There are 220 million online shoppers in the United States. Are they finding your store? If your business isn’t listed, and listed highly, you’re as good as invisible — and you’re missing out on sales. Don’t hide from potential customers! Make your presence known with these four key search marketing strategies:

1. Leverage online directories

Two thirds of small business owners say finding new customers is a top concern: If your goal is to boost new business, make sure you’re findable in the places where customers look for providers. Create an online listing that includes your store’s name, specialty, hours and other details to drive customers straight to your door.

There are dozens of online directories you can leverage to give your business the best possible chance to be found. Here are some to get you started:

2. Cultivate customer confidence

According to BrightLocal, 84 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Get the word out about your business by registering with review sites, such as Yelp and Google My Business. Positive reviews are a great way to build trust with potential customers and turn them into paying customers. And let’s face it, all those stars really help your business stand out in a search.

3. Make your business pop

For online shoppers, one simple search for “local pharmacy” can yield thousands of results. How can you be sure that your store is getting noticed? Grab shoppers’ attention with an eye-catching ad they’ll want to click. With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you create targeted ads and then bid for top placement in the search engine’s sponsored links. The more relevant the ad is to the searcher, the higher it will appear in search results. Every time your ad is clicked, you’ll pay a fee, but it’s worth it to attract highly interested customers who are ready to buy.

4. Find the right words

Keywords drive online search: These are the words that customers type into a search engine when they’re seeking a solution. For example, a customer in search of a coffee shop may type “pumpkin spice latte” or “best cold brew coffee” into Google. By picking the keywords you want to capture, you will drive traffic to your website, and ultimately, your store. If you focus on the wrong keywords, however, you could miss out on a huge number of potential customers.

Think about how you would search for your own business. What terms or phrases do customers use to search for stores and products like yours? A keyword research tool can help you find the most relevant keywords for your market. Popular keyword research tools include:

Once you have a list of words, sprinkle them throughout your website’s copy in your titles, meta descriptions, headings, URLs and image names — and prepare to get noticed.

If customers can’t find your store online, you can be sure that they’ll find your competitors. Put these search marketing tips into practice right away, and put your store front and center.

Get traffic moving your way
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