As online shopping continues to gain favor with customers, maintaining foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores is an ongoing challenge for retail brands. Location information offers at least a partial solution to these headaches, leveraging data from shopper smartphones to improve targeting based on geography.
Savvy business owners realize the importance of considering location in their brand marketing strategy.
Here are three actions that any company can take to seize this opportunity and attract local shoppers.
1. Targeting Local Intent
Most Google searches conducted today have local intent, meaning customers are seeking results that take location into account. For instance, if you do a search for a shoe store, Google will assume you're seeking a shoe store in your area.
The first step toward building an SEO strategy with local intent in mind is updating your Google My Business (GMB) listing and ensuring your hours, location and contact information are all accurate. GeoMarketing noted that your GMB listing also comes with some analytics information, which can teach you about how your specific customer base is finding your company.
Meanwhile, your long-tail keyword strategy should also take location into account, focusing on keywords specific to your area. And don't forget to update local information on your social media accounts for Facebook and Twitter, which customers often use to find new businesses.
2. Leveraging Location Behavior
Location behavior data is one of the most insightful and valuable assets a brick-and-mortar retailer will find. Through location-based tracking and a combination of first- and third-party data, even small businesses can study location behavior patterns. This information can help owners evaluate how frequently shoppers visit stores, how far they're likely to travel to do so and whether or not they've visited a store recently.
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, this location data can also be used to choose where (and how) to deploy advertising campaigns, as well as for retargeting past customers. A display ad campaign retargeting lapsed visitors, for example, can attempt to coax them back to the store.
By contrast, an email campaign can alert your subscribers to special offers they can only get in stores. Through this combination of location-based tactics, businesses can improve engagement with local customers and increase foot traffic to their storefronts.
3. Market to the Customer's Proximity
When it comes to mobile marketing, location is a natural filter for businesses to use when seeking to build in-store traffic. Any advertiser can set geotargeted ad campaigns that only promote your business to shoppers within a set distance of your store.
Meanwhile, online content can describe your business location in relation to well-known landmarks. Tell interested customers that you're located in San Francisco's historic Mission District, and they'll be more likely to seek you out next time they visit that area. Leverage your location's appeal however you can, whether you're in a high-interest area or simply the most convenient store for potential shoppers.
Location information can be a gold mine for brick-and-mortar stores — it doesn't have to be a costly venture reserved only for major corporations. Take advantage of free and low-cost ways to strengthen your local footprint while targeting the shoppers most likely to pay you a visit.