A member who owns a hand-full of stores called me the other day with a tinge of desperation in his voice. I could tell he had been looking over some numbers, which ones I’m not quite sure, but they weren’t good. He told me according to his website analytics, nobody was going to his website, so why shouldn’t he take it down and save some money? This was a hard question to answer since I am a web designer. I absolutely believe every business should have a website, but most of my suggestions to increase traffic involve spending money. So after a long pause, I had a few suggestions. Once I got started, I realized I just might have enough ideas to put pen to paper. After looking at this list I realized something every item had in common: you have to GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS A REASON WHY THEY SHOULD LOOK AT YOUR WEBSITE. Don’t wait for them to Google your business!
Note: all images have links for you to click on, so you can see and experience them first-hand.
1. Set up a business Facebook page (it’s FREE) or ask an employee who can’t have a conversation without mentioning something they saw on Facebook.
Post reminders for your customers every morning your new ads are up. Mention the kind of sale you’re having, or service you want to push. Tell them which page to look at. Make sure a thumb nail image of your ad comes up after you paste in the link to your ad on your website. If a thumbnail image of your ad doesn’t come up, take a screenshot of your ad on your website and post that with a link. Don’t make your customers look for your ad on your website by only posting your domain name.
2. Post on your facebook page once a month about features on your website like coupons, shopping list, recipes, videos.
3. Ask your cashiers to verbally remind customers to go to your site for coupons. Put a sign under Plexiglas on Purse counter: Go to our website for coupons! Your Stores website.com/Coupons Place signage about recipes and video tutorials in Deli/Bakery/Meat Departments: Go to our website for recipes and cooking tutorials! hyklasfoods.com/RecipeCenter or hyklasfoods.com/RecipeCenter/RecipeVideo Give your customers a REASON to go to your website!
4. Verify your store locations with different web browsers (It’s free). When your customers Google your business, you want to put your best foot forward! It’s surprising all the features available in these free accounts. The features for each web browser change frequently, so go back every year or so. I have seen free options to upload photos, logos and even create a coupon. You might be surprised to see your location already has reviews. If you verify your store, you can respond, showing everyone you care about these reviews good or bad. If it’s bad, thank the reviewer for bringing the issue to your attention, or explain why it is what it is. Sometimes the information for your store is wrong, this is how you go about getting it corrected.
Let’s go back to the original question, “Why does my store even need a website?” Did you know the US has 195.3 million internet users? The US population is 318.9 million and bets are, many of your customers use the internet to research products you sell. They also use it to find out where you are and when you are open. It doesn’t matter if you’re a one-man/woman show or a 10,000-employee corporate giant; if you don’t have a website, you’re losing business to other companies that do. Do a search for “grocery” and you’ll see them. Your company needs a web presence. Once you have one, take some time to look at your site’s analytics and see who is looking at it. If you find your web traffic is low, use this list of ways to increase your traffic. Not everything costs money, sometimes it just takes a little elbow grease.