Business copywriting sometimes comes down to test and measure decisions. Geo-targets fall under this category. Let’s have a
discussion on how geo-targets may, or may not, limit you.
I’m not going to dig into the programming aspect of this discussion, but I’ll try to touch on the business copywriting side. You see, in the background of your website, there are numerous aspects of geo-targeting that your web developer will do for you.
When we talk about business copywriting, we’re referring to subheads, meta descriptions, long-tail keywording and, well, other little things like social media bios. You know, the stuff that defines you as a business and tells who you serve.
I’m a professional copywriter in Philadelphia, PA. I serve the tri-state area with on-site copywriting services. I’m an advertising copywriter for Wilmington, DE. Get the idea of what a geo-target is?
The other day I spoke to a woman whose husband was an electrician. They happen to work in the state of Delaware. They live in a college town called Newark. Their business was home based.
She no longer wanted her geo-target to be focused on Newark, but to be Sussex County and Kent County. Then she teetered. She also wanted all of the cities, about 8, to be listed for those places. Yes EIGHT geo-targets for her business.
I tried to steer her to picking the 3 – 5 most relevant to her. She insisted she didn’t want to limit herself. Those are famous last words, so heed them well.
You see, when a user tries to find an electrician, they are going to type in things like ‘electrician in Newark’ or ‘electrician in zip code.’ If 3 electricians come up in a search, they will call the one with an address they recognize? I can say, quite frankly, that I almost always choose the business that shares my city or a zip code close to my own.
However, let’s be clear (and honest with ourselves) here. If your address is Newark, and I’m in Smyrna an hour away, after seeing your address I’m not going to call you just because you come up in a search. If I see your address is Newark, I’ll probably move on to another electrician. Don’t you do this all the time with restaurants?
Limiting our geo-targets can be a good thing. Why? For one, do you really want to travel an hour to a job? Depending on the contract size, maybe, but you can’t just say that to Joe Consumer, can you? Thanks for calling, Joe, but your job is too small for me to travel an hour to. Sorry. Call back when you need a building rewired.
For two, if you choose a few specific cities and towns, you have a better chance of coming up in those areas since they are concentrated. Those three or four areas are far more reasonable for you to continually target as your geos than 11 different places (I took that 11 from the example above.)
That said, if you live in a rural area, by all means, get every city and zip in there you can. Goodness knows you need to travel greater distances the less densely populated your town is.
You may also list the second set of places you serve on a homepage, in a sidebar or create numerous long-tail keyworded landing pages. Whatever you do, though, don’t be afraid to limit yourself. A little limiting is good for you.
When you consider what towns you serve, try to be realistic about who provides you the most business. You’ll also want to be honest with yourself about who you want to call you.