By Keegan Edwards —
There’s no better feeling than seeing a new customer walk through your door. They may duck into an aisle or stop to ask an associate for help. They may pick up a few things or leave the store with a large order. They might be a new millennial homeowner or someone who just took up gardening. It could be someone starting a home project, or they might have just acquired a new pet. No matter how they start buying from you, one thing is certain. Once a local person experiences the satisfaction of buying from a local hardware store, you likely just captured a customer for life.
So, how do you create this experience more often? What gets today’s customers through the door of a local hardware store for the first time?
It’s no secret that a quality business website is one of your most effective advertising tools. But what makes a website great? And is one practically within reach of a local hardware store?
The Customer Journey
Before discussing websites, let’s talk about the customer buying process. When the average person is thinking of buying something, it begins with a Google search that looks something like this, “DeWalt Tools near me,” “Weber Grills near me” or “plumbing supplies near me.”
Next, Google presents your potential customer with a range of options. The consumer sees ecommerce stores, big-box stores and, hopefully, local independent hardware store options.
Your potential customer checks each store’s website to see what they charge for the product of interest and whether it is in stock. They may read your reviews, check your hours or click on directions to see how far away the store is from their home.
Finally, that potential customer decides which store to drive to or whether they should order online and have the product shipped to their home.
With a few practical strategies, your website can win these customers for your business.
Google doesn’t rank your website by default. Many local hardware stores are surprised to learn that when customers search for what they sell, their business doesn’t appear. This leaves them vulnerable to losing customers to big-box stores and ecommerce websites that are just a click away.
Growing your Google rankings for the products you sell is a technical process, but it effectively captures new customers. This work is called local SEO, which stands for local Search Engine Optimization.
Part one of the practical website strategy that wins local customers is to have ongoing local SEO work done on your website. This ensures that people find your business when they search for what you sell.
If you would like to know how your business currently ranks for product searches in Google, contact New Media Retailer and we’ll send you a FREE Local SEO report.