Three tips on how to find more customers in your local area

It is well known that a large segment of clientele for a lot of small businesses will come from within a 10km radius of its location.

It used to be enough for small businesses to have a classified ad in the local newspaper, be listed in a business phone directory and maybe even do a leaflet drop to find new clients. However, these tactics are no longer as effective as they once were.

This is because people now get most of their information online and thanks to search engines, social media, news sites, blogs and email, there are now many more effective options for attracting customers from your local area.

Here are a few digital techniques that can help you attract local clientele.

Optimise your website

With so many people doing their research online to make buying decisions, it’s imperative to have a website that showcases who you are, what you do and how people can get in contact with you.

When targeting potential customers in your local area, ensure your website is optimised for people researching local small businesses in your industry using search engines, i.e. Google. At the very least you should include the names of the nearby suburbs you service on all pages of your website and in the page titles too.

My tips for a great website for your trades business:

  • Ensure your website is mobile responsive and looks great on a variety of screen sizes (think tablet, iPhone, laptop).
  • Ensure there are clear call to action buttons, such as “Call Now” or “Get Free Quote”.
  • Ensure the website contains everything the customer needs to know in order to get them to click your call-to-action button, whether this is a gallery and samples of your work or a list of qualifications. Your aim is to instil trust and win them over by laying out this information in an easy to read manner.

Have a Google Places listing profile

Have you ever searched for a business, say a particular store, using Google and in the results, you see a map highlighting stores in the local area? These listed businesses all have a Google Places listing. These can be very powerful in helping customers find and connect with your business, plus they are free to set up.

Google Places listings show your address, phone number, opening hours, photos, website and even directions. It is also a place where customers can leave a review about your business.

To do this simply search “Google My Business” in Google. Google has a step-by-step process to help you easily setup your Google Pages listing.

Build your business profile on local service marketplaces

Local service marketplaces are online tools that help customers list their job needs and match them with quality local service professionals. A local service marketplace can provide a great source of quality local customer leads, at a fraction of the price of traditional online advertising methods.

Local service marketplaces such as Oneflare provide businesses with a place to build a business profile, configure their service area and lead notification settings to connect with clients – in real time.

To get ahead of your competitors and stand out in your local area think about using a range of digital tactics, like those listed above. Consumers are searching for small businesses online and it’s up to you to leverage this activity so you can build a sustainable and lucrative pipeline of jobs for your business.

Michelle Tucker, CMO, Oneflare

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