If you have a local business you can’t just rely on foot traffic that is coming past, more often than not customers will search online to find what they are looking for and make contact online. Very often potential customers won’t even physically visit your business but instead order online and get what they need delivered.
Leads are potential customers and clients, without these leads your business is dead.
This makes local lead generation absolutely vital to your business since you are not just competing with the shop next door, you are competing with other businesses online as well as offline businesses with websites.
Knowing how to generate local leads is a necessary task that you will need to implement to keep your business at the front of the pack.
Here are 13 solid tips to follow to gain local leads:
You need to know a number of things about your audience to gain local leads. Who are your target audience, what problems do they have that you can solve? What questions are they asking and what are they searching for?
What are their demographics, their age and interests.
When you can answer all these questions you can start to plan your strategy. The answers to these questions will be your base for creating a keyword strategy and a content marketing plan.
Knowing how to make a connection with potential clients is the first step in building trust and in turn converting your leads into paying customers.
Make Use Of Paid Advertising
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a brilliant way to bring in a steady stream of highly targeted visitors to your website with immediate effect. Including a budget for PPC advertising and researching good solid keywords related to your business will bring in leads that are looking for the products and services that you offer.
PPC advertising can be achieved using Google Adwords or Bing Ads, you could also make use of advertising on social networks such as Facebook advertising, Twitter ads or LinkedIn Ads.
It is important to properly research how to utilize PPC advertising since doing it incorrectly could result in wasted expenses. If you are unfamiliar with PPC advertising it would be best to start off with a very low budget to learn the ropes in the beginning, it may even be worth your while to hire a professional with PPC experience to manage this for you.
Leverage Social Media To Capture Leads
Setting up company pages and profiles on social media will give you a new way to connect with your target audience and capture new leads as well as also create trust and recognition of your company.
Make sure that when you set up your business on social media websites that you properly optimize your profiles so that your target audience can find you. Create a posting schedule so that you are regularly posting content to your accounts which will keep your audience engaged.
Build Your Targeted Email List
By now you must have heard people saying “the money is in the list”? There is a good reason for it too, there is simply no better way to engage with your audience!
So start building your list immediately – sign up with an email autoresponder and get your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter by offering them an incentive such as a useful free printable or an eBook with valuable information.
Once you have some subscribers to your list you can start to send them regular updates about your company and your offerings as well as useful tips and tricks to make their life easier. This will help to start building a good relationship with your audience and in turn convert your leads into loyal paying clients.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It’s great to get immediate results with PPC advertising but why pay when you don’t have to? Having an SEO strategy is essential to your long term business health.
Implementing SEO on your website will help your website to rank high in search results bringing in customers that are looking for the products and services that you supply in your area. The best part is that organic search traffic is free, so while you may take a bit of time to learn how to do SEO or you may even pay someone to do some SEO work for you – the long term results will be well worth all that effort or investment.
Local Listing Optimization
Take full advantage of Google My Business, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp, Yellowpages and other local listing websites. These websites are specifically for local business listings and having a properly optimized listing will help you to appear higher in searches.
This is a brilliant (and free) way to reach local customers in your area that are searching for your products and services.
Provide Value by Solving Problems
Your potential customers are looking for information to help them with their problems and you can help them by creating useful content that educates them and solves their problems… oh and also introduces them to your products and services of course!
However if you put a big focus on providing help and solutions for your target audience this will create goodwill and trust – the basics of good PR will have been achieved.
If you help people out they will remember you and when they do need to buy something chances are very good that they will buy from you.
Creating valuable and high quality content is a great way to build leads and in turn to convert those leads into paying customers.
Optimize Your Website For Conversions
Spending time, effort and often money to get your target audience to your website is one thing, but getting those visitors to convert into leads or paying customers is another entirely. Make sure you don’t let all those leads slip through your fingers!
You need to motivate and encourage your visitors to sign up on your website – ensure you have a subscribe form and that you have strong and clear CTA’s (call to action).
The longer you keep your visitors on your website the better your chance of conversions. High quality content, lots of eye-catching images and videos will play a part in keeping your visitors on your website longer and increase conversions.
It is also important to make sure your website is fast and user friendly – having a slow website that is difficult to navigate will turn your visitors off very quickly.
Pay For Leads
If you can find a good source for high quality leads you could consider buying leads. It is a much faster method than SEO or PPC advertising. plus it could work out to be much cheaper than PPC.
The trick here is to ensure that you find a high quality leads source and that the leads are highly targeted, otherwise you are wasting your money. Just be warned that this can be a real hit and miss method if you don’t know what you are doing or use an unreliable source.
When done right this method of generating local leads is one of the most powerful of all.
Once you have your leads it really is important to stay in touch regularly and to keep communicating with them to keep the channels of communication open.
Keep in mind that very often it takes a while to build a relationship and trust with your leads before they will become a paying customer -sending regular communication will help to achieve this.
Sending out regular correspondence will increase your chances of converting your leads into paying customers.
Offer Discount To Foot Customers
Now we have covered a load of ways to get local leads when it comes to your online efforts but lets not forget your foot customers that are also a part of your local business.
Offering special discounts to foot customers will ensure that your local customers are looked after and that they remember you. Everyone loves a good discount. Remember to get their details so that you can add them to your database and contact them in future.
Have a loyalty card so that the more that they buy from you the more that they save. You can offer exclusive discounts and rewards to customers that have loyalty cards. It also gives you a great way to add that customer’s details to your database.
Giving away coupons to your customers or subscribers that they can use or that they can pass on to their friends and family is a great way to get your customers coming back to spend more, as well as to grow your list and gain more customers.