They don’t call it the World Wide Web for nothing. With the touch of a button, your message can reach people from Sydney to Tokyo to St. Petersburg. But what if you just want to reach the people down the street? International exposure is all well and good, but if you have a small business that services a single area, you’d rather concentrate your efforts on them, rather than people halfway across the world. How do you do it? Here are four ways.
- Use Geographical Keywords. You (hopefully) already optimize your content around relevant keywords in order to attract the people who are looking for what you have to offer. But location is just as important as subject matter when it comes to SEO. Using phrases like “family restaurants in downtown Los Angeles” or “dentists’ offices in Austin, Texas” will help you target the people searching for businesses like yours in your area. And remember that there are a number of different ways people might be searching for your location. Los Angeles, for instance, might be “L.A.,” “the Greater Los Angeles Area,” “The San Fernando Valley,” or any one of a dozen other things. Remember to employ a variety of different geographical keywords in your content, the same way you employ a variety of different subject-based keywords.
- Register with Local Directories. There are plenty of sites and services that specialize in location-based directories for businesses and brands. Both Bing and Yahoo have local search engines that allow you to enter in your location and find businesses nearby. Google+ has tools for finding local businesses as well. It’s important to register your business with these and other local directories, in order to increase your exposure.
- Connect with Local Publications. Wherever your company is based, there likely are newspapers, websites, blogs, and other prominent publications that focus on what’s going on in the area. If you can connect with people from those sites and publications, you can possibly get them to review you, profile you, or otherwise give you exposure. Remember, though, don’t just message people out of the blue and ask them to review your company. Take the time to build professional relationships that you can continue to make use of in the future.
- Reach Out. Look for events in your area that your brand can be a part of. Donate money to local golf tournaments and other charity drives that will feature your brand prominently in return. Know what’s going on in your community and establish a presence there, to show people who you are and what you’re about. Then, blog about your presence in these events and live tweet what you’re doing there throughout the day in order to attract local attention online.
The Internet is a vast place with a worldwide reach. But it can still be just as useful for targeting your own little corner of things as it can for global communication. You just need to know where to focus your efforts.