Where to Connect With Local Customers Online
When you run a local business, you can never have enough customers. One of the most popular questions I get from clients is where they can connect with local customers.
Here are few things I tell them.
- Your Website - Yeah, I know, this is obvious, but the question is if you are doing it right.
The first thing you must do is optimize your site for your location. You do this by using your city and business name in the Title tags of your site and pages. If it makes sense, put it in your description. The description doesn't provide any SEO value, so only do this if it fits
Start a blog on your site. If you don't like the term blog because it makes you think of old ladies or young kids talking about what they did last night, call it Site News or something else.
A blog is a great place to engage potential customers by offering news about your service or providing solutions to problems that your customers are looking for.
Make sure your site is mobile friendly. 60% of their time online with mobile devices instead of traditional computers or laptops. A recent survey by Google shows that 48% of mobile device users will feel that a company does not care about them if the mobile website is difficult or inconvenient to use.
- Use Social Media where your customers are. Businesses that provide B2B services probably should be on LinkedIn. On the other hand, a costume store probably wouldn't have much success there.
Try Facebook or Twitter. Remember these sites are tools and shouldn't distract you from business.
Google My Business is a must for Local Businesses. Google combined their social network G+ with Google Places and now provide pages for all businesses. Having your own Google My Business page almost guarantees inclusion in Google's local search results. It will also put your business of Google Maps.
- Set Up a YouTube Channel. People don't think of YouTube as a search engine, but is is actually one of the most most searched sites. Having videos about your products, services and other news can help you get in front of new customers. Also, YouTube videos often rank in Google's results, which gives you more exposure.