Posted by Marcel Sim in Sales & Marketing
Article contributed by Dave Donovan
How to Use the Web to Attract the Right Type of Customer
Every entrepreneur will tell you – not all customers are created equal. You have your random one-off customers, your casual shoppers, and your high-valued customers. Your high-valued customers tend to be the driving force of your business. They are the ones who are loyal to you, and it is their return business that keeps your lights burning, and your telephones on.
While you will no doubt welcome as many one-off and casual customers as you can, the real key to long-term business success is attracting more of these high-valued customers, because they give you the greatest return on your marketing investment. By using the following tools available to you on the Internet, you can find these customers easier than ever before.
Foursquare offers a business-friendly branding solution for small businesses looking to attract local customers. The company’s social media merchant platform allows business owners to connect and engage one-on-one with their customers, create special deals and rewards for loyal customers, and much, much more. Users also get access to real-time data about their customers, with everything broken down into detail-oriented reports.
Twitter offers business owners the ability to combine the search power of Google with its own geo-targeting efficiency to find potential high-value customers in their local vicinity. To do this, go to search.twitter.com and click on the advanced search tab. You will be provided with a host of options that you can use to find potential customers in your area.
For instance, if you own an Italian restaurant, then you can perform a search using the phrase, “hungry for Italian food,” within a certain distance from a chosen location. Twitter will display any user within that region who has recently used that phrase. This allows you to target these customers by sending them a direct message, offering them a coupon or some other type of discount.
Google Advanced Search
If you visit Google.com and click on the advanced search tab, you can use the powerful search engine to find potential high-value customers by targeting their online bios. All you have to do is type “intext:bio-*-xxx intext:location-*-xx” with the “xxx” being your targeted phrase, like “love Italian food,” and the “xx” at the end being your desired state.
For instance, if you want to search for Twitter bios of people who love Italian food in California, then you would type “intext:bio-*-love Italian food intext:location-*-CA” in the top box, and input “Twitter.com” into the box on the bottom of the page that asks for the domain you want to perform the search in.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization uses targeted keyword phrases within your website’s content to help it rank higher within the search engines. A high-ranking site is very important, because as noted in a recent report, it was discovered that the first ten results on any given search receive nearly 90% of all click-through traffic. If your website shows up on page two or three, then it may never even get a glance.
You can improve your website’s search engine results, and thereby improve your chances of attracting high-value customers, by finding the best keywords for your products or services. For instance, if you use Google’s keyword tool, you can generate keyword ideas based on your website copy, or you can do a search for independent phrases or keywords.
The tool will supply you with valuable data like the estimated cost per click, the local monthly search volume for the keywords, a 12-month volume trend per keyword, and much more. By tailoring your website’s SEO to your target audience’s search preferences, you can better align yourself to attract them to your site, where you can hopefully convert them into high-value customers.
The Internet levels the playing field for today’s small businesses, but it is the ones who know how to use it properly who enjoy the most success from their online marketing efforts. Try these online tools and integrate them into your business’s marketing strategy, and you may be able to position yourself for greater success.
About the Author
Article contributed by Dave Donovan of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. is an advocate of Small Businesses and provides business credit monitoring services to help them grow. You can learn more about using technology to grow your business in the Credit Resources section on DandB.com.