In the last two years, more searches were conducted on mobile devices than on desktop. This trend altered the traditional, linear consumer journey. It’s now broken into touch points where audiences hop around to different steps across devices.

Hyperlocal targeting is the way to present products and services to customers in real time. With the increase of localized queries, brick-and-mortars finally see the need for local-based SEO and the use of smart targeting. Here’s what you need to button-up prior to launching a hyperlocal ad campaign.

Cover your bases.

First order of business: clean up your local listings.To add your business information to Google Maps, Search, and other Google properties, you’ll need to create a Google My Business listing or get access to one, if it already exists. Start by claiming and optimizing your Google My Business Page. If you haven’t done so already, run through the following:

  • Claim the business and receive Google’s verification code
  • Complete the name, address, and phone number fields
  • Choose the correct business category
  • Upload high-quality photos of your business

These are the building blocks of your online visibility, and play an important role in ranking.

(Multi-channel marketing has a compounding effects on brand awareness. Consider paid search: it amplifies the visibility of a Google My Business page, and can deliver timely information to a well-targeted audience.)

Be present.

People take their smartphones everywhere, and that’s affected purchasing behavior: how (and how often) we chat with friends, interact with companies, read reviews, discover new products, and find directions.

Be sure you’ve got the right content to serve people during moments of high engagement and points of interest. For example, if someone is searching for nearby coffee shops, they’re more likely to visit a location with a five star rating, or one that offers a percentage off their purchase.

Customize.

Have multiple locations? Make that clear. Create and optimize landing pages for each, then customize the content for their target audience.

Consider people’s secondary actions, and connect those to your marketing goals. After they see your ad, what will get them another step closer to action? They need options:

  • Click the ad to visit your site
  • Tap-to-call to reserve a table
  • Get directions to visit your store

Dive into data.

To properly target people based on location, you’ll need to understand different data sets’ strengths. Hyperlocal campaigns can be informed by a few sources:

  • GPS coordinates: The most accurate data for hyperlocal targeting, it’s only collected from people who opt to share their location with search engines and third-party apps.
  • IP address or WiFi: This data can be used for targeting at the zip code or city level. You can customize content based on physical proximity or desired location.
  • Beacon data: Requires brick-and-mortar locations to set up beacon devices around a hotspot. As people enter a defined area, they’re served mobile ads via search engines like Google.

Strategize, strategize.

Some tactics are better for awareness, while others get people through the door. Choose the campaign strategy that best suits your goals. Some to try:

  • Place-based targeting: Pinpoint a person’s location by detecting their mobile device’s Bluetooth, and provide content in a timely manner. This comes in handy when promoting a specific event or a deal that’s good for a limited time.
  • Geo-fencing: A virtual fence created through IP address, WiFi location, or GPS data to target ads based on physical proximity or desired location.
  • Location-aware: Displays ads when users are close to a specific location; identified through GPS data.
  • Hyper-contextual: Hyper-local data that delivers contextual messages that resonate with an audience; generally used to drive purchase intent.
  • Geo-conquesting: Applies to GPS, IP address, or WiFi location data to reach and engage people when they’re physically in or around your competitors’ area.

With algorithm updates like Possum and the rise of “near me” queries, local search is gaining importance. Implementing these ideas into your current digital strategy can open the door to greater business visibility and foot traffic. See you around!

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