Localized Online Advertising
target by geographical location

"Geotargeting is one of the most exciting ways of reaching local audiences on the Internet," according to leading family business expert Don Schwerzler. "Family businesses that are not using the Internet to generate local traffic are missing a crucial growth opportunity."

Schwerzler has been studying and advising family businesses for more than 40 years and he is the founder of the Family Business Institute. To learn more about targeting local audiences, we recommend "How to Promote Your Local Business On the Internet" written by Sharon Odum. It is a complete and comprehensive guide to using your web site to increase local traffic to your business.

We think Sharon makes a convincing case! Now let's look at it a little deeper...

Why Geotargeting?

  • Find your target market
  • Get them to opt-in to your mailing list

What Is Geotargeting?

It is the ability to target consumers by geographical location; also known as localized online advertising. You are then able to contact or present ads to just the consumers who live in certain geographic locations.

The Two Most Common Methods of Geotargeting?

  1. I.P. Address. Sometimes your Internet Provider's address can be mapped to a specific geographic location - often the exact location where your Internet Provider is located. But it does not work in the case of large Internet Providers whose customers come from a widespread area... like AOL, whose location is Virginia.
  2. Zip / Postal Code. Most people provide basic contact information when they sign up for service or offers online. But, they aren't always truthful or accurate, so this method is also not 100% reliable.

Four Basic Categories of Geotargeting?

  1. Localized content - advertising or information that applies to a local or regional area. e.g. online versions of newspapers, TV, radio, including City Guides, Yellow Pages and Directories.
  2. Banner advertising - using banners sold through online ad networks, including geographic and demographic selection.
  3. Registration Data - sites that provide services like e mail or Internet Access, since they usually collect at least the Zip/Postal code when a user registers for the service. Think of Yahoo, Hotmail...
  4. Geographic data providers - phone directories, map services - collect Zip/Postal code and/ or telephone Area Code so they enable geotargeting based on this information.

Online Geotargeting Resources

Here's a summary of the various resources that Sharon discusses in detail that can be used online. New resources, and new ways of using existing resources, are cropping up every day.

  • Local online media - newspaper, TV, radio
  • Local Biz Guides
  • Regional Directories and Search Engines - Yahoo has many regional directories in addition to its main one
  • Map Services and Phone Directories
  • Classified Ads Online
  • Pay-Per Click Search Engines like Overture
  • Ad Networks
  • Geotargeted Lead Generation
  • Email Marketing Products & Services
  • Internet Auctions
  • Online Coupons
  • Ezine Ads
  • Online Networking
  • Low-Cost Online Traffic Generation

Offline Geotargeting Techniques

And here are some offline targeting techniques that are worth considering to find new customers...

  • Postcard campaign
  • Local advertising
    • Traditional media
    • Flyers
    • Press releases
    • Your URL everywhere
    • In-store promotions
  • Community involvement / local events

For family businesses interested in significantly increasing their local traffic, we recommend Ken Evoy's SITE BUILD IT!

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Return from Geotargeting to
Local Business


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