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Use Location-Based Marketing to Attract More Local Customers

by Dan Finney | Apr 26, 2018, 13:00 PM

This blog post was updated on 7/2/24 to reflect updated trends and new options for paid search campaigns.


When was the last time you checked a paper copy of the phone book? Or looked in the newspaper for a service you needed? Chances are your answer is something like, “Not in the past decade.” 

As traditional display advertising inches toward obsolescence, businesses must find new ways to connect with local digitally-savvy consumers. Location-based marketing is the best way to do that.   

What is location-based marketing?

Location-based marketing is based on geolocation – a tool that search engines use to deliver localized results. Search engines may use a combination of GPS coordinates, IP addresses, and server data collection to help someone hunting for pizza find restaurants nearby, rather than top-ranked options hundreds of miles away. Search engines are effective at delivering local search results for users, but to appear in those results, businesses need to optimize their location information.

Why does location-based marketing matter?

According to Google, four out of five consumers use search engines to find local goods and services. When someone in your area is searching for a product or service you offer, wouldn’t it be great if your business popped up at the top of the search results?

How can I start location-based marketing?

These are the fundamentals of location marketing: 

Add Your Location(s) To Your Website
You might be surprised at how many businesses fail to include their address on their website. If you’re trying to attract local customers, put your address in your website header, footer, and contact page. Make the address easy to find, avoid stylized fonts that could be misread, and be consistent in all instances (for example, using either “St.” or “Street,” but not both terms). 

Optimize your Google Business Profile (GBP) Listing
If you’re a business owner, you probably already have a GBP. The listing shows up when people do location-specific searches and it’s a great way to increase your visibility, share your business information with local users, and gain credibility with user reviews. You can also share additional details – hours of operation, photos, reviews, expanded service descriptions, and other content – that help consumers find you and make purchasing decisions.

Ask Customers For Reviews
Word-of-mouth reviews matter, but did you know that 95% of customers read online reviews before purchasing a product, and 58% say they are willing to spend more for products that have good reviews? Most people are happy to leave a review on Facebook, Yelp, or other popular platforms, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Other than Google, Yelp, and Facebook, do you know where consumers might encounter your business information? Take a look at our Listings Checklist to find out.

Ready to go beyond the basics? Here are a few more advanced techniques:

Work On Your Search Engine Optimization
SEO – infusing your content with terms that help users find you – can significantly boost your rank in local search listings. (If you’re not sure how to do this, start with our SEO guide).  

Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
Most consumers use mobile devices to search for products and services, and the average user will abandon a site that takes two seconds or longer to load. 

Optimize for Location in Your PPC/Paid Search and Performance Max Campaigns
Last year, local campaigns and shopping campaigns were automatically upgraded to Performance Max ads, which are designed to offer more dynamic advertising while simplifying the process. Both search campaigns and PMax campaigns allow you to select the locations you wish to target. Read more about PMax!

Optimize For Voice Search

Searching by way of voice assistants like Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa is on the rise. Optimize for voice searches with your long-tail, conversational, and question keywords. Tools like Ahrefs can help you find questions related to your most important keywords. 

Help Customers Find You

Geolocation gives you the chance to rank high in online searches happening in your area. If you want to use location-based marketing to attract local customers and stay ahead of competitors, talk to BoxCrush.


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