It happens every year: the busy season sneaks up on you, and you're caught in a whirlwind of work. As a business owner, you're thinking of a thousand things at once, and more than likely, updates to your website and online profile aren't at the top of the list. But they should be.
We get it - keeping track of these things can be overwhelming. But having an accurate, consistent, and widespread online presence is crucial to driving new leads to your business in this technological age. There’s a lot you can be doing to take your online presence to another level--but here a short list of easy ways you can ensure that this season is your best ever.
1. Create location-specific content for your website
Search engines are in the business of providing the most helpful information possible to the users that are searching. To improve your website’s ranking in search engines such as Google and Bing - as well as improve overall user experience - create location-specific content for your website. Think about it - if someone is searching for a pest control service in Raleigh - and they land on a page on your website specifically about your pest control service in Raleigh, they’re going to be all the more likely to stay on the page. Users don’t want to have to work to find the information they need--so don’t make them.
By creating localized landing pages for specific services that you provide in specific markets, that minimizes the need for the user to find the specific information they’re looking for. In turn, it gives you a better chance of this user on your website to become a lead for your business.
Determine the top five markets for your business, as well as the most important service, and start there.
2. Make sure your business’s local listings are consistent
In order to avoid confusion and make your company as accessible as possible to potential customers, your name, address, phone number, and website needs to be consistent across all online platforms. You don’t want a customer showing up at your former address or calling the wrong number! Anywhere that your business information is mentioned on the Internet is a local listing. Think Google+, Facebook, Yelp, YellowPages, FourSquare, and so forth. The more consistent your business information is across the Internet, the easier potential customers will be able to find you, and the more likely it is that you’ll rank in the map section of Google.
Focus on Google+, Facebook, and Yelp first. Make sure your business name, address, phone number, website, hours, and more are completely consistent among all listings.
3. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews
When it comes to the decision-making process, people place their trust in the opinions of others. The quantity and quality of your business’ reviews are so important, and while you can’t control the latter, you can certainly play a hand in encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews. Whether it’s through email, face-to-face interaction with your customers, or a hassle-free automated review generation tool like ReviewBoost, you simply need to have a review generation strategy in place.
In this day and age with social proof being so readily accessible, it’s extremely important to focus on your off-site brand. It’s great to have an awesome website with testimonials being displayed here and there, but remember: users are acutely aware that the information on your website is biased. Give them the social proof they’re looking for to push them through the decision-making process much faster.
Focus on generating reviews for Google+ first. Having positive reviews on your Google My Business page can also help improve your rankings on Google - that’s what we call a win-win!
4. Call the users on your website to action -- tell them what to do!
Telling users exactly what you want them to do can give them the extra push they need to make a move. One of the biggest conversion issues that websites have is simply not calling their users to action. After all, people are more inclined to do what they’re told, so if you tell them exactly what you want them to do - i.e. schedule your free inspection now! - they’ll be all the more likely to do it!
Highly visible buttons on every page of your site can encourage users to get a free estimate, schedule an appointment, or complete whatever action drives leads to your business.
5. Offer seasonal coupons to give potential customers the push to sign up
We know what you’re thinking: why do I want to offer money off the service I provide? Why should I have to do that in order to generate more business? Here’s the thing: you don’t have to, but if your competitors are doing it, then they already have an edge up on you.
It’s no wonder websites like Groupon and LivingSocial are so popular -- people love to feel like they’re saving money. Special offers are a great way to give potential customers the push to choose your company over your competitors, especially if you offer a similar price point.
Do some research and see what kind of coupons your competitors are offering. Offer a comparable (or better) deal to match it
6. Build a social media community around your brand
While social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are unlikely to generate a significant amount of new leads to your business, they are a great way to humanize your brand, get to know your customers, and give your company a face and personality. Regularly posting on these sites is a cheap and easy way to interact with your customers and show the personality behind your business. People are more likely to feel connected and loyal to your business if they know you on a more personal level.
Find ways to connect with your audience--whether that’s through humor. advice, helpful information, or simply being an active part of your local community.
Have we overwhelmed you yet?
We understand that creating and maintaining your online presence is a huge time investment, but remember, it will pay off eventually. It can feel daunting to get started, but now is the perfect time. Planning ahead during your off-season can combat some of the stress. By putting in the work now, you can be sure to see a difference in the success of your business once things get kicked into high gear.
If the thought of handling this yourself gives you the willies, let the experts at Coalmarch help you. Our Sprowt platform is built to offer businesses like yours improve your online presence and grow your customer base. Request your free website evaluation today!