| Oct 11, 2023 | | 9 min read

How to increase your local SEO precision through hyperlocal targeting


Key Takeaways

  • Hyperlocal targeting involves targeting potential customers within a specific, small geographic area.
  • Hyper location targeting is particularly practical for SMBs that rely on local customers.
  • By using hyperlocal targeting, SMBs can boost their visibility in narrowly defined local search results and attract more customers in their immediate area.

It’s not uncommon for businesses that are new to SEO to focus on broad performance, but when it comes to actually moving the needle for most businesses, the name of the game is hyperlocal targeting. With the rise of mobile search, users are now searching for local businesses on their smartphones—often when they’re out and about, ready to visit those that stand to catch their attention.

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In fact, according to Google, 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone visit a related business within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase (Google). By using hyper location targeting, you can help your small and medium-sized (SMB) clients increase their visibility with the audience that matters: local customers.

What is hyperlocal targeting, exactly?

While your SMB clients probably have some familiarity with the principles of SEO, hyperlocal targeting is a newer approach to optimization. Thanks to its impressive results, it’s been picking up steam in recent years. This approach to SEO is all about honing in on prospective customers right within a specific—often quite small—local area. Landing at the top of a given SERP is great, but if the people who see it aren’t in a position to actually support the business, it isn’t of much use to them. You can think of hyper location targeting as prioritizing quality over quantity, ensuring that more of the people who see your client’s business in search results are more likely to become paying clients.

The Importance of Hyperlocal Targeting in Local SEO

Hyperlocal targeting turns up the value of SEO because it allows you to target audiences that are most likely to convert. Instead of wasting digital marketing dollars on vanity metrics, this approach can maximize ROI by focusing marketing efforts on likely buyers. While it’s nice to be able to share impressive traditional SEO metrics with your clients, educating them about the value of hyper location targeting can set both of you up for a fruitful, profitable relationship. Understanding Google Business Profile Insights and how to interpret them can be particularly useful for this.

Another perk of this take on SEO is that, because it’s newer, there’s still a good chance that local competitors aren’t all using it. For your client, that means a better chance of standing out and getting noticed. For example, a competitor may be busy focusing on getting the top spot on a given SERP for a whole city, while still getting beat out in a key neighborhood by your client.

Getting this approach right requires an even more granular understanding of the target audience: where they work, live, and spend their time, what their interests are, and what their key characteristics are. We’ll get into the “how” of hyper location targeting in a moment, but the key thing to remember is that when it comes to driving results with SEO for local businesses, getting super-local with your targeting can make a meaningful difference.

Hyper location targeting: How it works

We’ve established what basically distinguishes this type of targeting from more traditional SEO targeting: focusing on small geographic areas, where the total number of searches may be smaller but their relevance will be much higher. Let’s take a look at the technology that makes this possible.


Just like the name implies, geofencing is the act of establishing a kind of fence around the geographic area you want to target. Instead of a white picket fence, a geo-fence is a virtual boundary established by using GPS or RFID.

Geofencing is already widely used for things like location-based promotions. When it comes to hyperlocal SEO, geofencing can be used to optimize for discoverability in the geographic area right around your client’s location.

Beacon technology

Another way to implement hyperlocal targeting is through beacon technology. This involves placing small devices called beacons in a given location so that when someone with a smartphone comes within range, a notification can be triggered. This makes it possible to serve personalized offers that are more likely to be used, since the customers is already close to the place where they could use it.

Perks of getting hyperlocal

We’re not saying you need to throw out all of your traditional SEO approaches, but adding some hyper location targeting strategies into the mix can help you deliver more impressive results for your clients. Let’s take a look at some reasons why this type of targeting deserves some of your attention.

Richer customer engagement

Given the number of marketing messages the average consumer gets in a day, making a memorable impression on them is increasingly difficult. Hyperlocal targeting can help in this department, by giving SMBs a way to engage with their customers when it really matters.

Instead of targeting a prospective customer when they might be busy with 10 other things, using a hyper local approach means you can target them exactly when they’re most receptive. This can increase sales, but just as importantly, it also creates a positive feeling toward the business, helping to build a sense of trust and good will toward it.

Boosted conversion rates

The ultimate metric your SMB clients care about is, of course, their conversion rate. And hyper location targeting does an excellent job of boosting that figure. By focusing marketing efforts on a highly relevant geographic area—right around a store, for example—businesses can ensure that their message reaches the eager, motivated shoppers near them.

Better local SEO performance

If you work with SMB clients that heavily rely on local clients—that is, ones that need people to come into their store or purchase their service locally, their performance is local SEO results is particularly important. By optimizing content for their specific geographic locations, you can help them show up in local Google Search and Google Maps results, which can lead to more customers both in person and online.

Strategies for effective hyper location targeting

Use these strategies to maximize the effectiveness of your hyperlocal targeting efforts.

Optimize your Google Business Profile

If you’re trying to optimize for discoverability in local listings and search results, remember that your client’s Google Business Profile may be the first impression their customers have. This key piece of internet real-estate should be complete, accurate, and up-to-date, with accurate NAP data, recent photos, some relevant keywords, and hopefully lots of positive reviews. Make sure there aren’t multiple GBPs floating around, and if there are, merge or delete the irrelevant ones.

If your clients don’t have a GBP yet, start by creating one and getting it verified. This is often done by getting a postcard at the business location, but there are ways to do it without a postcard as well. Once it’s up, populate it with information and photos, and encourage customers to leave reviews. Just avoid buying them or otherwise generating fake reviews, since this can lead to a Google account suspension.

Combine SEO efforts with local search ads

Just like traditional SEO, local SEO typically works best when used synergistically with paid marketing techniques. Local search ads are a great complement of hyperlocal targeting, since these will work together to increase the chances that interested buyers will see your client’s business at the opportune time. Make sure you obtain your client’s Google CID number, since this can be useful for third party marketing integrations you may use.

Optimize for Mobile

We’re all interacting with the internet on mobile screens more often these days, but when it comes to hyper location targeting, mobile is especially important. The thing about the geofencing and beacon technology examples we discussed above: the customers exposed to those marketing messages would almost certainly be out and about, using their mobile devices to search for businesses or receive marketing messages.

This can mean focusing SEO efforts on mobile users, but should also include ensuring that your client’s website is mobile friendly.

Get personal and local

Take advantage of the hyper niched-down nature of this type of marketing to create messages that wouldn’t work at scale. For example, let’s say your client is a local coffee shop chain with 3 locations. Your targeting efforts could focus on local slang terms for each neighborhood, which wouldn’t work at scale but could be very effective hyperlocally.

You should also manage separate listings for every location, so that customers don’t get confused. Using Vendasta’s listing builder or white-label listings management can put this process on autopilot.

Consider sponsoring local events

Getting involved locally with things like sport events, festivals, and networking events can bolster the effectiveness of digital marketing efforts, especially when it comes to your local SMB clients. Doing this can build name recognition, making your SEO strategies more impactful.

Leverage user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC), like reviews and social media posts, can help other prospective customers feel more comfortable making a purchase because other people just like them have already validated the business. Use techniques to encourage customers to share UGC, and work it into other marketing techniques, like local search ads. Just make sure you get permission first, particularly for images.

Target and track local keywords

Targeting and tracking local keywords is an important part of any hyperlocal targeting strategy. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to identify relevant keywords for your business, and track your rankings for those keywords over time.

Incorporate Geolocation Rank Tracking

Geolocation rank tracking allows you to track your search engine rankings for specific locations. This is particularly useful for businesses that have multiple locations, as it allows you to see how your rankings vary across different areas. Use tools like Vendasta’s new SEO grid to gain in-depth geolocation rank tracking insights. You’ll be able to see exactly how your clients rank in different areas, so you can dial in the perfect strategy for every geographic area that’s relevant to them.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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