How to Reach More Customers on Google (and Elsewhere)
Learn what you have to do to not just get found on Google Maps and Search, but also to generate leads and customers too.
The Best Strategies for Reaching New Customers
You need them, your competitors need them, and any business in existence needs them: new customers. They’re the lifeblood of your business, and in order to grow, you need a steady supply month after month, year after year.
As the consumer market continues to change and evolve, so too are the ways that businesses acquire new customers. Some major channels for reaching new customers include:
• Social media
• Directory listings
• Online ads
• Offline ads
But the best overall strategy for reaching and acquiring new customers is Google.
Here are just a few reasons why:
• There are multiple ways potential customers can discover your business on Google (search, maps, images, ads)
• Potential customers can engage with your business directly from search results
• Consumers trust Google, so getting found on there gives you an automatic advantage
If you’re not keeping up Google’s updates and ever-changing algorithms, your sales funnel can start to feel a little light. Worry not! We’re going to dive into how to attract and acquire customers to your business specifically through Google Search and Google Maps, and then cover some other important channels and strategies to keep your new client base growing.
How to Get Found By Potential Customers on Google
Before you focus on acquiring customers, you have to make sure you’re attracting them first, which means you have to make sure you’re getting seen. Here are some first steps you can take to get seen by more potential customers on Google.
1. Create a Google My Business Listing
Google is making it easier than ever for consumers to discover, assess, and engage with businesses directly from Maps and Search results, without even having to click through to a website. If you want to get found by new customers on Google, you must create your Google My Business listing.
Look at all of the information a potential customer can gather just from Maps results:
2. Write Useful Content
In addition to your Google My Business listing, your business website is also a means by which new customers can find your business on Google. Publishing useful content on specific topics related to your business will help you to get on the first page of Google for relevant searches and get discovered by new customers.
For example, if you’re looking for ways to secure your home, and you type in “home security tips for Dorchester”, the following results appear:
Both Elite Protective and Kenny’s Lock have a greater chance of landing new customers, either right away or after some time of repeatedly being a go-to, trusted resource.
3. Optimize Your Website Pages
To get Google to put your pages in front of more potential customers, be sure to include the search terms you’re trying to show up for in the following places of each website page:
• Meta Description
• Image tags
These search terms you are placing into your webpage are called keywords, and targeting your website for those keywords is called SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO tactics help you to achieve greater visibility on Google for potential customers.
4. Use Google Suggest
If you want to get more customers on Google, you have to achieve greater visibility—for the right search terms, by providing useful and quality content around those topics.
There are many keyword tools out there that provide more concrete data including the number of searches performed per month for that term and how difficult it will be to rank for that term, but Google suggest is a great first step.
For example, roofers could publish a blog post on any of the below search suggestions provided by Google, or compile each topic into one longer form piece of content:
Auto mechanics can take a look at what people are trying to find out about their cars:
Yoga instructors can get ideas for particular topic areas:
How to Acquire Customers from Google Maps
Getting found is only the first step in getting more customers from Google Maps. Consumers are finding your business among others, so you need to take the necessary steps to stand out and increase your appeal.
Here’s what you need to do so that Google Maps searchers become customers for your business, not your competitors:
1. Create Your Google Maps Listing
To get listed on Google Maps, you need to create a Google My Business profile. See above for more information, or head to our post: How to Create, Claim, and Verify Your Google Business Listing.
2. Give Customers What They Want to Know
Consumers want to know as much as they can about a business before becoming a customer. The more fields you fill out on your Google My Business profile, the more information Google can provide to consumers in search results. Also, the more complete your listing, the higher you will rank in results. Searchers are more likely to click on and become customers for businesses in top positions.
3. Make Your Description Customer-Oriented
The description of your business that shows up on Google Maps may be short, but it influences your ability to attract customers. Your description should categorize your business for potential customers, clarify your output, and also offer a differentiating feature.
Google descriptions to help attract customers:
• Example 1:
[Name] is a [type of business] in [location] offering [product X, Y, Z] for [audience]. [Differentiator]
Full Circle is a contemporary designer fashion shop in Boston’s South End. You can find everything from denim and dresses to shoes and scarves. Build a unique wardrobe and your fashion network in one place.
• Example 2:
[Name] provides [service]. We have been serving the [location] for more than [time in business]. [Value statement.]
Marty’s provides expert appliance repair and electrical services. Our family business has been serving the Manchester, NH area for more than 20 years. We offer same-day services and expedited replacement.
The more quickly a consumer can see that you are aligned with their needs, the more quickly they can become a customer.
4. Attract Customers with Photos
Not knowing what to expect can be a major barrier to entry for customers. By adding photos to your Google My Business listing, consumers can get an idea of what it’s like to be at, shop around in, and get served by your business. More photos creates more predictability, which can lead to more customers coming through your doors.
5. Keep Customers Up to Date
If you want to acquire more customers from your Google Maps listing, make sure they are equipped to engage with or visit you directly from your listing. Add your phone number so they can tap to call, keep your address updated so they can visit you easily, and make sure your hours are accurate. The more seamless the engagement experience is, the easier it will be for your Google Maps searchers to become customers.
6. Collect Customer Reviews
The number of happy customers you already have will help to increase the number of new customers you acquire. This is because consumers trust online reviews and often use them as deciding factors when choosing between businesses. In addition, businesses with positive reviews rank higher in search results. Get more customers to leave Google reviews for your business, and get more customers to your business.
The key to converting the people who find you on Google Maps into customers is providing the information they need in order to do so, and making it as easy as possible to do so. Follow the steps above with your Google My Business listing and your Google Maps result will become a customer acquisition tool.
How to Acquire Customers from Google Search
In addition to your Google My Business listing, your website also plays a role in obtaining new customers. Just as with your Maps listing, your website doesn’t just need to show up on Google, it needs to get chosen on Google and be designed to generate leads.
1. Get Searchers to Click on Your Website
Google searchers can’t become customers if they can’t see you, and they very rarely click past the first page of results. This makes it essential to improve your SEO and rank higher on Google.
2. Guide Visitors to Customers
Your business website will consist of informative pages that help Google searchers to find you. However, now that they’re on your site, you need to guide them to the appropriate action. The navigation on your site should make it easy for visitors to naturally find their way (and not feel pushed) to your lead-generating and landing pages. The idea is to guide them toward becoming customers through a cohesive, secure, and voluntary experience on your site.
3. Optimize Your Website for Lead Generation
Use attractive calls to action with the proper context around them, landing pages, and lead forms to capture the contact information of people who visit your site. This way, you can reach out to your potential customers with email campaigns and promotions that nurture their relationship to your business, build trust, and keep them on track to becoming customers.
4. Run Google Ads
Google Ads are the first listings that show up on a Google search. You have to pay to play, and your result will have an ad symbol next to it. However, a landing page that shows up at the top of the first page of a Google search for targeted terms is likely to attract potential customers that will be easy to acquire.
Other Ways to Reach New Customers
Google is the focal point of this article, but that does not mean there aren’t other effective ways to obtain more customers online. Here are a few that should not be ignored:
1. Add Your Location to Facebook
Facebook search enables consumers to filter by tagged location, so someone looking for coffee near them could find a shop on Facebook.
It’s important to create a location for your business on Facebook, tag your location in your posts, and encourage your current customers to tag your location as well.
2. Create a Yelp Account
Like Google Maps and Facebook, Yelp is another popular online directory that can be accessed via desktop and mobile. Create a Yelp listing and include all of your attributes so that new customers seeking your specific offerings can find you.
3. Let Current Customers Find New Customers for You
People like to be rewarded for their actions, and referral programs make it that much easier and enticing for current customers to tell friends and family about your business. When a person learns about your business from someone they trust, their chances of becoming a customer are much higher.
4. Host An Event
Consumers like to experience brands and companies, not just read about them online or get chased around by their ads. Hosting an event is a great way to do this, as it gives customers the unique opportunity to get to know your business on a more personal level. Depending on your product or service, you can host a physical event where customers can meet your company face to face, or you can host a webinar where you still have a captive audience that’s interested in what you have to offer.
5. Partner With Complementary Businesses
Chances are, in your niche there are a number of complementary businesses that don’t compete directly with your product or service. These businesses have customer bases as well, many of whom may also be perfect customers for your brand. By connecting and building mutually beneficial relationships with these kinds of businesses, you greatly increase your chances of gaining new customers and creating another reliable source for your sales funnel.
Final Tips on Attracting Potential Customers
1. Enhance your Overall Visibility
It doesn’t matter how great your company is or how many problems your product can solve; if consumers can’t find you, how can they become new customers? Your business needs to be as visible as possible online. In addition to Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp, it’s important to get set up in as many online directories and social media sites as you can. The more places you can register your business online, the more signals Google can receive about your business and help you get in front of new customers.
2. Know Your Ideal Customer
Taking it back to basics here, if you’re not getting the number (or kinds) of customers you want, you need to check back in with who your target audience is. It’s important that you define them in every way you can, down to the finest details. How old are they and what do they do for a living? What do they like and what don’t they like? What problems are they facing and how can your product or service help solve them? What platforms and devices do they prefer? Buyer habits are constantly changing, which means you should be reviewing your consumer profiles every few months to make sure you’re not missing any new trends.
3. Focus on Benefits Over Features
It’s important to include the features of your business, products, and services, but they should not come at the expense of benefits. Benefits are a direct way to relate to potential customers and paint a picture of what they’ll gain if they go with your company over another. Take the features of your product or service and dig deeper by asking yourself how they’re going to benefit the customer. This will help all of your content to distinguish you from competitors and stand out to more customers—on Google and elsewhere.
4. Make Your Promotions Shareable
Sales and promotions are a surefire way to reach more customers. However, you can be even more effective if you can get your target audience to promote your promotions. Create social media posts about your promotions, making them easy for your followers to share with their networks. Their friends and family are much more likely to be interested in a recommendation from someone they know and trust, rather than an ad from a company they know nothing about.
5. Be Consistent
The rule of 7 states that the average customer takes about 7 engagements with your company before they decide to make a purchase. What that really means is it takes time to build trust, and it doesn’t happen overnight or with one interaction (usually). Your touch points need to be consistent in their delivery, tone, and message so consumers feel like they’re learning about your company through each successive contact. Customers and people in general like stability and consistency.
6. Monitor Your Competitors
Have you ever heard the phrase “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”? In the cutthroat world of business, if you’re not keeping an eye on what your competition is doing, it gives them the edge to employ new, better marketing tactics that you’re not even aware of. Actively tracking and monitoring what they’re doing for marketing, web design, and products or services is the best way to stay ahead of the game. You may even find an opportunity they’re not taking advantage of and exploit it for your brand.