Congratulations! Your brick-and-mortar shop is open and ready for customers. Like any small business owner, you’re probably wondering how to get people through your door. Well, never fear!
There are plenty of ways to engage prospective clients and have them running to your storefront. One of the lesser-known, but critically important ways of drumming up traffic is through local search.
In today’s world, having a storefront is not enough to compete in the marketplace. Managing your online presence and reputation bolsters your business credibility, while making it easy for potential customers to find your store. Understanding how to use local search to your advantage will push your business to the top of search results and drive the traffic you want to your business location.
Here are the top five local search tips for driving visitors to your store.
Include phone number and address on every web page
This is a simple adjustment that will pay dividends. Including your business phone number and address on every page of your website will improve your search ranking. Your contact information feeds search engines relevant data about your location, and makes it easier for them to decide whether your business is a fit for a specific query.
You don’t have to make your website look like a billboard by adding this information. The ideal place for this type of information is in your website’s header or footer. These areas have become known as contact hubs and website visitors often look to those places first when looking for a phone number, address, or email address.
Add an embedded geo sitemap
While you’re at it, throw in an embedded geo sitemap, so search engines can truly pinpoint your business location. Never heard of a geo sitemap before? It’s a backend form that allows your website to send local information to search engines.
A geo sitemap verifies that your business is a local business and improves your search ranking. This is exactly what you want for your store! Through this information, again, your business will show up in the right local searches, as well as drive awareness and sales.
Use this geo sitemap generator to create your own. Want more instructions? You can find a step-by-step guide for getting your geo sitemap up and running here.
Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
Speaking of your website, optimizing it for mobile is another key factor for good local search. When a website is optimized, it means that no matter the device, the website will appear as you intended. By having a consistent look, it emphasizes how credible your business is, and gives viewers the opportunity to read and consume your content, which often leads to store visits and sales.
If this seems beyond your technical prowess, the Vistaprint Digital website builder automatically formats your website for mobile. Through its responsive design, you need only to design your site, and then you’re good to go. We’ll handle the rest and guarantee your website looks its best on any screen size.
Get listed on local directories
Having your business listed on local directories is another way to drive store traffic. When local directories index, your business based on location, your company begins to show up in location-specific searches. Think about how you look for local businesses online. You probably search the industry and location, and scroll through the top-listed business websites. This happens because businesses are listed on their local directories.
Stake your claim in your local market by listing your business. It’s easier than you think with local listings services that do the legwork for you. Simply enter in your business information, and the provider will submit your business listing to dozens of local directories. This is a surefire way to get more customers through your door.
Ask for reviews
Social proof is everything in today’s business world. Unbiased opinions and assessments of businesses are what drive customer engagement and conversions. To capitalize on your business’s social proof, ask for customer reviews, either to feature on your website or on a third-party page such as Yelp and Google Maps.
These reviews not only give potential customers a better feel for your business, but they add an interaction piece to your online presence. Seeing reviews prominently displayed on a search result page is known to drive more clicks than without. As we know, the more clicks your website gets, the more people know about your business and are likely to visit your store.
An important piece about reviews and especially off-site reviews is that they must be monitored. Regularly check where people are posting about your business, and respond to concerns or questions in a timely manner. Your online reputation is so important for brand awareness and customer conversion; don’t let one bad review or lack of communication ruin your brand image.
As you can see, local search plays a big role in how many customers visit your store. Make sure to merchandise your physical store and your online presence to engage your target audience. With these five tweaks, your business will be booming with store visits in no time!
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