Published: March 19, 2015
In the age of digital advertising, localization is an important way to stand out from the crowd. But many companies aren’t taking full advantage of truly localizing their digital presence.
So what can you do better?
Localize your website
The first and most obvious way to localize is through your website. If you are a retail business with different locations, or if you have a dealer network, you should be separating each of these somewhere — whether it be giving each a separate page on your website or giving each of them their own website. This should not just be a page for hours, location, etc. but should be constantly updated to include specials, coupons, events, and any other pertinent and timely information. You should create a place for those who go to your location can trust that they will find information.
After you have a website you want to show to the world, your optimization will become the next most important part of the equation. You will want Google to pick up which location the customer is closest to, but you also want those searching for generic terms to send nearby (potential) customers to your store. So instead of requiring the person to search for “dog food Green Bay,” help them find your page if they just search for “dog food.” When you optimize for SEO locally, it will end up being a better experience for the end-user.
You can’t rank high for every location unless you have taken the time to think about how each specific location will rank for local people, and doing SEO separately for each one.
Think about how people find your site and how they interact with your site. They don’t just interact with your homepage. This should be a rule in general, but especially for mobile. When your customers find your website through mobile, they could be out and about, doing research on the closest retail location for their needs. When you’re on your phone looking for a business, Google is going to base your search on your location. Why would you then send them to a generic website? They want to know location, hours and what you can offer them — all through clicking the the fewest amount of pages.
With the way that Google acts now, if they are using their phone and they are out and about searching — help them find the store. Their first interaction with you could be the store locations page — don’t ignore that chance.
If you are a brand working with a network of dealers, each with their own website, make sure to provide some direction to them. Letting dealers each have their own site gives them some localization, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to have some guidelines — especially in terms of look or content of the site. Those guidelines will give your dealers some continuity with your brand and will (if done correctly) be more appealing to the end user, as well as being optimized to reach the best audiences.
Don’t always think from a corporate point of view, think from a local point of view. Ask yourself: What is the user experience that you want to have happen? Let’s chat!