Getting the most from your digital marketing efforts can help you reach more potential clients, generate more traffic on your website and lead to an increase in business.

In developing a digital marketing strategy, you must “ask yourself what your clients are likely to search for to find a solution to their needs and answers to their questions,” says Caroline Grimont, vice president of marketing with Excel Funds Management Inc. in Mississauga, Ont.

Then, determine whether your website represents what you stand for. Review your brand, your messages and the images you put forward in your communications — from the perspective of the clients you are trying to attract.

Here are four ways to maximize your digital-marketing efforts:

1. Have an engaging website
“Start with a good website design that has simple-to-use navigation, fresh-looking images and graphics, a strong call to action and well structured pages,” Grimont says.

“Your website should have a fast download speed,” she adds, “and must be engaging and responsiveso that it can be read on tablets, smartphones, laptops and desktop computers, andwith the same level of consistency across all devices.”

2. Post compelling content
Your content — whether you post articles, whitepapers, videos, blogs or newsletters — must be relevant to the needs of your target audience. It should be interesting, informative, educational and meaningful.

“Your content should share your insights and expertise and incorporate what you stand for,” Grimont says. “So, only write in your ‘sweet spot’.”

Don’t write about things you don’t know or offer, she adds. “Your goal is to build a niche for your brandand own it.”

3. Have an SEO strategy
A robust search engine optimization (SEO) approach can turn your website into an active marketing platform.

Be sure to choose the appropriate keywords for your website. “Ask yourself what your clients are likely to search for, ” Grimont says.

Understand the bidding process in SEO, she adds. The more popular the word, the more it will cost you to outbid your competitor.

“The idea,” she says, “is to get organic traffic.” (“Organic traffic” means visitors who arrive on your site directly from a search engine such as Google.)

You also can “buy” traffic though pay-per-click ads. But if you choose this strategy, set a budget. “If you are local,” Grimont says, “don’t spend to rank your keywords nationally.”

4. Use social media effectively
Social media should be an essential component of your digital-marketing strategy.

“Social media is cost effective and has an extensive reach,” says Grimont. She suggests that you use social-media platforms (such as LinkedIn and Twitter) to share content and help you build your brand. Social media can also help you connect with current and potential clients.

“Encourage sharing to extend your reach,” she says.

See: Five ways to use interactive content

See also: Tech-savvy, with a personal touch