HypeLocal is a word your SMB will be hearing a great deal more of in 2017. Far from just being a trending social media darling buzzword, it will be a key part of the digital wiring for your small business on line presence.

Columnist Jim Yu in a Search Engine Land piece provides this description: “Hyperlocal targeting, or marketing to customers within your area based upon their location, has the potential to help brands answer the immediate needs of their prospects.”

Immediate needs. “I want a pizza place near me, now” And then your potential customer reaches into his/her pocket to pull out a cell phone; if you have outlined a solid mobile marketing strategy (Google My Business page ready and optimized with every field relevant to your business filled out), your business will be among the first displayed— because it is a LOCAL search.

The parameters have been set. Not the biggest pizza joint. Not the one with the best take out. Not the one with national advertising. But “pizza near me.”

Point in fact, between 2014 and 2015 Google reports “near me” searches doubled— with 80% being made with mobile.

Explains Yu “Brands that do not prepare for the impending hyperlocal trends may end up seeing a considerable drop in both online and in-person traffic.”

As a business owner you will need to stop thinking about why YOU want the customer to come into the store and more so the intent of the customer desiring your product or service. They will be using a cell phone, so you must have a mobile-friendly site design, which not only means keeping contact information prominently featured but also going so far as to provide click-to-call buttons. Why make them go off site to call you?

In fact, if you are, to use this example, a pizza restaurant, why not have an interactive menu on your website where customers can choose sizes and toppings on line, just in case they want it for take out.

Key thing for your website and Google descriptions are what is called the 3-pack: address, business hours and a directions button. Don’t make customers try to figure out where you are on Main Street.

Consider how valuable, to make consumers feel more comfortable about their choice, it would be if a single click on the business name brought up additional info, such as customer reviews.

If you want to make consumers differentiate & select your small business in the hyperlocal neighborhood target market from the competition, you will need to understand how those consumers are now looking for you and what info they will need to find you.

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