Last Tuesday I received an email from a local small business owner inquiring about our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services. We met for coffee 3 days later to discuss her needs (let’s call her Lilo). As I always do, I asked Lilo how she found out about our business. Her answer gave me good insight into 4 simple ways that local businesses can attract new customers.
1. Have your Website Rank on Google
Lilo searched for SEO companies in Coquitlam and found our website (among others). If your ideal customer goes to Google (or other search engines) to find services you offer, then make sure you do some Search Engine Optimization for your website, so it will show up on Google search results.
SEO is especially important for local B2C businesses like dentists, massage therapists, restaurants, plumbers, hair dressers, nail salons, physiotherapists, counsellors, churches, etc.
2. Have a Well-Designed Website with a Clear Call-to-Action
Lilo said she liked our website’s design (I’m glad to hear that, because we specialize in website design). Your website design matters because it is often a person’s first impression of your business. My friend once commented that if he goes to a company’s website and the design is poor, it tells him that that business isn’t interested in new clients. If you want to attract new clients, make sure your website looks good and reflects the quality of product or service that you offer.
Also, make sure there is a clear call-to-action. If someone is interested in buying or finding out more, what should they do? On our website it says to contact me to set up a coffee meeting. That’s what Lilo did, she filled in the contact form. What should your potential customer do if they are interested? Call you? Fill in a form? Book an appointment online? Whatever it is, highlight it and repeat it throughout your website.
3. Have Good Online Reviews
Lilo mentioned that we had good online reviews, and we do: 6 Google reviews, 11 Facebook reviews, and 8 LinkedIn recommendations, all of them positive. It’s not a ton, but it’s sufficient. They’re all real reviews from actual clients after they’ve experienced working with us. But I had to ask them to leave a review. Ask your good clients to leave you a review.
If your potential clients are finding you on Google or social media, they will be looking at your reviews. Some might just glance at the rating, but some will actually read a few reviews. That will help them decide whether to take the next step. Be sure you have online reviews from real customers that accurately reflect their experience.
4. Respond Very Quickly to Inquiries
I was the first company to respond to Lilo. She had reached out to several companies. When I look for companies on Google, I typically look at 5-7 websites and reach out to 2-3 businesses at the same time. Be the first to respond. People appreciate promptness.
Lilo contacted me Tuesday at 2:56pm and I responded at 5:00pm. And I think that’s slow. But I was the first, and that makes a difference. We chatted on Wednesday and set up a time to meet Friday morning.
It sounds simple and in many ways, it is.