What Small Local Businesses Usually Take For Granted

By Al Gomez - SEO Expert

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Owning and operating a business is one of the best things in life. 

Apart from the daily challenges, the knowledge that you acquire during your various experiences are one of the most valuable things that your enterprise can give you. However, it’s no walk in the park either. There will be days when the last thing you want to do is stay at your desk and stare at paltry profits.

Tried every known strategy on the planet but you’re still not seeing an improvement in revenue? Perhaps you’re missing the bigger picture. Sure you’re implementing popular marketing tactics – and maybe even asked helped from a digital marketer – but if you’re not paying attention to details, you could be losing customers by the hundreds.

Make sure to cross out these five small business strategies from your list for better revenue this 2016.

 

#1 Mobile Visibility

Being mobile doesn’t immediately mean having your own app. It means giving people easy access to your products and services on their favorite devices (like smartphones and tablets). There are TWO important things that small local business owners need to verify: 1) first is that their website is mobile-friendly; and 2) second, that their offers are available on shopping and saving apps, such as ScanLife

According to the 2014 Mobile Behavior Report, 54 percent of survey participants said that some mobile optimized sites don’t provide enough information. So make sure vital facts about your business can be found when customers land on your page from their gadgets. It should be prominently displayed and remain updated. These facts include: contact details (such as email, physical address, and phone numbers), store hours, customer care, product availability, and information. 

The main reason why mobile-friendliness is so popular is because of convenience. So make it easy for your customers! Make specific call-to-action buttons for quick clicks to your products. Help people find you fast by providing directions to your store OR by connecting to Google Maps. Ensure a smooth, hassle-free checkout process. Ask yourself: if you were a customer, would you buy from your website? The answer should be a resounding YES!

#2 Customer Follow-Up

Small businesses make up a huge percentage of today’s market that, in order for you to stand out, you’re going to need more than good customer service. Just because you made a sale doesn’t mean it’s over. In fact, it’s only the beginning. 

Customer follow-ups aren’t just for people who abandoned their shopping carts. They are important because 1) it makes customers feel like valued members of your business, 2) you get to set the expectations, 3) it gives you the chance to make an up- or a cross-sell. 

Did someone just buy your new product? Wait for two to three days before sending them a personalized email asking how much they liked it and if they could leave a review for other customers. This strategy is one of the simplest things you can do to boost sales and customer retention with little effort. Plus, proactively asking for a review is a great way to gather testimonials that can be used as social proof for future purchases. 

#3 Sales-Focused Social Media Engagement

Plenty of local businesses these days understand the importance of being seen on social media. Aside from brand awareness, sites like Facebook and Twitter can be used to search for qualified leads or partnerships. But publishing posts on online platforms is NOT going to win you sales anytime soon. Not without the right engagement anyway.

In order to stand out above your competition AND hit sales goals for your small local business, you need a sales-focused social media engagement strategy. This means bringing together your sales AND marketing knowledge to create, distribute, and nurture leads that will eventually turn into actual sales. 

According to a post from Digital Marketing Consultant Chris Johnstone, developing quality connections with social media Influencers will result in wider market reach. That means getting in touch with key people in your industry who can help you promote your products or services to a bigger audience. After that, you need to monitor how your business is being mentioned online. What types of feedback is your business getting? Who and how are people talking about your brand? After users click on your posts, what do they do next?

A sales-focused social media engagement tactic shouldn’t end with a Like or a Share. Make sure online conversations lead to real sales for your business.

#4 Local Partnerships

One of the biggest challenges small local businesses face is limited resources, either in the form of cash or manpower. Of course, you want to remain competitive by offering fair prices to customers, but you also need to allot a budget for brand awareness and promotion. One of the most underrated marketing strategies to help boost sales without spending much is building partnerships.

Local businesses in Montgomery County, PA were able to grow their sales by finding creative partnerships with local establishments. It doesn’t even have to be a business. It could be a school, library, or gym – what’s important is to be able to give your customers more value without losing a lot of money.

Are you a local bakery specializing in cute desserts? You can pair up with a restaurant to have your cakes and pastries included in their menu in exchange for ads on your website. Do you sell sporting goods? Ask a local school if they want to get their supplies directly from you for a lower price. Think outside the box! You can even pair up with locally-renowned bloggers, writers, and photographers. Don’t think of partnerships as just a deal between two businesses. You can ask two, three, or four other enterprises if they want to join in an exciting venture.

Local partnerships offer a multitude of benefits; the most important of which is exposure. The more people know about your business, chances are higher that you can get more sales in the future. 

#5 SEO On-Page Elements

Search engine optimization is far from dead – it simply evolved to include other elements of online marketing, such as social media, content, and web design. However, it still remains to be a vital aspect of digital commerce. Just because Facebook and mobile is a hit these days doesn’t mean customers don’t use search engines (like Google) anymore.

According to a 2013 Google study, 74 percent of people still use search engines when shopping. That means your business needs to be found on search results to increase the possibility of customers buying from your business. When you optimize your website, you’re not only making it easy for Google to find you, you’re also making it easy for customers to view and browse your site. 

In this aspect, make sure you include related keywords in the right context within your pages. Provide unique page descriptions. Incorporate stunning and unique high-resolution images with alternative texts (in case your picture doesn’t show up).  Make sure your pages load fast; it should be no slower than four seconds if it can be helped. Update crucial information such as your contact details.

If you don’t know where to begin, take advantage of the many free consultations from SEO experts. Make sure that they’re located locally, so they know and understand how your target market works.

Conclusion

Apart from implementing clever on- and offline marketing strategies to boost your sales, you should first and foremost understand your business. What’s unique about your enterprise that competitors don’t have? How will your products or services benefit your customers? What is your plan for the future?

Be absolutely sure of your goals and objectives. Only then can you set clear priorities and strategies that will bring in more than revenue for your local business. 

 

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