When was the last time you updated your business’s digital footprint? And we don’t mean posting a new banner or adding a phone number! Do you still have three different logos you’re using across your website and various social channels?
More and more consumers are moving to online shopping and ordering, and even when the current health crisis is over, those habits are likely to stick. Now is a good time to invest in strengthening the digital foundation of your brand.
Here’s where to start:
1. Complete a Digital Marketing Audit
The first step in any foundational review is to perform a digital marketing audit. This will tell you what’s working - and what’s not - with all of your digital assets, including your website, social channels, email strategy and online collateral.
You can perform a digital marketing audit internally with your current team or it can be outsourced to an agency partner like Marketing Essentials, which will give you a more objective overview of where your website, social channels and other digital assets stand.
At a minimum in an audit, you or your agency partner should:
- Ensure that your brand is consistent across channels, with the same messaging, colors, logos and voice.
- Analyze website data and optimize the front and back end to improve conversion rates and SEO.
- Explore how well social channels, email strategy and other digital efforts are converting visitors into leads and recommend ways to improve conversions.
- Complete a detailed competitive analysis to see how your digital presence stacks up against your top rivals.
Everything that happens next absolutely depends on the outcome of this audit. If the audit does not identify the key areas that can be optimized, or if it’s only partially done, your end result will be a disappointment!
😳Does your website look and function the same as it did at the beginning of 2020? Then you are due for a website update.
2. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Designing websites for mobile traffic is no longer an afterthought: it’s foundational. Mobile traffic has been increasing rapidly across the web. If your website has not been built with mobile-first principles, now is the time to make that investment.
A truly mobile-first website will:
- Use a responsive framework. Mobile-first frameworks exist that allow you to easily create a content grid structure for your content.
- Optimize for speed. Mobile users have little patience for slow site loading times. They require fast - preferably immediate - answers to their queries on-the-go.
- Simplify navigation. While simplifying navigation and the overall user experience is important for all users, mobile users are especially frustrated by confusing menus that require multiple clicks to get to the content they want. Streamline and simplify how you are displaying information.
Note that this doesn’t just mean “provide a mobile version of your website.” It means that your design should assume that most users are coming from mobile devices, and optimize the user experience based on those platforms.
3. Improve Conversion Rates
Do you need to rebuild your website or just renovate it? Adjusting poorly performing landing pages or offers on your website is a quick and easy way to see immediate results.
Here are some adjustments you can make today to improve how many users complete a goal on your website:
Revisit the number of fields in your forms.
Do you really need prospective customers to fill out 37 form fields before they can download a piece of gated content? Or will first name, last name and email address be enough? The more information you ask for from a prospect, the less likely they are to complete that important first step of connecting with your business.
Ensure calls to action (CTAs) are on every page.
Examine each page of your website to ensure that when a prospective customer gets to the end of the content, you are driving them to perform the desired action. That could be asking them to contact you, download a piece of gated content, watch a video or explore related articles.
Reduce the number of options.
It may seem counterintuitive, but a single, clear call to action (CTA) often performs better than giving users multiple options of what to see and do next. It turns out that many of us are paralyzed by having too many choices, and when overwhelmed, may prefer to make no choice at all than to choose “wrong.” In addition to streamlining CTA options, think carefully about how many choices you really need to provide users in your navigation menu and sub-menus.
Most importantly, when you are evaluating your conversion pages and steps, think through how a user would navigate through your website. If you had the same question or problem or goal as the user, is it easy to perform that action? How many clicks does it take to get where you want to go? Reducing friction, churn and the resulting frustration is vital to providing a smooth user experience.
4. Streamline Your Social Channels
Why did you create a Facebook Business Page? When was the last time you updated Twitter? Now is a good time to examine how - and how often - you are using your social channels.
Ensure that your social media channels are being used regularly.
When was the last time you posted something to that Pinterest page? Are there two videos on your YouTube channel - that were posted four years ago? Channels that aren’t updated regularly reflect poorly on your business. The less activity, the more likely you seem either unengaged... or simply out of business. Create a regular content schedule to help you stay on top of posting content at least once a week to each channel that your audience frequents.
Eliminate Broken Windows
If there is a social channel that you have but aren’t updating regularly, analyze whether or not it’s worth your time to bring up to date. Some social channels simply won’t make sense for your business, as they aren’t being used much by your target audience. Others may be vital. “Dead” social channels that haven’t been updated in months or years reflect poorly on your business. Just like a broken window, they should either be fixed or removed.
Explore Live Video!
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have options for using live video to connect in real-time with customers and prospects. This is a great way to personalize your business and enhance relationships - especially when limited numbers of customers or potential customers may be able to visit your location for some time.
5. Improve SEO
If you chose to complete a full digital marketing audit (and we really do recommend that’s where you start!), you most likely discovered that there are places where your website could be better optimized for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). No worries. Most websites require ongoing SEO maintenance. This is because Google updates its algorithm constantly, and it often takes a whole team of professionals to keep up with their adjustments.
If you’re new to the SEO world, here are three things you can do today to improve how Google crawls and ultimately ranks your website:
- Ensure you are using relevant keywords in your page title tags and image titles. These can be added/edited on the backend of your website.
- Create content that answers questions your prospects and customers are searching for and post it to your website’s blog regularly.
- Craft keyword-friendly URLs that include relevant keywords, not just random numbers. Dynamic URLs are often auto-generated when you create blog post content and have a format like www.example.com/7383467373. Instead, create a URL that includes the page’s relevant topic and keywords such as www.example.com/topic-title.
Start improving your online presence today!