Research shows that today’s shoppers either do research online before they buy or make a decision to use a particular vendor, or they hunt for information using their mobile devices to find a local place of business. According to Google research, online information actually drives people to shop locally.
Here are simple ways to get you in front of local potential customers searching for a vendor online:
- Include your address on your website. We know this sounds like it’s obvious but you’d be surprised how many sites don’t have this information easily findable. Include your business address in the footer or header of every page, not just on your contact page. Including this information on your site also increases the chances your business will be properly associated in search engines with your geographic location.
- Claim and complete your “Google My Business” listing. “Google My Business”, is a free business listing that is integrated with the main Google search engine, mobile search, Google+, and Google Maps. So regardless where people are searching in Google for windshield repair or headlight restoration, if you’re listed in “Google My Business” your business has a shot at being found.
It only takes a few minutes to claim your listing. Make sure the information listed is accurate, like hours of operation, and add photos to help attract interest.
- Social media. Let’s be honest, Facebook can be annoying at times but with 1 billion active users every month, it’s hard not to ignore the power it has to reach new customers.
a. Set up a Facebook Business Page. A page gives your business a presence and allows you to engage with customers and your community. Make sure all the information is accurate.
b. Follow these tips from Facebook on how to help your business show up for nearby locations.
c. Create a Facebook ad or offer and target potential customers interested in your business in your area.
- Encourage satisfied customers to review your business online. Unfortunately, customers are more likely to tell their friends about poor customer service than they are about great customer service. It doesn’t hurt to simply ask a satisfied customer through post-service emails, or face-to-face to recommend your business via online reviews. The more reviews online and the more social connections your business has, the more likely others in your connections’ circles will find your business.