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Changing technology and customer expectations have created new challenges for shop owners who want to get found by – and retain – customers online.
With a strong digital presence, it's easier to overcome these challenges and come out on top in your competitive market.
From adopting mobile-friendly website design that responds to your user experience to targeting local searchers using smart strategies, there's a lot to consider when crafting your presence for the web.
Luckily, our team is here to help when you need guidance on where to begin, what's most important, and of course, what's new in the industry!
Here are the takeaways you need to know to turn your online presence into a powerful digital showroom that generates new leads, additional service sales, and improved customer retention:
Google defines micro-moments as those times when we turn to a device (usually a smartphone) to take action on what we need or want in that moment. As voice and mobile search grows, it’s critical for owners to design an online experience that can better serve customers, just as you would in your shop. Besides having a responsive site that offers a mobile-friendly browsing experience, it’s key to make sure your presence can match the micro-moments your customers are having right now.
Micro-moments fall into 4 categories: “I want to know”, “I want to go”, “I want to buy”, or “I want to do”. Serve your current and prospective customers by matching their intent with your online presence:
The most successful online businesses are ones that use a variety of online marketing channels to get found, retain customers, and develop a strong online presence in their industry and geographic region. Ensure you have a strong online marketing mix by spending time thinking about how your customers look for your products and services. Focus on:
Blending inbound and outbound marketing efforts. Strong businesses use a variety of marketing channels to reach customers. Find a blend of organic search, paid search, social, email marketing, and traditional media buys to drive visits to your website, as well as your physical location.
Building a strong search presence. Getting found often starts with an internet search – make it easier for customers to find you by having a well-optimized and mobile-friendly website, content that delivers value to searchers, active social profiles, and a diverse network of directory listings.
Earning mentions online and offline. Traditional public relations efforts like getting featured in your newspaper or sponsoring a local event can sometimes translate to online mentions and links back to your site, both of which support a stronger online presence.
It always comes back to customer service. Instilling a culture of strong customer service at every level of your shop can go a long way in building a better online reputation. Plus, customer service can drive additional online engagement and visibility. Here’s what to do to take it to the next level:
Focus on reputation management. Businesses that have reviews, especially positive ones, see additional visibility in local searches in their region. If you’re looking to dominate local search, start by focusing on your customer service experience. Encourage your satisfied customers to leave a review on Google, Yelp, Facebook, or another trusted directory after their service appointment. At the same time, make it a habit to monitor and respond to your online reviews, both positive and negative. Customers who see a business responsive to reviews often perceive that business to be more engaged and trustworthy.
Social activity matters. Local businesses who often do well in local search show strong activity levels on social media, plus, they can see higher rates of customer satisfaction. While you don’t necessarily need to be on every social media channel, you do need to be spending time where your customers spend their time online. Ensure your business has optimized social profiles that are kept updated regularly with valuable and interesting information for your customers.
Get people involved. In research conducted by Moz, it was found that owner/founder involvement is often present in the businesses that rank well and appear most visible in a community. Reviews, stories, social mentions, and other buzz about experiences with the people who are involved in your business can build trust as well as establish a human element that makes your business difficult to ignore.
Looking for more insights on how to better serve your customers through building a strong online presence? Contact the Net Driven team to discuss how we can support you with digital marketing solutions that produce real results.