According to Tech Terms, a digital footprint is “a trail of data you create while using the internet. It includes the websites you visit, emails you send, and information you submit to online services.” In essence, everything you do online contributes to your digital footprint. But how does this lead to more leads?
Expanding your digital footprint by increasing the number of locations you have across the web gives you a higher probability of coming up in organic searches when your potential customers search online. For example, if all you have is a website, you will show up farther down the list than a company with a website, Facebook page, LinkedIn page, and a blog. Since Google ranks listings by site authority and keywords, improving your authority by expanding your internet presence helps you get seen by more potential clients.
How to expand your digital footprint
Most of the tactics below come at little or no cost, which is suitable for small companies or those with a small marketing budget. They are listed in the order of effectiveness.
If you don’t have a website for your company, you should definitely think about getting one. Your website is the cornerstone for your digital presence, a centralized place where all your other listings should live.
Your website doesn’t have to be complicated or highly technical. Here are the critical pieces of information you should include:
• Business name and location
• Contact information, both by phone and email
• The type of work you perform
• The type of projects you work on
• Your background or experience
• Past projects, including photos if possible
If you don’t feel comfortable crafting your own website, there are plenty of freelance designers or marketing agencies that can help you.
Google My Business
Registering your business and location with Google My Business helps you show up in location-based searches. If someone types in “concrete contractors Portland Oregon” or “concrete contractors near me,” your listing will show up, along with your location marked on the map.
Gone are the days when social media was only for personal use. The key to using social media to get more leads is to hang out where your customers hang out. There are two types of customers: businesses and consumers. Here’s a list of the social media platforms that each kind of customer hangs out in:
Businesses – LinkedIn and Twitter
Consumers – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
You don’t have to be on every platform. It’s best to pick one or two, build up a following and a regular posting schedule, and then expand into additional platforms.
Wondering what to post? Potential customers want to see project highlights, especially photos and videos and company news. Be sure to seek out new connections as you are browsing each platform. Building up a network is the key to getting the word out.
You may think that the phone book is dead, but it’s been resurrected on the internet. Although most searchers don’t go to online directories to locate businesses, having a presence on these sites increases your digital footprint and your chances of showing up in search results.
Online directories you want to target include the Yellow Pages, DEX, YP, and any other local directories in your area. You can purchase an ad or do a free listing with basic contact information.
Blog and guest post articles
If you really want to expand your digital presence, the best way is to start a blog or write guest articles for other websites. A blog is a great way to build your presence, but it’s a significant time commitment. You have to maintain a regular publishing schedule and continue to provide content to your audience to keep them engaged. If you don’t have the time but still want to start a blog, look for freelance writers or marketing agencies that can help you provide content.
Another way to establish yourself as an expert is to write articles for industry publications or websites. Most will let you publish an article on an upcoming trend or other industry news for free. In exchange, you will get a byline and usually a small profile, which you can use to link back to your website.
Expand slowly for best success
Expanding your digital footprint takes some planning. Figure out where your resources are best deployed, and then begin slowly increasing your presence. Remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Contract out the parts that aren’t in your wheelhouse, and you’ll save yourself precious time and money and avoid a lot of headaches.