These five actionable steps will help get you in front of the right customers at the right time.
Chinese restaurant near me. Post office near me. Laundromat near me. Coffee shop near me.
Whether traveling for work, visiting a new place, or simply interested in trying something new, potential customers are searching from their mobile devices and looking for immediate, local results.
The statistics are staggering; 88% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit or call a store within a day, and nearly 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information.
Hyperlocal search queries are an immense opportunity for businesses to leverage a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and get themselves in front of interested, nearby shoppers. On the flip side, these queries pose significant risks for businesses that are routinely passed over by local searches.
What does your business need to do to capture these potential customers? How do you make sure you’re showing up in results for the right searches, at the right time, for your local audience? The answer is hyperlocal marketing.
Draw customers in with hyperlocal strategies
Hyperlocal marketing strategies are built to coexist with your existing messaging strategies. The primary objective of a hyperlocal strategy is to draw in close-by customers who shop with a “near me” query.
Ready to capture these customers and bring them into your store or restaurant? We’ve got five easy steps to help you reach them.
1. Use Google’s “My Business” listing service
Before you do anything else, make sure your business is listed on and optimized for Google My Business. This is your first and best way to get key information like your address, phone number, and business hours in front of searching customers.
It’s also critical to ensuring your hyperlocal marketing efforts end up at the top of relevant search results. Google will draw from the information on your business profile to list your business in results for relevant searches made via their search engine, as well as in Google Maps.
The more complete and thorough your profile, the more data points Google has to accurately assess your relevance to and distance from localized searches happening in your area. For an in-depth look at Google My Business and how they rank businesses for local searches, check out Google’s support page.
Video example of a location-specific Google search
2. Get your information out there
After you have a robust Google listing, it’s time to try your hand at building a local, social media presence.
Social media is one of the most effective and widely available platforms for hyperlocal marketing. Facebook, in particular, is well-suited for small businesses that want to target local customers, whether they’re still searching for a service/product or they’re ready to buy from you.
Communities like Facebook offer a great setting to build local awareness of your business by giving you a place to connect with other businesses in your community and increase brand awareness with local residents. The most straightforward way to do this is to create a page for your business on Facebook.
Just like your Google Business profile, be sure to add key business information including address and hours of operation. You can use your business page to directly message with members of your community, publish content, and display a menu of the goods or services your business provides.
In addition to interacting with members of the community, hosting a page for your business on social media is also a great way to bolster your local relevance in the eyes of search engines by including keywords and phrases specific to your local community.
Inbox functionality for social media marketing software, Sprout Social (Source)
3. Write and promote localized content
If your business produces content (whether blog articles or even posts on LinkedIn), localizing your content is a great way to get your business in front of local shoppers. Google’s algorithms can pick up on local keywords (e.g., your town, the name of a high school football team) and may be more likely to feature your business in relevant local search results.
These rules of hyperlocal content also apply to your social media presence. A smart, locally targeted campaign can be very effective in reaching your most likely potential customers.
Whenever the opportunity arises, use your business page/profile on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to post content about local places and events. You could offer a discount to local school teachers and include the names of local schools throughout your post. You could preview your booth at an upcoming local fair/event, or even announce new products or services that will be rolled out at one of your store locations.
Take every opportunity to mention local keywords and give Google the ability to associate your business with your location.
You can use social media software to manage your communication with potential and current customers, and monitor any mentions of your business made by other members of your community.
4. Optimize your website for mobile
When you’re trying to rank in those local “near me” searches, you’re trying to capture customers who are almost always on the move and ready to make a shopping decision on their way to their destination. These aren’t potential customers sitting behind a desktop, they’re searching on their smartphone in the car or on public transport.
A mobile-optimized website is crucial for your hyperlocal marketing strategy. Google calls mobile optimization critical for every business, reporting that mobile search makes up more than half of all searches made via Google’s search engine and that, on average, mobile-friendly sites rank higher in search results.
Start with these three actions for mobile optimization:
- Minimize load times on your website and landing pages
- Streamline site copy so that it fits (at a readable font size) on a phone screen
- Compress images on your website
For more help with optimization, check out our step-by-step guide on digital accessibility to ensure you aren’t leaving any customers behind.
5. Have a separate landing page for each location
If your business has multiple locations, it’s important to host individual landing pages for each geographical location. Each landing page should feature that location’s address, phone number, and hours of operation, as well as any other unique details such as directions, specials, or deals.
While these landing pages can look similar to each other, they should contain critical hyperlocal information that will help your business rank in local searches, such as location address and hours of operation.
Separate landing pages provide another opportunity to feature localized content and rank for local searches. A location-specific landing page can be a place to feature an employee of the month, post weekly menu specials, or feature location-specific reviews from Yelp or Google.
Local marketing for a local business
A hyperlocal marketing strategy is about more than just capturing local search opportunities. It’s about building a marketing and communications strategy robust enough to carry domain authority and rank in search results, yet agile enough to capture local customers making a quick decision from their mobile device.
These hyperlocal marketing strategies will strengthen your business’ connection to your community and fortify your relationships with returning customers, all while getting your business in front of potential new customers as they make location-based searches in real time.
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.
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