The latest numbers indicate that over 80% of people with computer access use search engines to find local businesses. Local consumers are going to go online to find businesses that have what they need and are close to where they live.
Staying visible to those on the Internet could mean either success or failure for your business, so why wait? Check out the four steps your business can implement to improve localised SEO below.
1. Define Your Segment
In order to begin optimising your content, you must first define the places that you are targeting for business. The goal is to stay specific to a city or zip code, while considering two components: business at the target location, and your audience’s ‘tone.’
If your company can only do business within a limited number of miles from headquarters, you need to note that. People from Hong Kong Island will be less likely to do business with a company that only provides services to Shenzhen.
After you have done this, know how your audience interacts and engages. Write content in the tone and the manner of the demographic you are targeting; whether your specified crowd is primarily a teenage audience, a female audience, or a family-orientated audience, relating to the person through the way they talk is essential to getting through to them.
2. Building Localised Content
The design of a localised content strategy is made up of segments that are unique to each geographical area. These segments are highlighted on a state, city, and micro level through dedicated pages to target audiences.
The idea is to provide true value to people by materialising relatable information that is relevant to them based on where they live. This tactic will increase your ability to show up in search queries, and will also increase your conversion rate because of the custom experience you created for each user.
Some effective strategies for building a localised page include customising your product for different climates, listing locations for repair, and noting shipping rates.
3. The Comfort Zone
Where does your audience spend their time? For example, it was reported in Canada in December 2012, that social networking platform Twitter was more popular than Instagram.
If you are assigning your content to places that have low traffic for your target area, then the word spreads to less people and you get less business. Know where and what your target audience spends their time doing, and make sure your content is relevant to that.
4. Creating Local Links
Now that you have content that relates to the areas of the world that you are targeting, the next step is to create local link connectivity. Use sites such as Google Places, Yahoo Local, and InfoUSA to create links that provide localised SEO for your root domain.
In order to make a search engine believe that your site is a great resource in Hong Kong, they expect to see sites that are relevant to Hong Kong linking to you. This is one of the most important strategies in creating localised SEO as search engines are heavily taking into account the number of links and connections you have in ranking your website.
It is important to also communicate with other local businesses, and link to one another as much as you can.
Tools related to SEO have given small businesses the newfound ability to market themselves without spending a dime. Local listings and SEO have always been an important entity to young businesses, but at this day and age, they have become essential.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Hongkong Business. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Brent Payne is CEO at Loud Interactive, an SEO Consulting Firm.