Do you need to target not only a local market but a niche market? You need hyperlocal marketing. Here are 15 strategies to gain more customers.
Keyword(s): hyperlocal marketing
Thinking about your first SEO campaign can be an intimidating prospect. Making a dent in the white noise of the online world can seem daunting. How can a first-time campaign hope to rank against the existing sites when they’re all vying for the same space?
That’s where hyperlocal marketing strategies come in. Optimizing your site for search engines isn’t just about choosing the right keywords and building your content around them, but also incorporating local and niche keywords to make yourself more relevant to those seeking out your specific products and/or services within your geographical region.
It extends further yet, moving beyond the digital realm and into the communities themselves. Keep reading for our list of 15 hyperlocal strategies to get your site ranked.
1. Back to the Basics
The concept of hyperlocal advertising is as old as advertising itself. The global reach of digital platforms is a relatively new phenomenon. Before that, advertisers were limited in their geographical reach.
Be it radio, newsprint, billboard, or local TV programming, your reach was finite. This forced advertisers to speak directly to the people in their communities, recognizing their wants and needs.
While digital advertising’s value is incalculable, it’s important to keep these earlier advertising methods in mind when executing a hyperlocal campaign. It’s a great guide for the mindset to have.
2. Create Relevant Content
Relevancy is the key to any successful SEO campaign. In order to be considered relevant, it’s essential that your offerings are as specific to your customer’s needs as possible. Use keywords that they would search for as a starting point.
The better suited your content is to your client-base, the more relevant your site will appear to search engines, boosting your ranking accordingly. Content for the sake of content is mere filler. You know best what your business offers; turn that into lists, articles, and infographics to the benefit of your clientele.
3. Go Niche
Doing a keyword search based on industry needs is a start, but if that’s as deep as you go, you’ll be lost in the noise. Figure out specific needs and concerns that your customers may or will face and build content around that. It may feel that you’re getting too obscure at points, but this is actually a strength when a customer with that exact need searches for solutions.
Using niche keywords is like planting a flag that only those who are looking for it will find. The general public may walk right by, but those with a need will be sure to come across it.
4. Google My Business
If you’re not prioritizing your Google rank, your SEO campaign will never succeed. Over 90% of searches are conducted through this search engine, a massive number that demonstrates Google’s complete dominance.
One of the many tools they offer businesses is Google my Business, an online home for your company. By taking advantage of this feature, you drastically increase your chances of ranking. By confirming your physical location, you create the opportunity to be one of only three ranked business that appears on the map on a search query. This has massive influence over customers decision-making.
5. Facebook Ads
While Facebook is facing an uncharacteristically difficult year, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still the community gathering place of a large number of people. Using their advertising platforms allows you to place ads with a remarkable degree of accuracy.
Being able to target only users that have an interest in your business allows you to manage marketing budgets, helping ensure that little money is lost on an uninterested audience.
6. Facebook Groups
Another advantage that Facebook offers is in creating a community group. Being the moderator of an online meeting place for like-minded people gives you great insight into the people that need and benefit from your products and services.
It’s important to be transparent in your position as a business owner, and be careful not to push sales: the goal isn’t to pitch every member, but instead to give them a place to share their concerns, needs, and insights with like-minded people nearby.
7. Mobilize Your Site
More than 40% of internet use is now conducted through mobile devices. It’s absolutely essential that your company’s website is optimized for both smartphones and tablets.
This is even more essential for businesses in the service industry: if you are operating an eatery, for example, you want to make sure that you’re easily found to anyone in the neighborhood looking for a place to eat while passing through.
8. Create A Landing Page for Location
If your business has multiple locations, create a landing page for each one. By doing so you get to create a dedicated Google My Business site. It also gives you a center-point for each region you serve, allowing your digital presence to directly serve those nearby.
9. Partner With Non-Competing Businesses
Building a strong network within the community has immeasurable benefits. Find businesses in different industries that are either a compliment to yours or have an overlap in clientele. Helping each other reach your audiences creates a real sense of communal legitimacy.
10. Partner With Fundraisers
Another way to create a strong, local footprint is to get involved with neighborhood charities and fundraisers. Participating with them demonstrates that your business is invested in the long-term well-being of the community, and builds an association between your business and betterment opportunities.
11. Empower Your Employees
Word-of-mouth is the best advertising. Having an individual speak to your company’s value has more worth than any advertising campaign. As your employees are members of your community, get them on board as brand evangelists. They are an excellent resource for creating strong, positive impressions within the community.
12. Get Reviewed
Second only to word-of-mouth are online reviews. In fact, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they would a recommendation from someone they know.
Search engines recognize this importance and use it as a key factor in determining a site’s ranking. Capitalize on this to see a dramatic increase in your online presence.
13. Use Deal Sites
With a customer base of 32.5 million in North America alone, Groupon has sold over a billion coupons. This has helped create an industry of hyperlocal and hypercompetitive discount sites.
Partnering with the right deal site has the ability to gain exposure to an entirely new segment of local users. It’s an excellent opportunity to create awareness while enticing potential customers to take a chance they may have otherwise not considered.
14. Hit the Streets
Getting out into the community directly offers a uniquely valuable opportunity to get face-to-face with the people who live there. This approach may not be appropriate for all businesses, but many, especially those that involve close personal relationships, can benefit greatly.
The financial services industry is a great local marketing example. Presenting yourself as a person instead of a business can create a real sense of trust that advertising can’t.
Be mindful that you are an ambassador for your company when you’re in public and act accordingly. Not everyone enjoys direct communication, so be respectful of peoples’ comfort zones.
15. Offer an Unbeatable Experience
The above strategies help get the right people through the door. What you do next has the ability to make or break your company.
The number one thing your business offers has nothing to do with marketing strategies or advertising campaigns: it’s the specific products and/or services you provide (unless, of course, your business is marketing and advertising.)
Delivering on the promises your campaign has made is essential. This circles back to the importance of word-of-mouth and online reviews: every customer experience has the potential to be another advertisement for you. The experience you offer defines whether that’s good advertising or bad.
An unbeatable hyperlocal marketing campaign only gets you the opportunity for a sale. What you do next is what determines the future success of your business. In the end, it’s not the Facebook group you run or the local baseball team you sponsor that generates profits. You need to sell repeatedly. Offering an unparalleled customer experience is what brings buyers back again and again.
Hyperlocal Marketing: In Closing
The advantages of hyperlocal marketing are multifold. These are the techniques that allow you to beat the largest players at ranking. By taking advantage of geographical boundaries and on-the-street presence, you can generate a relevancy that a digital-only campaign can’t compete against.
This is your advantage as a member of a community. Your presence in a neighborhood has real value. Proper optimization directs search engines to recognize this value and rank your business accordingly.
For more strategies on how to create a strong online presence, check out our blog. There are a number of articles covering any questions you may have, whether you’re a seasoned vet looking for the latest news, or a late-comer looking to get caught up on what you need to know.
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