I get it. It is hard to get noticed on the search engines today especially for small businesses.
Time and money are very tight. They look for the fastest and cheapest ways to get traffic. Instead of increasing traffic, they often fall victim to SEO scammers that often put them in worse shape than when they started. These Scammers often leave the business owner to deal with penalties that is a major setback for any site owner. For these entrepreneurs, time is at a premium and marketing budgets are tight. Desperate to compete, they often fall victim to SEO scammers. Instead of a traffic boost, many wind up in worse shape, dealing with a manual penalty or an algorithmic setback. If you don’t take anything from this article know this: Never place your business’ reputation in the hands of a SEO spammer.
You can do this yourself. It takes work but if you are already searching online, you are on the right track. My question to you is, Is it worth spending 30 minutes a day to market your business? To get good traffic; It is about being consistent. If you say yes, here are some tips that will help you to boost web traffic and to bring foot traffic to your store.
Update Your Local Listings
Yelp: How many times have you looked to yelp for reviews for restaurants and nail salons? You are not alone. Yelp averages 142 million users per month. When you claim a Yelp Business Page, add photos, links to your website, and ensure that important information like your business hours and phone number are correct and current. It is a great site to interact with your customers and to attract new customers. Just an FYI even if you don’t claim your Yelp listing, people can still leave reviews about your business.
Google for Business or Google+: If you don’t do anything else, DO THIS!!! You want to be shown in local searches. Potential customers can have access to your location; get driving directions, business hours and a click to call for mobile devices.
After claiming your listing on Google and Yelp, you need reviews. You need reviews from your customers. I know that some business owners are uneasy about asking for reviews, however, if they are happy with your store and your service, entice them with coupon codes, free products. you should be proactive in generating reviews. Many business owners are uneasy about client reviews and for good reason.
Between one and three bad online reviews would be enough to deter 67 percent of shoppers from purchasing a product or service, according to a Lightspeed Research study. Keep in mind that even if you don’t claim a listing, customers can and will leave a review.
Focus on Two Social Media Platforms
Social media marketing can be confusing and time-consuming. The number of platforms can be overwhelming, but in my experience, the top performing social networks for most small businesses are:
Facebook. By far the most popular platform, Facebook is used by 57 percent of all American adults according to Pew Research Center. Facebook is ideal for any type of business. If you only have time to master one social media channel, Facebook is a must.
Twitter. Makes up about 28 percent of adults online. What is interesting that 54 percent of all twitter followers has a disposable income of $50K per year and more. There is a learning curve with hashtags and who to follow. But it is a fun platform to learn.
Instagram. Instagram is the fastest growing platform, used by 26 percent of adults online. Even more impressive, 53 percent of young adults ages 18-29 now use the service. If you are in a niche where people tend to share images – food, fashion and technology.
Pinterest. 28 percent of all adults and 42 percent of all females online uses Pinterest. The platform also boasts a user base with 64 percent of having a disposable income of $100K per year and more. Like Instagram, it is very visually appealing. If you’re marketing to women, you need to consider Pinterest.
This is just the beginning on what you can do to have a successful online presence. It takes work but here is some food for thought, if customers expect to find you on the Internet; if you aren’t there, they will find your competitors instead.
Written By Inga Van Riper, Brand Strategist BuildtheStore.com