Where to Find Customers Online

by Ed on June 8, 2014

Setting up a high quality website for a small business is just the first step in attracting more customers to your business. You’ll benefit from your website to the degree that you reach out to customers online and direct them to it.

social-media-customer-connection

Image Source: Leverage Media

Whether you need customers for your design work, buyers for your works of art or books, or businesses to buy your products, you can find customers online and then prompt them to visit your website, leading to new customer leads and higher sales. Here are a few tips on how to find customers online:

 

Write Articles for Popular Websites in Your Field

It’s not enough to go viral on Twitter or to publish an article on a general news site. You want high quality leads with customers in your niche, and the best place to find them is on the leading websites in your industry. For instance, if you want to attract corporate clients for your products, submit articles for Forbes or Fast Co.

If you want to connect with potential customers concerned about the environment, write for a niche site like Mother Jones. While websites such as The Huffington Post have specific channels for topics such as parenting or technology, look for the most trusted sites in your field. Write articles for these audiences and make sure you have a strong Call to Action on your home page or whatever page you use in the bio of your article. It also helps to work in a link to an existing post on your website, but only do that if it’s natural in the flow of your article.

At the end of your guest post or article, include a high quality picture of yourself and a brief but professional bio that will build a higher level of trust with readers, prompting them to click through to your website. If the website owner is willing to let you include a special offer at the end of your article or guest post, you can lead readers to a landing page where you offer a discount or free eBook if they join your email list.

 

Find the Optimal Social Network for Customers

Visual artists need to be on Pinterest, while businesses hoping to connect with larger corporations should work hard on building connections and recommendations on LinkedIn. Facebook’s terms for company pages have made them less useful, as page views have dropped for many companies.

However, if you are an individual or sole proprietor, you can still drive decent traffic by signing up for a page as a “personal blog.” Interact with customers in a variety of ways. Whatever you do, don’t just post links to your website! Ask questions, take polls, link to helpful articles, and comment on news in your field.

Twitter can be especially useful for tracking terms related to your business and easily connecting with customers. You may not even need to set up a robust customer support center if you keep up with your Twitter followers and encourage customers to connect there. We’re living in a time when many customers want to easily and quickly interact with businesses, and Twitter provides an ideal forum for you to publicly display your concern for customers.

While every major brand and business is competing on Facebook and Twitter, don’t overlook potential opportunities on Instagram or Google+ in order to reach customers that the competition may be overlooking. Instagram is particularly useful for creating hashtag promotions or sharing images related to your work that customers can identify with. Google+ is ideal for creating circles with customers and broadcasting messages to them much like on Facebook. The main difference is there’s not as much clutter on Google+.

 

Develop Search Campaigns

Every website should focus on developing strong SEO practices, such as targeting keywords, including tags, writing search-friendly titles, and adding keywords in titles and image descriptions, but sometimes you can zero in on new customers via an Adword campaign. Google searches are generally targeting information that will solve a problem or fill a need, so you can develop specific campaigns that reach the precise people who are already looking for your products and services.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds! You need to know a lot about the keywords in your field, and you need to write crisp, brief descriptions of your website or products for the ads. They need to get right to the point about what you do and why searchers want to click on your ads. In addition, you need a top notch landing page that will help them sort out which products and services they should buy.

A landing page should include a brief description of the customer’s interest/problem, the reasons why you can address it, and an offer that is too good to pass up. Copywriters use step discounts, add-on products for a limited time, free shipping, and money-back guarantees to seal the deal. You can also include details like social proof indicators (Join 1,000 subscribers…), customer feedback, and positive reviews.

 

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