The internet has opened up a world of opportunities for business; never before it has been so easy to achieve global reach from one single location.
Companies and brands can now operate in multiple markets, regardless of geographical location or physical premises. At the same time, many businesses prefer to take a local approach – and this requires a slightly different strategy.
Whether you are running an online-only business or creating a website for your brick-and-mortar store, forming a local identity may be crucial to conquering your chosen market. Without a strong local presence, your manual outreach and social media strategy will fall on its face, costing you more time and money to put you on the map. Here are some simple yet effective tips on how to optimize your website for local success.
How Can Your Business Benefit from a Local Approach?
When it comes to business, it can be tempting to cast your net as wide as possible – in the form of generic marketing campaigns, a globally targeted brand, and a location-neutral website.
While this may seem like the best way to conquer several markets at once, it may have the opposite effect. For smaller businesses especially, it creates an air of anonymity – making it extremely difficult to connect with your audience.
Even globally successful brands have to adapt – or localize – their approach to suit different markets.
If you are a small, local business, it is absolutely crucial to use this to your advantage – here’s why:
Build Consumer Trust
Many consumers prefer to do business locally, whether it’s to support the local economy or simply because they find it easier to trust local brands.
Even if your business is online, positioning yourself as local will make it much easier to build consumer trust and acquire loyal, long-term customers.
Highly Targeted Marketing
Brands that try to appeal to everyone usually end up appealing to no one. By focusing on a local audience, you can create highly specific marketing campaigns that appeal to well-defined target groups.
Relatable marketing is crucial to building meaningful connections, and this is where local businesses have a huge advantage.
You Understand the Market
As a local business, you know the market better than anyone – and this is a major selling point. If potential customers are looking to invest in a service, this first-hand, “insider” knowledge will no doubt work in your favor?
Simple Strategies for Maximizing Your Local Business Appeal
While brick-and-mortar stores have the benefit of a physical location, internet businesses face more of a challenge when it comes to establishing a local identity.
However, with the right tactics and techniques, you can ensure your website is set for local success.
One of the first things to think about when setting up your website is your domain name. As well as incorporating your brand and determining your web URL, the right domain can help to form your local identity.
While a .com domain has a global feel, country-specific domains give a clear indication of where your business is operating. An .in domain, for example, instantly positions your website in the Indian market and can be obtained through companies like 1&1 in exactly the same way as a generic domain.
Every business website should have an “about” page, and this is the perfect opportunity to connect with local customers.
Tell the story of your business, focusing on how and where it started, and try to make it as personal as possible. Describe your company’s vision in relation to the local community, and aim to include at least one photo.
This not only gives your business local relevance, but also instills a human element – a great way to gain consumer trust. Take a look at these “about” page examples for more inspiration.
In order to ensure local success, it is essential that your website shows up in local search results. This is where SEO comes in.
In addition to your main keywords, your website text should be optimized to include your location. So, if you are offering translation services in New Delhi, both of these components should be featured in headings, alt text and body copy throughout your website.
This way, you make sure your website is visible to anyone searching for location-specific services.
Network Locally – Both Online and Offline
A surefire way to establish yourself as a local business is to be active in the community. There are plenty of ways to do this – from working with local charities to joining relevant groups on social media.
When it comes to Twitter and Facebook, something as simple as setting a local landmark as your profile image can also help to link your business to a certain place.
All in all, a local business mentality engages your target audience and builds consumer trust – a crucial factor for long-term success. With the above strategies, you can make sure that your website is ready to succeed in your local market.