A digital marketing strategist working on a client's project

How To Create An Effective Digital Strategy in 2019

If you wanted to boil internet marketing down to a single ingredient, keywords are it. What is a Keyword? A keyword is a word or phrase that a person enters into a search engine like Google and Bing or a social media site like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

START WITH A KEYWORD STRATEGY

When people want to find information about something, whether that be a product or service, what do they do? They type their question into an online search engine like Google, and Google responds with a set of results that it feels best answers that question. How does Google decide what to show? It looks at the words typed (keywords) and matches those keywords to the website it feels is most relevant. So how do you become the most relevant?

You optimize your website around keywords your ideal consumers are using to find solutions online. Comprehensive keyword research can help a business grow its organic traffic and save you from spending money on pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns such as Google AdWords. This is an excellent long-term strategy that all businesses should be taking advantage of.

OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE WITH THOSE KEYWORDS

Now that you’ve chosen your keywords, you can increase your website’s chances of ranking for those keywords by using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). To get found, you should aim to be on the first page or in the first few search engine result pages for your keywords. Now, Google suggests that you design your website for visitors, and not for search engines. While we agree that you should keep this principle in mind, it is worthwhile to remember that it is still a Google algorithm and not a human that’s deciding how relevant your site is.

SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO OPTIMIZE?

ON-PAGE SEO: This refers to how well your website’s content is presented to search engines. This can often be improved immediately and accounts for about 25% of your overall search ranking. TIP: This topic is huge and will soon become its own eBook on our site because there are so many step by step instructions and tactics which, when employed, will dramatically increase your on-page SEO.

In Brief, these tactics include; optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, headings, CSS, images, domain info, crawls and URL structure. If you want to learn more click here to sign up for the on-page SEO guide and we will send it straight to your inbox as soon as it is completed!

OFF-PAGE SEO: Off-page SEO is based on the authority of your website, or what other websites ‘say’ about yours. Simply put, websites with better or higher authority will rank better than websites with lower authority. A big factor that determines authority is inbound links. If another website links to your website or a page on your website (like a blog article), that is called an inbound link.

CREATE CONTENT

Now that you have developed a clear understanding of your business’ keywords and optimized your website for search engines, your next step should be to attract more visitors. Blogging and creating other content like eBooks, videos, podcasts, and webinars are powerful ways to help more of the right people discover your business online. When thinking about creating content take off your hat as a business owner and instead try to think like the editor for an online publisher like Huff Post or BuzzFeed. These companies want as many people to read their content as possible so they ensure every piece is designed to educate, engage or entertain you.

TIP: If you want to excel at content creation use this same approach. Don’t use industry jargon that only you and your employees would understand, think of the topics and questions that would be most interesting to your ideal customers and create content around those.

Without content, a website is kind of like a brochure that doesn’t change often. Blogs, eBooks, videos, podcasts, and webinars make your website more dynamic by automatically injecting new content every time something is published.

GREAT NEWS: search engines reward higher rankings to websites that consistently add fresh content, and these higher rankings translate into new visitors and leads for your business.

EXAMPLE OF GOOD VS BAD CONTENT

In this example, your business is called ACME and sells baby monitors. You want to create an eBook to drive traffic to your site and convert that traffic into leads. A bad example of an eBook would be ‘5 Reasons You Need An ACME Baby Monitor’. Compare this with a curated round-up of ‘Top 10 Baby Products Every New Mom Needs’. If you were a new mom which one would you read? Do you see the difference? One is useful, shareable and positions yourself as a guide. The other is pitchy, generic and unlikely to drive traffic.

EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT IN-HOUSE CAPABILITIES:

Get realistic about what’s possible for your business. We recommend a combination of insourced (staff created) and outsourced content because it’s most cost-effective and doesn’t place too much stress on your team. You want to aim to create at least 2-3 pieces of content a month consistently to really reap the rewards.

Remember, creating content doesn’t need to be expensive or time-consuming. Get creative and have fun!

If you have managed to get this far you have done an excellent job. You have created a keyword strategy, optimized your website for those keywords and created valuable content to attract, engage and convert your ideal clients.

Next step is DISTRIBUTION. Sadly the old saying ‘if you build it they will come’ definitely does not apply to Digital Marketing. Even after all this work unless you figure out how to distribute all this valuable content you have created to your target personas you are not going to see the results you are looking for.

To find out how to leverage social and paid ads to distribute content read our post: Leverage Social and PPC to Distribute Content & Get Leads.

A marketer analysing graphs of a company's progress and different business units

Why A Software Audit Is the First Step in A Digital Strategy

Before you start actioning any online marketing plan you need to make sure that you have the right systems, software, and processes in place. If you don’t, when you try to implement these techniques you ’ll quickly turn an inexpensive process into a very expensive, time-consuming one.

BEFORE YOU ACTION THESE STEPS ENSURE YOU HAVE ALL OF THE FOLLOWING IN PLACE:

  • A responsive, user-friendly website
  • A contact form plugin that links to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and email marketing system.
  • A CRM that’s linked to your form plugin and email marketing system
  • An email marketing system that allows for automation and is linked to your form capture and CRM.

If you don’t have ALL of these set up and linked to each other (sending data automatically so you have no manual or duplicate data entry) give us a call so we can get you sorted.

Most of the marketing guides online right now neglect to speak about software or integrations because they know when the reader tries to action the advice they will become so overwhelmed that they will end up contacting that marketing agency to take over the process.

The problem with an agency setting up your software is that they are very unlikely to be software experts. This means that you will either get a patch job or they will recommend you change to their go-to software suite (which they probably recommend to all their clients and use themselves.)

If you go this route I can almost guarantee you will end paying a lot more than you need to (because their proposed solution may include features you don’t need) and you’ll probably be stuck with a solution that doesn’t speak to any of your other core systems (meaning you can’t automate processes, leverage big data and cut costs in the long-term.)

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