Online discoverability and getting new customers in the door are two of the biggest challenges faced by local businesses today. How do you fit these needs together in one simple package? One of the best options is to create an optimized local presence for your business through the use of geo-targeting.
Geo-targeting has been a major marketing buzzword for the past decade or so, to the point where it’s tough to see where the hype ends and where true value exists. Studies from comScore show that mobile-optimizing your local search is incredibly important — people searching on their mobile device are often ready to make a spur-of-the-moment purchase. Keywords and positioning are dramatically different between mobile search results and desktop, as Google and other major search engines work hard to ensure that searchers are getting the most relevant possible results. If all you’re doing to get to the top of the search results is mobile-optimizing your website, you desperately need these geo-targeting tactics.
1. Narrow Your Advertising Reach
Nearly every business has an audience segment which is more valuable than others. Perhaps these are customers who are more likely to order drinks and appetizers at your restaurant or upgrade their purchase at your retail store. When you use geo-targeting as one of the metrics in your advertising buy, you can pitch your ads to a specific zip code, for instance. When you add location-specific terms to your paid search ads, you’re more likely to get walk-in traffic as opposed to potentially wasting your ad dollars messaging to people unlikely to make an immediate purchase.
2. Use Geolocations in Your Audience Research
Wow, betcha never realized that people from a particular suburb preferred X product instead of Y, did you? Well, if you’re analyzing your search traffic based on geographic location, this type of finding may jump off the page at you. Not only does it allow you to tailor your messaging in the future, but you can target ads based on what people are already looking for.
3. Optimize Your Reviews
Be honest, when you are doing a local search for somewhere to get an oil change, are you likely to pick somewhere with several 2-star reviews? You probably aren’t willing to take a chance on a dicey service, and your customers are no different. You can show potential customers that your brand is trusted within your community by featuring reviews from current customers. You can positively influence your reviews in a variety of ways, such as asking your favorite clients to leave a quick review or offering a discount coupon for reviewers.
4. Create a Virtual Event
Having a sale? Why not try creating a virtual event! You can geofence a specific location and leverage Snapchat filters, Waze ads or other location-based tools that are already widely used to make an impact. These fun options are relatively simple to execute and are a creative way to engage customers that feels less like an advertisement and more like a value-add to their browsing or travel. Having customers “check in” on their favorite social media platform is another prime example of leveraging your location for local discoverability.
Creating an immersive experience for your customers doesn’t necessarily mean spending thousands of dollars on advertising. Instead, look for targeted ways that you can leverage tools that already exist to boost your brand for local searchers.