Consumer Culture: Online Influence & How It Affects Your Business Sales Pt.2
Previously in part one of this article, we went through the online factors that directly influence the way modern consumers are searching for and deciding on which product to buy. In part two, we will go over some strategies and examples of how you can make your online presence strong through search engine optimisation, an emphasis on positive reviews and having your prices clearly listed to allow customers to price match online. These are important factors that your competitors are aware of and implementing into their marketing strategies, so it’s vital that you read on and ensure that your business is properly represented to your Australian consumers.
Managing Online Reviews Appropriately
As you can tell from part one of this article, online reviews have become a massive part of the consumer decision making process, allowing word of mouth to spread faster and further than ever before. To give customers the confidence they need to choose your business you need to properly manage your online reviews using these simple, although often overlooked methods:
Encourage Reviews From Your Customers
Usually, it is unsatisfied customers who feel the need to leave a review to warn others about their bad experience. Often times, this leads to businesses having bad ratings which turns future customers away. If you only have a few reviews on your Yelp, DLook or Google business listing, the negative ones can be detrimental to your 5 star rating. We suggest that after every purchase, you send a follow up email, first and foremost thanking your customer, as well as politely asking to leave a quick review or rating of their experience. This alone will dramatically increase your positive ratings and put your business ahead of others and give future customers more reason to choose you.
Read Your Customers Reviews & Respond Promptly
Positive or negative, it’s important that you keep a keen eye on your listings and respond to negative reviews in a prompt and personal manner to avoid making your customers feel disconnected from your business. You don’t have to stay up, spending hours looking for mentions of your business with the help of Google Alert. You can use this free service to monitor mentions of your business name and review your email reports on a regular basis.
If you receive a negative review, reply as quickly as possible with a suitable resolution to the customers problem. Acknowledge that they aren’t satisfied and ask to continue the matter through private message or a phone call so to not have your issued published in public. Once the matter is solved, post a follow up response on the public review and go over what you did to resolve the problem and ask if there is anything else you can assist the customer with. By showing the fact that you take a personal approach to customer satisfaction, you attract worried customers who now have peace of mind about your business.
Make Your Prices Easy To Find
A recent study showed that 90% of retail shoppers use their smartphones in stores. What used to be a complicated task of flicking through catalogues to find prices on items has shifted to the online environment. With mobile technology, customers now have the ability to price match in-store and on the go.
Consumers are used to having all the information they need to make a purchase on their phones, so it’s vital that your prices are easy to find and your site is easy to navigate and most importantly mobile responsive. If you sell your products or services using an online store, be sure that it is as well mobile friendly and that all prices are up to date. It’s not hard to go back to the google results and choose another business, so be sure your site is user friendly and has the information the consumer wants with a call to action in plain sight. (dlook link somewhere last couple of sentences)
Search Engine Optimisation For Australian Businesses
While ensuring your site is user friendly and easy to navigate through, none of that matters if the site can’t be found through relevant search terms in your industry. If you are a party planner who operates in Sydney’s East, you should focus your efforts in ranking in the top results of google for your main services and your main suburbs. When people search for ‘Party Planner Bondi’ you should be one of the first sites they see. This is how you can do that:
Adwords are rising in popularity since Google made them an even more prominent part of first page search results(link). By competing with your competitors for desirable keywords you can put yourself on the first page of Google for your services at the very top of the results. This may be costly for popular suburbs, although if you seek Adwords services from a professional, they can create strategies for you that will cost you less in the long run and eventually give you enough traction to not require the ads, but rather rely on your organic ranking.
If you are hesitant to outlay capital on an Adwords campaign, you can aim to optimise your websites content to rank well on Google by implementing your desired keywords throughout. Search engines have become the modern day phone book, and it’s in your best interest to be the first listing that future customers see when looking for a service that you provide. Many businesses attempt SEO although fail to understand the complexities behind Google’s requirements for a high quality page.
A high quality page on Google has to do give visitors the information they are looking for and be easily accessible This means that your content has to be well written, informative and relevant to your business practice and load quickly on both desktop and mobile devices. Even when you have these bases covered, businesses still fail to rank for one simple reason; links.
When another site links to your site, it is basically vouching for your site. The more reputable that site is, the more that link will count for. You can have 100 links from low quality sites that will do nothing in comparison to one link from a high quality, high traffic page.
This is where sites such as DLook make SEO easy for the Australian small business. With a high highly reputable business directory to link to your businesses site, you are given the quality boost required to rank well on Google for your desired keywords and service areas. We believe that SEO should be affordable to all Australian businesses and offer cost effective packages which include your own website, logo and video advertisement. If you want your business to be found online, see our packages here.
In an age where everyone carries endless information in their front pocket, it’s more important than ever to put yourself at the forefront of your industry. Word of mouth has grown beyond a phone call or mention in passing to a global business based on 5 star reviews which can make or break a business. By being fully aware and in control of your businesses online presence by managing your rating and reviews on directories and social media platforms and creating an information heavy website that is optimised to be found on Google, you have the ability to put your business ahead of the competition and in the sights of future customers.