Saturday, November 27th, 2021

6 Ways to Help Online Customers Find Your “Real” Store

By Mhairi Petrovic on Nov 09 2010 • Filed under Outsmarting Social Media

One of the major considerations for retail store owners has always been to make sure that your shop is located in the right place and that you are doing things to attract visitors and maximize the number of feet on the street that come through your door to sample your wares. Nowadays, thanks to technology, there are online actions and activities that you can easily do to make it easier for potential customers to locate your real world store.

Have you ever tried to find a retail store that you haven’t been to before? You know roughly where it is but you don’t know exactly which block or street it’s on? Off course you have! This happens all the time. The first thing you do is to try to find it using your phone but what if you can’t find the store online? The answer is that you get put off and go elsewhere instead, to return (maybe) at a later date.

While the following 6 tips talk about helping people who use the Internet to find your store, they can (and should) be applied to any business (retail or otherwise) that has a physical location.

1. Website: Make sure the address, phone number and opening hours are front and centre on your website so that visitors can find your location easily. Consider adding a page that is dedicated to helping customers find your store with directions, maps and transit tips. The pages that contain your address should include appropriate META and keywords that people are likely to use when trying to find your store.

2. Directories: If you don’t have a website yet, don’t despair – you don’t have to have a website to use Internet technologies to help customers find your shop (although it does help!). Instead, make sure your business is listed on a few of the search directories with the biggest clout such as Yellow Pages and Yahoo Directory. Both of these are paid directories but they are worth investing in, especially if you don’t have a website and you want to help people find your location online. You should also consider listing your location on hyper local directories in your community – many of these are free.

3. Google Places: One of the best ways to help people find your location is to make sure it is listed in Google Places. Not only does it allow you to list your business, it also shows your business on Google Maps. Our next blog post will be all about setting up Google Places as it is, without a doubt, one of the most beneficial tactics you can use.

4. Facebook Page: Add your location details, hours of opening and phone number to the information section of your Page so that Facebook followers can find you when they need to.

5. Location-based social networking tools: These tools allow clients to share when they are at their favourite outlets. By listing your business in these forums, you will assist those who use these tools (and their numbers are increasing rapidly) to find you online and thus find your real world presence. (Read more about location based networking.)

6. Be Mobile Phone Friendly: More people access the Internet these days by phone than by PC and people on the street are sure to use their phone if they are trying to find your location. Consider adding a .mobi site for your website, making it easier to view page contents (including location and directions) by phone.

By applying tips outlined here you can make sure that potential customers locate the address of your physical location using the Internet and thus find your store more easily: enabling the feet on the street find their way through your door.

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