If you have a business that relies heavily on foot traffic, it’s imperative that your customers not only know you exist, but can also easily find you. Local businesses are not just competing with others in their neighborhood; they’re also competing with every e-commerce business in their category as well.
Many businesses fail to spend the necessary time to ensure their customers can easily locate and contact them. Luckily, this is an issue that is easily remedied through some simple online and onsite changes.
1. Update Your Website
Thirty percent of Google searches are for local information. Be ready and available, whether customers physically step inside your business or visit your online store. Help them find you with these smart strategies:
- Make your site mobile-friendly: Since the majority of people are searching from a mobile device, your site should be optimized for mobile.
- Update your SEO: With proper optimization of keywords and meta descriptions, more people will be able to find you. Use Google Keyword Planner to discover how people are searching for your type of business.
- Display your contact information: Make sure your physical address, phone number and email are front-and-center on your page.
- Support an online storefront: Allow people to become customers without leaving their homes. Many point-of-sale systems now support the integration of e-commerce capabilities, such as QuickBooks Point of Sale Powered by Revel Systems. QuickBooks POS allows you to provide an online storefront with custom shipping rates, UPS integration and matrix inventory.
2. Use Google as a Marketing Tool
Since customers are using Google to find you, you should be using Google tools to increase your visibility.
Start by registering with Google My Business. This will ensure your business shows up across Google, including Google Maps and Google+. Customers searching for you can see everything from your location on the map, to business hours and customer reviews.
In addition to increased visibility, because Google My Business is integrated with all Google tools, you can also engage and research your customers from your business dashboard, allowing you to:
- Manage and respond to customer reviews
- Share content and pictures via Google+
- See how customers are searching for and finding you by reviewing your Google Analytics
3. Get Listed
Beyond registering with Google My Business, it benefits you to get your site listed with the many other online directory sites. Here’s a list of nine online directories you can start with.
4. Place Proper Signage
One final and very important piece in helping people locate your business is by having appropriate signage at your location. A sign seems obvious, but a study conducted by the University of Cincinnati revealed that only 72% of businesses surveyed have signs on site. Couple that with the fact that 55% of people in the same survey have not gone into a business because of poor signage, and you see how important it is.
Here are a few tips on what your signage should include:
- Accurate display of your brand: Your brand is your identity. Ensure your sign is clear and recognizable.
- Easy to read: Use contrasting colors (dark font on a light background, or vice versa) and large, legible fonts.
- Proper sizing: Sapna Budev, director of strategic initiatives for the International Sign Association, says, “A good rule of thumb might be 10 feet per inch of letter height, so lettering with 10 inches of height may have the best impact at 100 feet distance.”
These simple yet highly effective ways of helping people locate your business can have a huge impact. Make sure you’ve set up your business for success, and the next time someone is looking for your shop, finding you will be a breeze. For more tips to getting found, see our guide to local marketing.