By Mwebya Fred: If you own a small business, you need geographical targeting (geo-targeting). This allows you to target a specific audience geographically (city, state or town, or even country), then it is imperative you have a ‘local’ PPC( Pay Per Click), SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ,and even social media strategy that focuses on geo-targeting.
Google’s special feature to Geo-Location, where IP addresses of websites are assigned a geographic location to effectively filter search results.
So How Does Geo-Targeting Affect Your Business?
Let’s explain geographical targeting with an example. Let’s just say, you own a restaurant in Kampala, Uganda, and your target audience is ‘anyone living in Kampala’. In fact, you want to be listed as one of the top restaurants in Kampala, so what would be the ideal course of action?
You would need to get your restaurant registered in Google Places (rebranded as ‘Google My Business’ a while ago) and start implementing local online strategies, including creating specific ads and corresponding landing pages that target keywords such as, “best restaurant in Kampala Uganda”, or “top food house in Kampala” and so on.
Executing such a strategy effectively will result in your website becoming highly visible when someone is carrying out a local search (up to 75% of searches have a local qualifier!), but will also give you targeted traffic that actually converts.
Can you see the potential impact?
When you carry out geographically-focused PPC, you are acquiring traffic and leads that actually matter and not just expensive, ineffective visitors.
How Do You Get Geographical Targeting Right?
Getting geographical targeting right could be a challenge if you don’t understand the intricacies behind it. In order to get effective results, you need to adopt a holistic approach. From your PPC to your Local Listings, to your SEO, from your content marketing to your advertising, it should be focused at the local audience – the people you want to target. So here’s a quick guide to getting geo-targeting right.
1.Expand Your Approach and Don’t Focus Just on your Website
When it comes to building your business for the local audience, you have to do a lot more than just focusing on your website. Unlike businesses that have a generic website to sell to the global audience (e.g. information products), you have available many more tools, resources, and tactics at your disposal. You can ask happy customers to writer reviews (social proof is king).
You can localize your social media messaging, or you can arrange seminars and local events. Whatever it is you do, your approach should not only be local but also expansive, and incorporate the use of multiple mediums.
2.Target the Mobile Audience
To locate a business of interest, the audience will be using mobile apps instead of browsing on the desktop. So you will have to make your business accessible to apps like TripAdvisor or Google’s very own Google Now that lets the audience have quick access to local restaurants, businesses and other important location.
So, if you really want to target your audience, do not forget the importance of having a mobile-ready website and being listed in travel apps.
3.Optimize Your PPC, SEO and Content Strategies for Local Search
Hire a professional team that can get your business top ranks in search results. From your keywords to your Meta tags, from your blog posts to your press releases – all should have a local approach. Don’t waste time and money on generic keywords if you are not serving the global audience.
For better local area results if you have a business address, don’t forget to integrate Google Maps on to your website as this greatly helps in bringing your website organic traffic.
Businesses should also utilize Google’s review feature that allows users to drop real reviews in Google Places and greatly boosts search results and authenticity.So, if you want to succeed as a local business, it’s time to start thinking local and acting global with geographical targeting!