When customers are in the research phase of the sales cycle, how will they find you?
The research phase of the Buyer Journey is a stage that all customers will go through before making a purchase (we discuss this in greater detail in a previous blog post). It is a safe bet that many (if not all) of these customers are doing their research digitally.
It’s not only crucial to achieve a level of visibility online; it’s also essential to stay on top of what your competitors are currently doing to attract the same audience.
How can you do this without being overwhelmed?
This blog post will explore 16 essential tactics that will help your company get found during the research phase by the right clients.
Tactics to Use During the Research Phase
Claim your Google My Business Listing: Google My Business is by far the easiest way to generate online visibility. When you register your business on this platform, you can show up in Google Map Searches, which is beneficial, especially for local targeting. Google My Business also allows for customer reviews. This is crucial information to provide during the research phase, as it boosts trust from customers.
Optimizing your Site for Local Search: Making changes to your website to target local customers is another excellent way to increase being found during the research phase. They do not have to be significant changes, either! Statistics show that four out of five consumers include local businesses as part of their research. Creating locally-focused content and ensuring that your business information (including your address and phone number) is consistent in all your online platforms is a start.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Pay-per-click advertising is an effective way to expand your reach and hone in on the audience you want to attract. Platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads allow you to target your audience based on their demographic traits and location. You also have the opportunity to show up on keyword search results that your audience might commonly be using.
Instagram Stories & Reels: Publishing content on your Instagram timeline is the bare minimum nowadays. Provide your audience with more insights into your business using Instagram Stories and Reels. Utilize Stories in your account to nurture your followers and create Reels (with relevant content) to attract new ones.
Create, engage and moderate through Facebook Groups: Facebook Groups are different from Facebook Pages. Groups take on a more holistic approach to audience engagement. Followers and existing customers can communicate directly with your company with Facebook Groups. From discussing services/products to getting access to exclusive news, Facebook Groups are a great way to create a deeper connection with your audience – more so than what you can start with your Facebook Page.
Use great images and include ALT TEXT: Including alt text in your website image is often overlooked, but it’s essential for good SEO. This element is designed to help people who can’t see images to understand what they are about. It’s a fantastic feature that allows inclusivity among users. Aside from this, it also helps with SEO. Search crawlers cannot technically “see” the images on your website. Instead, they rely on this alt text to understand the context of the image. That is why it’s important to include alt text in your images. It’s an excellent opportunity to be discovered on another tab on SERPs.
Using Hashtags on Instagram and Social: Ever wonder what those hashtags do for your posts? This connects your content to specific topics, events or conversations. While hashtags are an effective way for new users to discover you, it’s wise to use them wisely.
Secure your Website: Securing your website is essential if you are looking to build trust with your customers. Adding an SSL Certificate indicates to users that any information they provide to your website is safe and confidential. Recently, Google has included SSL as part of their search engine algorithm, which can ultimately affect your website’s rank.
Creating a Social Media Contest: When done correctly, social media contests have the capability of not only generating brand exposure for your business but it’s also a fantastic way to increase your lead generation. One way to do this is to ask users to provide their email address as a form of entry. Do not forget to include an opt-in checkbox as part of the form! This will filter subscribers from the general entry pool.
Listing your Company Website in all the Right Places: When other businesses or content creators mention your business on their website, it indicates to their followers that you are a reputable company. Aside from generating a sense of “social currency,” getting backlinks from other sites increases your site’s SEO value and the likelihood of appearing higher on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Conduct proper On-Page SEO for your website: Many of the tips that we listed on this blog are tactics that help your SEO performance. It’s also essential to make tweaks and changes to your website content to further increase your SEO. Polishing on-site elements like your Title Tag, Meta-Descriptions, and headers are ways to improve your searchability.
Influencer Marketing: Research shows that influencer marketing works. This tactic increases a business’ brand awareness while allowing it to reach new audiences. This approach has also shifted in past years – businesses no longer need to partner with influencers who have a massive follower base to get a good return. Micro-influencers have the potential to reach an incredibly engaged audience. This increases your likelihood of being noticed by a new audience.
Creating Infographics for Pinterest: Believe it or not, Pinterest is a fantastic platform to generate brand awareness for your business. Individuals on this platform have a higher intent to buy because they are more engaged. Sharing content-rich information through an infographic is an effective way to capture the attention of this audience.
Guest Blogging: While it may seem counterintuitive to write content on other businesses’ sites, it is an effective way to get new exposure to an entirely new audience. Partnering with another website increases your knowledge and authority in the given topic. It’s also a great way to increase your backlinks.
The research phase of the Buyer Journey can mean a hit-or-miss for your business. Some users may turn into customers while others might not. The best way to increase the likelihood of choosing you is to make your business as visible as possible. The tactics that we listed above are a great way to get started.
If you need a full strategy or more insights on how to maximize your online visibility, our team is ready to help you! Contact our team to learn more.