Geo-targeting is continuously gaining in importance, especially for the small business. Once a business website is set up and published online it is seen by people all around the world. But for those who run local businesses, local traffic is really what is of the utmost importance. It is certainly necessary to have a website for a small business today. It’s the first place someone goes when they are looking for any type of service, especially a local business that can offer the service or product that they need. When a search is entered by someone needing local services they want to know some specifics like where you are located, the hours of business and the types of services that the business has to offer. Some of the most recent stats indicate that the bulk of consumer spending happens within just a few miles of their residence. This is what makes geo-targeting so important for today’s businesses.
Beyond the Website
When a user enters a query looking for a local business and they see that there is a high quality website containing pertinent information it will help them see the legitimacy and reliability of the business. Running a website is essential, but in order to capitalize on local consumers which are the driving financial force behind local businesses, it’s important to go beyond the website. If the website is not being marketed to local users, valuable traffic may be missing. Geo-targeting allows a business to target users that are located in a specific geographic region.
Geo-targeting is the means that is used to advertise the services of a business to a local consumer base or customers that are located inside a specific geographical region. There are several different ways to reach out to a specific region or area. There are numerous strategies that can be used by businesses that need to target consumers in a specific locale. According to some studies, about 80% of consumers who do searches online are looking for a local business. Knowing how to use geo-targeting strategies is essential for a business to be profitable and successful.
Create a Geo-Ready Site
In many cases, someone who is searching for a local business will be using a mobile device. In order to ensure that you keep this traffic it is imperative to have a website that is mobile friendly and that is fully accessible from a Smartphone or tablet. This can be solved by using a responsive website design. In many cases, a user who enters a query looking for a local service will also enter the type of business as well as the city and zip code. In some instances, they will enter a county as well. This is where SEO best practices come into play. Website designs that are optimized for search engines will have the name and local address of a business on the site. This makes it easier for the search engines to find.
Optimizing for Local Search Engines
Over the last few years, the search engines have continued to work on their local search features. This is partly due to the rise in use of mobile devices and the greater mobility of users. Google Maps has a feature which allows a map to be embedded into the search results. This gives local businesses brand new opportunities and gives them new means for gaining organic, local traffic. Usually, when a search query is entered into the major search engines like Google,MSNand Yahoo!, the user receives a list of organic search results.
How to take advantage of Geo-targeted SEO Strategies
There are ways to maximize local search efforts. For instance, websites should always be hosted in the same region as the business is located. Even though keywords do not carry the weight they used to, they do carry some and help the search engines identify general topics. It is still beneficial to use geo-targeted keywords. Take full advantage of Google Places and always claim your business on maps and other online business directories. Create local citations by using the business’ address or phone number where appropriate. Geo-targeting can help get a business of any size in the top positions of the SERPs.