Are you looking for new ways to drive traffic to the local businesses you represent? No matter whether you are an agency, digital marketer, or business owner, the simple fact is you always need to be bringing new business into the business.
In a previous article I spoke about unique traffic tactics to expand the digital footprint of a local business. Today I’d like to continue on this journey and explore additional methods to generate site traffic, and convert site visitors into customers.
While paying for traffic through PPC and Facebook ads is a quick way to generate leads and make sales, there is nothing as powerful as creating an organic traffic source that continues to pay off – while you don’t pay anything.
But is that realistic? Most certainly! So let’s examine how to do that right now.
Three Methods to Attract a Targeted, Interested and Engaged Audience
1. Create Something Worth Sharing
I know this seems obvious, but sometimes instead of focusing on creating something great, we create only to check off a box! It’s like blogging just for the sake of blogging. Remember, doing something because it’s a task or a must doesn’t always equal results.
Look to create content that is helpful, accessible, and easy to read. And time is of the essence here. In the words of Inc. Magazine: “If you can’t make an impact in 8 seconds, consumers will move on….”
So yes – if you don’t easily capture reader attention immediately, the reader will move on to the next piece of content that does. Creating quality content that people like (think E-A-T) is one of the most effective organic traffic-generating methods.
So after you create something worth sharing, you need to make it easy for people to share it! A few methods we use on the Advice Local blog – and recommend you do the same – is to incorporate “Click to Tweet” links within the post, and of course have all the “Like,” Share, Pin and +1 buttons. At the bottom of the post, ask readers a question to encourage comments. This is a great way to drive conversation and build authority.
2. Influence the Influencers
The simple fact is that influencing the influencers is an easy and no-cost way to drive traffic and prospective customers to a business’ website. Since most influencers have a specific niche, you can assume their loyal following is interested in them, what they do, and what they share.
When you focus on developing authentic relationships with these influencers, growing authority becomes so much easier. Don’t get stuck on the idea that if they don’t have 1M followers they are not an influencer. Look at those big accounts and you may find many of them are on autopilot, or have someone they’ve hired managing social media for them. You might think you are reaching the influencer, but you are really talking to the gatekeeper! To leverage the power of this type of influencer you will have to break out the big bucks.
Those with a smaller following are most likely managing the accounts themselves, so you have the ability to influence them more easily and drive traffic that far outweighs their audience size. Know that it won’t always be through social media that you reach and establish relationships with these influencers. The conversation may start on one platform and move to email, perhaps followed by contributing an article to their blog, or posting comments on something they have written. These relationships won’t happen overnight. Be patient. You’ll need to develop rapport over a period of time. You will know when the time is right to propose a collaboration or ask for a tweet.
3. Build Authority Through Links
Employing search engine optimization tactics is the most popular organic traffic strategy, and can possibly be the most costly – or the least costly. Competing with countless businesses chasing the same targeted traffic is not easy. This all depends on how talented your digital marketing team is at creating content that search engines like, on building social media authority, and incorporating strong calls-to-action in everything that’s created.
Instead of pumping out the most content, getting the most links and most social shares, add building authority to your focus. Using tools like Majestic and Ahrefs, analyze the authority of sites you are engaging with that have your target audience, and identify ways to build authority through their authority. This could be by guest blogging, asking to have a link included on their resource page, commenting on their content with valuable insights, and including a link to a resource you have that supports the content. You might even get really bold and just ask for the link. Absolutely correct – link building is important.
Before you move to this part of the strategy I highly recommend that you make sure to have your ducks in a row on the first two points. If you have no influence and nothing great to offer (because believe me, they’ll look when they receive your email) you are just wasting time. Don’t put the cart before the horse.
While you are working on points one through three to attract an engaged audience, here are a few more things you should be doing to build authority, influence, and generate site traffic.
Focusing on the Foundation
1. Get Listed on Authoritative Directory Sites
Do you think you were going to get through a post from me without reading about directories? Sorry, but I cannot and will not skip this foundational element that is essential for local businesses. The simple fact is that when a consumer searches for a product or service offered by the businesses you represent, it needs to be found on the first page of Google. The audience doesn’t really care if it’s through an article, a social media account or a directory. While a business’ website will easily show up for their business name on the first page of Google in most cases, that is not how a consumer searches. They search for “pizza places near me” or “roofer, McKinney, Texas” for example.
Businesses that are listed on high authority sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List and other top sites are going to get preference. To search engines, these directory listings are essential and add authority to a business. Many of these sites include a link to the business website, which also increases the authority.
2. Have a Clear Social Media Strategy
So you definitely understand the need for a social media presence, and that’s great. But ask yourself this: On the pages and profiles of businesses you represent, are you posting just to be posting, or sharing just for the sake of sharing? That behavior is quite common, and it’s also easy to spot those social media properties without a clear strategy. The posts don’t always make sense, they don’t tie to the brand, or the most common one – they sell all the time! That’s right, everything is “download this guide, read about this product, buy now.” They put little or no effort into creating a graphic, a video, or in crafting a social media post that people will want to engage with.
Take a second look and consider each social site individually. The goal is to create content that suits the platform. Pinterest, for example, can drive a lot of organic traffic, but you need to invest in a graphic artist to create images that will get re-pins. Many businesses will start their social media accounts with the best intentions, but the activity gradually falls off over time. Don’t let the account go dormant because on the surface you ran out of something great to say or share.
3. Create Local Landing Pages for Local Businesses
I’ve had a lot to say about local landing pages recently, and yes, we do have an exciting product called Advice Locator Pages. Plus I just published a guide focusing on putting multi-location brands and businesses on the map. But these developments are only part of the push. Local landing pages are a hot topic for me because consumers want to quickly and easily find, read about, and get directions to the business locations they want to frequent.
With 91% of users turning to their mobile devices for things they want to do, find and learn while in the middle of a task, local businesses cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities to make it easy for them.
A quality local landing page incorporates important business information for each location. Let me repeat that: for each location. Such info includes:
- Address, phone number, business hours, a map, coupons, and location-specific information.
- Take it a step further to add images, reviews and even videos, because that really amps up the consumer experience.
- It goes without saying that these pages need to be optimized for mobile, but also keep the desktop consumer in mind.
Yes, I’ve said a lot here and given you quite a few points to consider. But here’s one last very important morsel, and it’s a question. Ask yourself this: What are you planning to do today, tomorrow, or next week to ensure the businesses you represent continue to place in search engine results, generate site traffic, and continue to convert leads into customers?
Find out today how Advice Local can help you do just that!