Friday, July 16, 2010

EB Friday Hotlist: 7 Easy Steps for Getting Local Traffic to Your Business Website

One of the tried and true ways to get traffic to your online shop is to tap into the resources of your local community.  Here is some advice on how to best utilize what's right outside your door:

1. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce for networking opportunities.  They can let you know about local resources specifically for small businesses.  Also, be sure to get information on how to legally operate your business in your state.

2. Do you sell on an e-commerce site?  Check to see if they have teams.  My local Etsy team has been a valuable resource for finding craft fairs, networking, and getting information on how to promote my business.  If there is no team in your area yet, start one!

3. Advertise locally.  Leave your business cards at businesses that may have the same target market as you.  For example, if you're marketing to fashion-forward young adults, you may want to leave your cards at a nail shop or salon.  Put up flyers or business cards on community boards in places like libraries, coffee shops, restaurants, and grocery stores.

4. Add your business to the local Google and Yahoo business directories.  You don't need to have a B&M to put your website in the directory and your website information shows up front and center when doing a search.

5. Make sure to include your location when setting up your online shop.  Etsy has a Shop Local feature where people can search for a specific location for shops.  There is also an outside feature at where people can search for specific products in their local areas.  Having your location listed is crucial for people to find you.

6. Participate in craft fairs or vintage shows to increase your exposure to the local community.  You're at an advantage when you have a website because you're not limited to just the people who purchase from your booth that day, but you also reach those who aren't ready to buy yet but who will purchase from you online later.  Make sure to bring business cards with your information and let people know if you do custom orders.

7. Throw a home or office party with your wares.  Invite friends, family, and coworkers and ask them to invite people they know.  Increasing your local customer base should always include informing the people you already know about your business - they'll be able to market you for free via word-of-mouth.

Leave your own tip for driving local traffic to your online shop in the comments!

Until next time,