What Are Digital Foundations And Why Are They Important?

by Tom Osman.
February 21, 2019

One thing that's essential to have in place before going ahead with any period of digital change is that the business has solid digital foundations.

What are the digital foundations?

Digital foundations are pretty simple actually. Taking the example of a generic website, here are some of the questions you'll want to answer.

  • Does a Google Search of the business bring me the expected information?
  • Does the website work on all platforms, web, mobile and tablet?
  • Is the site mobile friendly?
  • Does my website load quickly?
  • Is there one clear call to action?
  • Is it simple to contact the business?
  • Am I quickly able to access the information I want?
  • Are there any obvious errors that need fixing?
  • Are the phone number and address where they should be?
  • Is the blog on the site and not hosted elsewhere?

Once you've run through these questions and are happy with how the website appears and works, you'll want to dive a bit deeper.

Before that, a quick check of social media profiles + links is worth the time.

Social Media Audit

  • Are all socials linked to on the site?
  • Is the information uniform throughout?

As a basic guide, Facebook Page, Twitter and a LinkedIn Business page should all be mandatory.

Next comes a deeper look under the hood at what sort of plumbing the website has in place.

Do Some Digital Plumbing

Put simply plumbing are the 'things' the website should have installed to ensure effective monitoring and tracking.

When working on a client project some of the things we'd look to have installed as a base are...

  • Facebook Pixel
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Remarketing Pixel
  • On-site Chat
  • Heat Map Tracking e.g. Hotjar

Having these in place allow a business to be able to track and engage visitors to the site. More often than not visitors leave without doing anything so wouldn't it be good if we would gain some information out of that visit.

Using the Facebook Pixel you'll be able to advertise to that visitor later, even after they've left the site and the same with the Google Pixel.

Google Analytics makes it easy to see data about your visitors such as what device or platform they are using, or where geographically they are visiting from. Supplementary information such as time-on-site, pages visited and where they were referred from are likewise available.

For an in-depth guide on how to use Google Analytics effectively check out this guide.

Tools such as Intercom and Drift make it really easy for a visitor to connect directly with a member of your team with any questions. A simple chat widget in the bottom right corner of your screen goes a long way to turning visitors into customers.

Last but not least is a heat map tool. 

While not essential, connecting something like Hotjar gives you a ton of valuable insight into the behaviour of your visitors. Information such as which portions of your website are being seen and which ones are not.

By having this small list of tools implemented on a site it'll enable a website owner to do a lot.

Installing these tools on a website is made easy with Google Tag Manager. Rather than installing multiple scripts and annoying whoever manages the website, you can install one container then publish all of the others yourself.

For a guide on how to do this click here.

Now that we are easily able to understand what users are doing we'll want to understand how visitors are being converted into customers.

Some questions to seek the answer to are.

  • Does the site explain what the business does clearly?
  • ‍A visitor has submitted their details through a contact form, what happens next?

You don't have to be a copyrighter to get this right, short clear statements about what you do are enough. The visitor knows what they're looking for before they land on your page, you just need the digital foundations to be a match.

The most common step here would be to send an email automatically letting the user know that it's reached you successfully. If you don't have this in place already then put it on the to-do list.

Following this is there an effective method implemented to respond to and manage these leads? Do you have an email drip campaign set up?

These are all essential parts of laying the digital foundations that should be in place before digital transformation happens.

Get these things right and you'll be in a good place to start running growth efforts or improvements.

Want to find out how we can help?
It has never been easier to solve problems using technology. Start by letting us know what problems you have.
Start here