“How did you hear about us?”
It’s a simple question you’ve likely been asked many times before, but, to local business owners, your answer holds a tremendous amount of insight and value. After all, how you respond helps them better understand what marketing tactics can drive increased foot traffic or convert more leads into actual customers. Understanding what motivates a single customer to take a specific action (i.e. make a purchase) can help crack the code for long-term customer engagement. If only it were that simple!
Today’s consumer purchase journey “zigzags” between platforms, channels, and the online/offline worlds before making final purchase decisions. So, even if someone responds to the question above saying they “found you online” or “via an online search,” that answer only represents one point along that purchase journey. Now, here’s a little something to think about: 30 percent of consumers will not even consider a local business if it doesn’t have a website. So, in spite of all this zigzagging, it’s pretty clear that a business’s website is a major stop along a consumer’s path to purchase.
Knowing this, YP, The Real Yellow Pages® and LSA’s MarketingBitz have teamed up to share a few best practices on how to build a great local business website during a webinar on April 19 from 2-3pm ET. Topics will include: website design, content, mobile, and SEO for local businesses.
Want a sneak peek? Here are a few tips to keep you busy before attending the webinar.
Tell Your Full Story
Consumers want more than just the who, what, when, where of your business. (Though, that information is important, too!) Rich content like videos, picture, blogs, and testimonials can make a huge difference in helping a consumer choose between one business over another. It helps to humanize your brand and tell your story more effectively. More often than not, consumers will choose a brand they can relate to.
You Don’t Own Your Social Media Presence
Sure, you may manage your social media page every day, but your social media presence is forever at the mercy of the powers that be. So, while many people look to social media to learn more about local businesses, the reality is that your social media page doesn’t belong to you. You merely “rent” it. Social media providers control how you use that page to present your business, engage current customers, and reach new consumers. They set the rules and, by opting into their service, you must abide by them. Your business website is a piece of online real estate you can own. Be sure to invest in it.
Mobile Is No Longer An Option
Take a look at the people around you. What’s a common theme? Perhaps, lots of people with their eyes buried in their smartphones. Did you know that 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone? This may explain why mobile searches have officially surpassed desktop searches. Knowing this, it should be a no-brainer that your business website must be optimized for the mobile world. It’s no longer an option, it’s table stakes. And for the 23 percent of local business websites out there that aren’t currently mobile-friendly, there’s no better time than now to get started. Not doing so will only hurt your business in the long-run. (We’ll explain more as to why in our webinar!)
Ready to make your website work hard for your business? Register today to save your spot in the upcoming “What Makes a Great Website” webinar on April 19 from 2-3 pm ET. And for more tips, advice, and insights geared towards helping local businesses thrive and grow, visit YP’s Local Doer Blog.
Susan is the content marketing manager for YP, the Real Yellow Pages for local business. She graduated from Washington State University with a Master of Arts in Communications and has dedicated her career to learning the ever-changing field of digital marketing with an emphasis in content, SEM, and social media.