Back in the 90’s, brick and mortar businesses all over the world slowly started realising that the dot com wasn’t going anywhere, and that they needed an online presence, even if it was just to state what they sold and where you could find them.
Today, a local business website is no longer just the equivalent of an online flyer. Your website will feature blog articles, case studies, customer testimonials, and more, in a bid to persuade your online visitor to reach out and get in touch.
For many local businesses, however, their location pages still tend to slip a little under their radar. I mean, it’s “just” a location page, right? All it does is tell you the location of your shop or place of business, no?
It could be. But then you’d be missing out on a huge opportunity to turn your location page into a successful landing page of its own. Imagine if someone clicks on your location page and is instantly interested in what you have to offer, instead of having to click through another 5 pages of “About Us” and “Services” etc etc etc.
In this article, we’ll go through 5 amazing tips that will make your location pages stand out from everyone else’s – and turn those eyeballs into interested leads.
1) Do your research
The first tip of copywriting is never just start writing. You first have to understand your audience – and not in general, but specifically for each location. Take a look at your own stats; what do your customers at this particular store usually purchase or need?
If you don’t have that kind of info, ask your store manager what people are always looking for when they come in. Check out what kind of email inquiries you usually get from people in this area.
When you understand what the majority of people in that area need, you’re better able to speak their language.
2) Start out strong
One huge mistake many location pages make is burying the lead. They start off incredibly general and boring, such as “XXX has 18 locations across the country…”
Remember, you may spend months and months on building your website and all its content, but nobody is going to spend more than a few minutes reading everything (or even seconds!).
You have one chance to hook ’em, so start with a strong intro. Based on the info you’ve gathered about this location, start off with something they are sure to be able to relate to.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Something as simple as “Looking for…?” or “For the best… in town…” immediately puts your most popular products and services upfront and centre. Even if this is the first page of your website that people are seeing, they’ll know they’re exactly where they need to be.
The emotional tug can also work upfront right away. “Here at XXX, we know how stressful it can be to deal with…” immediately creates a feeling of empathy, shows the customer that you care – and can help them with their stressful problem (thus making it less stressful!).
Find different ways of capturing your audience’s attention based on what you know about them and their purchasing trends.
3) Get your SEO game on
Here’s where research is once again indisputably essential. Find out what keywords you should be targeting, analyse what your competitors are doing, and make sure that your content is just as search engine optimised here as all your other pages on your website that you perhaps deemed more important.
KWfinder and Ubersuggest are great tools for this type of keyword research in particular, because you’re able to specify your location down to the city or town you’re targeting.
When it comes to content optimisation, what you’re doing is basically looking at the top SERP content – the top search results when you google your main keywords – and making sure that your content also contains those relevant longtail keywords. Ideally, you’d also be able to identify relevant keyword gaps that you can take advantage of.
Some fantastic tools I like to use for content optimisation are Frase, WriterZen, and AISEO.
4) Get local
One big rule of marketing and sales psychology is this: People like to buy from people. Not businesses, not organisations, not stores. People crave the human touch. So get personal with them.
You’re a local store, so take advantage of your ‘localism’. Community is everything, whether you’re located in a small town or a sprawling city. There’s a sense of loyalty and pride involved when people “support local”.
There are three ways I like to do this:
* List suburbs that you serve
You can do it as a bulleted list, which is straight to the point and easy to consume. Or you can make it a little more personal by saying something like, “From Long Beach to Newark” or “Whether you’re located in Portland or Eugene… we’re on call 24/7 to take care of your needs,” or whatever it is you offer you might offer your local community.
When you’re doing something like pointing out specific suburbs, make sure you’re hitting it where it counts – go back to your research so there’s a higher chance that whomever is looking at this page lives in one of those popular suburbs, so they can feel like it’s speaking directly to them. (It also helps with SEO!)
* Name drop “local” stuff
If someone mentions your area, what immediately comes to mind? What are you famous for? What are some things that are automatically synonymous with this location?
Try to include activities you could see locals doing on any given day, so it feels almost like you’re “one of the gang” or “just hanging out”.
For example, here’s a sentence I included for a client who deals with disaster recovery:
“Just as much as we love walking along the Cumberland River, we also love helping our fellow Clarksville residents out, no matter how bad the damage.”
Another example for a local service which aims at fostering that feeling of community:
“Here at XXX, we see ourselves as your Rocket City neighbors, and it’s our mission to give you a helping hand when you need it the most.”
Just a simple sentence can give off the vibe that this place is “home sweet home” for yourself and your customers alike.
* Feature your local people
Has the manager at this particular store been working there for the last 15 years? Is it a franchise store run by a friendly old couple? Did Dave start off as an intern and made his way to top salesperson? What can you highlight about the people who run your store?
Sometimes saying something as simple as “And if you come by on Mondays you might even be greeted by…” can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing you’re already getting a warm welcome from someone you already “know”.
5) Feature local testimonials
If you’ve been serving this city, town, or even neighbourhood for a while, then you would have had plenty of opportunity to get a soundbite or two from happy customers in that specific area.
Tailoring the testimonials that you feature on each location page is another way of making it feel local and personal.
It’ll give your potential customers added confidence that you have, not only the experience, but more importantly, success in dealing with situations in this particular area.
For example, this was a tip I brought up to a client of mine who did outdoor painting in a beachfront area – a very specific challenge, considering how easily seaside elements can tear any paint job apart. Pointing out how happy his clients were with his work served to inspire fellow beachfront homeowners to hire him as well.
Local testimonials can also have a FOMO side effect, sort of like, “Betsy from down the road has had such success with this company? Maybe I should try it for myself!” They don’t have to know them personally; even being from the same or neighbouring suburb can have the same effect.
Phew, we’ve talked about a lot of ways to beef up your location pages to make it local, personal, and search engine optimised.
Hopefully, you won’t see it as “just a location page” any longer. Basing your web copy on your targeted audience research will ensure that you create the most relatable location-page landing pages that convert.
I promise you, your extra effort will pay off when you start bringing in more local leads and building stronger relationships with your community of customers.
If you ever need any help with writing your website’s location pages, feel free to send me a message, I’m always happy to help. 🙂