A big challenge for many brick-and-mortar business owners is to break down their mental barriers surrounding digital marketing and truly understand how their marketing efforts online impact their results in the real world. We’re going to break down for you how digital marketing can increase your actual foot traffic, often at a higher ROI and lower start-up costs than traditional marketing solutions.

Every Transaction Starts Online

You know that your customers aren’t picking the first alphabetical name in the phone book anymore to find your services, but do you know what they’re doing instead? More often than ever before, they’re going online to do a quick Google search to find local businesses. In fact, Google Maps for mobile is starting to replace what a phone book used to do – it’s often the quickest and easiest way to lookup a business’s phone number, address, and hours of operation.

Getting your business listed and your site indexed by Google is often the first step to any new digital marketing strategy. For many potential customers, if you can’t be found online, you don’t exist.

The Power of Reviews

Today’s customer knows that they have options, and they rely on big-name review aggregators like Yelp and Google to figure out which businesses will be the best buy for their money. Some customers won’t make any purchasing decisions before vetting their choices with reviews. We cover the topic of review management in more detail here.

Climbing the Google Rankings for More Foot Traffic

For the vast majority of businesses with physical locations, like gyms and salons, or location-based services, like home repair or plumbing providers, the key to getting more customers is as simple (and as complex) as ranking highly for the search “[name of your services] in [name of your town]” Many of the customers that are already looking for you (i.e., the ones that cost less to acquire,) are going to find you by simply searching for the name of your service with the name of their town. A good digital marketer has a breadth of tools at their disposal to get you found in those types of searches, including content-based SEO and back-end solutions using geo-tags and advanced indexing.

The Social Media Connection

Many customers do make purchasing decisions based on engagement with social media channels, but you will need someone who is experienced in the social aspect of digital marketing to ensure a high ROI. Many businesses waste hours screaming into the void on Twitter when they could be finding success with a well-planned Instagram campaign or LinkedIn content schedule. It all depends on your audience and your offerings. For example, a personal training studio may find success in posting high-value blog posts to a LinkedIn following of training and fitness professionals. The high click-through rate from those readers can boost the Google ranking of the studio, leading to more local foot traffic.

To learn more about how digital marketing can increase your business’s foot traffic, contact us at River Avenue Digital to talk about your options.