“Cracking” the code to creating a digital footprint is more of a multi-faceted approach that involves expertise on various forefronts.
If you are well versed in marketing, we expect you to hash out a detailed long-term marketing strategy involving all the steps that contribute to establishing your project’s authority and visibility online.
But then again, marketers seldom work singlehandedly. The best projects thrive on teamwork, and a willingness to adapt and learn new strategies as search engines, buyer expectations, and various other things continue to evolve.
This post highlights some baseline aspects of helping small business owners to understand what it takes to bank on organic visibility and sustaining that effect throughout the business’s tenure.
Let’s get started.
Define Your Goals: Start by defining your business’s goals for establishing an online presence. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, drive online sales, or provide customer support? Having clear goals will guide your digital marketing efforts.
10 Steps To Creating a Digital Footprint In 2023
These steps are general in nature.
Even though we have elaborated on all the talking points, there’s a drill-down effect that demands a thorough explanation to cover all the subtopics in that domain.
Therefore, we encourage you to jot down whatever you learn from this post and do extensive research on the topics that intrigue you the most.
1. Develop a Solid Website:
Your website is the foundation of your online presence. Ensure it is well-designed, visually appealing, and user-friendly. Focus on creating compelling content, optimizing it for search engines, and ensuring it is mobile-responsive for a seamless user experience.
When selecting a domain name for your business, it is crucial to choose one that aligns with your brand and is easy for customers to remember.
In addition to doing so, the domain name should accurately reflect your business and ideally be unique.
For instance, if you are a real estate agent, it is advisable to avoid a domain name like www.bestsitefordiyenthusiasts.com and instead opt for something like www.diyhelper.com or a similar variation.
Furthermore, it’s essential to ensure that your website showcases your strengths and highlights what sets you apart from competitors. By presenting your expertise and unique selling points, potential customers will gain a clear understanding of the value you provide. This way, they will be more inclined to choose your services over those of your competitors.
2. Ensure That It’s Listed Online:
The initial step in establishing your digital footprint is to ensure a strong online presence.
There are several approaches to achieve this, but the primary focus is to have your business website listed on prominent directories, review sites, and social media platforms.
Failure to be present on platforms such as Google search console, Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, and others means missing out on numerous potential customers. It is vital to optimize your website to be discoverable by search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Outlined below are the steps to list your business online:
- Register your website on Google Search Console to enhance its visibility in search results.
- Create a Google My Business account and claim your business listing on Google Maps. This will make it easier for people to locate your business.
- Establish a Facebook page for your business and upload engaging photos of your products or services using the “add an image” option in the left sidebar menu.
- Create a comprehensive Yelp page that includes images, operating hours, and other relevant information about your business. Refer to additional resources for detailed instructions on optimizing your Yelp presence.
- Set up a Google Analytics account to track and analyze various types of traffic directed toward your website.
The best thing is that you don’t have to follow all these steps in the same order. Take your pick and tick mark that checklist while you go from one platform to another.
3. Content Marketing Strategy:
Develop a robust content marketing strategy to attract and engage your target audience.
Create high-quality and relevant content such as blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and eBooks. Optimize your content for search engines using relevant keywords and share it through various channels to reach your audience.
Looking for help with content marketing? Check it out: Content Marketing Service To Help Rank on Google and Bing
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Implement effective SEO strategies to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results.
Conduct keyword research to identify relevant search terms and optimize your website’s meta tags, headings, URLs, and content accordingly. Build high-quality backlinks to boost your search rankings.
The goal of SEO is to enhance the organic visibility of your website by providing relevant and valuable content that people are interested in reading, sharing, and linking to.
Understanding how search engines operate is crucial to establishing a strong digital footprint. When individuals conduct online searches, their primary objective is to find answers or solutions.
By delivering the information they seek through your website or blog post, you can attract more traffic from search engines. This is precisely what we aim to achieve.
In essence, your focus should be on creating content that is both helpful to users and likely to be shared with others.
While you’re out there providing valuable information and resources, you increase the likelihood of people finding your content useful and sharing it with their friends and acquaintances.
This effect, in turn, contributes to the growth of your online presence and digital footprint.
What if you are doing it for a client?
If you are helping someone else out there to establish a digital footprint, eventually SEO will come into the big picture.
The “problem” with SEO is that it takes time to rank a website or its pages for that matter.
A brand new domain with little to no DA (*Domain Authority) score can take up to a year to rank against competitors if it’s in a highly competitive niche.
Similarly, new websites on health and fitness, fitness products, email marketing, or any popular stuff that’s already popular under your competitor’s brand name WILL take time to rank.
It could take months, or even years for the webpages to set their place on the first page of the SERPs.
So, make sure that you are conveying everything to the client and setting the bar in terms of timeline-based deliverables.
Don’t promise them results within the first few months.
Google’s recent updates have made it absolutely clear that high-quality content with a mix of authority, relevant backlinks, social buzz and EAT guidelines will end up ranking.
And even, if you do that, it can take a few months for the search engine to eventually label your client’s online platform as something of an authority worth ranking.
5. Social Media Presence:
Establish a strong presence on social media platforms where your target audience is active. Create engaging and shareable content, interact with your followers, and leverage social media advertising to increase brand visibility and drive traffic to your website.
6. Email Marketing:
Build an email list and leverage email marketing to nurture relationships with your audience. Provide valuable content, personalized offers, and promotions to keep subscribers engaged and convert them into customers. Utilize email automation to streamline your campaigns.
7. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC):
Consider using PPC advertising platforms like Google Ads or social media advertising to increase your online visibility and drive targeted traffic to your website. Develop compelling ad campaigns with specific targeting options to reach your desired audience.
8. Online Reputation Management:
Monitor and manage your online reputation by actively engaging with your audience, addressing customer feedback, and managing reviews. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and promptly address any negative feedback.
9. Analytics and Data Tracking:
Use analytics tools like Google Analytics to track and measure the performance of your online activities. Analyze key metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, user behavior, and engagement to gain insights and make data-driven decisions to optimize your digital marketing strategies.
10. Continuous Improvement:
Keep up with the evolving digital landscape and stay updated with the latest trends and technologies. Continuously evaluate and refine your online strategies to adapt to changing consumer behavior and market dynamics.
Remember, building a strong digital footprint and achieving online success takes time, effort, and consistency. It requires a holistic approach that integrates multiple channels and strategies.
What is the near future prediction for trends concerning digital marketing footprint?
As technology continues to evolve, so does the means to interpret and reshape workflows.
To that end, setting up dominance from a digital marketing footprint perspective will remain the same, but the workflow for getting things done and achieving those goals will change.
Regardless, these are some of the aspects that are predicted to be used by marketers.
The demand for personalized marketing experiences will continue to grow.
Consumers expect brands to deliver relevant and tailored content based on their preferences, demographics, and behaviors.
Marketers will leverage advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) algorithms to create personalized marketing campaigns across various channels.
2. Voice Search and AI Assistants:
With the increasing popularity of voice-activated devices and AI assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, optimizing content for voice search will become crucial.
Marketers will need to adapt their SEO strategies to include long-tail keywords and conversational phrases that align with how people speak and ask questions.
3. Video Marketing Dominance:
Video content will remain a dominant force in digital marketing.
Short-form videos, live streaming, and interactive video experiences will continue to gain traction.
Marketers will focus on creating engaging video content across platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and emerging video-focused platforms.
4. Influencer Marketing Evolution:
Influencer marketing will evolve as consumers become more discerning.
Authenticity, transparency, and genuine connections will be valued over sheer follower numbers. Micro-influencers and nano-influencers (individuals with smaller, highly engaged audiences) will gain prominence as brands seek to establish more meaningful connections with their target audiences.
5. Privacy and Data Protection:
With the growing concerns around data privacy and regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), marketers will need to prioritize data protection and transparency.
Strategies such as explicit consent, data anonymization, and ethical data collection practices will be crucial to maintain consumer trust.
6. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR):
AR and VR technologies will become more integrated into digital marketing strategies.
Brands will leverage these immersive technologies to offer virtual product experiences, enhance customer engagement, and provide interactive storytelling opportunities.
7. Social Commerce:
The convergence of social media and e-commerce will continue to accelerate.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are introducing features that enable seamless shopping experiences within their platforms. Brands will leverage social commerce to drive sales, enhance customer experience, and reach a broader audience.
When setting up workflows for your digital footprint, or online authority, what are some of the red flags to avoid?
1. Poor Online Reputation Management:
Neglecting to manage your online reputation can be detrimental.
Negative reviews, comments, or mentions left unaddressed can harm your brand’s image. It’s important to monitor your online presence regularly and promptly address any negative feedback or complaints with professionalism and transparency.
2. Inconsistent Branding:
Inconsistency in your branding across different online platforms can confuse and alienate your audience.
Ensure that your brand’s visual elements, tone of voice, and messaging are consistent across your website, social media profiles, and other digital channels.
Incoherent branding can erode trust and make it harder for your audience to recognize and connect with your brand.
3. Overlooking Content Quality:
Publishing low-quality or irrelevant content can harm your online authority.
Avoid producing content that is poorly written, lacks value, or doesn’t align with your target audience’s interests and needs.
Focus on creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content that demonstrates your expertise and provides value to your audience.
4. Ignoring SEO Best Practices:
Neglecting search engine optimization (SEO) best practices can limit your visibility in search engine results. Ensure your website is optimized for relevant keywords, has proper meta tags, and follows other SEO guidelines. Ignoring SEO can make it harder for your target audience to find you organically, impacting your online authority and visibility.
5. Spammy or Misleading Marketing Tactics:
Using spammy or misleading marketing tactics can damage your reputation and result in penalties from search engines or social media platforms.
Avoid tactics such as keyword stuffing, clickbait headlines, or purchasing fake followers. Focus on building genuine connections, providing value, and using ethical marketing practices.
6. Neglecting Data Privacy:
Failing to prioritize data privacy and security can erode trust among your audience.
Ensure that you handle customer data responsibly, comply with relevant privacy regulations, and clearly communicate your data collection and usage practices.
Transparent data privacy practices are crucial to maintaining trust and credibility.
7. Lack of Engagement and Responsiveness:
Ignoring or delaying responses to customer inquiries, comments, or messages can reflect poorly on your brand.
Promptly engage with your audience, address their queries, and provide helpful and timely responses.
Demonstrating active engagement and responsiveness builds trust and fosters positive relationships with your audience.
In this blog, we have explained some of the best strategies that can help businesses to enhance their digital footprint across different platforms. Let us know in the comments below about what strategy, and platform worked out best for you.