With the rise of large companies like Amazon dominating the industry, small business owners and marketers are feeling the pressure. It can be difficult to compete with these eCommerce giants when you run a local brick-and-mortar business like HVAC companies or law firms that rely on foot traffic to make sales.
Any business owner or entrepreneur knows all too well the importance of generating leads. Without sufficient leads, you run the risk of making insufficient sales, which is bad news for any business.
Driving leads into your sales funnel is not only crucial for online brands, but also for a store-based business owner, whether they are franchised or independently owned. So, knowing how to effectively get leads could be the determining factor for your success or failure as a local business.
Here are some simple steps to help you drive leads to your local business. Each one is key to getting potential customers through your door to begin their buyer’s journey.
Optimize and Update Your Website
For your site to rank well in Google, it needs fresh content. Regularly updating your website, signals to Google that the content is new and accurate. So, it will push your website higher up the SERPs (search engine results pages.) When your content is up to date, viewers of your website are more likely to trust you as a business and become leads.
Over half of the people browsing the internet are using their smartphones. Therefore, your website needs to be mobile-friendly, run smoothly and as quickly as possible. Most people will not wait more than a few seconds for a page to load. So, if your site is slow, you could be losing leads.
Some important things to keep in mind when designing your website are the following:
- Using SEO and keywords
- Showcasing positive ratings and reviews or client testimonials
- Making your contact details easy to find
- Adding the links to your social media accounts
- Including an emailing list opt-in form
All of the above will encourage your website viewers to engage with your contact which will, in turn, drive leads to your local business.
Focus on local keywords
When you master your website’s SEO, you are going to rank higher on Google search engine results pages (SERPs). This leads to more people viewing your website and in turn, generates more leads.
Using top-ranked keywords across any of your online content (website, social media, digital advertising, ensures that your business is near to the top of the millions of results pages that appear when your target customers type in keywords that are relevant to your business. It’s also a good idea to focus on using topic clusters that encompass these keywords so that Google has a deeper understanding of your content.
SEO is just as important for local businesses as it is for online brands, if not more. If you’re a small brick-and-mortar business, you need to emphasize local SEO to rank above any nearby competitors. For example, if a customer searches for ‘HVAC company near me’,
Google will filter out the results depending on their location. So, if your business is based locally, you’re more likely to appear, as long as you have used ‘HVAC’ across your online content.
Every webpage or social media post you produce should be SEO-friendly. This means including keywords in the body of the webpage, as well as in the headings and subheadings. They should all be structured in a way that makes it easy for Google to rank by using H1, H2, and H3 headers.
Upgrade Your Highest Performing Content
Offering upgrades on your most popular content is a great way to drive more leads. It enables potential customers to interact more with your content and gain more knowledge about what services you offer. You can find your most trafficked pieces of content through Google analytics or on the backend of your website.
Encourage People to Sign Up to Your Emailing List
Once you’ve created the upgrades, encourage viewers to sign up to an email list or download a freebie using a call to action (CTA) button. This encourages viewers who are considering using your services to invest in you.
Lead magnets are freebies that can be downloaded by prospective leads to gain their contact details in the hopes that they become customers further down the line. With local businesses, the idea is to generate a lead magnet that will attract people who live nearby.
Another way to gain new email addresses is to include a pop-up on your web pages that appears when people stay on there for a prolonged amount of time. Most website hosts allow you to add a layover or upgrade that provides a space for prospective leads to add their information if they wish to.
The idea behind this is that if somebody is dwelling on your webpage for longer than average, they are likely to be interested in your services, or they might have questions about it. If they sign up to your emailing list, these questions could be answered.
Encourage Online Reviews
Online reviews are an amazing way to generate leads.
Almost all consumers say they’re more likely to use a business when it has positive reviews according to the Customer Review Survey.
Encourage your existing customers to leave reviews on Google or social media to gain visibility and credibility.
When somebody searches for a local law firm or HVAC business, they will be interested in hearing other people’s opinions and learning about their experiences with each business. If they see that you have a bunch of positive reviews, they may want to visit your website or come into your office, turning them into a lead.
Make the Most of Social Media and Video Content
Social media usage is on the rise, and video content is becoming more and more popular, particularly amongst the younger generations. Regularly posting on social media enhances your online presence, and can generate new leads.
Not only does it put your business in front of prospective leads, but it establishes your authority within the industry if you provide useful content. Potential customers can reach out to you directly and get help through direct messaging on several social media platforms.
You can also link people from your social media accounts through to your website where they can sign up to your emailing list or view your services and get in contact with you.
Posting video content is an effective way to show your target audience that you’re human too! People are more likely to trust you when they see the faces behind your business. It makes them feel more connected and at ease. You can show your personality through video content and share your company mission and values.
Use Paid Advertising
SEO is an amazing strategy to drive organic traffic and generate leads for free. However, if you have the budget, consider using paid advertising. Facebook is a great platform to post ads to local people and businesses to encourage them to come into your office.
It’s a good idea to use SEO keywords in your adverts online to push them in front of prospective leads. And of course, make sure you’re advertising to people who live near to your office building.
There’s no point in paying for an incredible ad that is bringing in leads from the other side of the country when you’re a local business!