Market Your Taxi Business Online -5 Ideas
When a customer wishes to hail a cab in today’s society, what do they do? Most consumers, if in their home city at the time, will launch the app for their preferred taxi company. That is of course, if their preferred cab company has one. If their preferred cab company does not have an app or if they are traveling, they are still going to reach for their smartphone – to look up the phone number to call a taxi. Isn’t that what we all do?
What does this mean for your marketing your taxi business?
Simply. You need to market your taxi business online.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about the current online presence of your business.
1. Is your website professional, relevant and customer friendly?
Upon looking for a number to call for a taxi, most customers will end up on your website. A professional, easy to use and informative website makes for a great online experience. Your website does not have to have a lot of pages and be outrageously high-end in order to be distinguishable. What you need is to have a clean and sharp looking site that tells your customers what you offer, why you offer it and why they should use you over other taxi and transportation offerings – your main features and benefits. Highlight any unique offerings and promotions. Try to differentiate yourself so that you become top of mind for customers. Is your logo professionally rendered? Does your website reflect your brand in a manner that instills confidence?
Your website needs to have a responsive design -that’s a fancy way of saying it needs to automatically format to fit on mobile device screens. This matters, not only so people can read it clearly, but because non-responsive websites won’t rank well on Google. Use this handy tool from Google to test if your website is mobile friendly.
2. Are you on Google MyBusiness?
Google MyBusiness is a useful online tool for your taxi business. You can keep your current business information up to date for your customers who google your business. You can have details such as phone number, search listings and maps, even photos of your taxi cabs, happy customers, screenshots of your online app. Another feature that Google MyBusiness has is a review section where your customers can review you and you can respond to the review to have a two-way conversation. The picture attached to this blog article shows an example taxi company Google MyBusiness listing. The listing helps make your business look professional, with links to your website, phone information and other helpful information. It can even accommodate direct text messaging from the consumer to your dispatch centre! Sign up here for Google MyBusiness.
3. Do you have a taxi app?
Uber and other ride sharing companies have changed the expectations of today’s consumers. A growing percentage of the population will no longer call for a taxi, as they have been educated that apps make their lives easier and get things done faster. Why call for a cab on a busy night, listen to the phone ring 20 times or be put on hold by a hurried call-taker, when you can just press a button? Make sure your taxi company is competitive and relevant by having a taxi app available, branded to your business. Once a customer has your app, the chances of using your services repeatedly will increase dramatically, while saving you call-taking and dispatch labor.
4. How active are you on social media?
If you’re not already on social media it would be a good idea for you to get started. It’s one of the most cost-efficient ways to get your business online and to interact with your customers. Choose 2 or 3 social channels that you believe will have the biggest impact -likely FaceBook, Instagram and Google +. What you want to make sure you do when you’re on social media is respond to comments and questions promptly; after all it is a social tool. Here is a helpful article from FaceBook on how to set up a FaceBook Business Page. This article, by HootSuite, explains how to set up a Google+ Business Page and why its important. Here is a guide on setting up an Instagram Business Page.
5. What about a blog? Are you actively blogging relevant content?
Blogging about relevant topics about your business is a great way to reach your customers and encourage them to use your services. Educating your customers through your blog can help your reputation and keep your customers coming back for good, relevant content. As your business is 100% local, its relatively easy to earn high search rankings by posting helpful, relevant content. Use blogging to add value to your tourist traffic by writing about things to do and places to see in your area. For local customers, write about the local scene, such as special bar and restaurant events, entertainment, etc. Publish your latest blog article on your Google MyBusiness page to really stand out (takes less than 5 minutes) as well as on your FaceBook and other social sites. Offer a special promo code that contains a discount for app-booked trips at certain times, such as $5.00 off for Happy Hour Thursdays! HootSuite offers an excellent way to automate your blog publishing across multiple sites at once, including scheduled releases. For example, you may want to blog about that Happy Hour special on Thursday mornings or launch a bar run special on next Friday. Here is a signup to a free version of HootSuite that can handle this.
Most Taxi Companies Do Not Market Their Taxi Business Online Effectively
If we’re being honest, the online presence of the vast majority of taxi fleets is lacking. Its not an area of expertise that was required over the long history of this business. In the not-too-distant past, it was a simple matter of being on top of the yellow pages. Taxi companies would typically maintain thousands of dollars in yellow page costs, making sure they were ranked as high as possible atop the yellow pages, not only in their own town, but in a dozen or more surrounding cities or towns. Often, they would use different names in every listing! Whatever it took to be up near the top! If you missed your yellow pages cutoff deadline, you missed market exposure for an entire year!
The last time someone delivered a yellow pages to my door, I thought to myself “What a waste of paper!” and the book never made it past the recycling bin outside. In many ways, its actually easier now and a lot less costly to maintain a strong market presence. Instead of publishing yellow pages ads and listings, you’re publishing websites and blogs!