Getting new customers in the door used to be done easily with a big sign on a busy physical location.
The principle of visibility still applies today, but the busy physical location has now become
smaller signs in multiple digital locations.
More customers can find you through online entries but some of these entries contain incorrect or out-of-date information.
The cost of inaccurate information online is actually quite high. In fact, you could lose out on potential sales.
We've found that 68% of people will take their business elsewhere if they see missing or inaccurate internet advertising,
not to mention bad reviews. Below are some ways to increase your digital presence and get found online by local customers.
Online maps such as Google and Bing Maps, bring more customers to your business than you would think.
Getting your business on those maps doesn’t just give people directions to your location,
it makes your business more easily found online by those who are searching for your product and services.
When customers coordinate errands or arrange their day, they do it on a mobile device.
From there, maps play an important role in those consumers finding the businesses they’ll visit.
People can use maps like search engines by searching for things by category or keyword.
In addition, search engines show local listings on their results pages, with an associated map,
before even showing the organic results.
Optimize your website for geographic-specific keywords
Needless to say, having a website today serve a critical role in a successful online marketing strategy.
Getting your website to the first page of Google for
the keywords and phrases that will drive qualified visitors to your site is the key.
Make sure that the webpage title, URL, H1 tag and
page content of your web pages include your geographic keyword phrase
and that you are consistent across all elements.
Sign up for accounts on local citation sites
All business should take advantage of the opportunity given by local citation sites by claiming your listings.
Such sites include Facebook, Angie's list, FourSquare, Yelp, Yellowpages etc.
Claiming your listings lets you take control of the information that people are finding on these sites.
You can manually update contact information,
upload photos, and even provide specials and promotions.
Not only will customers find your business there and read/write reviews about it there,
the search engines will also crawl those sites where you are listed.
They will check the data in each place for accuracy to see whether it
matches the information they already have on your site.
The search engine will give more credibility to your site if you have a broad network of locations with accurate data.
Encourage reviews and recommendations on social
Online reviews can make or break the consumer's decision to buy your product or even come to visit your store.
People can leave reviews for you on map listings, citation listing, forums or interact with you
on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
High-quality, legitimate reviews take time and efforts to cultivate.
You need to track them regularly and respond.
Following up on positive reviews is a good gesture, but engaging with
bad reviews is even more important.
You may try to get rid of the bad reviews and fix the issue quietly,
but publicly addressing the problems and reaching out
to the customer is even more powerful.
Customers' biggest worry is that their problems are not taken seriously and
transparency and honesty do pay off.
Mastering the 4 steps above will yield you as much traffic as you could possibly need to grow your business online.