If you are a local business struggling to convert site traffic into sales, read on as digital branding expert Steven Wyer offers a few suggestions on how to lucratively utilize your location.
Q: How far are consumers willing to travel for everyday purchases?
Steven Wyer: A recent study by Access found that consumers mentally clock distance in time. This means that the idea that consumers are willing to travel 20 miles, as has been the thinking for many years, is more fallacy than fact.
Q: What do you mean clock distance in time?
Steven Wyer: When consumers want to buy something and they do a search for a place of business that can accommodate that desire, they look at the number of minutes it will take to reach that location instead of the actual distance.
Q: Why is that?
Steven Wyer: People like convenience and if, for instance, they have two gas stations to choose from, they will choose the one that takes less time to navigate to, even if another option is physically closer.
Q: How can a business owner utilize this knowledge in his or her online marketing plan?
Steven Wyer: My first suggestion would be to make your location information easy to find. But don’t stop at just an address, clearly point out cross streets and offer maps that give the consumer a clear vision of where you are.
Q: How can a business with multiple locations remain relevant in relation to location?
Steven Wyer: I would suggest using a separate landing page, Google My Business profile, Facebook page for each location.
Q: Is it enough just to offer my address?
Steven Wyer: While your address is critical in helping people find you, you will attract more customers by thinking outside of the box when describing your location.
Q: Give us an example of an outside-the-box location description…
Steven Wyer: You could describe your location by highlighting its proximity to local landmarks. For example, instead of stating that your location is at 123 Main St. you might note that you are half-mile off the highway across from the museum.
Q: How does this affect conversion of out-of-town traffic?
Steven Wyer: Considering that up to one-third of most business’s bottom line is supported by travelers and tourists, it is important to identify yourself in reference to places they are likely to visit.
Q: What happens to a business owner’s location description if the target landmark goes out of business?
Steven Wyer: That’s the great thing about the Internet – it allows you to make updates based on a changing landscape. It is also useful to target different audiences based on what’s going on in your town.
Q: What do you mean?
Steven Wyer: A restaurant might make it known that they are one mile east of the community pool during the summer when there are likely to be hungry families out and about.
Q: Which demographic of consumer is willing to travel the shortest distance to make a purchase?
Steven Wyer: Consumers under the age of 35 have grown up in the age of Amazon, eBay, and direct-to-your-door delivery. This group seems to be less likely to want to incur inconvenience to get something that they can have delivered in a matter of hours.