As a consumer, we often find ourselves scrolling through Google to find new places to visit and details about that location. This everyday task that you often do to find businesses or activities of your interest, is one you should be applying to your very own business. So how do you go digital? It’s hard to know where to start or where to place the most importance. We’ll teach you where to start analyzing your current digital presence and how to maximize it.

First, let’s set realistic goals. Google and Bing use algorithms that scan the web to place undiscovered sites on their search results. Seeing your website, social media handles or any press related to your business at the top of search results takes time. So don’t expect too much too soon. A good digital plan considers: knowing your goals, setting realistic expectations, setup of analytics to track what’s working or not and find leads, and most important adapting your strategy as you learn more. Your first plan is often not the best plan.

Look into common keyword searches that consumers would often type in to find your business. Step into the shoes of a consumer on Google and type in keywords to see what are the highest-ranking results to understand your competition. For example, as a florist, you might want to see what local results pop-up when you type in keywords such as, “delivery flower shops near me”. By optimizing your site or any related pages you might have up with these keywords you can organically work your way up in the search results in your area. Keyword there was: organically. You might be wondering if there is an easier way to just get your business up there and you’re right. Search Engine Marketing is the way you can bid your business to the top. You can do this with services like Google AdWords. This is how Google likes to make their money. By bidding on keywords pertaining to your business, you can automatically be pushed to the top, this is contrary to the unpaid-organic approach of Search Engine Optimization.

Consider your listings on local sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, OpenTable, Google Reviews, etc. Also, look into the respective social media platforms that pertain to your industry. For instance, like a restaurant you probably don’t need a Twitter, but rather focus on Instagram and Facebook which allow businesses to specialize their content.

Set up business goals, such as conversions or brand awareness campaigns that actually have measurable results. What’s the point of acting on any of this if you can’t measure its impact? Use free tools such as Google Analytics on your current website to actually see where traffic is coming from and the user journey through your website. If focusing on social media, make sure your social media is set up as a business page so the platform can report analytics about users and traffic.

So how can content on your pages impact your goals? Well if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you could use social media channels to post ‘About Us’ videos that further educate the audience about your business. Understand whether SEO/SEM or social media work better for your business with trial and error strategies. You won’t learn about the nature of your business online if you never test it out. As mentioned earlier, be willing to adapt. Once you’ve measure multiple strategies, learn about the impact of each and continue to evolve your digital plan.