These days, it can be challenging to grab people's attention on the streets and to get local foot traffic. With such a saturation of options to choose from in almost every neighborhood, local store owners have to step up their attraction game!
Foot traffic, meaning the amount of people who physically enter your store, is crucial for businesses that rely on face to face interactions!
The time of worrying is over, as I always say, businesses have to evolve with trends. The best way to increase your local foot traffic is to improve both your actual store and local SEO. Here are 13 ways to get more local foot traffic to your store!
1. Keep a Well-Maintained Storefront
When I walk by a storefront that is messy, unkepted, or clearly dirty, I am not very inclined to enter. Most people would much rather enter a store that is presentable and clean!
By simply sweeping the front entrance, cleaning your windows daily, and evaluating the aesthetics of your store front you will see a difference.
Your store front needs to make a good first impression because it is what people notice before anything else. When you look at your store, ask yourself “would I walk into this store?”
2. Improve Your Amenities
A popular trend that you see with many restaurants and cafes is having a board to announce specials or to show the daily menu.
You can also add amenities inside and outside of your store including bike racks, free WiFi, charging areas for mobile devices, and pet friendly outdoor features.
In all, think about what your clients need for the best customer experience. Seeing the options for a restaurant before entering is useful in choosing a place to eat. Having free WiFi means you can work at cafes or go on social media while shopping for shoes. The possibilities are endless.
3. Have an Instagram Worthy Storefront
Almost everyone is on the hunt for their next Instagram moment, especially food bloggers, fashion influencers, and other prominent social media people. A great way to catch people's attention is by making your store front and inside as aesthetically pleasing as possible, give it some personality!
64% of Canadians are connected through social media, that means that by improving your store's look, more people will want to come by and get a trendy shot. For example, La Diperie is well known for it's Instagram popularity. The pretty teal store front is a great place to snap a picture of delicious ice cream!
It's also a great way to catch the eye of pedestrians walking by. You can use intriguing displays, posters, wall art, and engaging features to give your store a bigger WOW factor.
4. Collaborate With Others
Collaborating with other businesses and influencers is a great way to increase your visibility and local foot traffic. If you do it strategically, you can lock into other audiences that match your niche and influence them to visit your store.
If you want to collaborate with other local businesses in your area, this is a great way to build partnerships. This way, both sides of the collaboration benefit from the advantages.
For example, let's say a bakery wants to improve their local foot traffic. They could work in collaboration with a restaurant who could sell or use the bakery's bread. The restaurant will also show that it comes from the bakery which will increase the bakery's visibility. Being both in the same local area, people will most likely be able to walk straight over to the other store if they enjoyed the product.
If you want to collaborate with local influencers or bloggers, it is a great way to improve your presence online as well as in the local area. You can read this article, it tells you everything you need to know when contacting influencers and bloggers for collaborations.
Another fun thing you can do with influencers and bloggers is host events with them. It's a great way to increase your visibility with their audience.
5. Host Events and Classes
Hosting events and master classes is a great way to increase local foot traffic because with the right marketing strategy, you can reach more people in your location.
There are many ways you can go around this including influencer and blogger collaborations, events for local customers only, events or classes that occur every month, and so on.
The most important thing here is to know what your customer's buyer persona resembles and what they are interested in. This way you are sure to catch the right people's attention.
6. Have a Terrace
Now, I know that this does not work for every type of business, however for restaurants, cafes, and bars that have the place, this is a great way to increase your local foot traffic. In the summertime, people love to eat outdoors and enjoy every bit of sun they can get (especially in Canada). Also, it is a great way to decorate your store front as terraces are an extra space to add your unique touch.
There is a whole season dedicated to terraces and your business is definitely missing out if you have not yet hopped on the bandwagon.
7. Have an Online Presence
Having a nice store front will definitely help you with increasing your local foot traffic, however it will not be as effective if you don't improve your online presence. Alongside the next couple of sections, you should have a website to showcase your products, services, menus, and prices.
You can also use a website to add more features and improve your customer's overall buyers journey. For example a grocery store can add a feature on their website where they have the option to pre-order their groceries and only have to pick them up and pay for them.
8. Claim Your Google My Business (GMB)
Without a Google My Business you can't rank for local searches, or any for that matter. If you want to get more local foot traffic, you best bet is to build your presence online and work on your local SEO strategy. 87% of people with a mobile device use a search engine at least once every day.
A majority of people begin their buyer journey on a search engine like Google, and the challenge you will face is that Google's algorithm is a tough cookie that rates and ranks local searches. Local rankings depend on three things, it depends on your relevance to a persons search, your distance from their location, and your prominence with other searches.
If you don't claim your GMB, you cannot rank for local SEO and people will not find your business through the most common way -search engines.
GMB allows you to enter your name, addresse, and phone number (NAP). With this information, Google can begin to rank your business for local search results and people can more easily find your business.
9. Local Directories
50% of local mobile users are looking for information about a business. Local directories are a great way to both increase your visibility and local search ranking.
Local directories help you build backlinks which is another key factor in Google's ranking algorithm. The more quality backlinks you have, the better. Well known local directories are a great way to build your links and visibility at the same time.
Directories allow you to provide your NAP, business hours, images, and more. It is also a platform where customers can rate your business and leave comments about their experience. This is beneficial because, if maintained, people will be more likely to choose your business.
10. Hyper Local Keywords
Keywords in general are super important because they are another key factor in Google's algorithm. With hyper local keywords, you want to be as specific to your niche and location as possible.
For example, the keyword ‘Montreal Pizza' is not specific enough, for it to be a hyper local keyword it would have to be ‘Pizza in Griffintown' or something along these lines. The goal is to narrow down your keyword as much as possible so that when someone searches for a business like yours, in your location, you will have more chances of ranking in their SERPs.
11. Mobile Optimization
It is a well known fact that Google prioritizes any website that is mobile optimized. Why, you may ask? Well, Google is all about providing search results that will not only be the most useful but also provide the best user experience, hence why they choose the most popular pages.
So many people use their mobile devices to find new locations, even if they are already walking in the area. It has become a norm to want something, use a mobile device to get their answer, and go from there. Today, it is very common for people to automatically search for a store instead of walking around and finding it themselves.
The point is, if you want to increases your foot traffic, you have to follow the trends occurring in your location (or culture). If you don't, you are definitely missing out on a huge amount of visibility and money! So, make sure that your website is both mobile optimized and local SEO approved.
12. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great strategy for reaching out to customers and leads in an efficient way. You can send out mass emails to all of your customers to notify them about upcoming promotions, events, and more.
Email marketing is also great because you can target your buyer audience. You can send out an email to customers that live in your location, that are visiting it, leaving it, and more.
Furthermore, it's a great way to stay in touch with customers and show them that you care. You can send out emails to your customers that feature cool lookbooks, menus, galleries, videos, and blog posts.
If you really want to hook customers and increase local foot traffic, email marketing is a great way to grab their attention.