New customers are vital to the survival of any business. With the focus so often being on creating a strong online presence and reaching as many new consumers as possible, most business owners focus on results and forget to take the time to consider how these new customers discovered them. So if you’re unclear what’s bringing people to your door, you’re not alone. But it’s important to know the answer. So how do you go about figuring it out? You’ll want to consider exploring several avenues:
- Go Right to the Source and Ask! If you’re interacting face to face, you can casually ask them what made them stop in today. If someone is making an online purchase, it’s common to include an optional question in the order form or send them to an online survey after their purchase.
- Conduct an Online Search. This is as simple as it sounds—just go to Google.com and search your company. Hopefully, your own website and social media posts come up first. Then dig deeper and search for reviews (on Yelp and GlassDoor for example) and Yellow Pages postings. However, you’ll want to make sure to take it even further and search beyond your company name: Consider how someone might come to find your website if they aren’t looking for it specifically. For example, let’s say you owned a coffee shop. A new resident in your area might be unsure of where to go for a cup of joe, so they’d go to a search engine and type, not your company name, but “coffee shops near me”. Take note of which sites you’re not on in these organic searches—and then get on them!
- Track Your Traffic. If you sign up for Google Analytics, you’ll receive a ton of useful information. Not only will it show you how much traffic your website is getting and where it’s coming from, but it will provide helpful data such as how long a consumer is on your webpage and which devices they are utilizing.
- Keep an Eye on Your Content. Make sure to follow your blog and social media posts afterwards. Continue to check back and take note of anything that gets a lot of comments and traffic—it could be an influencer.
- Get Alerted! Google Alerts is a free service that will notify you when a specific phrase is mentioned anywhere on the internet. You can track your brand, any important names, your competitors, and any related keywords. It’s a helpful tool because if you receive a positive review, you can capitalize on it and promote it right away. If it’s a negative review, you can jump on fixing the problem, possibly even reaching out to the unhappy customer. Just know that this service does not show social media results.
- Listen to the Buzz. Since Google Alerts doesn’t track the social media, you’ll need a listening tool, like Mention, to follow it. This website will watch and notify you where and when you pop up a variety of social media sites.
Your online reputation can seriously make or break your business, and it’s therefore crucial to understand your customer, know where they’re coming from, and what they’re saying about you. To keep on top of your brand, you’ll need to keep tabs on your social presence and collect regular data. It can be tedious and a lot of work, but it’s so important to do and Direct Opinions can help take the load off.