Working out a successful digital strategy is a tough thing to do. If you're not familiar with the process, getting a grip on how things work can be equally difficult.
We're going to give you a beginner's crash course today, exploring how a digital strategy works in a few steps. After we work through the steps, we'll look at how to fit those ideas into a practical strategy.
We hope these digital strategy tips are useful to you as you begin the process of drawing online business to your site. Let's take a look.
1. Look at The State of Your Website
The website is the foundation of your digital strategy. All of the optimizations you do will run through your website, so it needs to be up to par. A poorly created website will hold you back from seeing any kind of digital marketing results.
At the very least, go through your website and polish it to the best of your ability. Re-write your main page content, make sure that all of the links work, and adjust things to be more visually appealing.
If you have the budget, consult with a digital marketing professional to give you an SEO audit. This is a good method of seeing where you're at in practical terms so that you can plan your strategy moving forward.
2. Find Your Target Group
Target market research should help you choose the platforms you'll market on, the keywords you'll research, and the style of content that you'll put out into the world.
The internet is a massive place, so randomly sending content out into the web won't bring results. It's important to know the specific people that will be most receptive to your brand.
If you have the target audience locked down, you'll find that all of your time and money will bring far better results.
3. Set Measurable Goals
One of the beautiful things about marketing online is that there is a lot more data to work with. Almost everything you're trying to achieve is reflected in some kind of data.
Whether you're looking at site visits, sales, clicks on particular links, or SEO rankings, you can keep a close eye on the numbers.
So, look at where you stand in the most important metrics. Set monthly goals for yourself that lead up to your ultimate goal. That way, you're not just coming into the strategy thinking that you're trying to earn "results" or "increase numbers."
Vague goals aren't always achievable. Specific and realistic goals, on the other hand, are.
4. Pick Out Your Tools
To effectively research and create content, you'll need a few SEO tools on your side.
Look for interfaces that help you research keywords, optimize your writing, monitor your target audience, and identify new areas for content placement. It's also useful to have some method for keeping an eye on your key metrics without having to go into the back end of your content management system.
Many management systems have easy ways to keep an eye on important metrics, but be sure that yours does before you start trying to achieve the goals we mentioned in the previous section.
Streamlining the process with useful tools makes digital marketing more about working on your campaign and less about stressing over how to keep an eye on it.
5. Find Your Dream Keywords
There are a few keywords in every niche that are difficult to rank for yet achievable for your business.
They might not be the most popular keywords in your niche, but they would definitely put you in contention to level up your success. The most popular terms in a niche are crowded with massive corporations and huge businesses that would be almost impossible to budge.
Your Goldilocks zone keyword phrases should be somewhere below those in popularity. Pick out those terms to use as the keywords for your primary pages.
Home pages, about me, contact pages, and other essential areas are the ones we're talking about here. You might not rank well at first, but the success of your subsequent content will raise the standing of those pages.
Over time, a successful digital strategy will put your main pages in a position to rank for those popular keyword phrases.
6. Brainstorm Your Content Approach
You'll need to have a method of distributing content regularly. The way that you create and release that content, though, can happen on your own terms.
Find the most receptive audiences and flesh out the sort of content that will be most relatable to those people. You should also produce content that's meant to rank in Google searches.
In a lot of cases, that content comes in the form of a blog post. Blog posts are excellent ways to address target keywords and optimize material regularly. There might be a few different social media platforms that would help you as well, but the content could vary depending on the platform.
Figure out how much you're going to post and how you'll go about posting. Decide on style, frequency, and any other specifics that may come to mind. It's important to have those things fleshed out, even though it might seem like something you'll always get around to.
Rest assured, there will be a time or two that you'd rather do anything but create content. Your clear outline and plan will help you push through those moments when motivation wanes.
7. Plan to Generate Feedback
Feedback is one of the key ways that Google ranks its sites. The point of Google's search engine algorithm is to find the sites that are most relevant to users.
All of SEO is the process of trying to make your website and brand presentable to that algorithm. So, if you can get real endorsements from your customers, you're giving Google a clear indication of your value.
Incentivizing reviews in any way will bring you a lot of good SEO karma. It's tough to get users to give positive feedback, but it's something to keep in mind. Once you figure out the strategy, it's an easy way to get consistent improvements in your rankings.
Further, reviews let people know that you're a good business. It's as simple as that.
8. Start Putting Your Plans into Practice
The next step is to start acting on the plans you've made. Research keywords, create content, and release it out into the world.
It seems a little nerve-wracking, but it's very harmless and simple. The process started when you put the website up. You're just making it more serious now.
Don't expect to see any huge changes overnight, though. Digital marketing takes a while to kick in, so just keep at it for a few weeks and feel it out. This is also a good time to see if your plans are realistic in terms of the workload and output that you've laid out for yourself.
9. Monitor Your Data
Start feeling out how your metric-monitoring interfaces work. It's exciting to see results, however small they might be, especially at first.
After a few weeks or so, you'll be able to see how your strategies are working. You can start to look into the numbers and find reasons that things are working. Alternatively, they might not be working and you'll be able to see why.
All of the data gives you insight into how users are responding to your content. If you're not seeing more traffic, you can start to tweak different pieces of your optimization to start seeing higher rankings.
10. Reach Out for Help
If your efforts aren't working out, it might be a sign that you need a little professional help.
SEO professionals are experts at fine-tuning digital strategies to make them work. They'll be able to tell you what you were doing wrong and where to move forward.
Further, they can take the reigns if you need them to. If it's in your budget, working with a digital marketing professional is a great choice, as the results they bring will be well worth the investment.
Putting Your Digital Strategy Into Action
It might seem like a lot to put all of these digital strategy steps into practice.
If you're not someone who has any digital marketing experience, don't get too nervous about all of these things. You might not even have any idea of what SEO is or how it's supposed to help your business.
Digital marketing, in many ways, is a lot like managing your social media profile. Some foreign ideas might come your way, but none of them is anything too difficult to understand or manage.
So long as you have a baseline digital literacy and a little time to dedicate to working things out, you'll be able to improve your website and start seeing some results.
There are a lot of informational resources like the one you're currently reading that can help to understand and implement the different strategies above.
Expanding Your Digital Strategy
It's also important to note that the ideas above are just the beginning of your strategy. A great SEO campaign should have a little more specificity in the way things are done.
The steps laid out above, though, are a great place to start. There might be some blanks that we didn't have time to fill in today, but those issues will present themselves in ways that are easy to understand and troubleshoot.
Most content management platforms and digital marketing tools are created for people who don't have much experience with the practice. This is because marketing online is a relatively new thing, and a lot of business owners are just starting to figure out what it is and how it works.
This can benefit you in a couple of ways. First, it means that the information and methods for improving your site are manageable to anyone. Just like an airport is created to allow people of all backgrounds to navigate, digital marketing tools are straightforward enough for even beginners to understand.
Second, it means that a lot of your competition might be right where you're at now. Most business owners don't know the first thing about digital marketing, except that their business needs to grow.
If It Works, Embrace It
As you start to work out your strategy, you might find that something works when you don't understand just why. Maybe you posted a unique piece of content and it turns out to be the one that brings you the most traffic.
Alternatively, maybe an off-hand video on one of your main pages prompted that page to go up a significant amount in the Google rankings. These things are blessings, and they can give you a lot of insight into what works in digital marketing.
The Google algorithm isn't something that we can get access to. Google keeps things pretty well under wraps, letting out bits of information to keep websites in the loop.
There's a lot that we don't have insight into, however. So, if you do something that boosts rankings on one page, try working that thing into your other pages. Don't let a good thing go to waste by thinking it was random.
The search algorithm is a very precise and calculated thing, so there are discernable reasons for any change in your rankings.
Professional Help Will Make a Difference
Not to beat a dead horse, but SEO and digital strategy professionals will do wonders for your business.
All of the fine details that come from years of experience will be present on your website right away. You could spend weeks poring over guides and research to try and get expert insight and still come up short.
So, if you're feeling overworked or stressed at the workload you already have, reaching out to an SEO professional for digital strategy consulting might be the best move for you to make right away.
Need More Digital Strategy Advice?
Hopefully, the information above can lead you to a successful digital strategy.
If you're not sure where to start, though, we're here to help. We've got all of the digital strategy tips you need. Contact us for more insight into digital strategy consulting, key digital strategy advice, and much more.
Andres SEO Expert