A big part of running a successful e-commerce website, or any website for that matter, is bringing the RIGHT traffic to your site, which means optimizing your SEO (search engine optimization). So, let’s look at what happens when people look for products or services online. Google ranks all the possible websites out there, trying to display first links that are the best fit for a user’s query using a complex algorithm that changes all the time. Plus, the metrics that comprise the algorithm are not published. Showing up first, second, or third in the results (called SERPs), is critical because as a user scrolls down the list of results, the chances they’ll click on a link diminishes quickly. One of the ways that Google ranks websites on search results is through geolocation to show local businesses first.
Not only is it important to consider geolocation to optimize your placement in the search results, but it also helps send the RIGHT traffic to your site. Let’s take the example of a local restaurant or retail shop. You only want traffic within a certain geographic location, since folks likely won’t travel hundreds of miles to visit your business.
What is geolocation?
Increasingly, users search for nearby businesses using their mobile devices. Geolocation is the process of determining the physical location of a mobile device. The process is wireless and works via WiFi or satellite tracking. Once your position is pinned, latitude and longitude coordinates are determined to find the exact location of the device.
For e-commerce, the ability to determine the location of a device opened up a whole new ball game when you compare it to how marketing and advertising were done in the past. Printed ads, such as those carried by newspapers or magazines had little control over the location of their readers; you could be reading an ad for a business that’s in another town or neighborhood or, in the case of national media, the reader could be anywhere. Traditional media such as television or radio offered a little more specificity in terms of location, but you reach a lot of people who aren’t part of your target market because broadcast media isn’t very specialized. You always wonder: are the right people seeing the ads?
Geolocation solves this exact problem. If, for example, you are a Seattle financial advisor, your geographically specified ads are targeted towards clients who not only live in the Seattle area but those who are actually looking for financial advisors! This means you can advertise and market your services directly to a group of people who are already looking for someone like you, making them more likely to do business with you.
How else can geolocation help me?
Okay, so geolocation can help by narrowing down your potential client base to the group that is most likely to need what your business offers. However, the wonders of geolocation don’t stop there! Not only does geolocation help you identify your potential client base and advertise to them, but it can also help you in other ways, such as:
Establishing your online profiles
Geolocation works with a number of different social media sites, which means that you can create and control your company’s online profile as much as possible. This way, you can have control over the content and the engagement in the online profile. If you don’t have a profile, any customer can just create a page for your business when they share the geolocation with their online connections.
The best way to ensure that you control your online business profiles is to be proactive and create profiles on all of the popular social media networks. Create a strong, professional profile with all the pertinent information, such as images, services or products, prices, and your contact number. Focus on social media networks with geolocation services so that potential customers are able to find you and get the same information no matter which platform they are on.
Another awesome way that geolocation can help boost your business is by helping you interact with your customers both online and offline. This type of engagement helps create customer loyalty. Customers can check into your business using geolocation apps so that they can avail of small gifts or discounts. Foursquare for Business even takes it a step further by allowing companies to team up with them and create loyalty programs where customers can win points or coupons.
Improved event marketing
Any marketer will tell you that one of the most difficult things about launching any event is getting the information to the right people. However, geolocation makes it easier because the information is deliberately targeted to people on various platforms. What’s more, it even takes the time into account; geolocated events are often pushed into the spotlight via reminders and push notifications like the time of the event comes closer.
Putting the spotlight THROUGH the right people
Finally, geolocation can help give your business a boost by putting you in the sights of an influencer. If your business is running a sale that catches an influencer’s attention and they share it with their followers, you might receive a huge and sudden boost in your business immediately following their post, depending on the influencer’s network. These days, these influencers don’t even need to be huge names like the Kardashians; many micro-influencers are doing well in their own towns and cities. If a certain micro-influencer has a large and strong enough following in their hometown, they can help drive business immensely for any local company that they choose to advertise.
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