Before the internet age, advertising was pretty simple for business owners. They knew their customer base, what appealed to them, how much to sell items for, knowing their competition and where to advertise. The way to attract customers to your business via the internet is a bit more complicated, but by understanding how the process works, you can do a great job attracting customers as well as understanding and retaining them for future transactions.
1. Lead Generation
Lead generation is a hi-tech way of saying "attracting customers". Although it sounds like it might be the next new generation name after Generation X, Y and Z, it is simply a way to get potential customers to your site. Just like the shopkeepers of old who knew where their potential customers were likely to be, you need to know how to reach the correct audience. A beautifully written advertisement with all the right keywords and links won't do any good if it's a post in a blog for retired people and the keywords are all aimed at young mothers. Knowing your audience and focusing your efforts are key in the digital world, especially as we have computers in our hands at all times.
On the other hand, once you find a blog that fits your product, advertising there will be a huge success. If appropriate, you might want to start your own company blog. Just make sure ahead of time that someone in your company can add new content often enough to keep followers interested. Don't forget that once you have found your leads and they are turning into customers, you need to keep them. Customer service on the internet is maybe even more important than in a physical business. Be sure there is always easily found contact information for problems or questions as this is generally a signal of an interactive and strong business that people will trust.
These are the words and phrases that searchers on the internet might type into the search bar when looking for a certain product or business. Obviously, then, you will need to think about what people might enter as keywords for a business like yours. Obviously, if you run a donut shop and you want to see more customers, one of your keywords would definitely be "donuts". If you want to emphasize that you make donuts the old fashioned way, then your keywords might be "old fashioned donuts". If they're bigger than normal donuts, your keywords could be "large donuts" or "jumbo donuts", likewise for ‘tiny’ or ‘micro’ donuts if small donuts are your business. That example is pretty straightforward. Others might not be so easy. If your business or product is something more unusual, you might need to consult a focus group or use a questionnaire with your existing customer base to see exactly what they think would draw attention. By gaining insight from experts in the digital marketing field or simply by those that are involved in the unusual items you sell, they may have better insights that you didn’t think of advertising with.
3. Search Engines
A search engine is simply the place you go when you want to type in some words and get an answer via articles, images, news topics and much more. Google is currently the most popular search engine, which is why most people now say "Just Google it", but there are 6 other popular search engines, and depending on your needs, you might want to go with another. The obvious advantage of Google is all of the traffic they receive, but there are a couple of downsides. Other companies or businesses like yours are probably also advertising there so competition is built in. Also, in an attempt to give people instant gratification, Google has started using snippets (mini informational articles) instead of links. If they find what they want in the snippet, potential customers may never get to your links which means your website won’t become noticed as much as you’d want. Other search engines also offer rewards for every search that is made where a searcher can gain points toward gift cards, prizes or virtual stickers as well as much more. Whichever search engine you choose, keep experimenting with keywords to see what draws more traffic to your site and where your site appears after certain keywords are used. You want to be at least on the first page. People aren't very likely to scroll if they find a good source right away. Marketing your business online can seem daunting, especially if you currently run a brick and mortar business and are trying it for the first time. Go slowly and keep close track of what brings you more customers and what doesn't. Eventually, you will find the right balance and a steady stream of business will come your way.