Larger corporations work from detailed customer profiles that help them better market their products and services, but even if you don’t have that kind of budget, one valuable demographic to understand is customer location.
Whether you have brick-and-mortar locations or are strictly an eCommerce operation, it can help you hone your website’s marketing message, and it’s also easy to uncover. If you make sales directly on your website, Google Analytics will share the information in their audience reports, and stores with physical locations can simply ask your customers for their zip code when they check out.
Here are just a few ways you can improve your website with customer location data once you’ve gathered it:
Know how far customers are willing to travel. For brick-and-mortar locations, it’s crucial to understand the radius around your store that people are traveling to get your products or services. This can help you focus on search engine optimization for the cities, states, and counties that are most effective, and it can save you the time and trouble of developing web traffic from a location that’s simply too far away to attract business. You can also add directions and maps to make it as easy as possible to find you.
Find new opportunities. Brick-and-mortar locations may notice an area that is close but isn’t drawing enough customers, which may be a sign of untapped potential. And ecommerce sites can uncover new areas to target with their web marketing. It may be unclear on your website that you service or ship to these areas, or you may need to make a greater push to promote your website to residents in those areas.
Take advantage of regional concerns. Once you’ve identified the locations you want to focus on, you can ensure that your content marketing and product promotions are speaking to those customers’ needs. For instance, during the winter, those who live in the Northeast may be on the lookout for snow-related solutions to problems but it’s unlikely that those in states like Florida and Texas will. Knowing the locations of your most common customers can help inform the types of products you feature on your website during different seasons.
Add different languages. For ecommerce sites, this is a big one. If you have customers from around the world, you may be able to expand this customer base by translating your website into the languages they speak. You don’t have to translate every page on your website. Often it makes sense to start with key pages and then expand the translation as you notice results. Even if your audience is entirely domestic, there are regional differences in language. You want to know whether “pop” or “soda” is the term your visitors would prefer, for example.
Create content that’s locally focused. The more specific your content is, the more likely it is to strike a chord with your audience. If you have a location-based audience, your content should be focused on that location as well. For instance, if you sell running apparel, sharing blog posts useful information about specific marathons in your area – not just marathons in general – can help improve the chances that content is shared with your target audience. This is also a benefit because you’re competing for attention in a smaller space. There may be hundreds of blogs sharing advice for runners, but there are probably only a handful targeting runners in your specific city or neighborhood.
Share images that match your customers’ expectations. It’s not just written content that can be locally focused. The graphics on your site can also make a greater impact if it reflects what people see on a daily basis. Is your audience mostly urban? Images of a cityscape may be more effective than photos of a green countryside.
Focus your PPC campaigns. You can limit the locations where your ads are shown to focus only on areas where your current customers live. Another way to improve your website’s conversion rate is to write ads and develop landing pages specifically for your customers’ most common locations.
Test the right audience. If you are undertaking a complete redesign, one valuable step in the process to consider is in-person testing. By first understanding where your audience lives, you can make sure the testers you select also live in those areas to take into account any regional-specific issues you may otherwise overlook.