Digital Communications: What You Need to Know (Part 1)

Digital communications. You know you should be doing more of it. In fact, in a recent study of global chief communications officers, more than 70% ranked digital communications as the highest item on their to-do list. But what exactly is meant by "digital communications" - and where should you start? We've got your primer in our two-part blog series about digital marketing 101. Here's part one.

  1. Get your website in order. Having a good digital communications program without first having a good website is like having the best marketing in the world with a lousy product. You must start with a good product - or in this case, a good website. Your site serves as a hub for your digital communications program, so make sure it looks good, meets user needs, works hard for you from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) standpoint and can be updated easily and often. And don't forget to make sure your website is trustworthy.
  1. Study your Google Analytics to see what's driving traffic to your site. Look at the referral sources for your website - and then figure out how to cultivate more of what you're missing, whether that is direct traffic, referral traffic or organic search traffic.
  1. Check your search rankings often. People using search engines are most likely to click on the top few results. When you search on your product, service or the solution your company provides, what appears in those top spots? After paid placements, the top organic search results are most likely to be from highly reputable media sources or from content hubs chock full of links, such as blogs - followed by content that's relevant to the searcher's query.Both traditional PR (resulting in media placements that link to your website) and SEO best practices (such as blogging) will help you appear high in search results and drive new visitors and solution-seekers to your site.
  1. Get smart about SEO and paid search. Google for articles to learn what you can, watch some YouTube videos to bring the knowledge home and, if still in doubt, call in expert help. Nothing is more important today than being found online, and SEO and paid search will do the heavy lifting for you if you do them right.
  1. Practice online PR, digital PR or "PR 2.0." PR tactics are actually SEO best practices, and vice versa. Conduct an SEO audit on your website, and you'll usually find that you need a blog to improve your SEO and search rankings. Likewise, a thorough communications or public relations audit will also uncover the need for a blog to serve as a communications platform and a way to tell your company's stories. With PR and SEO both clearly showing that blogs are good for business, it's amazing more people aren't blogging!

These five tips will provide a head start to your digital communications program. For part two in our series, be sure to stop back next week!