Q&A: Small Business Guide to Spring Cleaning
This article was written in partnership with Nextdoor.
Nextdoor and Socius Marketing recently teamed up to share some digital spring cleaning tips and tricks for small home improvement and home service business owners. Below, we’ve boiled down the conversation between Doug Schatz, of Socius Marketing, and Danielle Styskal, of Nextdoor, to highlight the key takeaways you’ll need to enhance your online presence and outpace your competition this year.
Let’s get into it.
Why should we care about local marketing?
Businesses are a big part of the local community. Neighbors depend on local businesses for the goods and services that they need. And, likewise, businesses depend on local customers to keep them afloat. Businesses that implement local marketing strategies will stand out from the competition by reaching the most valuable and closest customers, their neighbors.
How can your Nextdoor free business page help you reach those customers?
Once you have a free business page, you’ll have access to Nextdoor’s Business Solutions which will enable you to take part in neighborhood conversations. Contribute to those conversations by offering tips and solutions to frequently asked spring cleaning questions that are related to your businesses, products, or services. You can also post helpful community resources, like a master to-do list or a guide that can help neighbors know how to conquer all their spring cleaning goals in a manageable way, or neighborhood discounts.
Why is now the right time to clean up/enhance my business?
Specifically around this time of year, Nextdoor sees a big spike in mentions of spring cleaning and spring cleaning-related topics, including recommendations for service providers to help with spring cleaning needs. We know that two in three neighbors participate in spring cleaning each year. As a business owner, now is the time to focus on that consumer demand. Neighbors are starting to consider these home maintenance and improvement projects during this time, so this is really your opportunity to step in and meet the moment when they’re thinking about your business and how you can help them achieve their home goals this season.
What are the top three tips you’d give for spring cleaning from a digital perspective?
The first tip is to take inventory of your online presence and ensure that the information you share across different platforms and channels is consistent. This includes updating any changes in business hours or other relevant information so customers can reach you easily.
The second tip is to claim your Google Business Profile, which is free and easy to do. This ensures that your business shows up on Google Maps and in Google search, which can help improve your visibility from an SEO perspective.
And finally, the third tip is to continue to invest in your reputation, as a good reputation helps ensure that your business is top-of-mind when neighbors are searching for spring cleaning services. This includes collecting and responding to recommendations from happy customers, as well as making sure that your recommendations across all your digital channels are up-to-date and reflective of your business.
What is the importance of positive recommendations in business?
Word-of-mouth is wonderful for business, but having those positive recommendations waiting for folks to find is the best insurance policy. Customers tend to stay loyal to a business when they receive positive recommendations and reviews, which in turn generates more referrals and creates more business for the company.
Business pages with recommendations have up to 19 times the page views compared to those without recommendations. 78% of neighbors are more likely to trust a small business when it’s recommended by a neighbor on Nextdoor.
How about “Faves” on a Nextdoor business page?
A “Fave” is the primary action that a neighbor can take on your business page and the number of “Faves” you have helps you rank higher in search results.
What should businesses do to ensure a positive user experience online?
88% of potential customers will look up a business before calling them, and what they see online can influence whether they choose to contact the business or not. Businesses should make sure that their website has an engaging and professional design and is responsive, meaning it adapts to whatever device is used to visit it. Website users should also be able to navigate to whatever they need within a few seconds. Be sure that your phone number is click-to-call and that calls to action are easy to find. You should also read online reviews or recommendations to ensure your online reputation is strong and encourage customers to leave feedback to create a healthy customer loop.
We recommend businesses search for themselves to get a gut check on their own website and ask themselves if you’d hire your business based on your website.
Why is having a mobile-friendly website important for businesses?
66% of all searches are done on mobile devices, and this trend is only going to increase. With that, it’s important to provide a great experience from a mobile perspective across all channels. Businesses that fail to do so may appear unprofessional, leading to missed opportunities.
How often should businesses update their websites?
Websites should be updated every three to four years. Your website is a depreciating asset over time. Standards for website design change as technology and user behavior evolve, and businesses need to ensure that their website is up to modern design standards to provide a positive user experience. It is also important to have strong, up-to-date landing pages and calls to action on the website to guide users.
How important is it to make data-driven decisions in business?
Making data-driven decisions is becoming increasingly important in business, as demonstrated by the increased demand for home services companies since the start of the pandemic. It’s important to track metrics and website analytics to know how many visits, page and profile views, mentions, or recommendations a business has on relevant platforms like Nextdoor and Google. Paying attention to these metrics is crucial to understanding what’s contributing to a business’s success (and marketing strategies that are worth investing in) and identifying areas that need improvement.
What should businesses do to prioritize and harness leads in the current market?
With the service economy growing at a slower rate than in previous years, there are fewer lead opportunities and less low-hanging fruit than before. Smart operators must prioritize and harness every single lead that comes into their pipeline, regardless of the channel it comes through, and provide an incredible customer experience throughout the journey to continue to grow.
What is the importance of content creation for growth?
Content creation is a big catalyst for growth from an organic lead perspective. We recommend sticking to a consistent content-sharing schedule (whether it be through a blog or social media channels) and if you can’t do it yourself, find a partner or trusted agency that can help with content creation.
Should small businesses send out seasonal offers and discounts?
Yes, but be selective and intentional about when you’re offering discounts, and don’t do it too often to the point where people will think, “Ok, I’m going to wait to purchase this service, it’ll surely be on sale again in a month or so.” Set up a calendar to align your sale calendar for an entire year.
What are the six key spring-cleaning tips?
- Reach customers where they’re searching for your services by utilizing solutions like Nextdoor and Google Business Profile.
- Clean up your digital and physical storefronts, as they inform how consumers make buying decisions.
- Provide a good online and mobile experience for customers.
- Invest in your reputation by encouraging customers to recommend or “Fave” your business after providing service and take negative feedback constructively.
- Focus on data-driven decision-making to inform how you spend your marketing dollars and understand the metrics that drive your business from a digital perspective.
- Lay out clear goals, not irrational ones, and make plans for achieving them. Also, be kind to yourself.
What sets Socius Marketing apart from others in the agency space?
We focus on ROI-based solutions. That means drilling down to what’s your cost per lead by channel, how many visitors are coming to your website, and ultimately, how many opportunities are you converting from a digital perspective and how many are falling through your funnel. It’s so important that you focus on converting every visitor that comes to your website, every phone call that comes to your business, and every email that comes through the forms that you have throughout the web because if you don’t convert those opportunities, you’re just handing the business over to your competitors. As a team, we have over a hundred team members that specialize in different focus areas, ranging from custom website design to digital ad solutions to social media management. We focus on bringing experts to the table to help tailor solutions for every small business owner who’s out there.
So, are you ready to take your business to the next level this spring? To get started, claim your free Nextdoor Business Page, then claim your free digital spring cleaning assessment with Socius Marketing here.
What sets Nextdoor apart from other platforms?
There are three pillars.
- First is trust. When you join Nextdoor, they’ll ensure that you’re connected to real people in the neighborhoods that matter to you.
- There’s the local perspective. Neighbors come to Nextdoor with a local mindset. They’re thinking about the community, the topics and the issues that impact them very locally, and as a neighbor on Nextdoor and as a business on Nextdoor, you can reach out to them instantly.
- And, then proximity. You’re automatically connected to everyone who’s nearby, so you can build real-world connections that are so valuable to your business. And, as we talk about spring cleaning, these are big differentiators that will help you reach your closest customers.
Watch Our Spring Cleaning Webinar
Interested in learning more about best practices for spring cleaning your business; tips for catching customers’ attention when they’re in need of your services; and resources to help your business grow during spring cleaning and beyond? Watch the entire webinar replay at your leisure below.