PICTURE THIS: Digital marketing as an art form in itself.
Think of it as an art that many business owners and marketing entrepreneurs try so hard to master. Think of how it expresses who you are as a person, company or brand. It’s your voice. It’s open for interpretation. If you master the techniques behind getting online leads, improving your website and growing your online revenue, others will start to take notice in your online marketing masterpieces that you create.
Have you ever seen a piece of artwork that has made you say, “I can do that,” only to try it and fail miserably? Truth is, there’s a whole lot more to painting than just putting brush to paper. Using the right colors, brushes and tools contributes to the overall portrait of the painting. It’s no different with digital marketing. It’s not just about creating a website, starting a few social media pages such as Facebook or Twitter, including your phone number, then sitting back and hoping the phone will ring — it’s about paying extra attention to the tools and elements that complement each other and make up the greater picture of your online presence.
CONSIDER THIS: Just as a HOW-TO-DRAW tutorial, let’s start with the basics, so put your pencil to paper as we outline a few important factors that contribute to your digital presence and paint a picture of your online landscape.
No matter the size of your business, this is a basic requirement to having an online presence and creating a digital landscape. Having a website helps build credibility, as your customers who are able to find your site are more likely to purchase from you. It also gives visitors helpful content they need. Your website allows your customers to contact you easier, with your phone number, contact forms and calls-to-action right in front of them. With a website, you won’t have to worry about hours, as your customers can see your products showcased 24/7, meaning they can buy when they’re ready.
While it’s a basic necessity, just having a website isn’t enough. Just because you’ve created a website doesn’t mean your clients know about it or even know how to find you. For this reason, there are things you need to do to help with your digital presence and landscape. If you want your website to stand out above the rest, you need to be willing to pay attention to the details that contribute to the overall picture.
- Google Analytics – Probably one of the most important yet underused digital marketing tools for businesses. Are you curious to see how your website is actually doing? If you don’t have a tool to measure with, how will you ever know what you’re doing right — or wrong? It’s so much easier to come up with a solution to your website issues, once you can identify what those issues are. If you need to know in which areas to tweak your website to make it the best it can possibly be, don’t forget to use this essential tool. Google Analytics allows you to measure the overall user experience, as well as effectiveness of your content and calls-to-action. Speaking of content and calls-to-action…
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) – A necessary action for turning the casual browser into a meaningful conversion. Now that you have analytics and maybe even some user feedback, you need to know what to do with it, to improve your website’s overall performance — that’s where CRO comes in. Your customers have a limited amount of patience when looking for what they want/need. What are your customers actually looking for when they come to your site? What are they craving that you’re not giving them, leading to a higher bounce rate? CRO takes the traffic you already have going to your site and makes the most of it. If you’re not having much traffic on your site, CRO helps with that too, through improving your content and CTAs (calls-to-action). Is the layout to your webpages and landing pages easy to read and follow? Are their eyes being guided through the useful content to your CTA? Maybe you try a different pattern layout for your readers. Once they’re on a landing page — or any other page — is your call-to-action easily visible and clickable? What’s the verbiage like?
A complete online presence and digital landscape consists of several other aspects.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
PICTURE THIS: Imagine you’re a librarian, working by yourself at an enormous library.
A library which just so happens to have every book in the world. Other people depend on you to find the exact book that they’re looking for. In order for you to help them, you have to collect a ton of information — like knowing what’s inside every single book and how they relate to each other, if they do at all — and give people relevant results. Search engines are no different, in that they take in a lot of information, index it, and present all relevant information when it’s being searched for.
SEO plays a crucial role in creating, magnifying and maintaining your online presence. It helps with getting your website more traffic from organic search results on different search engines, relating to your business. Including the right keywords in your content helps search engines understand what your business and products are all about, thus more accurately indexing you in their giant library of information. When others go searching for those same keywords that are included in your content, the search engine “librarians” present them with your relevant content. This helps you reach your overall potential with your online presence and digital landscape. Here’s how else SEO can help you with that bigger picture:
- Improves viewership and organic search rankings – Want to “Get Found Fast?” SEO will help search engines recognize just how important and useful you are to your audience, thus ranking you better. Most clicks go to the first search results presented to the viewer. Are you missing out?
- Produces more relevant traffic with a higher potential for conversion – Your customers have problems that you can solve — so tell the search engine “librarians” through the content you include throughout your digital landscape. They can see it and show your customers just how relevant you are. If you’re coming up first in search results, potential customers will believe you have the answers above all others.
There are plenty of other benefits to adding the art of SEO to your overall digital picture, as it is one of the most cost-effective measurement tools for digital marketing. It takes patience as SEO won’t help your online presence overnight, but once the steam engine starts rolling, you’ll see you start to climb the ranks slowly and see significant results. Adding key factors like quality content, keyword research, specific words and phrases, fresh, hot topics and making sure your website is mobile-friendly will all help the steam engine gain momentum.
Just like every other artist, you need to be able to step back from your artwork and measure the elements. Evaluate what factors can be corrected, what parts of the painting could use more attention and adjust accordingly. The technique of optimizing your content for search engines is no different.
Search engine spiders (bots) can easily tell which pages are consistently getting more and more traffic and which pages are simply just floating, being ignored and taking up space. A strong and consistent presence on social media platforms that link to your website add to your overall digital picture and help boost your site’s SEO.
3. Social Media
Social media for some business owners might seem like an afterthought, but it can be a great marketing tool to help paint a more beautiful digital landscape and grow your online presence. NOT having an active social media presence only takes away from your credibility and makes you look anti-social. You might as well not exist as a brand if you’re not represented on at least a few social media channels. If social media users can’t see you join in on conversations on social media platforms, they’ll simply not want to have a conversation with you at all — and that’s potential traffic to your site that you’re missing out on. There’s no better digital marketing tool that helps build brand awareness like social media.
Don’t go painting your brand across every social media network just yet — you don’t need to be on ALL of them, but study and learn each network and its specific audience before you decide which ones are best for your business.
- FACEBOOK – The giant of the social media world is an unstoppable force to be recokned with. Don’t let the numbers fool you into thinking it’s easy to generate revenue from Facebook. It takes time, dedication and careful planning to make your mark. Some consider it a waste of time but it can be very successful through the creation and management of Facebook groups as discussed at the start of this article. If you do succeed on Facebook it can be a great place to drive traffic and convert on your website. Advertising directly on Facebook doesn’t always have a great effect on people.
- TWITTER – Twitter is in position to make big moves and it all started last year with their deal with Google. Before that deal, Tweets weren’t getting indexed. Now they are and as time goes on, more and more tweets will get found in organic search. Because of this, engaging your fans on Twitter kills two birds (sorry Twitter) with one stone. A tweet now carries a powerful search engine optimization punch. It will create social back links to your website and create another way for people to find you. Twitter is well-known for having news before the news and watching how people react to it on the fly. It’s the fastest way to keep tabs on current events and watch word-of-mouth advertising and social proof take flight in real time. For how long it’s been around it only has around a 300-million user base. With their Tweets now getting indexed this will go up. As businesses understand the importance of how it coincides with search rankings in a positive way they will establish a presence on there.
- INSTAGRAM – Instagram is exploding in popularity. It currently has 400 million active users which is more than Twitter which has been around for much longer. While instagram posts won’t get indexed in Google search it doesn’t necessarily have to with the amount of people on it. It’s a great place to flesh out your company’s story and values through beautiful photos and filters. It’s more edgy and trendy than Facebook but is a great place to market yourself as a visually-appealing business. While google won’t index individual posts posting your links on Instagram can help your search ranking. Establishing yourself on Instagram is important for people who are attracted to the more visual aspects of the world. Not everyone wants to interact with content in the from of text or articles. You can also post videos with filters on them as well. Think of instagram as the creative side of your businesses personality. People want to see your personality before deciding to buy from you or give you their information.
- LINKEDIN – Linkedin is the more professional version of Facebook. It’s an excellent place for businesses and professionals to generate leads and make connections. It’s like a virtual resume and if you want to establish yourself as an expert this is the place to do it. A good way to utilize Linkedin is to require your employees to have profiles with links back to your websites and post blogs that are useful. An example would be a digital marketing agency discussing the benefits of search engine optimization. If you can establish your workforce as experts in your area it can become a powerful lead generation platform
Of course these aren’t all of the social media networks out there, but this gives you an idea of how different each platform is. No matter which platforms you deem best for business, you’ll realize how much it helps with visualizing your digital landscape. Just as most artists have a visual inspiration behind every landscape they draw or paint, social media gives you an idea of a digital landscape to look to, to paint your very own for your business.
There’s a digital marketing artist inside each one of us, and we at Get Found Fast have developed a new seminar series called The Digital Download to help you discover the true artist within yourself. Learn more on how to bring that artist out and start to paint a marketing picture for yourself, your company or your brand on the online canvas.