“The biggest challenges involve how to connect with customers RIGHT NOW. “ Courtenay Roy laid out quick, free, easy ways to improve your “Virtual Storefront” during the April 30 edition of Hampton Roads Chamber Virtual Chamber Education. As the Media Sales Manager for Virginia Media, Roy helps clients grow by maximizing positive online presence.
Roy recommends using some of the time available now during the COVID-19 restrictions to evaluate your profile by keying in on four specific goals.
To best connect with customers right now, set up a "google my business profile." Roy loves to use statistics to guide clients. "88% of mobile users who conduct a local search visit the physical store location within a week (before the pandemic). 86% of consumers, who look up a location, find it on google maps."
To claim your business listing online, go to www.gybo.com or www.get-your-business-online.com. This is a free service and takes only about 10 minutes to set up a profile. "Even if your business already appears, you should verify all the information to make sure it is current. Make sure your hours are correct, and your status is current." This is a good way for restaurants to let customers know what services they are providing during COVID-19. "You can easily make updates to note curbside or delivery service and up-to-the-minute changes. You can also post inventory."
It is crucial right now for your local business to appear across the internet on as many search engines as possible. The more search engines you use, the higher your google listing goes. “Use Google, Yahoo, Bing, Hotfrog, and more. The more you appear consistently and correctly across the internet, the easier it is for your customers to find you.”
When it comes to social media, Roy again points to statistics. “93% of buying decisions are influenced by social media.” Staying social means you need to review your information to make sure your hours, phone number, product offerings are current. "This is a critical time to use social media with things changing from day to day. Your customers will be comforted to know you are going through this together." For social media content, Roy suggests 60% of your brand and 40% of your customers, community, and employees.
When it comes to managing your website, "consider this to be your 24/7 365 days a year salesperson. Test your website frequently for speed. Every second longer someone has to wait; conversion drops 20%." The easiest way to test the website is to visit www.testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com. The simplest way to speed up your website is to change the size of the photos. Smaller photos load faster than large images.
Use google analytics to understand what your visitors want. You can see the effectiveness of your site by looking at your most popular page and your least popular page. Where are the entry and the exit? “Reflect and review on where your customers are spending their time on your website.”
In summary, Roy offers four things to do today.
1) Create, claim, or update your profile on gmbo.com
2) Check your business presence on 50 directories.
3) Develop social strategy content 60% brand—40% community, customer, employee
4) Make sure your website provides a good user experience.
The Hampton Roads Chamber thanks Presenting Sponsor Southern Bank for this Virtual Chamber Education Session.