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Getting started with your digital marketing program? Do these three things first!

There are a lot of things that go into digital marketing, and while many of them can vary by company, there are a few things that everyone should do. Here are the top three: 

1) Own your Google Local/Google My Business/Google Plus Presence

This is important for SEO because Google can and does calculate the use of its own services when determining the score a given website receives. All three of these services are important, and here's the breakdown:

  • Google Local focuses on your actual geographic location(s) and tells Google where you are. Unless you're an online-only company, chances are most of your customers will be close to your store and looking for products that you're trying to sell. It's important to compete on the same level as your business - there's no need to advertise nationally when you only have one or two stores.
  • Google My Business provides basic information about your company, and users are likely to see it if they Google your name or you come up as a shopping result. The seven categories of information shown here are:
    • Business Name: Use your consumer-friendly name, not your corporate name (if they're different).
    • Address: The physical location of your store. Google does allow you to have more than one store, but you'll need to have ten or more locations before you can update the information in bulk.
    • Phone: The phone number(s) of your business. Be sure to keep this up-to-date.
    • Website: Your company's official website. It's important to be sure that Google's crawlers are allowed on the site, and that Google isn't currently imposing any penalties. If it is, that could affect your rankings or stop it from showing up at all.
    • Category: The type of business you're running, typically defined with a single 'primary' category and several secondary categories that provide a bit of context. Google strongly recommends being as specific as possible with these - especially because they help it understand which kinds of users to should see your content.
    • Hours: If your business is limited to certain hours of the day, you should include them here. It is possible to say that you're open 24 hours a day, or even that you're closed in the middle of the day.
    • Photos: Finally, this last category allows you to add pictures of your business. Only a small number of them are likely to be displayed, so make sure they're good ones.
  • Google Plus is the social media aspect of things, and quite honestly, Google simply wants you to use its service over others. Make an account and start posting your content through it - it will help your ranking.

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2) Buy your URL and have it registered to you

By "registered," I mean it should be quite literally registered to you, including both your email and your phone number - not that of your web vendor. Buy your domain for at least five years.

In an ideal world, web vendors would be stable and you could simply focus on Top-3-Must-Dos-for-Digital-Marketing-Pinterest.jpgyour marketing efforts without having to worry about the back end of things. Unfortunately, the truth is that companies often have good reasons to change vendors. They might find a better deal from someone else (especially as their company grows and traffic increases), or their old vendor might end up going out of business or changing services.

Many different vendors sell URL registrations, and quite a few of them have ongoing discounts you can find to lower the price of owning your URL. Be sure to ask your vendor if owning your URL can get you a discount from them, too - many actually offer that kind of benefit, even if they don't advertise it.

3) Make sure your website is Mobile Responsive

If your website isn't responsive to mobile devices, fix that right away. This is absolutely vital for because mobile searches actually outstrip desktop searches, so more than 50% of your potential customers could be lost if your website isn't configured to display on their devices.

There's a reason this is considered one of the fundamentals of building a website - it has more effect on digital marketing than almost anything else. 

There is a lot to understand when it comes to marketing in a digital world. This list will get you started. Once you've got this covered, you can move on to other successful tactics.

Thanks for stopping by,

Laura

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