Have you ever wondered if you need a digital marketing strategy?
The answer is Yes! A strategy is an essential part of any business. A strategy will set guidelines for how your business plans to conduct business online and what goals need to be achieved. Your strategy doesn’t need to be a formal document – it can be a simple guide that grows and evolves as you learn more about your audience.
Even more important is how you plan to execute upon your strategy once it’s finished. Often, it may take hours to create an extensive document only for it to be shoved into a bottom desk drawer or a file folder that will never get opened again.
So, if you’re unsure where to begin, these nine steps will guide you on a path to success.
Step 1: Create a Strategy
Developing a strategy is the first step to website success. Like you wouldn’t embark on a road trip without direction, you wouldn’t begin your digital marketing journey without a strategy. A strategy can be as in-depth as you need, but a good strategy doesn’t need to be a 20-page document. Here are some key things to consider when developing your strategy:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your objective?
- Where do you want to direct your audience?
- When do you consider a touchpoint a conversion?
- How does your website help your overall business?
Step 2: Conduct a Website Audit
Once you have a strategy in place, conduct a website audit. This is where you will begin to analyze different areas of your current site and how they relate to all aspects of your digital marketing efforts. Your website is the center of your marketing – your digital storefront. All of your traffic channels should be pointing to someplace on your website. Is your website user friendly? Are their appropriate call-to-actions throughout guiding your audience to different areas of your site? Do you have a way to capture leads, so you aren’t losing valuable information? All of this information should be considered while doing an audit.
Step 3: Keyword Research
Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. These are also the words and phrases that your audience would enter into search engines to discover your content. It is essential to identify a list of keywords that work well with your overall brand and message. These keywords can be worked into the different pieces of content you develop. There are a variety of free tools available that can help you conduct your keyword research, but we recommend using http://semrush.com/.
Step 4: Improve Onsite SEO
On-site SEO is the practice of optimizing elements on a website to improve search engine ranking and visibility. This can involve optimizing both the content and HTML source code of pages on a site. The alternative to onsite SEO is external SEO like inbound links and directory management. When diving into SEO, it is essential to know that although necessary, it requires some patience as results will not be seen overnight. Check out this checklist of items to think about every time you make an update to your website.
Step 5: Create Great Content
Web content not only helps with discoverability but if it’s written for the right audience, it will help turn your business into a conversion machine. Once you’ve done the work to develop content that will bring in the right traffic, you want to make sure that you have also included material that will convert. This may be your only opportunity to sell your business or product to that potential customer, which is why you need clear, rich, and engaging content.
Step 6: Building Inbound Links
Inbound linking is one of the most critical factors in SEO. Good SEO leads to more eyes on your website and views to your content. One way to accomplish this is through inbound links. An inbound link is a link to your website from somebody else’s. There are many ways to go about getting one of these links, but it’s important to remember that they take time and should be from sites that are also relevant to your content. For example, if you’re a cooking blog, you wouldn’t necessarily want a backlink from a website talking about cars.
Step 7: Nurturing Your List
Once you’ve created compelling content and user-friendly experiences for your audience, you must maintain that relationship. Adding contact forms, and lead magnets to your site will keep your audience interested and will give you valuable data like their email address or phone number. Having this information allows you to stay in contact with the customer in many different ways, whether through email, sales call, etc.
Step 8: Analyze and Optimize Results
All digital marketing decisions should be backed up by data, so your time and money are being used efficiently. There are many different analytics tools to choose from depending on what you’re looking to measure, but one of the most popular is Google Analytics. Once you’ve been successfully executing upon your strategy for 3-6 months, do a deep dive into the data and see where you can make improvements. Check out this post on getting started with Google Analytics.
Step 9: Check your Success!
Finally, keep track of your goals and data so you can celebrate your wins! After 6-12 months, sit down with your strategy and check in on your progress. Did you complete all of your goals? What still needs work? Set new goals for the next 6-12 months and begin the process again!
Get the most out of your online presence and download our Free 9-Step Success Blueprint.