We get this question all the time. “How do I reach more customers in my area?”
We always coach our clients to make sure they are marketing to their best customers first before focusing on acquiring new, “higher in the funnel” data. This would be anyone in their existing database and in-turn, their connections. These contacts have a much higher rate of conversion and staying in front of them allows you to work smarter, not harder. Once you’ve done this well, it’s time to look for people who don’t know you as well. That’s where Geotargeting comes in.
GeoTargeting allows you to display ads to people in specific geographical locations.
Why is this important?
Picture this… you’re walking in downtown Tacoma on Pacific Ave and pull out your phone to look for a place to eat. Odds are, you’ll see results or ads for local restaurants that are within walking or driving distance to your current location. That’s geotargeting! Geotargeting is a location-based marketing technique that tracks users’ locations to display search results and ads that best fit their location.
Geotargeting for Local Business
Businesses will benefit greatly if they properly target users in their area! Not only will their dollar go further, but they will see more sales…
How, you ask?
Let’s take a local private elementary school for example.
The school will want to make sure to use their limited advertising resources only on qualified potential customers. Typically, if someone lives more than 20 miles away, they won’t want to commute every day to drop-off and pick-up their child(ren).
Location-based marketing greatly improves your conversion rate and decreases your CPC (cost per conversion). However, geotargeting is not the only type of location-based method.
Geotargeting vs. Geofencing
What in the world is geofencing and how does it differ from geotargeting?
An article from Braze.com says it perfectly,
“Geofencing hinges on the use of a “fence”—a designated area that a marketer sets. Where geo-targeting allows you to get more granular and include or exclude certain users in the target area (based on demographic, for instance), geofencing is a bit more of a blunt object in that you’ll capture all users who move into a certain area. The purpose of creating a geofence is to target communications in a given zone, in a given context—just like geo-targeting, but with greater accuracy. Retail operators who want to catch the attention of shoppers as they pass by a store, for example, might use geofencing.”
A Geotargeted audience would look something like this: Women between the age of 30-44 in a 20-mile radius from Downtown Tacoma.
Geofencing would be anyone within 1000 yards of Tacoma Baking Company.
Geotargeting is much more common and easier to do. When creating a Google or Facebook ad campaign, it is required to set a location. Essentially, you set criteria to target a certain demographic and everyone that meets that criteria within your desired area is exposed to the ad.
In digital advertising, geofencing sends an alert or notification as soon as someone crosses into an area specified by the advertiser. A real-life example of this would be when you’re driving by the mall and you get a push notification from your Nordstrom app or an email that there is a sale going on. This method is extremely popular for retailers, grocery stores, and restaurants and usually set the geofence to a small area near their brick and mortar location.
Is It Useful For Your Business?
Yes! Geotargeting is very useful no matter what kind of business you have. If you operate out of a storefront, you can use it to target people in the area and promote deals or new items to entice people to walk through the door. If you are an online business, you can geotarget or geofence store locations that sell items similar to yours and push ads to people in the area of that store. Even though you may not have a store, you can still compete in the geographical location, digitally.
Use your resources wisely
One of the biggest benefits of using geotargeting techniques for your local SEO strategy is wisely allocating your financial resources. By targeting people in a specific area, you avoid spending money on people that would never step foot into your store or order something from your site due to their geographical location. People in Phoenix, AZ are not going to want your fleece-lined pants, so don’t waste money on targeting people there.
Create opportunities with audiences you may not have reached yet
Digital advertising allows your message to be displayed to a larger audience than you’d ever reach organically. Widen that net.
Here’s how you start:
Google and Facebook offer a ton of free resources to familiarize yourself with geotargeting, geofencing and other advertising techniques. However, if it is a little over your head and you’re hoping to have someone do it for you, we are here to help! Reach out and let us know if you need any help with your digital strategy or any other marketing initiatives.