Designing a website with your local market in mind

Many brands have big ambitions when it comes to designing a new website from scratch. They want to appeal to as many potential customers as possible, which means that they often overlook their local market. This could be a mistake, particularly for start-ups for whom dominating their local market could be a very good way to get established.

Why is targeting your local market so important?

If you think that targeting your local market isn’t such a big priority, perhaps the following statistics will change your mind. According to BrightLocal, which looked at the North American market in its research:

  • 97% of consumers rely on the internet when researching local products and services
  • 32% of consumers are more likely to contact a local business if it has a website
  • 77% of smart phone users get in touch with a business after searching for local information
  • Nearly 69% of mobile users who research local information visit the business on the very same day

Plus, further research from Google (partnering with Ipsos MediaCT) found that a massive 88% of consumers conduct local searches on smartphones, while 84% search locally on computers and tablets. The study also found that four in five consumers want search ads to be customised to their location.

So, it’s clear that local search is a big priority for consumers, as well as being a key focus for Google, so why wouldn’t you design your brand’s website with local customers in mind? If you optimise your site for your local region, you could enjoy SEO benefits such as higher rankings and a boost in traffic for searches in your region. You can improve brand name recognition in your local market, plus many of your prospects and potential customers are right on your doorstep.

How to optimise your site for local search

While it pays to target local customers, you still want it to have a broader appeal. Here are a few valuable tips to help you strike the perfect balance:

  • Use your blog content to target geographic keywords. Each new post is an opportunity to target a new geographic search phrase, which should pop up in local search results.
  • Optimise essential on-page SEO elements for local search. For example, focus on optimising your page headers, URLs and internal links for local searches.
  • Collaborate with other complementary local businesses. In your content and your links, attempt to connect with other local businesses (as long as they aren’t competitors) – the chances are that they will reciprocate.
  • Create location pages. Create unique landing pages for each location your business serves.
  • Optimise for mobile. You can’t afford to miss out local searches from mobile users, so optimise your website for smartphones and tablets too.

Do you feel that optimising a website for local search limits its appeal, or is it a smart decision to establish a brand in its local area? What have you done with your website to appeal to the local market? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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