Quick Ways to Improve Your Small Business Digital Footprint in 2022
If you are currently a small business owner, you know just how important establishing and expanding your digital footprint can be. Without a strong online presence, your business will not be able to reach its target audience or achieve its long-term revenue goals.
Investing in your digital footprint is essential. In fact, more than 90 percent of consumers find businesses through digital platforms. And the number of internet users is growing every day. But in addition to making sure your business performs well on Google and other search engines, you will also want to focus on other digital campaigns, like social media, as well.
Luckily, improving your active digital footprint is likely much easier than you may have initially assumed. Depending on the industry your small business operates in, spending just a few hundred dollars can ensure your digital footprint grows over time and eventually generates results for your business.
Why is it important to have a positive digital footprint?
Expanding your digital footprint, also known as a “digital shadow”, will be key to your small business’s success. By increasing your online activities, you can attract more clients and increase your bottom line. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important things you need to know about expanding your digital footprints, including the perks of digital marketing, essential social media accounts, developing a passive digital footprint, and more.
What exactly is a digital footprint?
The term “digital footprint” can be used in a variety of different ways. However, generally speaking, the term is usually used to describe your business’s total online presence. Your business’s main website, click funnels, social media presence, and other online platforms can all be included under the broader “digital footprint” umbrella.
Keeping this in mind, you might be wondering: what makes a good digital footprint?
What makes a good digital footprint?
To start with, you will need to identify your unique value proposition, as well as your target market. A business that is selling a very technical product with a limited audience, such as an industrial semiconductor, will have very different digital marketing needs than a company marketing a product that everybody uses, like bread or toilet paper.
But once you have defined your target market, you can begin comparing yourself to your competitors. How many leads has your business been able to generate online? How many people follow your social media platforms? How many people are currently visiting your landing pages? Are they spending very much time viewing your content?
Traits of High-Quality Digital Footprints
Digital footprints are playing an increasingly important role in every stage of the business cycle. And the best digital footprints, typically speaking, are the ones with the following traits:
- Designed in a way that your defined target audience can easily access.
- Includes online content that offers direct value to your readers.
- Incorporates several calls to action–preferably, making it as easy as possible to make a purchase or schedule a meeting.
- Effectively answers your reader’s questions.
- A diverse array of digital content, including social media content, online news articles, online reputation management, useful data, and other essential components of the digital world.
Generally, the more digital content you can create, the stronger your digital footprint will be. However, it is also important to recognize that the quality of your content will be just as important as the quantity of your content.
There are many different reasons your business might consider expanding its digital footprint.
Today's Most Successful Businesses Invest in their Digital Footprints
Expanding digital footprints can provide business owners with several benefits. In many cases, a growing digital footprint can help your business get noticed by a wider range of buyers. It can also help your business increase credibility and establish itself as an industry thought leader. In addition to creating quality digital content, you should also create a safe digital environment–this might include removing unsecured sites (links), protecting personal details and confidential information, and more.
Benefits of Expanding Your Digital Footprint
However, the most obvious reason businesses are increasing their digital footprints is to increase revenue and cash flow. A well-developed and maintained digital footprint can help increase cash flow in the following ways:
- Increase traffic to your main site and other digital sales points.
- Increase the ratio of online visitors that ultimately become buyers or customers.
- Increase the likelihood that your existing client base will recommend your small business to their friends or business partners.
- Decrease the cost of acquiring a new customer.
- Increase trustworthiness, credibility, and industry connections.
Each of these actions can directly increase revenue and cash flows. Additionally, because increasing your digital presence shadow is relatively affordable, it can easily be justified in just about every cost-benefit analysis.
How can I improve my business' digital footprint?
Plenty of business owners recognizes that investing in their online presence is important. After all, with more than 90 percent of consumers and businesses using the internet to find places to buy from, increasing your online presence will likely be the surest way to increase your business’ revenue.
But in order for your digital footprint to truly be successful, you’ll have to make sure each of your websites is built with conversions in mind. This means creating a platform that is easy to use, websites that are enriching and easy to navigate and developing an eCommerce platform that accepts multiple different types of payments.
In other words, the easier it is for your online visitors to view your site, the more likely they will eventually become customers. Thinking about the entire user experience–and how this experience might affect a given individual’s life and choices–will help make it much easier for you to deliver digital value to your potential clients.
How can I make my digital footprint more secure and trustworthy?
Security and trustworthiness are crucial for any small business that is hoping to generate business through the internet. Taking active steps to protect your client’s personal information and other types of sensitive information, such as financial data and login information, will help increase the likelihood these people end up becoming customers.
Investing in cybersecurity will almost always pay off. And if you do see an online or data problem, rather than ignoring it, you should take action immediately. This is the surest way to prevent information from getting into the wrong hands and preventing bad actors from exploiting vulnerabilities. Frequently testing your website, deleting dormant accounts, and doing other essential “digital hygiene” will all improve your digital outcomes.
What are some examples of your digital footprint?
Anywhere your business can be accessed online or via the internet should be considered a part of your “digital footprint.” Your footprint is a comprehensive collection of online activities, including your main landing page, your home page, social media platforms, and many others.
Developing a Website and Platform
Your website offers customers a direct view of your business. Be sure that you create a page where they can have their questions answered and find what they are looking for. Your platform should also include contact information and several calls to action.
Social Media Marketing
Currently, there are more than 4 billion social media users in the world. In the United States alone, more than 200 million people use social media websites every week. Social media creates opportunities to build social groups, share personal content, and–perhaps most importantly–learn about small businesses.
Generally, the more social media websites your small business uses, the better. Connecting social media credentials, eventually, will result in increased revenue. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are just a few of the websites you might consider using. There are many tools available to help you schedule posts across multiple platforms, making it easier to expand active digital footprints.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When people are looking for an online news source or general information, their search will often begin on Google. Google, like other search engines, uses complex algorithms to generate search engine results. In response, the process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves creating content that will likely get your small business on Google’s front page.
There are quite a few ways your small business can use SEO to improve its digital performance. Choosing keywords related to your business, utilizing digital tracing data, and creating an abundance of useful content will all increase the likelihood your business is found via Google search. This is why businesses around the world spend $350 billion per year on digital marketing and advertising.
Digital Content Marketing
Content marketing across many different platforms will help your business get noticed by a much wider audience. Getting your business featured in a news article or news app, getting featured in financial publications, creating guest posts on other platforms, and having your customers leave a positive online review are just a few ways you can use content marketing to your advantage. And as your featured posts grow in number, so will the data trail that you can actively utilize.
How to manage your digital footprint?
It is not enough to make a single blog post or a one-time investment in growing your digital footprint. You’ll also need to actively maintain your digital marketing campaign over time. Creating an online database will make it easier for you to organize data and the different components of your campaign and remain in contact with your ever-growing network.
There are many resources available that can be used to better manage a digital campaign. CRM platforms, like Salesforce, and professional digital marketing teams can help you continue making adaptations within the digital world.
How else can my digital footprint improve my small business?
As suggested, most business owners invest in their online presence because it helps them increase sales. But there are other reasons for making these investments, as well. For example, having well-developed websites makes it much easier for job seekers to find and connect with potential employers.
How a small business loan can help your digital footprint?
It is possible to begin a robust digital marketing campaign without any financing, whatsoever. However, if you want to scale your campaign, then you may want to consider finding some ways to access some additional capital. A few thousand dollars (or even just a few hundred dollars) can make a major difference.
Once you have been able to access a working capital loan, merchant cash advance, or some other line of credit, you can begin to significantly scale your marketing efforts. Use this cash to invest in a digital marketing team, purchase new ads, establish good data hygiene, and place content in strategic locations. For example, you may be able to directly pay for a publication’s newsletter reposting articles, which can help your business be seen by a wider audience. Be sure you are periodically reviewing all digital data so you can adjust your campaign accordingly.
How does data come into your digital footprint?
Developing both active and passive digital footprints takes time. If your small business hopes to succeed online, you will need to utilize as much data as you possibly can. Luckily, finding data related to your online and internet campaigns is relatively easy. Installing cookies or using an online form, for example, will make it easier to gather data over time.
By paying attention to how your content performs online, you’ll be able to make adjustments and reach a wider audience. Bounce rates, conversion rates, clicks per page, and other digital marketing metrics can be used throughout your campaign. Just be sure that you are taking active measures to protect any of the data you are working with.
Investing in cybersecurity can help prevent a future data breach, which is especially important for businesses that use personal or private data, medical records, financial reports, and other types of sensitive data (NOTE: the way you collect and record medical records is likely covered by HIPAA regulations).
The Bottom Line: Building Your Digital Shadow Matters
There is simply no other way around it: if your business wants to thrive, it will need to develop a robust, wide-reaching, and carefully coordinated online presence. If you are yet to begin an online campaign, 2022 might be the year to get started.
So…What do you think?
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