Florist Touch: Marketing Guide
This guide covers all areas to increase your sales and presence - both online and your local customer base. It will prove invaluable in achieving your goals.
For a better understanding, we have provided a background chapter. However, if you are short for time, you can skip to the action section.
Chapter 1: Background
Google and keywords
You will hear terms thrown around like "SEO" (Search Engine Optimisation) - all it really comes down to is being found on Google when your potential customers seek your service.
The first step to understand "SEO" and areas within, begins with the fact that Google wants to remain popular, and in order to do that, they must provide the most relevant results. If they do not provide relevant results, users may begin to use their competitors like Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, and so on.
So we know that Google wants to provide the best service in order to remain the number one search engine, but how can they tell a good website, from a bad/irrelevant one?
They use many techniques, some of which include:
- Recording how long a customer stays on the website after visiting (also named 'dwell time'). If the customer returns to the search results quickly (within five-seconds), google knows and records it (this is known as a 'Bounce Rate'). If a customer stays for two minutes or more, they will know this too, and record.
- How fast the website loads. If the website is recorded as loading within 5 seconds for the customer, this is better than 30 seconds.
Hundreds of other metrics are used, but all you really need to be concerned with is making sure your customers:
- Find what they are looking for, quickly and easily.
- Have enough content (text, images, video..) to take in, so that they stay on the site for a longer time (at least a minute).
- Enjoy using the site.
- End up achieving your particular goal(s), such as: contacting you/purchasing a product/signing up to a mailing list/sharing the site etc.
What is 'The Top 10' and why is it important?
Every search performed has 10 results on the first page. Statistics show that few people venture to the second page, so being within the top 10 is important. As an aside point, Google often changes the types of results (such as showing you local businesses from your location. More on that later..)
How do you get to be within the top 10?
Before answering this, we have to understand that in most circumstances, having a site positioned on page 1, compared to page 2 can make a big financial difference. Since we have a financial-based competitive driving force to be within the top 10, means it is difficult, but not impossible to achieve.
In the past, businesses begun 'cheating' their way to the top. So Google had to wise up and make it more difficult for cheaters. Over time, this cat and mouse game forced Google to rely on more factors, with the most influencing factor in displaying websites which were the most useful, relevant and used.
We have outlined the most influential factors in a websites position:
- On average, how long a customer visits and stays on the website (bounce rate).
- The amount of other websites linking to that website (suggesting the website is more trustworthy).
- The relevance of the text copy (if a
florists website contained a lot of text about restaurants, this would harm it's ranking).
- How fast the website loads.
- How easy the website is to use on a mobile device (such as a phone, tablet..).
- How many times the website was clicked in the search results, to the number of times it was viewed. (In other words, when displaying your website on the search, it should be legible and catch the customers attention so they visit).
- Having the exact keyword on the site ('Florists in Bath').
Keywords - what are they and why are they essential?
While google is using advanced ways to perform searches, their computers lack the ability to fully understand a written paragraph. Instead, they rely on exact (or close) phrases/words. When a search is performed for 'Florists in Bath', websites which contain an exact, or close combination of those words/phrase will then be matched, and thus, google will include the site in the results.
In our example, a florist in Bath will far increase their chances of being found if they use the exact, or very close keyword of 'Florist in Bath' on their website.
We can now apply what we know to our own websites.
Chapter 2: Action plan
Your Florist Touch site is already optimised so it performs well on google, but to achieve greater sales, we recommend going through the checklist.
1. Make a list of 5-10 most important keywords
Knowing what keywords to use is half the battle. For example, if a florist in Southampton only uses 'Southampton Florist' on their content, they may miss out sales because some customers are searching for 'Hampshire Florist', (since Southampton is within Hampshire). If you provide wedding services, a good bet would be 'Southampton wedding flowers'. Contact us to source personalised keywords.
2. Use your keywords in the right places
Now that you have the most important keywords, use them throughout your site, both in your body text and titles.
Tip: Your keywords will be more powerful if you use them in titles, so on your homepage, make sure one of your titles includes the location of your florist e.g. 'Blossoms florist in Hampshire, Southampton'
3. Get customer feedback and adapt your content
We know from the background chapter that the longer your visitors stay, the better. So to check, ask your customers for honest feedback, both positive and negative. They might say that the home page had too little, or too much text on, or that they couldn't find what they were looking for. By receiving honest feedback, you can adapt your content, thereby increasing your Google position.
4. Create, or enhance your Google Places
You will likely have used Google Places hundreds of times - if you have searched for a restaurant/shop/etc, it often comes up before the websites. If you aren't sure you have one, chances are you haven't. Contact us to create a Google Places.
Once you have a Google Places, complete these tasks:
- Add good new photos of your shop, items and staff.
- Add an accurate, concise description.
- Make sure your details are correct (opening times, contact etc).
- Check the location place marker is correct.
- Make sure you have at least 2 reviews - you can encourage Facebook users to add a review by linking them.
- For a more detailed guide, see Google's own recommendations.
5. Additional, effective actions
- Backlinks make a difference. A backlink is a link from another website that links to yours. So for example, if you visit Yell.co.uk, you can add your shop to it's free listing. You could also contact other businesses and ask them to link to your shop.
- When adding text content, make sure you separate large blocks of texts by using paragraphs. This makes it easier to digest and more likely to be read. You can even verify it by using a readability tester.
- Both Google Search and customers respond well to different media, such as video. Consider recording a video once a month as a feature and add it to your site and/or Facebook. You will gain greater attention and more shares. It doesn't need to look professional, just informative and have value. Subjects include: Planting tips, advice on wedding booking, promotions, new items, news about your shop/staff/services. Contact us if you'd like any assistance to create and publish.
- Make sure your photos look vivid and sharp. We have seen that florist customers don't expect professional photos, but they do prefer vivid colours and style. No21 Flowers is a good example of well-captured flowers. Contact us for photography tips.
- Provide plenty of contact information, to increase the trustworthiness of your shop. We suggest adding at minimum:
- Landline phone
- Mobile phone
- Facebook is extremely powerful in both advertising and in gaining a new customers trust. Since it is a social media beacon, it is centred around interaction. This is a large subject - if you are new to Facebook, we recommend the official getting started guide from Facebook.com. Once you are ready, we recommend this specialised florist guide for Instagram (though it is applicable to your Facebook feed, too). Lastly, we suggest learning from others and how they use Facebook to promote. Great examples include:
Driftwood and Daisies, Violets Florist, No 21 Flowers, Bay Tree Florist, Bembridge Flower Shop.
- E-mail marketing is a great way to stay in touch with customers and control sales. If you are entering a quiet period, you can login to Florist Touch and select 'Marketing' then 'Mailing list'. This section displays your subscribers. Customers are subscribed when they place an order online. To send a marketing email, select 'Mail shots'. We strongly recommend adding links and informative information on the content. Contact us for e-mail marketing assistance.