Back in the day, an online presence was all about being easily seen and found by a wide audience. It’s interesting now to watch moves by many real-world businesses to use the net to communicate with local audiences — people in their own city or even their own neighbourhood.
You may also have noticed that Google searches have local searches showing up more often.
So what does this all mean if you want to communicate via your website with local people?
The first step is to have locality-based information in your page copy, links and titles.
Use the names of your city and even your suburb on your pages, add your address and Google maps; and discuss local and community events in your blog posts and titles, says United States web marketer John Jantsch.
Read more from Jantsch about how to do local SEO.
This story about Auckland cafe Cigana using an online app to entice people in to buy coffee is an interesting read.
Linking to local business can also help, as can signing up on local directories. New Zealand ones include: Finda (www.finda.co.nz), Gopher (www.gopher.co.nz), NZPages (www.nzpages.co.nz), and NZ directory (www.nzdirectory.co.nz).
There are NZ tools to help you be visible locally. NZ Post, for example, has www.localist.co.nz which provides information and reviews on local businesses and allows individuals and businesses to post information about their communities.
There are tools to help people to communicate online with each other about their experiences with local businesses. Yellow earlier this year launched a local search site, Yellow Local (www.yellowlocal.co.nz), where users can write reviews and share local news and events on a suburb by suburb level. It currently seems to be open only for the Auckland region.