People are growing more dependent on mobile phones to accomplish daily tasks. In fact, a study by Google and Ipsos, a global market research firm, reveals that 91% of mobile users consult smartphones in the middle of a task to complete it. Meanwhile, around 84% say they turn to their phones while making a purchase decision in a store.
Experts call these micro-moments — instances when people turn to their devices instinctively to learn, watch, or buy something. In micro-moments, users have an urgent need that Google has to fulfill quickly. They’re determined to act on something — whether it’s purchasing apparel or eating at a pizza parlor. Businesses who want to earn more, therefore, have to be visible and accessible in these instances.
Brands need to invest in hyperlocal marketing if they want to take advantage of these micro-moments. As a leading provider of SEO services in Denver, Third Stage Marketing can attest to the power of this strategy in boosting a company’s rankings and earning potential.
Hyperlocal Marketing vs. Local SEO
Traditional SEO encompasses wide areas like cities, districts, and regions. Hyperlocal marketing, in contrast, targets customers in highly specific areas, such as neighborhoods, towns, streets, and even spots near landmarks. The primary objective of this optimization strategy is to drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores.
Hyperlocal marketing also caters to people who conduct “near me” searches on mobile devices. This is advantageous to businesses, as near-me searches have a strong commercial intent and have been on the rise. Google says search queries containing “nearby” and “near me” doubled in 2015 alone. And the search engine giant has acted on this trend — it has reduced the number of pages offered for Google Maps search results, suggesting that it narrows results down to smaller geographic areas.
As hyperlocal marketing gains traction in the digital arena, businesses that focus on smaller areas could reap many benefits. Search Engine Land, a leading resource on digital marketing, says that this is essential to entrepreneurial success for the coming years.
Optimizing for Hyperlocal Marketing
Google found out that there was a 500% increase in “near me” searches combined with keywords like “to buy” or “can I buy” from 2015 to 2017. This means that more customers are using “nearby” searches with the intent to make a purchase.
Hyperlocal SEO is now more important than ever. Your potential customers are looking for you, and without localized content, you’re invisible to them. Here’s how to fix that.
A Comprehensive Google My Business Listing
Getting listed on Google My Business (GMB) can boost your local presence free of charge. GMB results often appear before organic ones, too. However, you need to make a comprehensive profile to appear interesting enough for users to visit your business’ website or location. Optimize your listing by doing the following:
- Verify it – You need to verify your listing to appear on search results. Head to the GMB dashboard and click on “verify now.” Google will send you a postcard (or a message on your phone or email, if you’re running a service area business) with a PIN to enter online and finish the verification process.
- Fill in the Blanks – Your listing should contain all your company’s basic information like the address, contact number, website, and business category. After filling out all these, you must also provide a brief but rich description of your business. Make sure to incorporate your unique selling points and awards, if possible.
- Upload Some Visuals – Give your customers a glimpse of what your products or services are like with photos and videos of your offerings. Make sure these are all taken at your company’s location or office, as Google tends to delete videos and photos that are not related to your place of business.
The bread and butter of hyperlocal SEO are the locations they target. Tailor your keywords, and in some cases, your content according to the places your business serves. They can be as broad or as specific as you want.
For example, if your Italian restaurant delivers across Denver, you can use different variations of “Italian restaurant in Denver” or “Italian food delivery in Denver.” If you’re limited to a small area in the city, target specific neighborhoods (such as “Italian restaurants in Baker” and “Italian food delivery in Lowry”).
Apart from targeting various locations, you should also use keywords that your customers or clients would use to describe your products and services. Use your offerings as keywords, like “pizza delivery in Denver” or “pasta restaurants in Cherry Creek.”
You can supplement these with other unique selling points, too. Some people may want to have delicious pasta without breaking the bank, so they might search for “affordable pasta restaurants in Denver.” When you manage to insert these keywords into your copies and blog posts seamlessly, your site will top the search results in no time.
Customer reviews are an essential factor in boosting your GMB listing’s ranking. According to Moz’s 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors, reviews contribute to about 15% of Google’s decision to display your results higher up the local pack rankings.
Reviews may also persuade customers to try your business out. A 2018 study by SEO tools provider BrightLocal showed that 86% of consumers read reviews about local companies. Over 68% of consumers also said that they’re more likely to use a local business if it has positive reviews. A whopping 91% of the 18 to 34-year-olds surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends or family members.
While asking customers and clients to review your business is prohibited in some popular platforms such as Yelp, Google My Business allows it. Just make sure you aren’t giving incentives in return, as they may affect the integrity of your reviews. Take time in responding to reviews, to thank positive ones, and to get more feedback from those who gave low ratings.
Proximity is an important but often difficult ranking factor to measure. This is because results constantly vary as the searcher moves. However, a good hyperlocal SEO campaign can help your site reach customers who are on the move.
One great way to do this is to create location pages for the areas you service the most. As one of the strategies mentioned earlier, be as specific as you can and target individual neighborhoods, so your organic results show up no matter where they are in the city.
Apart from optimizing your Google My Business page, you should also make the most out of your company’s profiles on other review sites like Yelp. You should also sign up and verify your company on niche platforms like Angie’s List for construction and home businesses or TripAdvisor for those in the hospitality and food industry. This way, your business shows up even more on local searches, even if you aren’t shown on the local pack.
Customer reviews and testimonials are helpful in hyperlocal marketing, too. Reviews, after all, are one of Google’s most important ranking signals; Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors reveals that reviews account for 13% of Google’s decision to display results in the Local Pack and Finder and 7% in organic results. Additionally, a person within a micro-moment would likely choose a business that has stellar reviews.
Creating a Hyperlocal Marketing Campaign
A good hyperlocal SEO campaign encompasses different platforms. First, your site’s pages and blog content should have organically-inserted location keywords to make sure Google knows the areas you service. If you already have a website, you’ll need to revise each page and post to add the keywords.
You have to take care of your My Business Page, too. You have to make sure that it’s updated and that you’re responding to customer reviews as much as you can.
For social media, you have to create an entirely different strategy. The purpose of hyperlocal social media marketing, according to Chief Marketer Magazine, is to reach your audiences on a more personal level. It’s used to tap the ever-growing community of smartphone users. Over 81% of Americans own one, according to the Pew Research Center. You can achieve these goals by creating posts that your target community can relate to, like recent events or holidays in their area.
Pay Per Click ads should also have a role in your hyperlocal plan. It would help if you mapped out which cities or neighborhoods are the most important to your business. This way, you focus most of your ad budget on boosting your presence on those locations, whether it’s for search or social media.
These strategies take a lot of time and effort to create and implement. Focusing on them may make you lose track of the rest of your business processes. As such, it’s best to let a professional agency handle this work for you.
Count on Third Stage Marketing to take care of your hyperlocal campaigns and get your business at the top of search results and your customers’ minds. We personalize our services according to your company’s unique needs and implement your marketing strategies for you. This way, you can focus on what you do best: running your business.
Let’s talk about your digital marketing campaign. Contact us to schedule an appointment.