Business is competitive today. In order to reach potential customers and build a relationship, you’ll have to meet them where they’re at. More often than not, that’s the internet.
More than 82 percent of consumers surf the Internet looking for goods and services and a few quick tips will help you get their attention, no matter what your advertising budget may be
Advertise on all the major search engines. Google is still the largest search engine around, but sites like Bing and Yahoo! are gaining traffic. Consider a search advertisement on each one; otherwise your competitors may turn up in an internet search before you do.
Claim and optimize your business on Google+ local as well as the major review sites. Some of these sites are self-generating and contain outdated—or plain inaccurate—information. Make sure the customers that find you on the web know how to find your business, too. If you find negative reviews, respond. There’s nothing wrong with saying thanks to a positive review, either, or cultivating it for your own purposes. You can also expand your business listing, add pictures and inject your personality.
Create a blog and populate it often. Blogs will help you convince customers that you are knowledgeable in your field and they also provide another opportunity to interact with consumers. Most consumers expect things for free these days and a blog is one way you can provide it. Just make sure you include links to your web site, have a subscribe button and you respond to any feedback.
[caption id="attachment_258" align="alignright" width="300"] Adding an 'Ask the Mechanic' section on your web site will help drive internet traffic.[/caption]
Create an ‘ask the expert’ section on your web site, or have your web site provider make one for you. If you run an auto repair shop, you know how often questions come up and explaining some routine, small repairs will help convince customers to trust you on larger ones. Trust is a very important part of that business.
Help your customers help you. Offer a discount if they’re willing to take a picture with you and give a short testimonial. You can post it to your social media feed, include it on your review section, and even include it in you eNewsletters for an additional promotion. (For example, choose a picture each month and give the winning customer an additional special service, like a free oil change or tire rotation).
[caption id="attachment_257" align="alignright" width="300"] Ask your customers to pose for a picture with you, and be creative with the caption. "We showed Jenny exactly what needed to be done, and why."[/caption]
Remember the importance of captions. Don’t just say: “Mrs. Smith stopped by for an oil change.” Use a first name, and be more creative.
Keep it simple. Believe it or not, 50 percent of lost sales happen because customers can’t readily find contact information on a business web site. That’s what they’re there for; don’t hide it!
What do you think? Will these tips work for you? Tell us in the comments.