That’s a pretty big number right? Well that is the number of search results that came up when a search for “auto repair Philadelphia” was typed into Google.
Why am I saying anything about this and why should you care? Well, imagine that you own an auto repair shop in Philadelphia, and you’ve done a pretty good job of posting your business all over the internet. Now imagine your nearest competition has not done quite as well with the online listings, but his website is dynamic and he is offering some great cost savings and loyalty incentives on his website. Even if you do a great job leading people to your site, you are most likely missing a great opportunity to gain business by not offering specials, coupons or loyalty programs on your website. Your competition is likely to steal many potential customers away from you.
Let’s say, hypothetically, that you offer 10% off any major auto repair over $200. Not bad. You may say, “That’s too much off during this economy.” Well, with that coupon, you may have just gained 10 new customers that average $400 in repair costs. Now give them back $40 each to cover the 10% off coupon. How does ending up with an additional $3,600 in your pocket sound? It sounds pretty good to me too.
One of the first things you need to tackle when you are trying to build traffic on your website is to look at the way you are describing the content of your web pages.
Meta descriptions are one of the key building blocks to gaining more traffic through organic search results. For those of you that are unsure of what a meta description is, it is the brief explanation of the page content found below the page title on a search engine results page (SERP). Here is a brief example of search results about San Diego, CA’s Balboa Park. Notice the meta description is not complete. It was automatically truncated to 16o characters.
Since Google limits the meta description to 160 characters, you need to keep them as short and sweet as possible while including as much relevant information and main keywords as you can without sounding forced. Google does sometimes use relevant text from the page to create a new description, but that will only happen when the text on the page is more relevant or useful based on the search query. It is also vitally important to ensure your meta descriptions are interesting. If your writing is boring and does not highlight a benefit to clicking on your page, nobody will choose you. Make it unique and see the clicks start to add up.
One of the newer up and coming social media websites is a social media site called Foursquare. Foursquare? What’s Foursquare?
Foursquare is one of the fastest growing social media sites on the net. It allows users like you to find local restaurants, bars, activities, and many other businesses and locations of interest. One of the great things about foursquare is the local results users find and the customer reviews they can read about your specific business. It gives you the opportunity to highlight your menu, your services and your products while allowing for genuine feedback from your clients on how you’re doing as a business.
Check ins are awesome advertising!
With Foursquare, any customer that comes to visit your store or business has the opportunity to “check in” or basically sign an electronic guest book. The check in offers you an awesome opportunity for free publicity because Foursquare links to other social media sites like Facebook. When someone checks in at your business, they are also telling all their friends and acquaintances on the other social sites about your business.
To put it simply, get your business on Foursquare and get your customers to check in while they’re there. It’s like free advertising.
If you want to know more about Foursquare, check back later. We’ll be adding more posts about how to use it with your business.
There is no better way to gain a following online than maintaining proper online customer support and interaction. This doesn’t mean answering the feedback you get on Facebook once a week. I mean really going out of your way to stay on top of your social media and customer review site listings. Make sure you not only answer quickly, but you know what you are talking about when you give them an answer.
How often have you seen personal posts from the owner of a business on the business Facebook page? What was the first thought that came to your mind? If you are like me and the vast majority of Facebook users, that business just lost a little credibility in your mind due to their lack of professionalism.
I am not saying that you aren’t allowed to create a comfortable atmosphere for your customers to speak their mind, I am saying there is a time and a place for everything. Your business page is not the place, and a public message forum should never be a place for questionable material, personal conversations, or family matters.
Your business page should be a forum for your clients to tell you exactly how your business is performing. Take full advantage of the feedback you receive. If your customers are all saying that your pizza sauce is too salty, change it and thank them for the feedback. If your clients say that your salon offers the best keratin treatments at a great price, thank them sincerely and tell them to let their friends know. Use your Facebook page to establish a good, professional relationship with your customers and if need be, make sure your friends know to contact you on your personal page instead.
Even though it’s been around for a while now, there are still many business owners that are absolutely clueless about Twitter and what it can do for marketing and customer interaction. To make it as simple as possible, Twitter allows a user or a business owner to share what is happening to them in real time.
People that share what they are eating for breakfast (which is too much information unless you are Wolfgang Puck and you are advertising one of your new dishes). Some individuals use Tweets to share how they are feeling like, “I just feel sad today:(“. Some people actually make good use of Twitter and tell people about what is happening that others may want to know about like, “30% off sale @Kohl’s today, #newoutfit”. Here is a quick infografic from edudemic.com that shows the scope of Twitter in today’s society.
Business owners have an awesome opportunity to reach a wide range of people in a very short amount of time, get this, for free! Gone are the days of extremely expensive direct mailers, newspaper ads, billboards and the like. Twitter and social media allow you to share specials, coupons, daily deals and great customer feedback with your customers and people that you want to become customers. Take the time to read up on Twitter and see just how easy it is to grow your business with this easy and inexpensive social media tool.
When thinking of your website and what it needs to succeed, think of it as a baby. A baby needs constant attention, it needs food to grow and remain healthy, and it needs to be changed frequently. Your goal as a parent or caregiver is to help the baby as it learns, and adapts to its surroundings.
Your website is no different. Just as a baby needs food, your website hungers for updated and interesting content. It wants to grow and succeed and it needs the food that will bring it more traffic and more inbound and outbound links. Your site also needs to be changed to fit the needs and desires of your target audience and to allow for browser upgrades and technology advancements. Remove old and outdated content and keep your website fresh and clean. When you take the steps to maintain and update your website, you will see it grow and flourish.
According to Basekit.com there are some common steps to keeping your site fresh and current. Take a moment to view them here.