How important is it to increase foot traffic? While online shopping continues to rise in popularity, brick-and-mortar stores are still thriving – provided they continually focus on foot traffic. Many factors impact the number of people that will physically go out of their way to visit a store. A few of these involve the internet. Read on to learn seven new ways to increase foot traffic.
1. Assess the current amount of foot traffic.
Savvy business owners know a lot about the people who walk into their stores and restaurants. Yet they also know about the people who walk past it every day. Where they are coming from, businesses in the area they visit, and so on. This information can draw in new customers walking by.
For instance, a cafe is located adjacent to a sporting goods store. This weekend, many hikers are patronizing the store in preparation for a big local event. The cafe decides to promote a “protein pack” – a grab-and-go package of portable snacks hikers can take with them. They also place travel mugs and thermoses on sale in their display window.
2. Increase foot traffic with a website redesign.
More than ever, people research businesses before visiting them. Even if they just want to confirm the location and hours of operation, they will search it up online. What they find there will determine whether or not they show up.
A website that is not responsive and friendly to mobile devices, takes forever to load and does not feature all pertinent information on the main page is in trouble. A slick, modern redesign makes a great first impression. A beautiful website will always increase foot traffic to brick and mortar locations.
3. Local SEO.
Local SEO is a must to increase foot traffic, especially with the rise of voice search. These days, many queries are made via voice, which changes the phrasing. In turn, this changes the keywords many businesses use.
Take small, local burger joint in Charlotte. They would still do well to include their name and location in their local SEO, but they want to pull in new customers and visitors passing through. Many might use their smartphones to voice search “best burgers in Charlotte”.
4. Customer service improvements.
When existing customers receive exceptional service, they are more likely to recommend a business. Owners and managers should ask how well they know their regular customers. What are their names, how often do they come in? What do they like to buy, and does this hint at other products they would be interested in?
Customers are the best source of feedback when planning for future growth. Use them to decide what new items to offer and reward their loyalty with perks. Ask them to share their email addresses so that they can be added to a marketing list. This way, if business drops off, one can send out a newsletter to existing customers offering an exclusive discount.
Then there are the basics of customer service. Create a warmer, more welcoming environment customers enjoy being. This can be as simple as acknowledging a patron with a smile as soon as they walk in. Re-educate staff on being pleasant, attentive, and accommodating.
5. Create web content that drives sales.
A redesigned website and a local SEO strategy are both begging to be made useful with excellent new content. Businesses start blogs covering topics that pertain to their products and services, so they have many chances to use keyword variations for better visibility.
Businesses should also maintain active social media profiles. Posts link back to the latest content, prospective customers can ask questions, and the business can generally stay plugged into what people are discussing. Social media is also crucial for managing a good online reputation.
All of the above is good news for sales. Consistent content with a variety of keywords, responsive social media profiles, and online reviews all entice new business.
6. Offer something the competition does not.
Circling back to that restaurant in tip #4, does that restaurant really serve the “best burger in Charlotte”? There may be another business competing to claim the same thing. And they might rank a little higher in search results for this query.
This is another good reason to regularly post quality content. But aside from that, one now knows who their biggest competition is. For example, they may be ranking higher for “best burger in Charlotte”, but what about meat-free options? This is a common query since vegans and vegetarians have to search ahead for suitable options before eating most places.
When a business identifies a product or service their biggest competitor doesn’t offer, two things happen. One, they draw in new clientele looking for that specific thing (“vegan food in Charlotte”). Second, they weaken the pressure of choosing between two similar businesses.
7. Frontal facelift.
To finish, it’s always worth exploring if there are any issues preventing people from wanting to walk in the front door. When the business is open, does it look open? Are there lights and signage inviting people in?
Cosmetic maintenance is also an issue. Dirty windows, peeling paint, or junk piled up around the perimeter is less than enticing. Pressure wash the front of the store, and always ensure the walkway in clear in front of the entrance.
Finally, it is helpful to take a look around at what is going on in the street during the busiest hours. Are schools letting out? Is a large local business shutting down for the day, letting employees out into the street? Certain offers and types of signs placed out front can target these customers.
Even small brick and mortar business owners have to think about the internet. If people are not shopping online, they are searching up places to shop in person. Today, they are doing so via voice search. This impact what keywords to use, and places a greater focus on the surrounding geography.
It also means that websites will get more organic clicks, provided SEO has been done right. Therefore, websites need to be ready to accommodate mobile traffic with a clean, responsive design. Ultimately, that web traffic will help increase foot traffic.