Geotargeting - what is it and why it makes sense for your local business

Geotargeting makes sense if you want local customers

 

If you’ve been searching for different ways to market and advertise your small business, then you may have come across the term geotargeting. It’s a popular advertising technique for local business owners, but how does it work?

In this piece, we’ll cover all the critical things to know about geotargeting. We’ll explain what it is and how it works, then look into why it makes sense for your business to try it out.

What Is Geotargeting?

Geotargeting is basically just local pay-per-click advertising. It’s the idea of delivering various adverts to people based on where they live. As an example, if you went to Google right now and searched for ‘grocery stores,’ you’d see results from local companies in your area. The results are displayed at the top of the search results, usually with a Google Maps image as well, which points people in the direction of the company.

Furthermore, geotargeting can also link to the method of figuring out what content to show someone who visits your website, based on their location. This is particularly useful for businesses with multiple locations in different areas. For example, imagine you run a coffee shop in LA and New York. You might have different menus and prices for each one. So, when someone from LA visits your website, you use geotargeting to show them the menu for that specific shop. The content they view is related to the business that’s closest to them.

How Does Geotargeting Work?

Geotargeting works thanks to GPS features built-into pretty much every device these days. With GPS signals, you can detect where people are situated. As a result, you can set up Google Ads with a feature that lets you select specific locations. If people within these locations search for things relating to your business - and the keywords you’ve paid for in the ads - then you’ll appear in their results. If they’re not within the specified locations, then they don’t see your adverts.

Of course, the actual technology behind this can be quite complicated. There’s also the idea of geofencing as well. With geofencing, you have a similar approach, but it’s more based on drawing a virtual fence around a specific location. For example, you might have a geofence around your local neighborhood. Then, when people are within that area, your adverts show to them.

Why Does Geotargeting Make Sense For Local Businesses?

Many companies can survive without investing in geotargeting. Primarily, it’s an idea that works best for local companies who rely on foot traffic. We used the example of a coffee shop earlier, but it could also apply to restaurants, retail stores, consultancy firms - any business where you depend on people visiting your premises.

If this applies to you, then you will reap the rewards of the many benefits that come from geotargeting. If you implement this as part of your marketing campaign, then you’ll see the following advantages:

Better ROI

Firstly, both geotargeting and geofencing can provide a better return on investment. Think about it, you’re using geographical locations to hone in on your target market. If you didn’t use geotargeting, then you may pay for adverts that are shown to the wrong people.

Let’s say you run a local retail business that sells various fashion items in-store. Here, you will look to target keywords like ‘clothes store’ ‘fashion’ and so on. Someone on the other side of the country could search for a clothes store, and your advert might appear for them. But it’s a waste of time because they’re not likely to travel all the way to the other side of the country just to buy something from your shop. If you used geotargeting, then your adverts will only appear for people who are near your store. As a result, it’s more likely that they will be interested in visiting you and seeing what you have to offer.

Consequently, this can lead to an increase in leads or sales, which translates into a far better return on investment.

Raise Brand Visibility

Another advantage of geotargeting is that it raises your brand visibility within a specific area. This is particularly useful for local businesses that have just started up. It’s a smart idea to invest in geotargeting so more people find out about your business from the beginning. They’ll notice your company in the Google results, and they can see where you’re based on a map.

So, even if this doesn’t directly lead to a sale, you have still improved your visibility. Now, the people who see your business in the local results may mention it to others. If one of their friends is talking about something, they may realize your company is relevant to them and tell them about it. It spreads the word, meaning more and more people know of your existence. This raises your profile, which can help you indirectly gain more customers in the future.

Increase Foot Traffic

Of course, the main benefit of geotargeting is that it can directly lead to more foot traffic. This is all because you’re specifically targeting your core demographic. The beauty of Google searches is that people are already half-interested in what they’re searching for. Often, they just need a little push to send them over the edge and become customers.

Geotargeting does this by providing them with a convenient solution to whatever problem they have. If they need a product or service, then they’ll see that you can offer this nearby. They’re more likely to come into your premises because they can see that you’re close to them, making life easier.

You can almost think of geotargeting as a massive virtual sign that points people to your store. It’s the best way for local businesses to tap into their local market and become more visible. There’s simply no point in wasting money on conventional PPC advertising because you run the risk of people from loads of different locations seeing your ads. If you depend on foot traffic, then you need to target certain locations. So, if you run a small business that needs to get more people through its doors, then think about investing in geotargeting today.

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