Transforming Web Traffic into Foot Traffic

Transforming Web Traffic into Foot Traffic

ENT_traffic2It’s the holy grail for bricks-and-mortar businesses with a Web presence: The online prospect who checked out your Website comes into your physical location for a closer look at your products and services. The time and money invested in Web marketing pays off when an order is placed, and the cybersurfer officially becomes a “customer.”

Getting there isn’t always easy, thanks to the huge number of Websites out there that are vying for the attention of fickle eyeballs that can get to a competitor’s site with just one mouse click.

To make sure your site doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, try using these five solid strategies for turning Web traffic into foot traffic:

Don’t let them slip away. One of the best ways to get customers to take the next step and purchase your products or services is by capturing their information (with their permission of course) before they can click on over to a competitor’s site. At V.I.P Auto Appearance Center, Vice President Charles Mack Jr., knows his firm has to go the extra mile to get online customers into the firm’s physical location in Clinton, Md.

“We want to know exactly where they come from, what search engine they use and what they’re doing when they get to our Website,” says Mack, whose luxury auto detailing firm uses an analytics program to track customers and a prominent “join our mailing list” offer on its front page. “That gives us the ability not only to track visitors, but also to send out information to them within a day or two in hopes that they’ll turn into actual customers.”

Offer specials for online customers.
For cybersurfers who are shopping around the D.C. area for a reliable auto-detailing firm to polish up their cars, Mack came up with a “V.I.P. Guest Pass” that first-time customers could use to get a free vehicle hand-washing with no obligation. Using verbiage like “act now” and “register for this offer today,” the auto-detailing firm has been able to entice customers to get behind the wheel and drive to its physical location for service.

“People just love free stuff,” says Mack. “We’ve found that the best way to get them in the door is by giving them a guest pass and by following up with the excellent service.”

Leave them wanting more. The Web may be packed with information, but that’s no reason to overload potential customers on their first visit to your site. Instead, give them a “taste” of what your company has to offer in terms of products and services, and leave them wanting more. If you run an accounting firm, for example, you might want to post a 2-minute video that focuses on three of the IRS’ newest tax-saving deductions.

Wrap up the video with a call to action to “make an appointment to come in today to learn everything else you need to know about maximizing your deductions for your 2009 taxes.” That’s right — the same tactic that has already been proven effective in television and radio advertising can also be applied successfully on the Web.