SMALL BUSINESS COMPLETE GUIDE TO HYPERLOCAL MARKETING
If you own a small- or medium-sized business, you probably spend a lot of time trying to come up with strategies that let you get more customers to buy your product or service within your local market.
But marketing can be daunting, and may seem like the last time you want to focus your time and energy on, especially when you already have several other more important things to pay attention to in a day.
However, marketing is an essential part of running a successful business that you cannot neglect. If you want to remain in business and gain a competitive advantage, then your marketing has to be topnotch.
This is where local marketing strategies such as hyperlocal marketing come into play. In this guide, you will learn what hyperlocal marketing is, its benefits to local businesses and the right way to do it to get the best results.
Table of Contents
- What Is Hyperlocal Marketing
- What Are the Factors That Determine Your Local Reach?
- What Are the Best Hyperlocal Marketing Strategies?
What Is Hyperlocal Marketing?
Hyperlocal marketing is a marketing method that focuses primarily on reaching a targeted audience within a specific local area. It is done to help your customers to find your business when searching for the products or services you offer within a particular place.
When people go to search engines such as Google to look for a service or product, they use different search terms to conduct their inquiries. More recently, customers use search keywords with search phrases like “best”, “near me” or “high quality” within a certain town or city.
In the last three years, the number of people searching using shopping searches like “where to buy” and “near me” has increased by 200 percent. Also, mobile searches with search terms like “best” and “right now” have also skyrocketed, increasing by 125% in the last three years.
Additionally, the growing popularity of voice search is also changing the ways consumers are finding businesses online. Nearly 40 percent of all internet users in the US used voice search to conduct searches on Google in 2019.
There are indications that the number will increase by 9.7 percent to 122.7 million by 2021. With the way voice search is becoming popular among internet users, it might also have an impact on the ways in which Google ads are served and viewed.
The explosive increase in the use of mobile devices is another factor that is influencing customer behaviors. A report by Statista shows that the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.28 billion, showing that over 90 percent of the global internet population access the internet with a mobile device. That said, it is important that you optimize your websites and marketing efforts to target people using mobile devices.
What are The Factors That Determine Your Local Reach?
Although Google has continued to hide their algorithms they use in ranking websites from the public, SEOs have been able to uncover some of the ranking factors through years of research and testing.
Here is the list of some of the factors the search engine considers to determine which website ranks at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) for which keywords:
Local Organic Searches
Local organic search results are an important factor Google considers when ranking local businesses in the Google Local Pack. Your local organic search consists the following:
Local Organic Ranking Factors
There are also other elements Google considers in ranking your Local Pack. The more you learn to optimize for each important ranking factor, the higher your chances of showing at the top spot of the search results page when customers are searching for products, services or keywords related to your business.
The following are some of the known ranking factors:
How frequently do you publish new content on your website, social media or local directory? Google considers how new your content is, including everything from your citation to blog posts and everything in-between. That said, creating new, valuable content regularly across the board tells Google that your business is providing value to the users. As a result, Google will reward your website by ranking it in the Local Pack.
Google recently updated its local search guidelines, indicating that factors such as brand affinity, website authority, trust and traditional organic rankings are critical for improving local search rankings. Prominence is determined by a whole gamut of information Google has about a business across the web, including links, content and citation. For example, the more reviews and positive ratings a website receives and the more external links are pointed to it, the more valuable the business appears in the eye of Google. Thus, Google will rank the website higher in the Local Pack.
Google is always working to improve its algorithm to ensure that users get the most relevant answers to their search queries. This is where publishing high quality, relevant content comes to play. Your content should be aimed at answering questions in the mind of their customers and not just writing to rank in the search results page. Additionally, you want to include keywords that are relevant to your business so customers can easily find you when looking for a product or service related to what you offer.
Is your business open at the time the user is searching for a business like us in the search engine? Google takes into account the availability of a business when someone is searching for a service or product. Google wants to show businesses that are active to help the searcher at that particular moment.
Google Local Pack refers to a group of local business listings that appear at or close to the top of the search results. The local pack features businesses or companies that provide services or products within a particular local area.
Unlike organic search results which are naturally extracted from the search engine index list, local results are served to users based on relevance of the results to the searcher’s queries, Local Packs are ranked using the information in your Google My Business (GMB) account.
Hyperlocal Marketing Strategies That Actually Work
In recent years, there have been a lot of significant changes in the ways local businesses promote their brands online and reach potential customers on search engines like Google. Local businesses are always looking for ways to outrank one another in the search result page. But what can you really do to stand out against your competitors?
Below are seven hyperlocal marketing strategies that can improve your website ranking and make you the choicest page for Google when people are looking for services or products you provide within your specified local area. Please note that none of these is a standalone strategy – they all work to complement one another to give you an outstanding result.
Your company’s website is an essential tool for running a successful business in the 21st century. Your website is not just an online brochure that displays your products or services, it is a branding tool that helps you make an impression on the customers. Additionally, your website is responsible for around 27 percent of people’s first contact with your brand online. That said, you should ensure that your website is properly optimized for both users and search engines like Google.
The first place to start is your universal resource location (URL). Your website’s URL is the unique identifier of your business online. The structure of a typical URL is broken into: the protocol + domain name + top-level domain + path.
- Domain name: Your website’s domain name is simply your website’s name.
- Top-level domain (TLD): This piece refers to the extension you use in addition to your domain name. Popular TLDs include .com, .co, .net, .edu and so on.
- Path: The path refers to the “filling system” for your website. It indicates where a particular page is located on your website.
Also, if you are doing hyperlocal marketing, you should add a location tag within the areas you serve. This should be done for any city or town where you live and run your business. The importance of doing this from a hyperlocal perspective is that it gives Google and your potential customers the idea of where you operate.
Additionally, you want to talk about where your business is physically located. It is important you clearly state your company’s name, address and phone number, otherwise referred to as your NAP. Make sure you maintain consistency with your NAP. Google looks at the information and compares all your listings online. A slight discrepancy in your name, for example, can confuse Google’s algorithms.
As more and more people are using their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to access the internet, it becomes pertinent for businesses to optimize their website for mobile. Up to 52 percent of your traffic comes from mobile. Also, 66 percent of emails are read on smartphones or tablets. Make sure your site is compatible with both android and iOS.
Google is not only looking at what customers see when they visit your website, its algorithms are designed to check the details of all the components that combine to form your website. Google pays attention to the backend elements of your website, including your local schema to determine your site’s worthiness at the top of the search results page.
Local schema refers to the tags or a descriptive summary of the piece of information on your website. Webmasters use schema to show information such as their service areas you serve, customer reviews and other useful information. If you want to learn more about what schema is, head over to schema.org.
Page load speed determines whether the user will stay long on your website or bounce back within two or three seconds. The longer it takes for your page to load, the more likely for you to lose people. 40 percent of consumers abandon a website that takes more than 2 seconds to load, leading to a high bounce rate. When people leave your site midway, it tells Google your website is not probably user friendly. As a result, your website can be deranked. That said, it is important to optimize your website’s speed to encourage more clients to stay longer when browsing your site.
Here are some of the ways to improve your site’s load speed:
- Enable file compression on images
- Reduce the number of redirects
- Leverage caching
- Implement lazy loading
- Remove large page elements, such as large video file and bulky CSS files
Reviews are the remarks that existing or past customers make on your product or service after doing business with you. This can either be positive or negative. Google considers review an important signal to potential customers to decide whether your company is the right fit for them. If you have a lot of positive reviews, it tells the search engine that many customers are satisfied with the experience they have working with you.
You want to get as many new reviews as possible to have a good standing with Google. The secret to achieving that includes:
- Provide exceptional customer service
- Target getting four to five new reviews each months
- Ask your customers for reviews in person after you confirm they are satisfied with your service
- Respond to every review, positive or negative
On average, you will experience about ¼ increase in your star rating each time you respond to a review. Replying to reviews in a polite manner convinces your prospects about your professionalism and how responsible you are as a business. People love to do a business with a company that engages with their customers.
About 48 percent of consumers pay attention to reviews written within the past two week. While older reviews are important, it is important to ensure that you have customers regularly provide reviews so Google can feature your most recent reviews. Having people post reviews on your listing regularly can help improve your business’s prominence and relevance.
Content is the general term for the text-based and audiovisual content related to your business that users see online. Some of the various content varieties include:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
The content you post on your digital properties, no matter the format, should be carefully created to provide valuable information and help you customers with their search queries. Also, the content should contain keywords that are relevant to your business or brand to help Google understand what you do, the people you are targeting, and more.
For your GMB listing, it is expected that you post 11 photos on average. Going beyond that number can give you an advantage over your competitors. The more photos you upload, the more information you provide for customers, and the more engaged they are. The prospects want to know if you are actually a good fit for them. So, you should have enough images that clearly demonstrate your experience, your expertise and the area you serve.
Directory listings are the places where information about your company can be found other than your website. The most popular directory listing is GMB. Your GMB profile is what shows up in Google Maps when people are looking for your name or the type of service or products you offer in your local area. It also shows other pieces of information such as customer reviews, photos, and more.
Despite its importance, over 56 percent of local businesses are yet to claim their GMB listings. If Google sees your company as valuable to your local community, it may create a GMB listing on your behalf. To know if you already have a GMB listing created for you, search for your company’s name online to see if you have an unclaimed listing and follow the simple process.
Although GMB is the most popular directory on the web, there are over 70 more, and you want your business to be found on as many of them as possible.
Advertising is the method of promoting your company online to attract more customers to your business. This involves paying one or multiple online platforms to show your business more to a specific set of people than you would appear naturally. The following are some of the most popular and most effective digital advertising platforms you can leverage to maximize returns on your investment:
- Google Ads (Pay-per-click/PPC)
- Local Service Ads (Pay-per-lead)
- Bing Ads (PPC)
If correctly done, putting up your ads using any of these three methods will help you put your brand in front of people searching for your products or services.
In addition, you can also try other options, including:
- Facebook Ads (PPC) – Facebook allows you to target users that fit your ideal customers. You can target customers based on their interests, location, and other demographic parameters.
- Yelp Ads (PPC) – Yelp offers you a tight community and can help you grow your organic traffic within your location.
What are the Benefits of Online Ads?
Advertising your business online can improve your brand awareness, drive more leads and increase your revenue. Google ads is one of the most effective online advertising tools that can help you maximize your return on investment (ROI).
When setting up your ads for hyperlocal marketing, you need to set your location parameters as well as other targeting elements, such as the target audience’s demographic, including age, gender, educational background, and more to obtain the best results. Importantly, you want to ensure that your information is not only correct but consistent across the board.
You are paying Google or whatever platform you choose. That said, you want to maximize your ad spend by ensuring that your ads only show up in places where it is needed.
You also need an engaging, and easy to navigate landing page. Your landing page is where users are talking after clicking on your ad. The landing page should provide adequate information about the benefits and value you are providing.
Your landing must collate with the information and the promise of your ads. For example, if you are running an ad to promote your business in a particular area, the landing page should have information that matches the ad headlines and as well provide adequate information why your business is the right fit for the potential customers.
Branding is one of the most elusive topics in marketing, as many business owners often have challenges figuring out how to brand their business. In simple language, your branding is the process of creating a distinct image or identity for your business. Your brand is what customers think about your business when they hear your name.
84% of searches on Google are discovery searches, meaning that many people are not looking for your company specifically, instead, they are just trying to find a business who can solve their problems. Once they find your company, if they already have a favorable preconceived idea about you, they might show more interest in working with you.
Branding encompasses many things, but from hyperlocal marketing, we are primarily talking about your online presence and the elements that distinguishes your business from the competitors’.
That said, some of your branding tools include:
- Brand: This includes your business name, logo, color, phone number, address, years in business and awards and accolades
- Citations: This includes your website, social media interactions, ads, review sites, local listings and Maps
- Content: Your content is the embodiment of your blog posts, photos, videos, reviews, Google posts and more
In the context of hyperlocal marketing, your branding extends to how customers view your business in terms of your commitment to the growth of your local community. To build a strong brand awareness, you should get involved with fundraisers, local trade unions or professional organizations, sponsorships, charities and more. If your business is touching lives and contributing to the greater good of the society, people will love to do business with you.
How to improve your brand’s local outreach and get more results:
You can improve your brand’s outreach within your local community through the following ways:
- Advertising on local eventapps
- Blog posts featuring local sponsors
- Getting backlinks from local website
- Press release in local media outlets such as television, radio or newspaper
- Mentions in email newsletters or social media
There are several arguments on whether email marketing still works in today’s business landscape. The truth is, email marketing still works and you can make the most of your online marketing by integrating email marketing in your overall marketing strategy. The best part is, marketing your business using email is very cheap, easy and can deliver high ROI. In fact, the possible ROI for email marketing can be as high as 4400 percent.
Essentially, all you have to do is choose a preferred email marketing platform, create your email and blast it to customers who have shown interest in being included in your email lists. Seeking customers’ consent is very important to avoid having your emails rot in a spam folder. Popular email marketing software include Mailchimp, GetResponse, Sendinblue and Constant Contact.
Some of the ways to build email lists include:
- Provide freebies, such as a free, downloadable guide to get users contact information in exchange
- Create valuable content
- Use enticing calls to action (CTAs) for special offers and discounts
- Provide sign-up sheets at events
In addition to general emails, you can also create location-based email campaigns. You should use client management software to track the locations of your customers so you can send email emails to other people from that area.
While sending out emails, it is important that you customize each email to each receiver. You can customize emails per name and business location.
Some of the email marketing best practices to keep in mind include:
- Engage and nurture prospects with laser-targeted email campaigns
- Automate your responses to new leads for immediate follow up.
- Engage past customers by providing irresistible offers like discounts, free eBook, or industry reports.
People look for a certain type of service or product during a specific type of weather – this could be during a particular weather or after a major event. Seasonality can lead people directly to your business and leverage hyperlocal marketing strategies.
You can target a specific local area and zip codes with ads and emails that are tailored to specific customers following extreme weather such as storm damage, drought, extreme heat or heavy rain. You can create ad campaigns before such events hit so you don’t find yourself struggling to figure out what to do after the event has passed.