Locally-owned businesses account for 44% of the U.S. economy. That's a significant number, meaning local businesses are vital to the general state of our country.
Getting new and repeat customers can be challenging for a local business, but it's doable with the right marketing strategy.
The right marketing strategy seeks to optimize the customer's journey from the very beginning. This means having a plan for attracting customers, what you'll say to them, and how you'll guide them toward taking action.
The topic of conversion rates is vast, but there are some critical things that local businesses can do to improve their rates, which we'll discuss in this article.
Local business conversion rates
Here are the top methods to consider to understand better how to increase your local business's conversion rates.
Create a strong offer
Your offer is what's going to convince people to convert to your website. Ensure you have a firm offer that’s relevant to your target audience. If your front-end offer (and every other offer after that) isn't good enough, people will leave your site and go to a competitor who has a better offer.
Your offer should be something that solves a problem for your target audience or meets a need they have. It should also be unique and not easily found elsewhere. And finally, it should be relevant to what your business is all about.
If you can create an offer that meets all of these criteria, you'll be more likely to improve your conversion rates.
Make your website mobile-friendly
Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular, and it's essential to make sure that your website is optimized for them. If this isn’t the case, you'll likely lose out on many potential customers.
A responsive website is easy to use on a mobile device. This will make it more likely that people will stay on your site and convert into customers.
Streamlining the customer experience is also essential on mobile devices. Ensure people understand where they must click to get the answer they seek. If people have to search around for what they're looking for, they're likely to give up and go to a competitor's site.
This medical marijuana recommendations company based in Florida offers an excellent example of a mobile-friendly website. The site is easy to navigate, and the buttons are large and easy to click.
This is an excellent way for local visitors to make an impression and turn them into customers. It's also good to point out that no matter your local business's industry, it's always possible to have a mobile-friendly site people love to visit.
Use engaging visuals
Engaging visuals are a great way to improve your conversion rates. People are visual creatures and are more likely to convert to a website with strong visuals.
Use images, videos, infographics, or other visuals on your website. These can help explain your products or services in a way that words alone can't. Most importantly, ensure that your visuals are relevant and add value to your website. Don't use them just for the sake of using them. Otherwise, you could turn people off your site instead of engaging them.
Consider a local gym in Las Vegas called Next Level Fitness. It shows pictures of both the outside and the inside of the gym. For those looking for a range of machinery and equipment, this is an excellent way to show off what the business offers.
Use social proof
Social proof is a powerful way to improve your conversion rates. This revolves around the concept that people are more likely to convert if they see that other people have already done so.
You can use social proof on your website in a few different ways. One is by using testimonials from happy customers. These can be in the form of written testimonials, video testimonials, or even just customer reviews.
This chiropractor service in Alberta offers an excellent example of using testimonials on its homepage to show the amazing service the business provides.
Testimonials offer local visitors a sense of social proof that can encourage them to convert. Another way to use social proof is to show how many people have already converted to your website.
You can do this by displaying the number of customers you have, the number of downloads you've had, or anything else that shows your site's popularity.
While this isn't as good as having others talk about your site's greatness, it's still a form of social proof that can help improve your conversion rates.
Use targeted content
Whether you're doing local SEO and building content that ranks in Google or just writing blog posts and articles to help educate and inform, it's essential to ensure your content is targeted toward your audience. That means creating content that's relevant to their needs and interests.
If you're unsure of the type of content to create, surveying your target audience or using a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to research popular keywords that people are searching for in your industry.
Once you know what kinds of content to create, make sure to include calls to action (CTAs) throughout your site that encourage people to take the next step with you.
This could be anything from signing up for a newsletter, requesting more information, or making a purchase.
Create landing pages with an offer
If you're running any kind of offer or promotion, it's essential to have a landing page specific to that offer. This could be a discount, a freebie, or anything else designed to entice people to convert.
This can also be used for your local business's various products and services. Specific landing pages for each product or service can ensure that people see the right offer for them and are more likely to convert.
Consider The Tire Choice, an auto mechanic found in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and various other locations. They offer services like auto repair, auto maintenance, and oil change. A specific page covering what an oil change consists of, who the target market is for this service, and how to avail of the offer could increase conversion rates.
Your offer landing page should include all the relevant information about the offer, including what people will get, applicable terms and conditions, and how to take advantage of it.
It should also include a strong CTA that encourages people to take action. The goal is to make it possible for people to convert to your offer.
A separate page for each offer you're running can significantly increase your conversion rates.
Consider your page load speed
No one wants to (or should have to) wait more than a few seconds for a page to load. Google has even stated that they consider page load speed when ranking websites in search results. So if your website is slow, it could affect your organic search traffic.
Also, people are less likely to convert to a website that takes too long to load. If you want people to stay on your site and take the desired action, you must ensure it loads quickly.
There are a few different ways you can improve your page load speed. One is by optimizing your images. Make sure they're in the correct file size and format before you upload them to your website. You can also use a caching plugin to save a copy of your pages and posts so they can be loaded more quickly the next time someone visits your site.
Consider your target market and the language they speak. Creating content in their language will show that you're catering to their needs and interests, which can help improve your conversion rate.
Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to just one language. You can create content in multiple languages to reach a wider audience. But if you're starting, focus on creating content in the language of your general target market.
Make it easy for customers to contact you
If you want people to buy from you or sign up for your services, you need to make it easy for them to contact you. This means including your contact information prominently on your website and ensuring it's up to date.
You should also include a contact form on your site so people can get in touch with you without having to leave your site. And if you have multiple locations, make sure to list the address and phone number for each one.
A great example of this is seen on the website of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, found in Ocean Country and various other locations. On their homepage, they include their address, telephone number, and even a link to a Google Maps listing of their location.
This means that no matter which way a potential customer chooses to contact them, they'll be able to find the information they need quickly
Providing easy access to your contact information for a local business can greatly improve conversion rates.
Simplify the checkout process
Why force your customers to jump through hoops to make a purchase? If you want people to buy from you, you must make the checkout process as simple as possible.
For example, you should streamline the process by allowing customers to check out as guests instead of forcing them to create an account. Also, ensure you're not asking for more information than you need. The fewer fields there are in your checkout form, the more likely people will complete it.
Provide customer support through a chatbot
To increase your conversion rates, you must provide site visitors with the support they need. A great way to do this is using a chatbot or live chat feature on your site.
This will allow customers to get the answers they need in real-time, which can help improve the rate at which they convert. It's also great to build rapport with your customers and create a more personal relationship.
One key consideration is to ensure that your chatbot or live agent is adequately trained and can answer potential customers' questions. Otherwise, you could end up doing more harm than good.
Brauns Law Firm, found in Georgia, offers an excellent example of this, with a chatbot that asks you the following questions as soon as you enter their site:
- Thanks for visiting our website. Is there anything I can assist you with?
- Were you able to find the information you were looking for?
- Would you like to set up a free consultation?
This is a great way to engage with potential customers and give them the information they need to move forward with purchasing products or services.
While chatbots are typically associated with more prominent companies, they are becoming increasingly popular with small businesses. If you're not using one already in your local business, it's something to consider.
Use retargeting ads
Retargeting ads is another great way to improve your conversion rate. These ads are shown to people who have already visited your site but didn't convert.
With retargeting ads, you can remind potential customers about your product or service and encourage them to return to your site and complete their purchase.
You can use a few different platforms to create retargeting ads, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads. You can even create specific ad campaigns for people who have visited certain pages on your site but didn't convert.
As a case in point, imagine someone visiting your pricing page but doesn't purchase your product. You could show them an ad with a special offer or discount. This can be a great way to increase your conversion rate and boost sales.
Test and optimize constantly
Finally, constantly testing and optimizing your website is one fundamental way to improve your conversion rate. Try different tactics and see what works best for your business.
You can use A/B testing to compare different website versions against each other and see which performs better. You can also use heat mapping tools to see where people click on your site and make changes accordingly.
Local businesses should treat the process of improving their conversion rates as a journey, not a destination. They can slowly but surely improve their bottom line by constantly testing and optimizing their website.
In some cases, hiring a consultant can help businesses find the most effective tactics for their specific situation. If you want to optimize your conversion rate, remember that you don't need to implement all these tactics simultaneously. Just pick one or two to start with and slowly add more as you have the time and resources.