How Small Businesses Can Boost Foot Traffic Without a Big Budget

Integrating SEO in your marketing strategies, you will see a boost in customer foot traffic, which will lead to an increase in client retention.

Sep 11, 2017 Digital Marketing

While most businesses are connected through the internet, not all relationships need to be digital. However, online marketing has proven to be beneficial in the retention of your community and clients. SEO is a crucial component of your online marketing strategy, as it helps to drive customers organically to your business through various online platforms.

Here are some ways that will help to boost foot traffic by using search engines that are targeted more toward small businesses that may not necessarily have large budgets to work with:

Look Beyond Google

Google is the big search engine giant that everyone knows. If you mention something to someone about a search engine, the first one that comes to mind is Google. For that reason, Google is a very important part of ensuring your business is found online when users conduct searches on the web. However, it is crucial that you realize that Google is not the one and only search engine. If you limit all your SEO marketing efforts to this one search engine (despite how great it is), you could be missing out on some excellent opportunities to grow your small business.

Think Local

When it comes to your community, there is really nothing like it. It is the place where you live and where you experience the roller coaster that you call life. It is your home. In order to make your business truly shine, you need to create a local presence. In terms of marketing, local SEO is your first step to do that. There are numerous search engines that are currently on a local level that can help your business be found by locals who are looking for the services that you provide.

1. Bolster Your Presence on Yelp.

Yelp listings are indexed by major search engines, such as Google and Bing. Therefore, it makes sense to create an active profile on Yelp and utilize relevant keywords that will allow you to appear as an operating local business. In case you’re unfamiliar, Yelp is the new YellowPages. It includes content like contact information, photos, reviews, and maps. On average, Yelp receives 145 million reviews on a monthly basis and 70 percent of those are from mobile devices. This shows you just how many people are searching for on-the-go local places and making decisions based on what they find on Yelp.

To get started, you will want to ensure that your Yelp profile is eye-appealing. Why? It’s simple. You want to make sure that people come in so that they’ll be able to leave you a review. With Yelp, it’s about the reviews. So, inviting potential customers to your business, and essentially score that positive review, is imperative to get ranked high on Yelp.

For many businesses, they are using mobile apps to strengthen their presence on Yelp. For instance, some are using geofencing in order to send push notifications to request that customers leave a review on Yelp while they’re inside their store. After all, the best time to encourage customers to leave your business a review is after a positive experience with your business.

2. Remain Involved on Social Media.

When it comes to online visibility for your business, social media is important. With Facebook having two billion searches every single day, it isn’t something that you would want to overlook if you are trying to remain relevant in the online world.

The key to improving your overall visibility and SEO is remaining active. Unfortunately, for small business, this can be difficult. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can make things work.

  • Post Information That’s Meaningful
    • Industry-Related News
    • Updates on Recent or Upcoming Product Releases
    • Product Demonstrations
    • Customer Success Stories
    • Giveaways
    • Promotions
    • Keep Your Channels Limited
      The goal with social media is retention. With that being said, you need to determine which social media outlets that your existing customer most often frequent. Once you have figured that out, you can begin developing marketing and SEO strategies for that particular channels. To put it simply, you need to avoid growing a following on Pinterest if you don’t have customers on Pinterest.
    • Engage with Your Customers
      Sadly, many small businesses tend to overlook the fact that they need to keep in touch with their customers. They think that posting on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels is enough. However, it’s not. Instead, you need to actively engage with them, and it takes more than simple, canned comments – they need to be genuine, personal responses. Research has shown that nearly 70 percent of customers will use a company’s social media account as a way to interact with the company for customer service. Therefore, if you are utilizing canned responses, you could be harming your business.
    • Use a Monitoring Program for Your Social Media
      You need to maintain and manage your social media accounts. If you have several, things can get out of hand. Luckily, there’s an app for that and many are free, such as Hootsuite, Klout, TweetReach and Buffer. You will be able to schedule content in advance and be notified when people have interacted with your profile.

3. Use YouTube to Your Advantage.

It’s important to realize that not all individuals are ready to make a purchase or even make a decision regarding a product. When it comes to the buying process, there are many stages. For that reason, you need to ensure your business is available to complement all of these stages.

For instance, there are some customers that want to be able to see how a product is used before ever considering purchasing it. Some are simply looking for straight up advice about a service or a product. For these individuals, they are looking for visuals, such as demonstrations and tutorials, and YouTube is the perfect place to provide them the information. After all, YouTube is the second largest search engine, receiving three billion search requests on a monthly basis. In addition, nearly 60 percent of individuals would prefer to view a video instead of reading a review of a product, a social media feed or a blog post.

Don’t forget that everything is always about selling your product or service. To grow your channel and to attain brand loyalty, it is crucial that you show to your audience that you are an expert. A fantastic way to achieve this is to create how-to videos. Here are some tips on getting noticed on the second largest search engine:

  • Keep Things Short and Sweet
  • Create Descriptive Titles
  • Add Quality Descriptions
  • Add Tags
  • Use Annotations
  • Use Thumbnails
  • Link Videos Together
  • Engage with Views

Now, if you think creating a video is hard, think again. You simply need a video camera and simple editing software – nothing fancy. A YouTube video can guide you through the entire process. It is honestly a cheap way to create a presence online and it is a great local SEO strategy to boost customer acquisition.

4. Get on Quora and Answer Questions.

There are roughly 190 million users on Quora and they are all industry experts that interact with potential customers when they come to the site asking questions specific to their industry. It is the go-to place when it comes to finding answers to relevant questions that you may have. It is also a search engine for questions that have already been asked and answered. The way you can benefit from Quora is by answering questions that are asked and showcasing that you are knowledgeable about your specific niche.

As with all SEO strategies, the ultimate goal here is to optimize your digital presence and to boost your visibility. When you look at Quora as another search engine, this can easily be done. Think about this:

  • You’ll be reaching your ideal audience in a place where they are looking for answers.
  • You’ll be bolstering your company’s reputation among customers as well as peers.
  • You’ll be able to promote your content and your website.

For example, you will be able to answer questions specific to your industry and then link back to blog posts that are your site that address similar issues within the industry that may prove to be helpful to the potential customer. This drives traffic to your site and opens up to the potential of a acquired customer.

Just remember that you cannot use salesy language or specifically promote your business. It is a search engine that is geared toward retaining customers. You can offer valuable information to the community, and due to this, people will look to you for guidance because they find you trustworthy and reliable.

In Conclusion

As you can see, Google may be the top search engine in the world, but it doesn’t mean that Google is the only way that you can be found online. SEO goes far beyond that and consists of a number of other avenues. Ultimately, the most important things that you need to remember is that you need to maintain excellent client service to remain relevant in your market and that you need to utilize business keywords for SEO. As you work to adopt SEO in your varying marketing strategies, you will see a boost in customer foot traffic, which will automatically lead to an increase in retention numbers.

For assistance getting anything set up, such as your Yelp profile or if you have any questions regarding anything that was discussed in this post, feel free to reach out to our team at WebDetail and we will be glad to help. 

Do you have some insight? Do you have questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you! Share it with us on Twitter or Facebook.

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