Do you know what your customers find when they search for your company online? From official pages and profiles to Twitter mentions and online reviews, everything posted online about your business compiles your company’s digital footprint. It’s a wise practice to do a regular search on your company name (and your own name for that matter) to see what is being posted about you online. And while you can’t control everything you may find, there are many proactive steps you can take to ensure the top results make a great first impression on those who are searching for you.
So far in our digital footprint series, we have covered:
- Why your company’s digital footprint matters
- Making sure your brand is consistently represented across all online channels
- Actions you can take right now to improve your digital footprint
- How to build productive customer relationships online
In this post we will talk about how search engine optimization (SEO) impacts your digital footprint.
SEO has a direct effect on your digital footprint
When we talk about digital footprints, we mean everything that appears on page one of a search result on your business. Because SEO has a direct impact on these results, it’s important to make sure that everything you’re proactively releasing online about your company is properly optimized for maximum impact on your digital footprint. Google has 200 ranking factors that determine search result returns, and although proprietary, there are statistics we can leverage to inform SEO best practices that will help you have more control of your digital footprint.
Local and Mobile Search
Optimizing your website and associated online content for local and mobile search is more important than ever before. Since the rise of mobile use, “near me” searches have dramatically increased. In fact,
- 30% of all mobile searches are location-related
- 82% of smartphone shoppers conduct searches using the words “near me,” and
- 92% of searches that include a city and/or business name will return a Yelp page in the top five results.
At minimum, every business needs a proactive strategy for Yelp and Google My Business. Other online review sites and directories relevant to your business (e.g. Angie’s List or Tripadvisor) are also crucial to local and mobile search results. If you’re not sure which online directories and review sites are right for your business, contact us and we can help you determine which sites will have the highest impact on your digital footprint.
Video marketing does a lot more for your business than just stopping the scroll. Strategically- placed, consistently-branded, and optimized videos can add depth and value to your company’s digital footprint. After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world so omitting video from your digital marketing strategy is a significant missed opportunity.
Step one is creating quality videos (p.s. we can help with that!). Just like consistency in image quality, video quality is critical when it comes to engaging your audience and increasing your digital footprint. You can also boost your local and mobile search results by adding geotagging to your videos and keywords in the video title. That way, search engines will begin to associate your physical store location with the needs of potential customers.
Given the rise in sales of voice-assistant technology (e.g. Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant) every business should be optimizing for voice search. If you asked any of these digital assistants where your business is located, when you’re open, or what you offer, do you know what they’d say? Your customers are asking these questions—58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information in the last year alone.
It’s very difficult to get a voice search result directly to your website which further elevates the importance of your company’s digital footprint— especially relative to online directories. What often happens is, a voice search will return results from a popular online directory like Yelp and not a company’s direct website. Businesses run the risk of losing business if the information in these directories is outdated or incorrect.
How to Get Started With SEO
If you’re looking for something you can do right away to get a SEO boost, start with business directories that matter the most such as Google My Business and Yelp. Next find directories and indexes that are relevant to your niche. Optimize your website, blog, and social media profiles. Engage in two-way communication with your customers. Like, reply, and comment to their messages and criticisms. The power of having your brand be a powerful digital advocate for your customers is in your hands—all you need to do is invest some time and find the most effective resources—no matter the size of your business.
Do You Need Help With SEO?
All of this information is as important as it can be overwhelming and daunting to manage, but to effectively manage your digital footprint, you need a plan that you can stick to. We suggest establishing a strategy to monitor, adjust, and refresh your online content on a regular basis. Send us an email and let’s set up a time to discuss how Cross and Crown can help your company improve SEO and strengthen your digital footprint.
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