Growing Your Customer Base Online

Businesses need a lot of things to run properly, but there’s one thing that they need above all others: customers. Without a target audience for the services or products your business provides, you don’t have a business at all. And if you can’t reach that audience, then you might as well not have one.

Here’s another thing that businesses of all kinds need: smart and effective digital marketing. Businesses need digital marketing for the simple reason that digital marketing is a way to achieve that all-important goal we just talked about: finding customers.

Owners of some types of businesses may be resistant to this truth. Sure, we do a lot online now, but is digital marketing really the right solution for a local business that relies a lot on walk-ins and loyal regulars?

Believe it or not, yes. Because of the way that modern customers use the internet, even the most local of businesses must have an online presence. Here’s how to use that online presence to grow your customer base.

Make your business easy to find

How do your customers find you? Regardless of what sort of business you run or where your business is located, there’s a pretty good chance your customers find your business on the internet.

The rise of local search features on popular search engines like Google has caused the internet to replace the local phone book as the primary way in which customers find local businesses. Customers check out their options online before they shop — or, in some cases, while they shop. With so many Americans toting smartphones around, checking for nearby stores is easier than strolling around and window shopping. And even those folks who seem to be wandering aimlessly may have decided which way to walk by checking out Google Maps or another map or search site. The days of needing a prime location on Main Street are waning, and they’re being replaced by the days of needing a prime location on the search engine results page (SERP).

Enter search engine optimization, or “SEO.” SEO is the art and science of making your business’ web presence as appealing as possible to the computer programs and secret algorithms that determine where on the SERP your business falls for certain keywords.

SEO is complex, but it’s incredibly important. Business should outsource the task, explain the pros at a top Denver SEO firm. Trust the experts. They’ll know what you don’t have time to learn. This includes the latest research and ideas about how to sweet-talk Google’s super-secret algorithm, the right keyword density, the ways in which you can balance location-based and regular search optimization, and much more.

Putting ads where your customers will see them

Local and national businesses have always relied on advertising to get customers. From simple signage outside of a business to coupons in local newspapers, ads are a proven way to grow your customer base.

But what do you do when fewer customers are walking by your shop or reading the paper? Simple: you put your ads online.

SEO experts can help you get ads on the major search engine websites. You can use your ads to target certain keywords, supplementing your SERP position even as you try to improve it. You can also use email newsletter lists to reach customers, as well as banner ads and other forms of online advertising.

Your business cannot afford to ignore the powerful ways in which the internet can help you grow your customer base. If you don’t use the internet this way, you can be sure that your competitors will. Invest in quality digital marketing services and take your business to the next level.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.