Looking Local – Location Based Marketing
It is one of the gentler but more supreme ironies of the web that going global has got people really looking local. After years of hearing about our world as a village and marvelling at the light speeds with which our emails, images and credit card numbers would ping from time zone to time zone, many are now refocusing the power of the web to regenerate local economies and neighbourhoods.
That has seen a rise in location based marketing, powered in no small part by Google’s increasingly sophisticated search engines. As it’s gotten harder to fool Google with dodgy SEO, so the opportunity has arisen to make the most of search relevance.
The context of Location
Research shows that in 2015 mobile Internet use topped more than 50%. In other words, more than half of the searches that are currently being conducted, are being done by people on smartphones who are already on the move and looking for hyper-relevant results. Whether they’re looking for a hairdresser or a Chinese takeaway, they’re first looking at whatever’s closest, giving smaller businesses an incredibly valuable chance to get noticed through tools like Google Places and with strong, relevant SEO copy. Seriously, mobile marketing is making such headway that Coca Cola has actually stopped print media advertising in Singapore.
The great news is that there are a number of free and incredibly useful resources for businesses to take that first step towards location marketing. Of these, one of the best is Google Places. Basically, it’s a series of localised options for searches that specifically mention the name of a town, city or area along with the type of service the user is looking for. So when a small business sets up their Google Places listing, they just need to ensure that their entry explicitly states what they do or sell and what city and neighbourhood they’re in. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, after location scouting, the next thing a mobile user is hunting for is reviews. That’s where all the social media marketing we’re always talking about comes in. With more engagement on your social platforms and more encouragement for your audience to review you or comment on you or talk about you, the higher your page goes in Google’s rankings. So when you combine relevant copy on an optimised and geo-based page with positive reviews, you’ve scored the hat trick. What’s the result of the trifecta? Turning clicks into conversions; and that’s exactly what it’s all about.
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