Feeling a little overwhelmed by the vastness of the digital marketing world?
You’re not alone. There’s a lot to consider: SEO, tracking your data, running optimal advertisements, making sure those advertisements reach the right audience — all those awesome things you have to juggle alongside actually running the day-to-day of your business.
While those elements are incredibly important, they’re really only one side of the digital-marketing coin.
Now imagine for a moment that your business is a house. How would you build it?
You wouldn’t start with the decorations, the kitchen, or even the floors — you’d start by building a strong foundation.
Because if you don’t have a strong foundation, what happens when there’s an earthquake?
All the blood, sweat, and tears you poured into building the perfect home will collapse and crumble to dust.
The same goes for your digital marketing plan.
What lots of people don’t realize is that your digital marketing strategy exists within an entire ecosystem — not just your website or social media profiles.
And if you don’t construct a solid digital foundation through a responsive website, local optimization, directory listings, and more, then all the digital marketing efforts you make afterwards simply just won’t work.
That’s why the No. 1 thing you’ll want to do when you’re ready to market your business online is to start by constructing a solid digital foundation.
A Strong Digital Foundation: What Does That Even Mean?
A strong digital foundation basically means you have a concrete online presence across all platforms: Your branding is the same, your voice carries the same tone, everything is visually cohesive, the information you list online (like business hours, addresses, and phone numbers) remains consistent no matter where people go to find it, you’re listed on all the main platforms, etc.
If you don’t understand how visible you are to your prospective clients, customers, or viewers, then you’ll never be able to answer the weighted question of, “What in my digital marketing plan is working, what isn’t, and why?”
If people can’t find you, and if you don’t know where to go to reach them, that’s only going to open up a whole other world of unanswered questions — especially when it’s harder for people to walk through our doors and ask us about these things in person.
However, constructing and maintaining a strong digital presence takes all that out of the equation through three key elements:
Did you know that you need to have a website that’s designed in accordance with strict guidelines or else you’re at risk of being put on Google’s blacklist where you’re rarely — if ever — displayed in search results?
Your website is where potential consumers from all over the web will eventually land, as it is the nucleus of your digital marketing endeavors. There’s a lot that needs to go into your site — a lot more than just product descriptions and a homepage.
It’s not enough for your website to look pretty and professional — it has to operate seamlessly as well. If it doesn’t, you’re at risk of providing a bad user experience and driving your customers far, far away. And with Google’s frequent algorithm changes, it becomes even more vital that you provide a fantastic user experience if you want to continue to be visible online.
Lots of our clients here at OpticTour first came to us saying that they felt their website was perfect because it was on-brand and looked cohesive. After we ran an audit that identified some issues with the way their site operated, they came to realize that there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes in order for their website to function to its maximum potential.
This becomes even more important in today’s world, as the buyer’s journey has become almost entirely virtual. What happens when a customer learns about a product from your social media page, tries to go purchase it on your site, and finds nothing but a broken link and full wallet?
Bad news. That’s what happens.
Don’t risk letting your digital marketing strategies fall flat. Start the right way by building yourself a strong digital foundation to grow upon.
Proper Platform Setup & Optimization
Of course, if people are going to be able to find you online, you’ll want to make sure you’re present and searchable on all relevant platforms, including Google My Business (GMB) and social media.
Google My Business allows you to manage your information (like business hours and information on products and services), interact with customers by responding to reviews, and both understand and expand your online presence through data and analytics tracking.
Lots of people don’t fully understand just how much a Google My Business account can actually help them — even though Google is often the first place people will go to find information on their business.
In fact, businesses with a complete listing (re: information, photos, Google Posts, virtual tours, etc.) inspire trust and are 78 percent more likely to be viewed as well established. And when you’re trying to cut through the clutter of the digital marketing world and show your audience why they should choose to do business with you rather than a competitor, that’s exactly what you’re looking to build for your brand.
In addition, you’ll want to make sure you set up a business account on social media so you can run advertisements, grow your following, and convert potential customers into long-term buyers.
An incredibly important and oft-forgotten last step is that you absolutely need to ensure that your pages and platforms are optimized. This means that all the information you’ve listed is correct, cohesive, on brand, and reflected across all platforms.
For example, if your Facebook Business page says that you close at 6:00 PM, but you actually close at 5:00 PM, what happens when a potential customer tries to stop by your space after work?
They’ll leave with a poor taste in their mouths because they went out of their way to try to do business with you and you weren’t even there.
So not only do you need to be present on these platforms — you also need to consistently monitor and update them to reflect the proper information in order to truly be there for your communities and drive them towards getting involved with all you have to offer.
Appearing in search results with up-to-date information is imperative for your online visibility.
That’s why you’ll want to make sure you’re listed in online directories so potential consumers are able to find you no matter where they start their search.
Spoiler alert: There are a lot of directories out there. The exact number changes depending on which state you’re in, but we here at OpticTour have over 57 directory-listings options under our belt!
Some of the main directories include:
All your business information must be available, consistent, and correct across each directory (yes, even on seemingly obsolete platforms like Bing), or else you run the risk of providing a bad user experience and driving potential consumers far away.
That means that if you make changes to your operations, you’ll have to make sure every single one your directory listings reflect that. This can be a tedious task, but it’s absolutely vital to your success.
Now that your website is operating seamlessly, all your platforms and pages are set up and optimized, and you’ve been listed in all your local online directories, your digital marketing plan can finally begin!
You can run advertisements, shoot promotional videos, create an email campaign — the possibilities of the digital marketing world are endless, and now that you’ve taken the time to build yourself a strong digital foundation, they’ll be able to operate to their maximum potential.
But if you think you could still use a little help in constructing a solid digital foundation, our team at OpticTour would love to lend a hand by running a free audit on your website.
Based on what you tell us, the behind-the-scenes analytics we provide, and your desire to stand out among the rest, we’re then able to develop a customized digital marketing strategy that works specifically for you.
Next, we’ll get you on the map, listed in the most lucrative local directories, drive traffic to your website, and teach you how to not only build but manage a solid digital foundation and all that comes after.
Facebook advertisements, SEO optimization, promotional videos, social media marketing, product photo shoots — with all these tools and more, we can offer you simple and clear solutions that’ll increase your ROI and help you grow your company for years to come.
So yes, you need a foundation.
But in order to build a foundation, you first need to find a spot to call home.
8863 Anderson Mill Road, Suite 117
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