Businesses are now spending an average of $75,000 a year on digital marketing strategies. While this can seem like a lot, between building a social media presence, maintaining a website, and buying ads, it all adds up fast.
Thankfully there are some ways you can drive up traffic to your cigar shop website without driving up the costs.
Taking advantage of some simple search engine optimization tactics will allow you to ensure that when your customers search for you, your shop comes up first. Search engines rank websites by a number of factors and knowing which ones matter the most can give you an advantage.
If you’re trying to improve your search rankings for your cigar shop, take advantage of these 8 tips to optimize your search engine results.
1. Do Some Keyword Research
Great keywords used frequently are the first tool in getting to the top of your customers’ search results. Start out by blindly trying to find your shop on google without using your name. Take note of which keywords give you the highest results.
If you see your competitors come up pretty often, take note of which terms they use in the keywords and description of their cigar shop. Don’t try to copy them directly, but see if you can come up with similar competing phrases to start using.
Knowing what your competitors are doing right can prepare you for writing your keywords and phrases.
2. Use Local Keywords
Search engines have never been smarter than they are now. When you search “cigar shop” you likely find results catered to your region. This is because search engines crawl through your cookies or previous searches if they can access them.
This helps them to make a guess of where you’re located so that they can give you the most relevant responses to your search.
Give yourself an extra boost by including local neighborhoods, zip codes, landmarks, and your city name in your metatext and descriptions.
By giving search engines an idea of where you’re located, you can ensure that when customers search for a cigar shop near you, you’ll rank high in the results.
3. Write Content
If search engines love one thing, it’s sites that post fresh content with frequency. Get to know how SEO works and you’ll see that there are a variety of ways to draw more eyes to your content.
The best way to get content out to your customers is to write a blog connected to your site.
A blog serves multiple functions. You can communicate with customers directly through their comments on your writing. You can also build brand authority as readers come to depend on your site for information and share your writing.
Brand authority comes into play when search engines rank your site. If you’ve been reposted on reputable industry sites or linked by enough users, you’ll show that you’re relevant to readers and get ranked highly.
And if you post frequently enough, search engines will show respect by ranking you highly.
4. Create Video Content
Within the next few years, video content will account for 80% or more of all internet traffic. Users like to use social media and look to sites for entertainment.
Even a cigar shop’s website or social media profile can become a place for entertainment if the content is engaging enough.
Make short, creative, shareable content that caters to your clientele’s style. If you have a sense of humor, don’t be afraid to show it off. Short clever videos can go viral, no matter what industry they’re centered on.
5. Use Links Wisely
Within your posts and your blog, be sure that you’re linking to other pages, blog posts, and products within your site. This will add to your clickthrough rate, which will help search engines see how strong your web presence is.
Link to reputable journals, great Cigar Aficionado articles, or other blogs related to your industry. Create a community by linking between different sites.
Think about reaching out to other sites or companies offering complementary products to yours. Write to them and ask if they want to trade links. You might be surprised how easy it is to start sharing your clientele.
6. Design Mobile First
As mobile browsing has surpassed desktop browsing, sites need to be sure they’re prepared to look their best on phones and tablets. The market for laptop and desktop browsing is shrinking. More and more, laptops and desktops are reserved for work, while mobile devices are used for everything else.
Your site should load easily on phones and the menu should be simple and intuitive to use. If users have to start flipping their phones around, zooming in and out to figure out your menu, you might be due for a redesign of your cigar shop site.
If someone is trying to buy American Spirit cigarettes online and hits your site, they need to be able to complete the order from their phone in just a few clicks. Otherwise, you could be losing business with bad design.
7. Use Search Directories
Google My Business, Yahoo! Local, and Yelp are on the frontlines of introducing new customers to you.
If you haven’t claimed your business listing and you’re on these directories, there might be some faulty information out there. The hours or location of your cigar shop could be incorrectly listed. Your name could be spelled wrong.
All of these things will impede the amount of in-store traffic you get.
Be sure you’re taking advantage of all of these search directories, adding good descriptions and strong photos of the interior of your shop.
8. Get Some Reviews
Users now trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from people they know. If you have a mailing list with some of your best customers, ask them to write reviews in exchange for discounts.
Track how many of these coupons come back to you so you can measure how well this campaign works and tweak it for next time.
Your Next Cigar Shop SEO Campaign Can Be Free
By following these 8 tips, you can get the search engine results you want and increase sales. Most of these efforts can be implemented by you or your in-house design team with just a few clicks.
If you’re looking for other ways to increase traffic to your cigar site, check out our guide to local SEO leads.