We’ve definitely learned in the last year that digital marketing is essential if your business is going to survive significant disruptions. Companies such as Bubbles and Balm, who were previously hesitant to grow their online presence, found a digital pivot crucial to survival in 2020.
Hopefully, your business already has a strong website and social media and you’re building your reputation and search engine optimization (SEO). However, you can always maximize the impact of the web on your company.
How can you take advantage of digital marketing to the fullest? Let’s take a look.
Make Sure You Own Your Website
Some websites give you the opportunity to set up a free website, but you don’t fully control the platform. This means that your ability to sell products and services can be limited, and the overseeing company can change the rules at any time.
As John Vuong, the founder of Local SEO Search, points out, “Your website is your biggest online asset. You have to own it. You need your own domain name and hosting.”
You don’t have to break the bank to have a great website. Your own domain name and hosting are available everywhere from Siteground to GoDaddy, and you can create websites using provided builders or WordPress. It all depends on the level of customization and design you’re interested in.
Working with a marketing firm to design your website is another great idea. When you work with an SEO company, your website will not only be attractive and easy to use, it will also be properly optimized to attract your target audience and convert visitors into customers.
Solidify Your Message
Once you own your website, it’s time to create the content. A strong website needs a variety of content pages as well as a blog with fresh posts on a regular basis.
Vuong notes, “Think about who you’re serving and what they’re looking for. What do people want? What problems do visitors have that you can solve — and are they willing to pay for those solutions?”
You’ll need to amplify your message from your website across a variety of other platforms as well, such as social media. It’s best to create a content calendar so that your messaging is consistent over time.
If you don’t have the time to update social media on a regular basis, focus on the platforms that your ideal customers use most. For instance, they might spend the most time on Instagram, or perhaps on Facebook.
You can also work with a marketing team that can include social media posts with your digital marketing package. This is a great way to stay consistent without spending dozens of hours online each week.
Build Social Proof
The next step is to build your online reputation and authority using social proof. Social proof consists of other people talking about how effective your product or service is in solving problems.
Social proof can take the form of testimonials or reviews — and preferably both. You want your sales and customer service process to include several points where you ask the customer to leave a review online. It’s best to focus these reviews on your Google My Business profile because high-quality Google reviews also help your search engine ranking.
When someone leaves an especially great review, contact them and ask if you can use it as a testimonial on your website and social media. When you show that you have a lot of happy customers, it makes other potential clients more likely to hire you.
Of course, not everyone will leave a positive review. That’s OK, because an all-positive review profile will look fake. However, you want to respond to it professionally. You can apologize for their frustration and offer to resolve the issue privately.
Even if that person is never satisfied, others looking at the reviews will see that you made a professional effort and will see that customer experience matters to you.
Get Your Online Presence Optimized for Search
Search engine optimization is an essential part of building your business online. If no one can find your website, even incredible content won’t bring in new customers and improve your bottom line.
SEO starts on your website. You’ll want to do keyword research to see what phrases your ideal customers use when searching for your products or services. Focus on terms that are highly relevant to what you do and aren’t too competitive — you want to have a chance to rank well.
You can also look at what keywords your competitors are currently using and ranking for. This can give you excellent insight into what would work well for you as well.
On-site optimization also involves focusing on security and site speed. If your page takes too long to load or you don’t have up-to-date security protocols, Google won’t rank your website as highly.
The other element of search engine optimization is what happens off your website. It’s harder to control, but equally important.
You want to make sure you have high-quality inbound links, which requires a solid link-building strategy. You can’t afford to have incoming links from spammy or untrustworthy sites. It’s a challenge and requires a long-term strategic investment.
Your Google My Business page is also essential. You want to claim your page and make sure the information is fully complete. This includes basics like your address, hours, and website link, along with reviews, images, and videos.
Finally, ensure that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all platforms. You’ll need to update your key information regularly so it’s up-to-date. This is part of how Google evaluates your business’ trustworthiness and authority.
Keep Up With New Practices
Google changes its search algorithm thousands of times a year, and a few of these updates can have a significant impact on your ranking. Staying up to date is vital if you want to maintain your standing online.
This can take a significant amount of time, so many business owners choose to work with an agency to take care of the SEO needs. When you let an agency take care of your SEO, you can focus on what you do best — providing excellent service to customers.
No Time? Consider Outsourcing
As you can see, it can take 10-15 hours a week to keep up with your digital marketing — and that’s on top of your regular work. Not only that, it requires a lot of expertise to understand how to handle digital marketing effectively and efficiently.
You have your own expertise, and it probably isn’t in SEO. You run a successful company and need to focus on providing products and services to your customers. Why not look into outsourcing your digital marketing to a boutique, family-focused agency?
We’re here to help you. If you’d like to see what we can do, contact us for a free consultation today!