With the online world’s continued growth, businesses that don’t embrace change run the risk of falling behind. An increasing number of customers are looking to shop online, so if your website is difficult to find or use, you’ll be putting yourself at a serious disadvantage.
Chances are your competitors have already thought about their digital strategy carefully, but how can you hope to join them if you aren’t even sure what a digital strategy is? No matter what stage of your business journey you’re at, this guide will help you to understand how you can get started and why you should.
What is a digital strategy?
Because there are many types of digital strategy, the term means something slightly different to every business. But it’s important to understand that a digital strategy is not the same as having a digital presence. While having a website or social media profile is better than nothing, they often won’t be effective at driving sales if there’s no analytical thinking behind them.
A digital strategy essentially involves using technology as part of a plan to achieve certain business goals. These could be increasing traffic, encouraging conversions, or simply driving sales. The best digital strategies will always be backed up by data and will continue to develop over time to suit the changing needs of your audience. It will help you to redesign processes that aren’t working and can be applied to just about any part of your business.
Different types of digital strategy
If you are looking to delve into developing a digital strategy, here are some different approaches you can consider:
Website marketing strategy:
Often involving a combination of SEO, PPC, CRO, UX and mobile design, content creation, and web development, this strategy works to ensure your business’s website is user-friendly and easy to find through search engines. It’s one of the most common and comprehensive ways of ensuring you are making the most of your online presence by prioritising value and relevance.
What is an SEO strategy?: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a big part of enhancing your website for both Google and your customers. It helps you to drive more organic traffic to your website by making pages rank higher and thus easier to find. While keywords are integral to any SEO strategy, you should also think about optimising the backend of your website and implementing a backlink strategy as well.
Backlink strategy: A fundamental part of SEO, a backlink strategy helps you to secure more relevant, high-quality links to your pages from other websites. This could involve reaching out to directories and journalists or collaborating with other businesses.
Domain name marketing strategy: Your domain name is how customers will recognise your business, but a domain name marketing strategy is more than just choosing a memorable word. It involves protecting your business’s identity by creating multiple domain names (e.g. business.com, business.co.uk and business.org) as well as opening microsites for specific campaigns.
Marketing investment strategy: Digital content strategies can be tailored to suit specific industries as well, such as finance and investment. This might involve producing press releases to boost reputation, filming informational videos and creating in-depth guides or newsletters.
But your business doesn’t have to focus on all of this all at once. It’s all about identifying exactly what works best for your company’s needs and building on this over time. Digital strategies aren’t quick fixes, they’re long-term plans that need to be constantly improved and adjusted.
Tracking the results of your digital strategy
To see how successful your digital strategy is, you need to start out knowing what you want it to achieve. These measurable targets are effective ways to monitor whether your plan is working or not.
As part of your SEO strategy, you’ll be targeting specific keywords to drive organic traffic to your website. The goal here is for pages to rank as highly as possible in Google search results, meaning you can monitor your success by tracking keyword rankings over time. It’s easy to do this using the performance tab on Google Search Console, which will show you the average position of your page.
For more in-depth analysis, consider using paid tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs or Moz. These will allow you to really streamline your SEO strategy, offering you more insight into how your content is performing. You’ll need to keep monitoring this data to make sure your pages are still ranking as high as you want them to.
Increasing traffic is often the first step in any digital strategy, because if your audience isn’t even visiting your website, then your chance of making sales or generating leads is going to be very low. However, it’s important to bear in mind that traffic alone isn’t the best indicator that your digital strategy is a success. While a high number of visitors looks impressive, if they aren’t engaging with your website, your business won’t be able to grow. Seeing an increase in traffic and not in sales/leads may prompt you to adjust the audience you’re targeting or develop other areas of your website.
Once you have a steady stream of traffic, it’s time to encourage those visitors to convert. Tracking conversions doesn’t just mean tracking sales; it can also mean looking at how many visitors filled in a form, subscribed to your newsletter, or created an account. Once you start seeing conversions increase, it’s a good sign that your digital strategy is right on track. Conversions indicate that you’re targeting the right audience in the right stage of the buying cycle.
You always want your website visitors to be engaged with your content and, while this can overlap with conversions, it also includes actions like email open rates, click through rates, sharing content, commenting on blogs, and the time your audience spends on a page. Traffic that spends very little time on your website could indicate your pages aren’t relevant, making engagement an important metric to consider.
Return on investment (ROI)
Any digital marketing strategy is going to involve an investment of both time and money, so you need to make sure it was all worth it in the end. Whether you’re working with an agency, consultant or freelancer, calculating ROI can help you decide if the partnership is working for you. It can take a while to see results, no matter how effective your strategy is, but at the end of the day you need to be seeing an increase in sales to make any marketing costs worth your while.
Benefits of having a digital strategy
Now you know what a digital strategy is and how to make sure it’s delivering results, it’s time to really understand why having one is so important. While the right digital strategy can help you to drive traffic and sales, it will also:
A digital strategy helps you move from simply having a web presence to having a purpose. It pushes you to set goals, identify measurable targets and really get to grips with what your content can achieve.
Help you understand your audience
You might think you already know who your audience is, but tracking the success of your website strategy will give you a lot of valuable data about the consumers you should actually be targeting. After a few months or even a year, your understanding of your ideal consumer might have changed completely.
Allow you to gain an advantage over competitors
Whether your competitors have a strategy in place or not, digital marketing can help you stand out from the crowd. Make sure you look at what other businesses are and aren’t doing to deliver the best offering you can.
More efficient use of time and money
When you have a website optimisation strategy in place, you’ll be able to make changes to your online presence according to your plan. This means you’ll be able to put both your time and money into reaching your goals more efficiently rather than guessing what part of your website needs updating next. With a strategy in place, you’ll be more likely to see results and get the most out of your investment.
Refine your digital strategy today
If your digital strategy needs optimising, there’s no better time to start than the present. Whether you’re looking to improve upon an existing website or for advice on a new plan of action, get in touch for a consultation.