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Community-Based Marketing for the New Year: Keep it Hyperlocal

by Tim Weydt

Experts predict that tomorrow’s marketing initiatives will be increasingly shaped by the local – not the global. Just last March, Google implemented Fred, an algorithm designed to favor websites optimized for a local audience base. Around the world, large, global-scale organizations saw their rankings plummet, while smaller businesses focused on hyperlocal audiences enjoyed their day in the sun. Today, it’s easy to tailor your digital marketing strategy to suit your local audience – and you’re likely to see a boost in search engine rankings if you do.

 Tweak your Keywords 

As you begin to shape content around your hyperlocal audience, it pays to tinker with your keyword selection until you’ve got the right SEO word set. According to Google’s new ranking protocols, it’s imperative that you reach local customers first and foremost; thus, referring to volume data makes a logical first step. If you aren’t on board already, it’s time to embrace Google Analytics—or a similar digital data cruncher. Services like Google Analytics tell marketers which keywords are working, soliciting clicks and even sales. Without a digital sidekick like Google Analytics, you’ll be hard pressed to execute a truly successful marketing initiative.

To hone in on quality keywords, try tapping a few sample words into Google, and let Google Suggest do the rest. This algorithm is designed to offer commonly searched keywords alongside the phrases you input. Applicable to Bing, Google Maps, and YouTube, technologies like this one offer dynamic offerings that let you to hone in on the keywords truly tailored to your hyperlocal audience.

Go Mobile!

For entrepreneurs truly interested in reaching a hyperlocal crowd, tailoring their content to accommodate a mobile-sized screen is a must. In 2015, Google announced that mobile searches had surpassed desktop searches, and that gap widens by the day. And between 2014 and 2015, Google reported a 200% increase in “nearby” and “near me” searches. With mobile devices in hand, users are ever living by the seats of their pants, following their whims – and trusting their searches to take them there. ”

The next time your brand is looking for a refresh, start by assessing your website’s mobile capabilities. Are you delivering a simple, streamlined experience for your users, one complete with the information today’s searchers expect? In today’s hyper-mobile world, it’s crucial for every entrepreneur to keep up.

Get Your Rankings Straight

Little matters more than how your brand ranks in a Google search, so it pays to get your ducks in a row with regards to your position. First, be sure your Google My Business page is completed to the fullest extent, since this optimizes your brand’s priority to Google. Focus your website content around a hyperlocal audience, tailoring keywords to resound with those living nearby. If you’ve got multiple business locations, the ideal solution is to create a dedicated local landing page for each one – this way, Google (as well as your local audience) will have no trouble distinguishing what’s what.

Finally, consider incorporating structured data markup – otherwise known as schema markup – designed to describe the content of any given page. Structured data markup allows you to embed extra keywords into all pages, giving your brand a leg up when Google comes around to rank.

In 2018, trendsetters will be going local, and digital marketers would do well to start localizing their content now, tailoring social media posts, blog entries, and even video clips to more closely align with the interests and values of the local crowd. With the arrival of another year, hyperlocal is decidedly in.

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