If you do nothing else, you need to make sure your shoppers can find you both online and in the real world. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are the first resource most people turn to when looking for local information. If your business isn’t showing up in those results, you’re missing out on opportunities to connect with new customers and you risk frustrating existing customers who are trying to find you. Use these simple tips to become discoverable online.
Utilize Local Listing Services
Chances are your business is already included on local listing services like Yelp, Google Places, and your local retail association website. Inaccurate information on these sites can confuse shoppers. Use these simple tips to maximize value of these services:
- Review your listing to ensure your location and hours of operation are accurate.
- Be sure these listings include a link back to your store’s website to give shoppers a way to preview the merchandise you have in store.
- Periodically visit your listing pages to ensure your store’s information is still accurate and check to see if there are any customer reviews to respond to.
Use these links to get started claiming and updating each of these services:
Optimize Your Website for Local Search
Be sure your store’s website has all of the information shoppers are looking for online before making a trip into the store. To be more discoverable online:
Include your store’s location (with a link to get directions), operating hours and contact information.
Show off what you sell. Add item titles and descriptions and include popular name brands that shoppers may search for.
Fill out your “About” page and include terms you think local shoppers will search for on your website.
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have become part of daily life for many people. These networks provide a great way to stay connected to your customers and for new customers to discover you online. It’s important to make sure your store’s profile pages are up to date with your current address, store hours and a link to your website, but the key to being found on these networks is sticking to a consistent and frequent posting schedule.
Posts should include a mix of timely information about your store (such as new arrivals, featured items and in store events) along with helpful tips and expert advice (because shoppers trust your expertise and look to you for product information or style guidance). We recommend posting at least 3-5 times per week to stay top of mind with your customers. Consider creating a social media calendar to plan your online content to ensure you are posting enough and posting a mix of information each week.
This post is a part of our “Promoting Your Brick and Mortar Online” blog series. We give you simple tips to make sure you are promoting your store online in the right way to maximize your exposure and get the most out of your time.