Success comes from a proven strategy
If anyone tells you that digital marketing is easy, show them the 14-Step Roadmap below. There’s no fancy images or videos to make this stuff look fun. It’s hard work. It takes time. It also takes experience and the expertise that comes from that kind of hard-earned, time-tested experience. The kind of expertise that our team manifests every day for each of our clients.
This is what we’ve learned in 18 years. Not everyone is suited for this type of work the way we are. If you hire us to follow the plan and execute the strategy, guess what. It works. Plain and simple. If you want to get more business from a more robust online presence, we have the roadmap to get you there.
Like any diver knows, “you plan the dive … so can dive the plan.”
Welcome to The 14-Step Plan that all digital marketing divers wish they had when they started their careers.
- Describe your target audience
- Set KPIs (key performance indicators)
- Audit your online assets
- Create a content plan
- Build an awesome website
- Optimize your website (SEO)
- Bid smart for online ads
- Educate prospects and referral partners
- Study analytics to measure results
- Test and adjust efforts
- Build trust and establish authority
- Acquire reviews and testimonials
- Do branding that sets you apart
- Nurture your list
Define your target audience so you can then do a better job understanding their needs and pain points.
- Demographic research: Collect information about your target audience’s age, gender, income, education level, and other demographic information.
- Psychographic research: Understand your target audience’s interests, lifestyle, values, and personality traits.
- Behavioral research: Study your target audience’s buying habits, purchase history, and how they interact with your brand.
- Conduct surveys or focus groups: Ask your target audience directly about their needs, pain points, and what they are looking for in a product or service.
- Analyze website and social media data: Use website analytics and social media analytics to understand how your target audience is interacting with your brand online.
- Look at your current customer base: Analyze the characteristics of your current customers, such as demographics, and see if there are any patterns.
- Competitor research: Analyze your competitors’ target audience and marketing strategies, and see if there are any opportunities to reach a similar audience.
- Use customer personas: Create detailed customer personas, which are fictional representations of your ideal customers, to help you better understand their needs and pain points.
- Use online tools: Tools like Google analytics, SEMrush, Alexa and SimilarWeb can provide insights on your target audience’s demographics, interests, behaviors, and location.
- Look at industry reports and studies: Look for industry reports and studies that provide information about your target audience, such as their spending habits, interests, and pain points.
Identify, set and agree upon specific, measurable goals tied to your digital marketing efforts.
- Increase website traffic by X% within Y months.
- Improve search engine rankings for specific keywords by X% within Y months.
- Increase conversion rate on specific pages by X% within Y months.
- Increase the number of leads generated through the website by X within Y months.
- Increase the number of social media followers by X within Y months.
- Increase the email open rate by X% within Y months.
- Increase the click-through rate of email campaigns by X% within Y months.
- Increase the average time spent on the website by X seconds within Y months.
- Increase the number of positive reviews on online directories by X within Y months.
- Increase the return on investment (ROI) from digital marketing efforts by X% within Y months.
These goals should be:
- Specific (clear and well-defined),
- Measurable (can be quantified),
- Achievable (realistic and attainable), Relevant (aligned with your business objectives) and,
- Time-bound (have a deadline).
It is important to choose goals that align with your overall business objectives, and that can be effectively tracked and measured.
Conduct a thorough audit of your current digital presence, (e.g. website, social media accounts, and online directories).
- Much of this list is related to our website performance audit services.
- Website Performance: Conduct a thorough review of your website, including the design, user experience, and functionality. Look for any broken links, missing or outdated content, and any technical issues that may be impacting your search engine rankings.
- Content Output: Analyze the quality and relevance of the content on your website. Make note of any pages or posts that are not performing well, and identify opportunities to update or improve the content.
- SEO Efforts: Review your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) to identify any issues that may be impacting your search engine rankings. Check your website’s meta tags, keywords, and backlinks, and use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track your website’s performance.
- Social Media Presence: Review your social media accounts to see which platforms your target audience is active on, and assess the performance of your current social media strategy. Check for consistency in branding, engagement, and content across all platforms.
- Online Directories: Check your business’s information on online directories like Google Business Profile, Yelp, and others to ensure that it’s accurate, consistent, and up-to-date. Check for any duplicate listings, and claim any unclaimed listings that you find.
- Competitors: Analyze the digital presence of your competitors to identify any strategies or tactics that they are using that you could incorporate into your own strategy.
- Analyze the data: After collecting the data, analyze it to see what is working and what is not, and use this information to develop a plan to improve your digital presence.
- Create a report: Create a report summarizing the findings from the audit, including any issues that need to be addressed and recommendations for improving your digital presence.
- Implement the plan: Based on the findings and recommendations, develop an action plan to address any issues and improve your digital presence.
- Monitor: Continuously monitor and measure the results of your efforts, and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that your digital presence is always improving.
Develop a targeted, value-based, content marketing strategy (blog and social media posts).
- Much of this list is related to our content marketing and syndication services.
- Define target audiences: Identify the specific demographic you are trying to reach and understand their needs, pain points, and interests.
- Set specific, measurable goals: Determine what you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy, such as increasing website traffic or generating leads.
- Content audit: Review your existing content to identify any gaps or opportunities for improvement.
- Content calendar: Plan out the types of content you will be creating, the topics you will cover, and the frequency of your posts.
- Create valuable content: Develop a variety of content formats, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media posts that provide value to your target audience.
- Optimize your content for SEO: Incorporate keywords and meta tags that are relevant to your target audience and services to improve your search engine rankings.
- Promote your content: Share your content across a variety of channels, such as social media, email marketing, and online communities, to reach a wider audience.
- Engage with your audience: Respond to comments and questions on your blog and social media channels to build a community around your brand.
- Measure and analyze results: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your content and make adjustments as needed.
- Continuously improve: Continuously improve your content marketing strategy by testing new formats, topics, and promotions and learning from the results.
Design and Build an Awesome Website
- Much of this list is related to our website design and development services.
- Define your website’s purpose and target audience: Determine the goals of your website and who you are trying to reach with it so you can connect better with each target audience.
- Conduct research and planning: Research competitors’ websites and look at what’s happening in your industry, plus look at design trends to get inspiration for your website.
- Plan your website sitemap of pages and the content you will need to write. Use original content only.
- Choose a domain name and web hosting company: Mostly decide if you want a shared or dedicated hosting account.
- Design the layout and user experience: Create a layout that is visually appealing and easy to navigate.
- Make it mobile friendly. Ensure that your website is optimized for different devices and browsers.
- Develop and test the website: Use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress so it’s easy to maintain and update your website,
- Optimize the website for search engines. Test your website speeds on different devices and browsers.
- Publish the content: Use high-quality images and videos to enhance your website’s visual appeal.
- Install Google Analytics and activate Google Search Console.
- Launch the website: Make it live and promote it on social media, email, and other marketing channels.
- Monitor and optimize: Monitor performance and fix 404 type errors.
- Update your website with fresh content and new features to keep it engaging and relevant.
Optimize your website for search engines using keywords related to your services and target audience.
- Much of this list is related to our search engine optimization services.
- Research keywords: Use keyword research tools to identify the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your services and target audience.
- Optimize website’s structure: Ensure that your website has a clear and logical structure, with a well-organized menu and a hierarchical structure for your pages.
- Optimize content: Incorporate the keywords you have identified into your website’s content, including headlines, meta tags, and page titles. Make sure that your content is high-quality, relevant, and informative.
- Optimize images and videos: Optimize images and videos by including relevant keywords in the file names, alt tags, and captions.
- Build backlinks: Build backlinks to your website from other relevant websites to improve your search engine rankings.
- Create an XML sitemap: An XML sitemap is a file that lists all of the pages on your website, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site.
- Use structured data: Use structured data to add extra context to your website’s content and help search engines understand the meaning of your pages.
- Use analytics tools: Use analytics tools to track your website’s search engine performance and identify areas for improvement.
- Monitor and update: Continuously monitor your website’s search engine performance and make updates as needed to improve your rankings over time.
- Mobile optimization and make sure it’s responsive and mobile friendly, as mobile optimization is a ranking factor.
- Optimize URLs: Use short, descriptive URLs that include keywords relevant to the page.
- Header tags (H1, H2, H3) correctly: Use header tags to create a clear hierarchy for your content and make it easier for search engines to understand the structure of your pages.
- Local SEO: If your law firm has a physical location, make sure to include your address, phone number, and business hours on your website and in local directories.
- High-quality, shareable content: The more valuable, shareable and informative your content is, the more likely it is to be shared and linked to, which will improve your search engine rankings.
- Internal linking: Link to other relevant pages on your website to help search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your site, and to help visitors find more information.
- Social media to promote your website: Share links to your website on your social media accounts and encourage your followers to share them as well.
- Fast and responsive website: Search engines favor websites that load quickly and are mobile-friendly.
- Analytics to track your progress: Use analytics tools to track your website’s search engine performance and identify areas for improvement.
- Keep your website updated: Search engines favor websites that are regularly updated with fresh and relevant content.
- Monitor and adapt to changes in the search algorithms: Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, so it’s important to stay informed about any changes and adapt your SEO strategy accordingly.
Search engine advertising and social media advertising to reach your target audience.
- Much of this list is related to our PPC advertising and paid social media advertising services.
- Define campaign objectives and target audience. Examples include increasing website traffic, generating leads, or increasing sales.
- Get into the mindset of each audience dataset so you can figure out their pain points and desires.
- Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords and phrases each of your target audiences might use to find your products or services.
- Create compelling ad copy that highlights unique selling points.
- Determine your bidding strategy and set up conversion tracking to measure success. The goal is determine which ads are generating the most leads or sales and adjust over time to bring ROAS (return on ad spend) up.
- Create dedicated landing pages for your ads that are optimized for conversions. This means they have clear calls to action and relevant content that is matched up with the keywords being searched.
- Launch and monitor the campaign, making adjustments as needed.
- Optimize ad targeting based on performance data. Examples include: adjusting your keywords, ad copy, and bidding strategy
- Measure and report on results, using KPI’s listed above such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and return on ad spend.
- Continuously refine the campaign using data-driven decisions (as opposed to hunches).
- For social media advertising the list is mostly the same with these differences below.
- Create a Social Media Ads account (e.g. Facebook) and set up a Business Manager account if necessary.
- Choose the ad format and ad placement for your campaign, such as image, video, carousel, or collection ads, and select the placement of the ads on Facebook, Instagram, or other Facebook-owned platforms.
- Define your ad targeting, such as by location, demographics, interests, behaviors, or lookalike audiences.
- Set a budget and bid strategy for your ads, choosing between a daily or lifetime budget and cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-impression (CPM), or cost-per-action (CPA) bidding.
- For your ad content, make sure to tailor it with images, videos, and ad copy that highlight the unique selling points of your products or services.
- The call-to-action (CTA) options would be different with social media ads. You might write “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” “Sign Up,” or “Download,” to encourage clicks and conversions.
- Review and approve your ad, making sure it complies with each platform’s advertising policies.
- Your KPI’s will be different. Now it’s reach, engagement, clicks, conversions, and return on ad spend (ROAS).
Run online webinars or virtual events to educate potential clients on topics related to your services and to promote your firm.
- Determine the topic and format of your webinar. Find something that is both relevant to your target audience and that showcases your subject matter expertise.
- Choose a webinar format. Live or pre-recorded presentation, a panel discussion, or a Q&A session.
- Create a landing page for your webinar. Include topic, date and time, and registration instructions. Highlight the value of attending the webinar and the benefits that attendees will receive.
- Promote your webinar on your website and social media channels. Use your blog, email newsletters, and social media accounts to announce the webinar and provide a link to the registration page.
- Create visual content, such as graphics or videos, to catch people’s attention and generate interest.
- Leverage paid advertising to reach a wider audience. Consider running social media ads or Google ads to target specific audiences who may attend or refer people or simple promote it on their own channels and blogs.
- Engage with your audience before and after the webinar. Send reminder emails to registered attendees, answer questions on social media, and provide additional resources or follow-up content after the webinar. This will help you build a relationship with your audience and keep them engaged with your brand.
Use analytics to measure the success of your efforts and make adjustments as needed.
- Website traffic: Track the number of visitors to your website, where they are coming from, and how they are interacting with your site.
- Bounce rate: Look at the percentage of visitors who leave your website after only viewing one page. A high bounce rate can indicate that your website is not providing the information or value that your visitors are looking for.
- Conversion rate: Track the percentage of visitors who take a desired action on your website, such as filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase.
- Time on site: Monitor the average amount of time visitors are spending on your website. This can give you an idea of how engaging and valuable your content is.
- Referral traffic: Analyze the sources of traffic to your website, such as search engines, social media, and referral sites.
- Search engine rankings: Track your website’s search engine rankings for the keywords you are targeting.
- Social media engagement: Monitor the engagement and reach of your social media posts, such as likes, shares, and comments.
- Email marketing metrics: Track the open and click-through rates of your emails, as well as the number of unsubscribes.
- Lead generation: Track the number of leads generated through your website and how they were generated.
- Return on investment (ROI): Calculate the return on investment for your digital marketing efforts by comparing the revenue generated to the cost of the campaign.
- Custom metrics: If you have set specific goals for your digital marketing efforts, create custom metrics to track your progress towards those goals.
- A/B testing: A/B testing is a way to test different variations of a web page, email or ad to see which one performs best. It can help to optimize conversion rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, time on site and other metrics that are important for your business.
Continuously test and optimize your digital marketing efforts to improve results over time.
- Some of this will be redundant as this list includes items already mentioned but here goes anyway.
- Define your (KPIs)
- Set up analytics tracking.
- Set up goal tracking and tag manager.
- Conduct a baseline analysis to establish a benchmark for comparison.
- Create a hypothesis about what changes can improve results. e.g. messaging, new ad formats, or optimizing your website for better conversion rates.
- Design and run controlled experiments to test your hypothesis. This could involve A/B testing different ad copy or landing pages, testing different email subject lines, or trying different targeting options in your ad campaigns.
- Analyze the results. Collect and analyze the data from your tests to determine what worked and what didn’t. This will help you identify which changes had a positive impact on your KPIs and which ones did not.
- Refine your approach. Make changes and improvements until you see what works best or worst.
- Rinse and Repeat the process. Refine your approach to achieve better results.
Build trust and establish authority in your field through thought leadership, case studies and by winning awards
- Develop a thought leadership strategy. Come up with topics and themes and establish a content creation plan that will showcase your subject matter expertise.
- Create really valuable content. This means it’s less about you and more about the reader getting something out of your content. The old WIIFM (What’s in it for me) approach.
- Try different content formats, such as blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, or podcasts, that offer insights, tips, and industry perspectives.
- Use case studies. Showcase your successes and highlight how you helped your clients achieve (or exceed) their goals and expectations.
- Submit your work for industry awards. Winning awards gives you instant name recognition in your industry.
- Leverage social proof. Get customer reviews and testimonials – especially if they can be added to Google and Yelp. This kind of 3rd party content showcases the real impact you’ve had on your clients.
- Engage with your audience. Use social media and email to interact with your audience and respond to questions and comments.
Use online reputation management tools to monitor, collect and broadcast reviews and testimonials to provide the social proof that showcases your expertise and credibility from satisfied clients.
- Pick one of the reputation management SAAS tools. Find one that meets your needs and budget.
- Set up your account.Add your business, website URL, social media profiles, and contact information.
- Start monitoring your online reputation. See what people are saying about your brand (or you) on social media channels, review sites, and other online discussion forums.
- Collect reviews and testimonials. Encourage clients to write awesome things about you. Invite them by sending automated review requests via email or text, or adding a review widget to your website.
- Respond to reviews. Respond to positive and negative reviews without delay and do it in a professional manner. Show your customers you value them and are committed to providing great service.
- Share positive reviews and testimonials on your website, social media channels, and other marketing materials.
- Analyze and improve. Use the insights provided by the SAAS tool to analyze your performance and identify areas for improvement.
Create a strong brand identity that sets you apart from your competitors and appeals to your target audience.
- Define your brand personality. How do you want your audience to perceive your brand and its values.
- Do a competitive analysis to identify competitors and analyze their branding, messaging, and overall marketing approach.
- Determine how you can differentiate yourself from top-shelf competitors
- Create a brand style guide for your visual identity, including colors, fonts, logos, and imagery.
- Develop your brand messaging. This might be one of the hardest things to do which is to articulate your brand’s unique value proposition and key messages.
- Establish your brand’s voice and tone. How you want your brand to sound and then develop guidelines for your brand’s tone and voice.
- Build a cohesive brand presence. Make sure your website, visual assets, messaging and social media profiles are consistent with your brand identity and align with your style guide.
- Consistently apply your brand identity. Use your brand style guide and messaging framework consistently across all marketing and communication channels to establish a strong and recognizable brand identity.
Use your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software like Hubspot and your email marketing platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact to stay in touch with your prospects to turn them into clients and with your clients to get them to make referrals.
- Choose a CRM software service and integrate it with your website, email marketing, and social media platforms.
- Define your “buyer personas” (ideal prospects, influencers, and/or referral partners) and articulate their demographics, interests, and pain points.
- Develop a lead generation strategy roadmap: Figure out which marketing channels you will use to generate leads (e.g. social media, email marketing, search engines, ads, and content marketing).
- Qualify your leads: Your CRM software should help you to score and qualify people who have filled out a lead form (i.e. leads) and then measure their level of engagement, interest, and fit with your services.
- Create personalized communication: Send personalized emails, SMS, and social media messages. Stay in touch with your prospects and referral partners.
- Automate your follow-up process: This is referring to your sales funnel where you send automated email sequences, reminders, and notifications to nurture relationships and convert prospects into buyers.
- Provide relevant, value-added content: Share blogs, articles, videos, social media posts, webinars, and case studies.
- Nurture your client relationships: Keep track of your client interactions (not just prospects), such as phone calls, emails, and meetings and make salient notes. Look at a program like Fellow App for Zoom meetings.
- Ask for referrals: Send referral requests to happy clients. Provide incentives to make referrals.
- Monitor your results: Track progress and optimize your lead generation and nurturing strategies.