digital transformation

How to Start Your Digital Transformation Strategy for Free

During these trying times of the COVID-19 outbreak, everybody has been practicing social distancing and avoiding going out unnecessarily. As a result, many brick-and-mortar businesses have been forced to close. Learn about Digital Transformation!

Many businesses aren’t able to rely on foot traffic anymore. That’s why all types of businesses, and especially small or medium sized ones, should focus on improving their online presence or starting their digital transformation. This can and should be done as quickly as possible.

Being online is absolutely necessary nowadays for almost any type of business. Let everybody know you’re online for FREE with Clever Ads.

If you had to close your physical business and want to start online, or want to start a brand new online business in general, now is the time. Let’s take a look at the most important things you should know about when starting your digital transformation:

 6-Step Digital Transformation Strategy

First step of your Digital Transformation Strategy: Have your website ready in one day

Having a website is the cornerstone of your digital transformation strategy and online presence. From blogging, education, community forums, portals, ecommerce, portfolios or anything else, having a website makes it real. 

Many businesses start with only a Facebook or Instagram business page, or they have an Etsy or Shopify store – just to name a few options. There’s nothing wrong with this, but these options won’t allow you to have complete control over your online business. Plus ecommerce platforms take a cut of your sales.

That’s why we recommend you create your own website. It doesn’t even need to be too complex, you can start small and create a website in less than one day for free.

Many site builders don’t require you to have any technical or coding knowledge. Personalizing your new website can be as easy as playing with Lego bricks & as fun! So don’t be afraid to start your digital transformation.

Second step of your Digital Transformation Strategy: Promote your new website

Once you’ve created it, the next step is to get people to visit your website. There are many ways to attract potential customers and traffic in general to your new site. But advertising is the fastest and one of the most effective ways to do so.

If you want people to find your business the moment it’s online, advertising through search engines and social media can help you achieve this while keeping a low budget.

Some of the most popular and important platforms to promote your online business are Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads. Depending on your sector, budget and overall strategy, one of these could be the most effective route for you.

However, what usually performs best for most businesses is Google Advertising. This is because Google has the biggest market share: 92% of Internet users search on Google. It’s also because it helps you reach people the moment that they are searching for what you offer. This means that your ads appear to people that are truly interested in you, providing better results.

 

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If you’re worried about your budget, you can still trust Google Ads because you only pay for results – usually per click. You can also benefit from a Google Ads promo code of up to $150 that Clever Ads will activate for free.

Advertising on Google might sound complicated, but learning how to configure your campaigns can be quite easy with the right partner. At Clever Ads, we also offer a free Google Ads campaign creation tool for small and medium businesses that are still learning how to do it themselves.

Having a low budget with little to zero knowledge on online advertising won’t be an obstacle for growing your business online anymore. 

Third step of your Digital Transformation Strategy: Post your business on Google My Business or update your status

Being on Google My Business is a must for both physical and online businesses. Google My Business is a good way to get people to know about you: your business address, hours of operations, what your business is about, posts, photos, client reviews and more. Creating a new account is easy and fast, making it essential for your digital transformation strategy.

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Whether you’re already on Google My Business or not, you should communicate any changes there if COVID-19 has affected your business in any way. This can include a notice on how your clients and business will be affected due to COVID-19, to updating your opening hours, phone number or including a website URL if one doesn’t already exist. 

You can find more relevant information in our article which details how to prepare for and minimize the impact of COVID-19 on your business. With a little perseverance, we will all come out of this stronger.

Fourth step of your Digital Transformation Strategy: Use social media for boosting your customers engagement

This step is closely related to the previous one. A lot of people will search for information about your business on Google, but some others will go to social media to see if you posted any updates. If people don’t find you on any social media networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, they’ll be less likely to believe you are still offering any services.

The best social media network for your business will mostly depend on your sector. For instance, fashion and beauty are sectors that yield better results on Instagram than on Twitter. If you’re not entirely sure, you can also check where your competitors have been successful and try there.

Now is more important than ever to create social content for a successful digital transformation strategy. People are staying home and have plenty of time to interact with your posts. Data shows that the percentage of people who have seen Facebook posts on brand pages has increased during the last few weeks

Fifth step of your Digital Transformation Strategy: Get your products on Google Merchant Center to sell them online

As mentioned in the beginning of the article, traditional retail and brick-and-mortar businesses are struggling with minimal to no store visits. 

However, if you sell products, ecommerce is a good opportunity to keep selling. People can still order online and they can buy your products when stuck at home. To do this, you just need to upload your products to a Google Merchant Center account that you can easily create for free.

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You will only really need to have your product information updated and optimized, which includes your product IDs, names, descriptions, taxonomies, prices, URLs  and images. Google will use all this information to match your products to what people search for on Google. Your products will show up right when people are searching for them!

Sixth step of your Digital Transformation Strategy: Start working on your SEO strategy

SEO is the process of optimizing a website to have higher search engine rankings and organic visitors to your site. Making it easier for your business to get found by people online without paying for ads.

Although you should take into account that SEO actions require time to start working and obtain results, it’s a long-term strategy. The sooner you start working on it the better. There are simple SEO strategies you can start applying to boost your organic traffic.

Final Thoughts 

Getting your business online is something that is helpful for your customers and beneficial for the future of your business. Following this 6 step guide will help you kick start or boost your digital transformation strategy through these difficult and challenging times.

 

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