions and strategies marketers can leverage, making it difficult to determine which ones to focus on. 

What are the 20% of digital marketing initiatives that can yield 80% of revenue and results? The answer is simple – focusing on the five critical areas outlined below can help marketers generate the best return on investment. 


This is less about focusing on quality in terms of the look and feel of the company website and more about function. The quality of web design is important, but what is more important is to focus on ensuring that the company has a quality website as defined by Google. If Google determines that a company has a quality website, the company will show up in the search rankings when consumers are searching for that product or service. When it comes to ensuring websites are “Google optimized,” marketers should focus on making them:

  • Fast loading – Load speeds can make or break a website. The longer it takes a webpage to load the higher the bounce rate and high bounce rates have a negative impact on a company’s search engine rankings. Site speed also has a direct impact on the bottom line. A survey conducted by Retail Systems Research revealed that 90% of shoppers will abandon a site if it is too slow.
  • Mobile friendly – With the number of smartphone users in the United States estimated to reach 275.66 million this year, optimizing the company’s website for mobile viewing is no longer a nice-to-have but a must have. Marketers should focus on ensuring that visitors to their websites have the same high-quality user experience across smartphones, desktops and tablets. Mobile optimized websites also fare better in search rankings. Last year Google announced mobile-first indexing for all new, previously unknown to Google Search, websites which means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of webpage content for indexing and ranking.
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  • Up-to-date – Keeping websites up to date with fresh content and reliable operating and contact information helps potential customers can find the information they need to engage with a company for more information and/or to make a purchase. Beyond that, websites that are not updated frequently are downgraded by search engines and sink in the rankings.


Focusing on developing a solid SEO strategy ensures that customers can find a company on Google. In оrdеr to rank well in search engine results, websites need search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a powerful tool and a must if a company wants to be found online. Consider these facts: Google processed 12.18 billion search queries in July 2020 alone, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine and 66% of distinct search queries result in one or more clicks.

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A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is key to helping businesses stay connected to their customers and improving profitability. As a tool that collects a customer’s demographic data, email address, contact information, social media details and more, CRM allows companies to use that data to solicit reviews, communicate regularly and run promotions through email and text. Using CRM, marketers can ensure their businesses stay top-of-mind with existing customers, making it a critical part of any digital marketing plan.

Reputation Management 

Another key focus area for businesses is reputation management. Consumers look to reviews to guide decisions ranging from buying a product, to booking a hotel room to selecting a service provider. 

According to BrightLocal, consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business and the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than a product with 0 reviews. The implications of these findings mean that businesses need to focus on increasing and improving reviews to protect and enhance their bottom lines. 

This data also underscores the importance of keeping an eye on company ratings on sites such as Google Places, Facebook, Yelp and Trip Advisor.  Marketers should aim to have between 5-10 reviews with an average score of 4.5 stars or higher. It is also important to note that in reputation management it is not only critical for a business to have reviews posted, it is just as critical to respond to these reviews. 

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With over 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook pages are important to business success. Marketers should be focusing on maximizing their company’s presence on this platform to engage with target audiences. Businesses that are not on Facebook are essentially giving up share of wallet to competitors. Marketers should have a Facebook strategy that includes frequently asking customers to be followers of company pages and developing a regular cadence of posting so that their company continues to appear in the newsfeed.  A robust Facebook strategy is key to retaining existing customers, attracting new ones and generating repeat business from both these customer segments. 

There are a plethora of marketing tools, strategies and solutions available today. This makes it challenging for marketers to determine where to put their time and resources to generate the greatest return on investment. Using the 80/20 rule can help marketers focus on five key digital marketing areas to deliver the best results.

About the Author: Steven Clayton worked in the  Information Systems field within Corporate America for 19 years. He had many roles during that time including: Chief Information Officer for a public company and ended his corporate career as a Vice President for a Fortune 500 company. After leaving corporate, Steve became a serial entrepreneur. He started and/or co-founded six different startups, four of which are in business today (the two oldest are now over a decade old) and running profitably. His companies employ more than 60 people all around the world. To learn more about NetBlaze, visit www.NetBlaze.com.