Before you design a new website, answer this question: is your brand or business digitally discoverable?
Coronavirus / COVID-19 has changed the world, with many of us still in some form of lockdown. Even when all physical restrictions are lifted, people will likely be reluctant to engage in high-contact experiences where your brand, products, or services may have formerly been discovered – ie, retail stores, shopping malls, event venues, tradeshows, dealerships, etc. We as people are changed, and brands must change too if they want to be on our radar. How are brands succeeding today? If you look closely, you’ll see most of them have something in common: they are digitally discoverable.
“Digital discoverability” = how easy it is for potential customers to find you + what they are finding. And being digitally discoverable is the single most important thing your marketing team should be working on right now. Because when it comes to being digitally discoverable, if you don’t compete then neither does your brand.
Before you run out and redo your website, think through the whole digital discovery experience. Yes, your website is important – but so are the other online pieces. Ask yourself, how are the right people getting to your website, why are they ending up there, and why do they ultimately choose you?
I know, people can come to your website from all sorts of sources and for all sorts of reasons. But what’s a likely scenario? Consider all the digital touchpoints: maybe they see an ad served up in their social feed, then they click through to an article, a YouTuber, a piece of content…and then end up on your website. That can all happen in the time it took me to type that sentence – and while you can’t control everything, you can create and curate a lot of the online experience in a way that brings the right people to your brand at the right time. That is what being digitally discoverable is all about.
3 Ways to Increase Your Digital Discoverability
To help your brand cultivate a digital discovery journey, start with an integrated strategy that combines these three important tactics:
- Website Content (inbound digital discovery): While a website redesign may be in order, simply making it look nicer is not enough. Search engines favor websites that are frequently updated with new content – as long as that content provides genuine value within your brand’s expertise. If you haven’t heard of the Google E-A-T concept, it stands for “Expertise, “Authoritativeness,” and “Trust.” Basically, when Google sees that people go to your site for a specific topic – and stay there – it believes that you have the E-A-T that makes you worthwhile to recommend when someone searches for that topic. That, in turn, brings more people who are searching for that topic to your site – making you more digitally discoverable. So having a website content strategy that frequently posts content (blogs, videos, whitepapers, infographics, podcasts, etc.) focused around your “E-A-T” is critical. How often should you post something new? Ideally, at least once / week – but if you’re not doing something at least once / month, you don’t have a content strategy for digital discoverability. Bonus: once you post content, it lives on…so your blog post from 9 months ago may be drawing more site visitors today than it did when it was first posted. After all, you have to give people time to discover things.
- Social Media Content + Advertising (inbound + outbound digital discovery): The world does not need more cute pictures and memes. Your social media content should be interesting, educational and rooted in your expertise (think E-A-T). It should also be intentionally created as part of your digital discoverability. That’s good news for you. Why? Because since you’re already creating killer E-A-T oriented content for your website, you can draw directly from that to make social bites that lead back to your website. Have an amazing blog post that explains something your customers always ask about? Break it up into multiple tips, and each tip can serve as a social post. Now comes the social advertising. (Wait, if I have such good social content, why do I need to pay for advertising?) Social media has long grown up to become a base for digital advertising – that is how people who are not already following you can discover your brand. Luckily, advertising on social media is both cost-effective and offers tremendous targeting abilities, so you can reach more of the right people that should be discovering your brand. (They’re spending more time than ever before on social media…give them a chance to find out about you!)
- PR (outbound digital discovery): When accredited media sources feature your brand, that outlet’s followers view that coverage as a third-party endorsement. Because when someone other than you is telling others how awesome you are, that is POW-ER-FUL. Unlike #1 and #2 above, however, getting good press is not completely within your control. (That’s part of what makes it so powerful – everyone knows that anyone can pay for advertising…) Yes, you want your products and services featured by the press – but so does every other brand. So how can you break through? If you want the media to amplify your discoverability, you’ve got to give them a better reason to discover you. Here’s the good news: if you’re already doing your content right, the same E-A-T approach can break through to the media! It’s called thought leadership, and pitches that offer true industry insights are much more likely to resonate with the journalists, editors, producers, etc. who are simply overwhelmed by the number of emails they receive on a daily basis.
Do you need a new website? Maybe. Just make sure it’s part of a digital discovery strategy that emphasizes the expertise that differentiates your brand. Focusing your marketing efforts and budget on upping your digital discoverability can help your brand succeed in this time of crisis and beyond. Yes, we can create a new website for you. More importantly: we can help you become digitally discoverable.
Not sure what area of expertise to focus on for maximum digital discoverability? Our Brand Elevation process will help you uncover your brand’s best point of differentiation.