Associate Agency Director
How to expand your Digital Footprint
At The Refinery, we take a holistic approach to your online presence.
Your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is only one piece of the puzzle. There’s much more to consider – User Experience (UX), Online Value Proposition (OVP), digital communication strategy, Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC), affiliate marketing or re-marketing, Electronic Direct Mail campaigns (EDMs), blogs, email newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, LinkedIn – we call it your Digital Footprint.
Expanding your Digital Footprint increases the perceived value of your website to search engines, improving your organic search rankings and allowing you to maximise your engagement online.
We don’t just make websites anymore. Here’s why:
We’ve already learnt that Google wants us to make websites "for users, not for search engines" so before we can make a website, we must first identify the needs of our prospective users. What do they really want?
We’ve put it down to three basic principles:
1. Relevant, easy to find information
Users need to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Is your website search engine friendly, easy to navigate and optimised for all platforms, devices and operating systems?
- maintain a logical page structure
- optimise all pages, tags and assets based on your desired search terms
- set up and maintain ongoing Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising
- consider affiliate marketing or re-marketing campaigns
- design an awesome User Experience
- write clear, easy to understand content
- profile your users and consider their intentions for the website
- ensure your website is responsive for all devices
- test your website on multiple devices and operating systems
- monitor your search engine listings and results
- use automatically generated content
- rely on keywords as content
- participate in link schemes
- create pages with little or no original content
- cloak pages or links
- hide website content
- use an unsecured connection
2. Digital interaction and quality content
So users can find your website and read about what you do – great – but at The Refinery, we take it a step further. How can you keep users interacting with your website longer and returning regularly?
- develop useful tools and resources for your users
- offer good quality, comprehensive information
- check analytics data to identify areas for improvement
- consider a member login section for resources
- offer online purchasing with e-commerce functionality
- allow users to perform necessary tasks online
- consider a member segmentation tool for customised content
- analyse your digital offering regularly
- fail to update your website’s back end framework
- dismiss analytics data such as bounce rates, returning users, etc
- assume components built for your website will last forever
- forget to check your website for errors or broken links
- underestimate the value of your digital offering to your users
3. Communication with an engaged business
Don’t forget communication is a two-way street – and digital communication is no different. If you appear unapproachable online and a user finds an outdated, static webpage with no signs of online activity, they are much less likely to engage with you.
- update your website on a regular basis
- create relevant social media accounts and update them regularly
- participate in relevant online forums
- integrate social media feeds into your website
- add a blog or news section to your website
- offer a subscription to an email newsletter
- distribute email newsletters and Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) campaigns regularly
- offer useful information that can be used as a resource
- consider a live chat window on your website
- look for new ways to communicate with users online
- neglect your website or social media
- set up accounts on irrelevant social media platforms
- post irrelevant content on your business’ social media accounts
- engage in negative communication online (don’t feed the trolls!!)
- annoy your users with the same content too regularly
- assume your users only want to deal with you in person or on the phone
Does it really work?
When looking to boost your presence online, keep in mind that search engines utilise complex search algorithms to rank websites in order of suitability which change so often that it is now practically impossible to cheat the system.
Now more than ever, taking a user centric approach to your digital offering is essential.
Expanding your Digital Footprint is the only way to ensure your users will find your website and engage with it – the only method that search engines really value.
We’ve had proven results using this comprehensive approach with clients of a range of sizes from various industries. Are you our next success story?
What does your Digital Footprint look like?
Let us pop the hood (03) 9533 6293.
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