One of the things I do at Emphasize is to keep track of the latest trends in search engine optimization (SEO) and what any changes mean for our clients. Along with great content, streamlined sites and an excellent user experience, something that has become more and more important over the last couple years is what we call geo-targeting.
You likely have some experience with geo-targeting, even if you don’t realize it just yet. What do you do when you want to find a specific type of business in your area? If you’re looking for pizza in Calgary, you’d visit Google and search “Calgary pizza,” and maybe include your street name to lock in on a specific location. The pizza place that gets your business will likely be the one with geo-targeted content that anticipates the terms you’ll use to search for local businesses.
Geo-targeting is an extension of search engine optimization (SEO) practises, which is the primary tool we use to increase your visibility in search engine results. Search traffic is one of the key drivers of online (and often offline) business, and geo-targeting helps your business be seen by the customers you most want to reach.
Geo-Targeting to Reach Today’s Mobile, On-Demand World
You can get very granular with geo-targeting, right down to the photos, colors, and fonts you choose for your site pointing towards the sentimentalities of a certain demographic, but your content is the best place to start. In addition to people who enter search queries with local terms, most smartphones, tablets, and laptops include geo-location tools that automatically influence search results. Reaching these people is crucial, and you won’t have to reinvent your content development strategy to do it.
- The first step is simply to mix location information into normal content like blog posts and marketing materials on your website. Be sure to include any popular variations on the names of the city and neighbourhoods you serve, and not just the traditional city or town name. People search based on the language they use, not necessarily the name on a map.
- You also want to attract the right types of customers, which may mean broadening the topics you cover on your blog. Don’t be afraid to touch on topics that are indirectly related your industry, and dig into news items that are relevant to your business.
- Geo-targeted content isn’t just for reaching local customers. People who are moving to your area, planning a vacation, or otherwise reading from an “outsider” perspective will also be drawn to your site by geo-targeted content.
- Blogging is one of the best ways to market your website, and your blog is also the perfect place for geo-targeting. Set a regular schedule for producing blog posts, and do your best to stick to it. In addition to the geo-targeting benefits, blogging builds the sort of trust that makes it easier to convert customers.
Grow Your eCommerce Website with Geo-Targeted Design and Content
Geo-targeting is also a great tool for marketing your eCommerce site, both for drawing new customers and ensuring the best possible presentation. Depending on the scale and scope of your eCommerce site, you might even produce different pages, content, and ads for different audiences. By building your site with your audience in mind, you’ll ultimately close more customers.
- Language may seem an obvious topic, but it’s often overlooked. If you’re marketing in an area where your language isn’t the first choice, you’ll want to create content in the primary language of your audience.
- Images matter, too. What’s appealing or well-known in one part of the world may be unfamiliar in another. This is another area where researching your audience is more than worth the effort.
- For some products and services, part of the appeal is where the item comes from. In other words, even “outsiders” may search for your business based on geo-targeted information. It’s beneficial to weave in location information, even when your reaching out to a distant audience.
While eCommerce geo-targeting is certainly important, I’d advise most businesses to start with geo-targeted content, then work from there. It’s a much simpler place to start, and you can make real gains without a tremendous investment of time. The exception would be if your business is primarily based in eCommerce, instead of drawing local visitors to your physical location. Either way, geo-targeting is an important tool that will only grow in popularity as more people gain access to mobile technology.
Geo-targeting is just one of the many tools that Emphasize Design of Calgary offers to help your earn more qualified leads within your budget. We’ve got you covered from eCommerce to content development, and everything in between.