Why Your Business Might be Invisible to Online Shoppers, and What to Do About It
When entrepreneurs start a brick-and-mortar business, or with a basic website or online brochure, they often find that their customer base starts to dwindle as modern technology leaves them behind.
Their website doesn’t bring them as much income as they’d thought it would, often because their competitors show up in local searches while their own business does not.
As a result, their company is invisible to online searchers, but they aren’t sure why that happens, or what to do about it. At the end of the day, they’re losing money on strategies that don’t work, and they feel like they’re getting left behind in the ever-changing online world.
Have you been struggling to attract customers through the internet?
By now, you’ve probably figured out that the old adage of “just build a website and the customers will come” just isn’t true anymore. There are so many websites out there that you can’t count on people finding your needle in that giant haystack… unless you put the needle where they’re already looking.
But how do you do that?
You probably have a general idea of at least a few potential ways, like improving your SEO and participating in social networks.
But chances are, you’ve grown weary of the constant, often questionable-looking pitches from SEO companies. On top of that, the need to produce content for and participate in every social network can quickly become exhausting.
So what can you do to make your business more visible to the people who are seeking you online, without spending too much time on social media or paying for SEO services?
Three ways to make your business more visible and appealing to online customers:
Create and claim online profiles in local directories
If you look for services online, you’ll probably notice that some sites, such as Yelp, feature directories of local businesses. On many of these sites, you have the ability to either claim your business’ profile, which gives you the ability to edit it or to create a profile if one doesn’t already exist.
A quick way to find these directories is to do a search for businesses like yours in your area.
For example, if you type “restaurants in Brandon, Florida” into your search engine, the top results will probably include sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zomato, and AllMenus.
Start with the highest-ranking and most popular sites, and make sure your business is listed there.
If it isn’t listed yet, create a profile for it. And if it is, but you haven’t claimed the profile yet, then claim it and make sure it’s accurate.
This is very important, because these directories are some of the major places where people look when they’re ready to make a purchase. If your business isn’t listed there, you’re missing a lot of potential customers who are actively looking to buy.
Optimize your online profiles in directories
Once your online profiles are present and claimed, it’s time to make sure that they’re accurate and attractive to your potential clients.
Whenever possible, make sure your profile includes these three elements:
- Up-to-date information on your business’ address, contact information, and hours of operation.
- An appealing and accurate description of your business, products, and services.
- Attractive pictures of your products, or of the results of your services. For example, a restaurant might show pictures of food, while a home repair company might show “before and after” pictures of properties they fixed.
Get testimonials and reviews
GetAmbassador’s article on word-of-mouth marketing statistics tells us that 84% of consumers said they always or sometimes took action based on personal recommendations, while 70% said they did the same of online consumer opinions.
In other words, at least 70% of your online potential customers will be more likely to buy from you if you have some testimonials or reviews on your directory profiles.
You can get these testimonials by approaching some of your best customers, and be asking if they’d be willing to write a testimonial for you on these sites. There are significant advantages of reputation management and it is up to you to make it easy for your customers.
The easier you can make this for them, the more likely they are to say yes, so be sure to send them:
- Links to your profiles on the sites where you want testimonials
- A reminder of what you did for them – for example, “you had a termite infestation that you’d been struggling to get rid of for three months, and I got rid of it within one day”
- A sample review that they can use and tweak as desired
Another thing you can do is to create an in-store promotion where people get a $5 discount in exchange for writing a review.
Are you ready to make your small business a lucrative success?
You now know one of the most powerful ways to bring more customers to your business.
But if you want to create a truly lucrative and thriving business that doesn’t just pay your bills, but that gives you real freedom of time and money, there are a few more steps you need to take. But the first one is super easy.
We want to help you take those steps, so you can enjoy the successful life you’ve been working for. Your next step is to download our eBook, 7 Steps to Small Business Marketing Success. Just click the image below to get access!
Image Credit – Adobe Stock