Geo-Local Targeting & Messaging to Attract High Intent Shoppers
Over the course of the past year, I asked 12 people what they would do if they wanted to find a local business. There were no shockers – all 12 said “Google it!”, or something akin.
Beyond my first inquiry, I pressed the issue by asking “What words would you use in that search?”
11 of the 12 gave me a response that used the physical location in the search terms: “Cosmetics stores near Medford”, “Wedding bands in Dayton”, “Kids jeans in Longmont, Colorado”, etc. Geo-local is an enormous opportunity to drive relevant, high-intent and ready-to-convert search traffic.
Here’s a quick exercise you can try. Think of a product (or service) – something you've needed recently or are considering. Try to think beyond just “type-of-business” and search for something specific (i.e. if I need tax preparation software, I wouldn't search for ‘software companies’). Do you need a new landscaper? How about a new home theater sound system? Now search for that product locally. Are the results exactly what you’re looking for? Here’s what I’m seeing:
This illustration is the epitome of opportunity. If there was a business that was deep enough with their content and emphasized the importance of location, they probably would have earned my click.
In today’s world the consumer has extremely high expectations of Google and the other search engines. We paint a picture in our heads of what we want, we ask for it explicitly and we expect to be shown something relevant. That’s the way it works, right?
Marketers need to understand how trends are changing when it comes to local along with the kinds of terms that are losing stock and value. This is some recent data from Google Trends to illustrate. The term ‘day spa’ has shown a decline in volume for years:
But generally when someone is looking for a spa, they’re looking for something close by. Look at the spike in volume for “day spas near me”:
Local search has put itself on the map over the past 2-3 years. Consumers are using their phones, tablets and desktops to find what they want instantly, and they’re looking for businesses in their proximity – usually within 5 miles of their location. Optimization at the local level is essential for businesses of all sizes (if they want to remain relevant, that is).
So how important is it for businesses to be relevant at the local level?