A particular challenge for local businesses and local internet marketers is to help generate new phone calls, walk ins, email inquiries, and other actions from prospective clients/customers if the business is located on (or serves) two or more defined geographic regions. Some of these are particularly difficult if there are lots of qualified professionals serving both regions.
Here are some examples:
- A tax preparation CPA firm located on the border of two affluent cities, each with a population of around 200,000 people
- A licensed heating and air company which provides residential and commercial HVAC services in two counties, with a combined population of roughly 175,000 people
- A managed IT services company located about 1 mile from the border where 4 major affluent cities meet, with a combined population of nearly 800,000 people
- A sprinkler repair company which serves a county of 1 million people, but is located in an actual town of just 20,000 population
The above-mentioned industries have a significant amount of real competitors plus hundreds of competing lead-generation websites, directory listings, chamber of commerce and similar business websites, and more online competition — all aiming to attract a first-time prospective customer or client.
What to do?
One way to help get more local traffic and exposure to each company’s Google My Business and other Maps listings. This also includes Bing Business, Apple Maps, etc.
- Ensure accuracy in the listing
- In the company description, list the cities and counties served — especially since for the above companies they serve at least two (or more) major geographic regions within a 1 mile drive from their respective office locations
- Get more reviews
- Get citations (NAP directory mentions) which have varied descriptions, and mention the relevant cities and counties served so long as the name/address/phone are consistent
- Get people to enter in driving directions to each location (the HVAC and Managed IT services usually serve customers at their locations, so define a service area in the Maps listing)
- Get links from quality sources to the Maps listing
- Respond to all reviews
- Add consistent tips and posts in the GMB “Posts” section
- Geo-tag photos with optimized filenames and add those to the Photos section, emphasizing the desired cities and counties
- Link to the Maps listing from other Google properties such as YouTube descriptions, Google Sites, Blogger and more
- Link build to the individual reviews’ URLs
- Any other way to generate traffic to the Maps listing, such as CTR enhancement and possible low-cost local paid advertising
- Optimize YouTube videos for the desired cities and get local traffic to watch those videos
- Link build and embed and social share the desired city-optimized YouTube videos to rank in Google
- Upload videos to other video sites and create links back to the main website
- Create city-specific optimized pages on the website, each with at least some degree of city-specific “unique” content
- PBN’s (if done right)
- Quality press releases syndicated with reputable distribution services
- Links from relevant industry/niche directories
- Links from podcast sites
- Any links possible from local media sites, especially on the other side of the geographic region instead of just the one which is the physical address city
- Links from local organizations (sports, schools, local charities, etc.)
- Radius ads around the local business (Google, Facebook, etc.)
- LinkedIn, if hyper-targeted — usually for the more lucrative prospective clients
- Twitter ads
- Low cost paid classified ads targeting the desired geographic area
- Paid ads in sites like Nextdoor, Yelp and more
- Lead gen paid ads through sites like Thumbtack
- If possible, find local businesses and chambers of commerce which permit low cost entry into newsletters targeting your desired geographic area
- Build your own email list and ask your readers to share your content with those in the desired geographic areas
These are just some of the ways you can reach prospective customers/clients in cities and towns other than the one in which your business is physically located.