Every business hopes for expansion in one way or another. It’s a rare store that isn’t trying to expand into new markets or even new cities. But the Internet has changed how most companies view this process.
The web suddenly opened up an entire worldwide market. And companies reacted to that by treating it as they would any other market. For better or worse, this generalized view of things became the standard practice.
People seldom differentiate how they’ll market to local or remote locations. And it’s even less common for companies to attempt different Internet marketing strategies for customers based on proximity to a physical location. However, marketing by proximity to a physical store can offer up a number of important advantages. This can be enhanced even more by adding SEO on top of it.
This can be best demonstrated by considering a hypothetical company that sells packaged food, such as candy bars or popcorn. They operate as many companies do, by having a local store while also marketing to the Internet at large. But then something happens. They decide that there might be a more efficient way to go about their online marketing. So they look into whether local SEO marketing can help their business.
This can open up new markets for established companies who want to grow their customer base. The right choice can help new companies save money when just starting out.
The choices for SEO might seem unlimited at first. But consider the idea of marketing differently for a local and remote market. Our example company would benefit by looking for marketing help which focuses on local SEO. And we can start to see why by looking at the changes a local SEO company might make.
Local services target local needs
Our hypothetical store would love to be in the top results for a general google search on popcorn. But given the size of the market, that’s probably not going to happen. But what might occur is a higher preference on location-related searches for popcorn. Consider a case where there’s an outdoor movie marathon. Someone might do a google maps search for popcorn. Normal SEO probably won’t push the company up in the listings. But local SEO works with location. So our company might well show up as an option for people looking to stock up on popcorn for the nearby films. Additionally, because it’s showing up in a map program, there’ll be a host of incentives. People will see how close they are, hours of operation, and possibly even some pictures to show off enticing items.
Ensuring search engines do their part
Of course, search engine optimization also means working with the search engines themselves. This is one of the more tricky, but valuable aspects of local SEO. Local SEO puts heavy emphasis on communicating local relevance to a search engine. This can involve a great many things. It can involve everything from schema markup to carefully studying keyword relevance for one’s neighborhood.
Keeping that in mind, we can go back to our earlier example. Our company might be doing a good job attracting attention with geographically aware platforms, such as maps. But what about someone who is new to the area and is simply doing a quick search in a standard search engine? That’s where the main search engine optimization comes into play. They’ll often do a search by simply pairing city name alongside the service they need. For example, they might do a search for “popcorn BigCity”.
Local sales and general convergence
You might assume that this would instantly put our example in competition with every other popcorn vendor in BigCity. But it’s safe to assume that most of the competition isn’t using location-based SEO. As a result, they’re essentially trying to rise to the top of searches for popcorn in a more general sense, essentially vying for top billing with every other popcorn vendor on Earth. But because our example company is specifically working with local SEO targeting, it will rise higher up in ranking for location-based searches.
This isn’t just important when considering local sales either. It’s quite common for people on vacations or business trips to do quick searches to find what they need. A converging of online and physical locations means that it’s easy to keep them as customers even as they head back home. It’s a very different way of marketing to people based on location, but by working with local SEO, one can maximize both physical and online sales.