How Geo-Targeting Can Improve Your Marketing Performance and ROI

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Craig Smith  |  Founder & CEO

Some marketers are stuck in the age of mass media. They want to reach as many people as possible with the idea that the more people they reach, the more likely they are to find their audience. However, this type of broadcast marketing is unnecessary in the digital era. Instead of combing through large groups of people trying to find your audience, you can micro-target them by geo, demographic, and interest. Here are a few ways geo-targeting can improve your ROI along with a set of best practices to implement a geo-targeted strategy of your own.

Geo-Targeting Drives Down Keyword Costs

Google Adwords uses a “supply and demand” algorithm for its bid system. Terms that have higher demand levels have higher prices, while lower-demand terms cost less.  For example, if you bid on the term “legal advice,” then your brand is competing with every other lawyer and legal help service across the country. However, the term “lawyer in Tulsa,” will have significantly less competition.

By geo-targeting your ad campaigns, you can reduce your average cost-per-click and drive more traffic with your budget. Lower CPCs also mean a lower cost-per-acquisition for your customers. You can watch your business grow through increased traffic and sales without having to constantly grow your budget.

You can lower campaign costs through geo-targeting in social media marketing campaigns as well. By creating a narrow audience, you can reach more of your target customers than if you blasted your ad to anyone you could find. Most social media outlets let you target by zip code or even draw your targeted area so you can really find the right people to market to. Many of the real estate companies already use specific zip codes to provide their clients with what they are looking for. For instances if a client is searching for a house in Las Vegas then using Las Vegas zip codes to narrow down the search to places like Nevada or any other place is the most excellent way for finding the right property.

Geo-targeting Can Boost Your Local SEO

Web users expect local results from Google and Bing and tailor their search queries to bring up geo-targeted results. For example, Google reported that a third of all mobile searches are local-related.

While customers expect local results, they are using fewer terms to qualify where they are searching from. Google found that fewer people are adding their zip codes to restaurant searches and look up the weather without directly stating where they are. (Instead of searching “weather in Chicago,” they type “is it going to rain?”) This means that they expect Google to know where they are and respond accordingly.

Via Think With Google

Investing in geo-targeting for your advertising efforts and creating landing pages for the location you are marketing to could boost your local SEO efforts. Google will take these pages and serve them to customers who expect nearby results for their queries.  

Geo-Targeting Helps Create Effective Ads That Drive Clicks

Geo-targeting also allows you to create relevant ads that convert customers. Think about a dentist that has offices in both Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennesee. The cities are more than two hours apart and people are unlikely to drive that far just for a routine cleaning. By creating two different ads for specific geo-targeted campaigns, that dentist can create specific ads to appeal to customers. Audiences are more likely to pay attention because they only see the location that is close to them.

Geo-targeting also serves to reduce confusion for web users. Without geo-targeting, that same dentist would likely show ads in Memphis even if he or she doesn’t have an office there. Any traffic driven from ads outside of your service area is a waste of money because those customers won’t convert. Your ROI drops because of the wasted traffic.

Geo-Targeting Increases the Quality of Traffic to Your Website

When you develop a geo-targeting strategy for your marketing campaigns, you will start to see better traffic on your website. This traffic will have an immediate effect on your ROI. Better traffic means more leads and increased conversions — boosting your return on investment.

However, high-quality traffic also has other benefits to your brand. Good traffic reduces your bounce rate, increases the average time on site for visitors, and improves other performance metrics related to your pages. This might not seem like a lot, but these metrics prove that your website is valuable and provides a service to customers.

Increased traffic quality can improve your search rankings and also benefit your quality score — which means you will get more free organic traffic and better paid traffic at a lower cost through Google.

10 Tips to Implement Geo-Targeting Strategically

Understanding the benefits of geo-targeting is one thing but actually implementing a geo-targeted marketing strategy is quite another. Follow these guidelines when you develop your geo-targeting campaigns to maximize their effectiveness:

  1. Create unique campaigns for each geo. This allows you to track performance better and dedicate time and attention to individual locations.
  2. Get specific with your ad targeting. You can narrow your ads by zip code, neighborhood, or even by individual boundaries that you draw. Don’t be afraid to try microtargeting.
  3. Test campaigns with different radius sizes. Grow and shrink your radius depending on campaign performance and results.
  4. Track where your traffic comes from through tools like Google Analytics to see where you should invest your time.
  5. Not all geographic traffic behaves the same. Invest in profitable geos and investigate why other geos aren’t driving results.
  6. Test location-specific keywords and generic “near me” terms. You can also adjust your match types to expand your audience reach.
  7. Create location-based visuals and content that is specific to the geo you are targeting to show customers that you are dedicated to their area.
  8. Give visitors location options if you are unsure about their geo or if they are searching from a location outside of your targeted area.
  9. Create a non-geo-targeted landing page for visitors who want to learn about your brand before finding a specific location.
  10. Consider developing social media profiles for each geo. Will a unique profile for each location increase exposure, or just muddle your brand message? Test different profiles before committing to having more than one.

Geo-targeting is just one small step you can take to improve your marketing campaigns, but it can have a tremendous impact as a result. If you want to discover other ways to improve your marketing efforts, reach out to Trinity Insight today for a free, personalized consultation related to your brand.

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