Surviving as a profitable business without an online presence is getting increasingly hard in today’s digitally driven world.
Having a dynamic website is the first step to creating a robust online presence. However, there is not much good a website will do if you don’t have people visiting it.
There are a number of ways for you to drive customers to your website. As a local business, you may only be interested in investing your efforts on generating local traffic. Establishing a strong local web presence is a common challenge faced by most businesses.
It can get especially challenging if you are competing with those businesses that have already staked claim to your target audience.
Monthly website traffic is an important indicator of business growth. It helps you determine whether your digital marketing strategies are working and gather much needed insights into the needs of your audience.
Online engagement is necessary if you want to actually convert those visitors into customers. However, this can only happen when you provide value to your prospects.
Here are some ways to drive local traffic to your business website and provide more value to customers at the same time.
1. Claim your “Google My Business”
Local business searches have a separate map listing for businesses in their area. However, to feature in these listings you need to add your business location and claim your Google My Business suite.
It is best if you can add your phone number and opening hours along with it so that a potential customer has ready access to basic information online.
If a customer is interested they would click out to your website to gather more information. By claiming your business location, you let locals know that you are in business and offer those products or services they are looking for.
This will also help you grow your business because most people while searching for a local business require doorstep delivery. By adding your phone number in the Google map listing, you make it easier for them to get in touch with you about their concern.
Make sure you add your business location while advertising with Google AdWords or Bing Ads. Also, set geo-targeting to your local area. This is one of the easiest ways for you to drive local customers to your website and increase conversions at the same time.
2. Create an “About Us” Page
Businesses are no longer seen as aloof entities. The whole point of building a brand personality is to make it easier for people to relate to it. You need to add value to your potential customer’s life and lend them an insight to your business and brand.
This can be easily done through an “about us” page. If you are a service provider then make sure you list individual snippets of customer-facing people. Your clients will be only too happy to learn about the people that are making their life easier.
The individual bio must have a photograph of the person with details of their qualifications (if relevant) and the way they add value to the business and the life of customers. You should also consider placing accomplishments and testimonials from past customers.
It is a given fact that where local businesses are concerned, the “about us” or “bio” page is the most popular webpage after the homepage. Without these pages you are likely to miss out on search rankings because people prefer dealing with brands that have real people faces they can relate to.
It is also a good idea to place an internal search bar on your website to make it easier for people to find what they are searching for. At the end of the day to provide value to your customers you need to present your organization with a human face. This will also help drive more local traffic to your site.
3. Publish Blog Posts
Typically, local businesses face more challenges since their competitors are more and the audience segment narrow.
With multiple competitors, the only way you can maintain your search rankings and ensure that your website is visible to your intended audience is by maintaining a high-quality, value-adding blog.
Whether your blog is on your website or another platform, you can manage to get an edge over your competing businesses by maintaining a regularly updated blog. Try addressing local issues that help you relate with the local business prospects and make your content more shareable.
Typically, blog content is much more likely to be shared as compared to products or other website content. In any case, blogs are not usually maintained by businesses hoping for local traffic since they don’t want to invest the time necessary. You could reap some serious benefits by dabbling in blog posts.
You can even harness the power of your social media presence to popularize your brand in your local area by maintaining a relevant blog. It is ideal to publish two blog posts in a week. It doesn’t always have to be something related directly to your business.
You should always mix things up and leave some blog posts to simply add value to your customer’s lives. For instance, if you are a local baker, you could run a few posts about popular patisseries around the world or a secret recipe to make the most scrumptious macaroons.
4. Invest in a High-Quality Server
Your search ranking, user engagement, and conversions are all directly influenced by how quickly your site loads. Page load speed is a big SEO ranking factor.
You will likely receive less traffic if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load. You will also have a higher bounce rate which will just reduce your ranking. Slow-loading sites result in a lot of disgruntled users which doesn’t help your sales figures.
You should invest in a high-quality hosting service that offers end-to-end solutions for a seamless experience.
There are some other tricks that can help your site load faster. For instance for mobile versions, you could consider Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). You could also cache your website and compress images to make it load faster.
5. Create a Coupon Page
Coupons are relevant to most businesses and if you can offer these, make sure you create a separate coupons page. Americans love their savings and coupons, as is reiterated by the popularity of the reality show “Extreme Couponing”.
According to surveys, there is a whopping 70% increase in consumers using coupons as compared to data from six months ago. Furthermore, Americans save almost $3 billion annually by using coupons while shopping.
And, there is no other better place than local stores and services to use coupons. Local businesses can take advantage by creating digital coupons to make it easier for people to access them.
Even if you have a brick and mortar business, digital coupons can go a long way in getting millennials in through those doors.
This will even help increase site visitors since people will come to access those coupons.
6. Online Videos Can Help Create Interest
Visual content is fast gaining popularity over textual online content. People don’t want to read anymore since it is so much easier to just watch videos. You need to take advantage of this fact and embed videos on your blogs and website. However, make sure you don’t compromise on your page load speed.
You can even increase your site visibility and ranking by using videos instead of textual content. Google updates are increasingly prioritizing visual content with video carousels forming part of most search listings.
Whether you do an image-rich product description, real customer reviews, or a quick interview with the founder, you can use online videos to create buzz and drive traffic to your website.
You can use videos about customer reviews and testimonials on multiple platforms, such as social media accounts, blogs, website, and online advertisements. These videos will have a positive effect on your potential prospects and even help your business grow.
Benefits of embedding videos in your site or blog don’t just stop here. You can get visitors to stay longer on your site with interesting and engaging videos that will in turn help improve your site ranking.
The competitive advantage you receive in search engine rankings will help drive relevant local traffic to your site.
These tips will help you get the most of using videos to drive local traffic and add value to your visitors:
- Prevent background noise
- Make sure the video if of high-quality
- Sound and music effects are good, but only to a limited degree
Make sure you create a transcript of your video. This will help search engines crawl better allowing your site to rank higher. This will also give you a spot to place your local keywords. Youtube is a great SEO platform to load up your videos at free or low cost.
7. Use Local Online Directories
There was a time when small local businesses would not be caught dead without having an ad in the yellow pages or local phone book. The same can be said where today’s local online classifieds are concerned. These include the likes of Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, SuperPages, DexKnows, and Yelp.
More than 92% consumers and businesses are known to use online local search directories while researching products or service as per a survey by Black Box Social Media. This makes it important for businesses looking for local website traffic in 2020 to set up their accounts on these classifieds.
You can boost your credibility and build link popularity by using these directories. It is highly recommended to link your website to a site that already has a high domain authority and is trustworthy.
Local online directories have become critical to small businesses looking to establish their online presence.
These sites are important and low-cost while being very effective. You cannot afford to ignore them if you want to be found by your prospects and drive local traffic to your site. You should also consider placing ads on Kudzu, CitySquares, Merchant Circle, and YellowBot.
8. Leverage the Power of Social Media
Creating social media accounts and maintaining an online presence can work wonders for your traffic volume. There are over a billion people worldwide, connected through social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. A significant percentage of people from your local neighborhood are active here.
You can market your products and services to millions of users cost-free by creating social media accounts. You can use Facebook to get to know what your intended customers are looking for. And, by delivering that you can increase your site traffic.
Social networking provides you with an opportunity to get direct traffic back to your website by providing links. All social media platforms, like Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter provide at least one opportunity to include your website’s link.
You need to make the most of this opportunity to make it easier for your target audience to find your site and start shopping.
Staying active on social media also gives you the opportunity to add value to your customers lives. You can connect with them better and offer interesting content that is relatable.
Contests are a great way to improve your brand visibility, recognition and exposure. Facebook is a favorite where contests are concerned. You can exploit Twitter for your benefits as well. You can easily add your website URL in almost all tweets by using URL-shortening tools.
Twitter is also a great place to have a conversation with your customers. It is quick and easy. People can let you know in real time what they think about your brand and suggestions to make it better. By indulging in these conversations, you can essentially help drive traffic to your website.
Instagram is another social media network that is fast-gaining popularity with local customers. It is primarily a visual platform that allows users to get involved.
You can increase your brand’s popularity and help drive customers to your local website by engaging with these users by using relatable photos.
You can even call on Instagram brand ambassadors to spread the word about your brand. Another great way to use Instagram is to start a contest where real people post photos with your products. This can be great for your business, especially if it is in the fashion or home décor niche.
The Bottom Line
Your local website is the online face of your brand personality. It is important for it to deliver real value to your visitors if you want to increase traffic and boost your business.