Lets face it, we all want websites that attract customers. This is why we make them, maintain them, and regularly tweak them. Showing up high on searches, getting clicks and traffic into our websites is just part of the process. Once at your site, people need to find content that engages them, makes them want to explore, and ultimately gets them to commit to becoming a customer.
If you have spent any time building a web or social media presence you know how difficult this can be. Well here it is, a handy list of simple things you can do to help convert curious browsers to committed customers!
Website: Have one, and be sure it works!
First things first, in this media driven world you NEED a website. One that is yours and one that represents what your business stands for. That being said, you do not have to write everything yourself or even make the site, but it should give the people browsing a real look at what you offer, with a glimpse of your personality.
Dead end links are just that, a dead end. Every link, page, and clickable actions must work. If it does not you run the very real risk that fickle web viewers will get bored and find something else to look at! Keep your site working. This means look at it regularly from the perspective of a potential customer. Do all the parts work correctly? Does the way you get from one area to the next make sense? Are you communicating clearly who you are and what you offer?
Social Media, find where the people are and go there!
Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are the big social media four. Over 4.5 billion users show up on these sites every month! That is huge, and reality is, your potential customers are out there searching for there next dream hunting experience. If you are not there, you are missing a huge opportunity.
Facebook is the big one, with over 2 billions users monthly, followed by YouTube with over 1.5 billion users, Instagram at more than 800 million, and then Twitter with over 330 million users. These sites are networks based on personal interests, so it is actually fairly easy to find your market and target in on those people that may become your customers. Once you start to connect with people who have interest in you, then you are able to use social media to drive that interest up. Once interest is up, you can funnel people to your website for specific information on your business.
A picture is worth a 1000 words … video is more like a 1 000 000!
Not sure if you noticed but in the big four social sites listed above, they are very visual. The more high quality pictures and video the more traffic you will develop. As you develop these pictures and videos for your website, understand that cross posting into as many sites as possible only makes finding your customers easier. Yes it is work that often you have little time, energy or expertise at but in the long run it is well worth the effort.
Nothing gets people curious about your business as pictures of big game, happy hunters and great looking facilities. Paint a social media picture that draws people in and your schedule will soon be filled season after season.
If current customers are happy, be sure to let others know!
Recommendations are powerful if you can get them from notable names in the outdoor industry. No matter if it is a local legend or a world famous celebrity, if they loved their time with you get it written down, or even on video. Once you have a good recommendation tell people why this one matters. Outline who the recommendation is from and why they are perceived as an expert in your field. Sometimes that will be all someone needs, to know that a highly respected person likes your place.
Another way to give people comfort is with reviews. Be sure to highlight the good ones and focus on those, build from a public view of strength. If you get poor reviews from someone, start a conversation, find out why and correct it. Customer service is something that can turn a poor review into a win if people see that you care about the experiences people have on their hunt. Never ignore feedback, always interact and do so with personality and care. Build your business one virtual conversation at a time if you have to!
Trade Show where the committed customers already gather!
Of all the places that are gold mines for you, business trade shows are one of the few places where almost everyone you see could be a customer for you. They have already committed to arrive at a large venue, pay good money, and wander seemingly miles indoors to find good stuff to research, buy or learn about. Your business could be there, and should be there! If you look at only the SHOT SHOW, SCI show and the Great American Outdoor show for an idea, over 250 000 people attend those three shows alone! Sure you might not be near them, but I am willing to bet their is a show near you that does all the work to draw potential customers in for you. You just have to show up with a booth and enough energy to meet people for the duration of the event.
Online Directories, if your competition is there why are you not?
Get yourself listed! Website promoting hunts, guides, lodges, and outfitters are out on the internet. You goal is to be easy to find, so get listed, and make sure those links to your sites are live and work correctly. You never know when a random search by a person you would have never targeted ends up on a directory you barely know about, and then results in a booking you did not expect. That is how the internet can work for you, if you scatter the seeds of information far and wide. A word of caution, if you have to pay for these listing, be sure that the return on investment is something you can live with!
None of this matters if your content is not great!
We will end where we started. If your website is lacking not much of the above matters! As you think about setting some of these suggestions up, be sure that the foundation of how you interact with your customers is in top shape. Customers should find your site with easy navigation, great content, and compelling reasons to book with you. Search Engines should find your site with those key words that will drive your site into the searches that happen. When your site gets set up, think customers first, search engines second. Be sure the experience is topnotch and your web and social media strategy will work at driving curious browsers into committed customers.
Hopefully these ideas give you something to think about, and something to implement as well. If you are not sure where to start, drop us a line and lets make a plan together!
Steve McLean “The Outdoorsman Copywriter”