This contributed post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a business, financial and legal professional before making any decisions. We may earn money or products from the affiliate links in this post.
There are so many businesses out there that depend on foot traffic. This refers to the number of people who physically walk into your business premises – be it a restaurant, retail store, or office space. A lot of you will make the majority of sales from foot traffic, so you need to find ways to give it a boost and ensure loads of people find their way to your business.
Arguably the most obvious way of doing this is with massive signs that attract the attention of people as they pass by. I’m not saying this isn’t a good idea, in fact, it’s something everyone needs to do. Make sure your company has excellent signage, so people see where your premises is and how to get there. But, along with the more obvious ideas, you need to also focus on some subtle ways to supercharge your foot traffic.
Purchase Facebook/Instagram Adverts
Adverts are a great way to lure people to your business premises. The question is; are they really that subtle? For me, it depends on the type of advert. I definitely think social media ones are a smart and subtle way of doing this – especially for shops/restaurants. This all comes from a personal experience I had when scrolling through my Instagram feed one day. I was just minding my own business when I passed an advert for a restaurant. The food in the photo looked terrific, and I saw that it was local to me. So, I instantly made a note to go and give it a visit whenever I had the chance.
This happens to loads of consumers every day as they spend a lot of time on social media. Facebook and Instagram are the best for this as the adverts are very subtle and you can tailor them to your target audience. As a result, they will only show up for people who are in a specific location, which means you draw in the local audience. Also, they’re incredibly cost-effective when compared to more traditional forms of advertising.
You can experiment with these ads and choose how much you want to invest in them. The great thing is, if they work and start to bring in more foot traffic, then you can boost the investment to see even more significant effects. It’s a smart way of persuading people to come to your premises without being too ‘in your face’ about it. Some people feel like traditional adverts are way overboard and feel like they’re being forced to go somewhere or do something. With social media ads, they blend into the platform, which makes them more effective.
Offer Free Parking
I don’t think there’s a city or town on the planet that has ample parking for all the people traveling to it. No matter where you go, there’s always the struggle to find somewhere to park your car – particularly on busy days when you go shopping. For many of your potential customers, they need a place to park without paying through the nose for it. As a result, you have a brilliant opportunity to subtly increase your foot traffic.
By offering free parking, you’re instantly luring more people to your business premises. Granted, some people might just use the parking and go elsewhere, but the chances are they will come into the premises at some point. It’s a particularly useful way of targetting consumers that are already interested in your business. They may see your store/restaurant/office and think it looks interesting, but the lack of parking stops them from going in. Now, they have a secure place to park their car without worrying about tickets or paying for parking in a multi-story parking lot.
This is already one of my favorite ideas, but you can take it to another level with parking signage and guidance systems. If you use a parking guidance system, then it lets you display how many spaces are free in your lot. You can put this sign up down the road from your business, which immediately alerts people to the free parking spaces. All of a sudden, you’ll see loads of cars pulling into the lot, which hugely increases the chances of foot traffic. This might lead you to purchase some traffic control items from a traffic cones supplier to help direct traffic and avoid injury or chaos. Plus, by advertising free parking on your website, it boosts the odds of someone deciding to come down as they see it as very convenient.
Make The Most Of Local SEO
SEO – or search engine optimization – is the ultimate business buzzword of the last 5 years. For the majority, it relates to your website and bringing traffic to it. Now, this will definitely help your company as it creates more awareness around your brand and can influence foot traffic as a result. For example, the more people you have on your website, the more chance there is of them looking at your location and coming down. It’s a method many restaurant businesses use as they draw people to their sites to see the menu, then things escalate from there.
But, we’re going to focus more on local SEO, which is ideal when it comes to foot traffic. The best way to describe local SEO is to set a small task for you. Load up Google right now and search for any type of business you want. I’ve just mentioned restaurants, so type in ‘restaurants near me’ and look at the results. There should be a small map at the top of the results with various business listings beneath it. These are the local results as they show all the restaurants near you and where they’re located. With excellent local SEO, your business will be the first listing that people see!
There are numerous ways to improve your local SEO, but the most important thing is to use Google My Business. This is a simple tool that registers your business with Google, meaning you can pinpoint your location on the map and have a listing that shows your address, contact info, reviews, and a brief description. Now, focus on improving your local SEO so you can get to the number one listing spot. Then, when people search for companies relating to your business and what you offer, you’ll be the first thing they see, with a lovely map pointing them directly to you. As a result, foot traffic will increase!
Provide Discount Coupons
Everyone loves a discount, and it can be a very subtle way of getting yourself into people’s minds and making them pay you a visit. These can be physical coupons that you leave in other shops (if they let you, I know some cafes allow this), post through letterboxes, or even hand out on the street. Or, they can be digital ones that people either load up on a mobile device and show you in your store, or they print out themselves at home.
Either way, the premise is the same; you entice people with a nice discount, so they come down to use it. If you opt for the digital approach, then you need to focus on SEO to drive traffic to your site. From here, people can download the coupon and use it however they like. I mentioned social media earlier, and this is a very effective platform for getting the word out there and providing people with links to coupons.
It’s subtle because you’re not really forcing anything down the throats of consumers. It’s just a simple little offering; take this coupon, and you get to save money, or leave it and do whatever you want. Most of the time, the lure of a discount will bring in loads of foot traffic, and it also helps establish loyal customers and spread the word while you’re at it!
Make Your Exterior Stand Out
In the introduction to this post, I spoke about using good signage outside your premises to direct foot traffic and grab people’s attention. Alongside this, you need to take the subtle approach of just improving the way your exterior looks, so it stands out from the crowd. This is particularly important if your business is in a bustling location and there are loads of competitors nearby.
I’m not saying you need to make your shop/restaurant/office look crazy and have loads of bright lights, so it’s screaming at consumers. Instead, you just need to make it look a little different. A funky design that wouldn’t look out of place on Pinterest is a great way to start. Excellent exterior design – complimented with big windows that show a brilliant interior design – will attract people to your premises.
This is by far and away one of the simplest ways you can attract foot traffic to your premises – particularly as they’re walking by. It’s also very effective at bringing in customers who probably never even thought of coming to your business before they saw your exterior design.
If you operate a business that depends on foot traffic, then these ideas will be revolutionary for you. Try them out, and you’ll soon see loads of people coming through your doors. Now, you just have to work on ensuring you convert the majority of them into paying customers!