Do you have a search engine optimized website? Good. But that’s not good enough. What you need are hyperlocal pages.
Basically, the hyperlocal page is a page on your website that tells your prospects, "Are you looking to buy (or sell) a great home in [insert name of specific neighborhood]? Then I’m the agent you need because I know this place like the back of my hand. Let’s talk."
This article will show you how you can create your own targeted, hyperlocal pages that bring in interested prospects even while you sleep. But first, let’s cover the basics.
There is local, and then there’s “hyperlocal.” What could be more local than the term local itself? About.com illustrates:
Maryland (MD): not hyperlocal.
Montgomery County, MD: semi-hyperlocal.
Montgomery Village, MD: truly hyperlocal.
Hyperlocal is your own neighborhood. You know more about this spot on the map than Google or the national media combined. You walk its grounds, know tidbits of local history, and you may even call most of the residents by name. It’s an advantage you have that others unfamiliar with your location don’t.
It sounds like a faddish buzzword but really, “hyperlocal” is simply a newly minted name for something that people in small communities have done for ages, which is personal, up-close promotion of each other’s goods and services. Your community newsletter, hand-delivered brochures, the bulletin board in your community center – these are all hyperlocal.
Potential homebuyers are likely to do a broad search first on the Internet for homes that fit their requirements. They will read Wikipedia about your neighborhood, look it up on Google Maps, and read reviews of restaurants and commercial establishments so they’d have an idea how it would be like to live in your area. They are tuning in to hyperlocal content online before they decide to actually make a call and set an appointment with you.
What do you need a hyperlocal page for?
You’ve invested in a professional-looking website and you’re already blogging, isn’t that enough?
Yes, both your website and your blog serve their own marketing purpose. But for making your site visitors actually do what you want them to do, like leave their contact info for a special statistic report on sold homes in your area, your home page or blog performs very poorly. There are just too many links, irrelevant info and other distracting elements that can cause your visitor to click away from your offer or your website altogether.
These hyperlocal pages help keep your visitor focused on your offer by getting rid of distractions. Prospects responding to your online ads or clicking through a search engine result will know exactly what to do when they arrive and not cluelessly mill about your site, trying to find what they came in for (and leave immediately when they don’t find it).
Think of this page as the online counterpart of your welcoming booth for an on-site tour. By using visual cues like arrows or subtly positioning text and images, you can direct the visitor towards your call to action, such as signing up for your free report or booking an appointment with you.
Because this page is focused on a specific call to action – getting the reader to leave their contact information - it is also easier to measure the effectiveness of your online ads or SEO campaign.
So now that we’ve got those covered, let’s proceed to creating a hyperlocal page.
1. Find out what your prospects are searching for
Say you’re selling homes in San Bernardino, California. You’d want to know what home buyers are searching for online about your area so you’ll know what information to serve them on your landing page.
Getting this information is simple enough, and you have many free tools at your disposal. The key is to think like your potential home buyer. What do you think they’re typing in on search engines?
You can easily guess what these are by looking at the autocomplete suggestions as you type your query on the Google search bar. This is also known as Google Suggest. For example, as you type “san bernardino homes for sale,” you get this:
What this tells you is that people are looking for mobile homes, homes for sale by the owner, and homes for sale by zip code in San Bernardino. A tool that extends this list is Suggester. Instead of just the 10 suggestions from Google Suggest, you’ll get 87 autocomplete suggestions for the same query. Try also variations (such as “homes for sale in san bernardino,” which gives 119 suggestions).
Among the hyperlocal searches are:
- homes for sale near cal state
- homes for sale muscoy san Bernardino
- homes for sale on valencia avenue san bernardino ca
- homes for sale in rosena ranch san bernardino ca
- homes for sale in san bernardino ca 92407
Additionally, your target prospects are looking for the following:
- multi family homes for sale
- foreclosed homes for sale
- hud homes for sale
- home price index
- manufactured homes for sale
- homes for sale near cal state
- luxury homes for sale
You can also use Google Keyword Planner to get this information (you’ll need to have an Adwords account, though; the account is free, you pay when you start a campaign).
From this list of search queries, you’ll have a good idea which places in your area people are interested in. Make sure to incorporate these keywords in your landing page copy and SEO information.
2. Create a simple page on your website
To create a new page on your website, you can either take the DIY approach or hire someone else do it for you.
Just make sure that the new page you create on your website will be as focused as possible on one thing – getting qualified visitors to send you their email address, phone number, or other contact information.
This means you should eliminate distractions such as information about other cities or areas, too many links to other pages on your website, and other elements that have nothing to do with the hyperlocal area you’re targeting. Here are some elements you can include:
- Your website’s main navigation bar
- A small newsfeed containing updates about the neighborhood
- Your contact information
- Your logo and other branding elements
For each element you add to the page, ask yourself: “Will this help me gather contact information from qualified leads who are interested in buying/selling in this area?” If the answer is “No,” simply don’t include that element. One such thing that might not be ideal to add would be social sharing buttons or your Twitter feed. These elements might just distract from your main goal.
3. Write good copy
Your hyperlocal page should be clean and uncluttered, have only one goal, and all the elements in it (the written text and any images or video) should work to achieve that goal.
Your basic hyperlocal page should only have the following:
- A headline that grabs your visitors’ attention and keep them reading
- Reasons why they should do what you want them to do
- A specific call to action
- A lead capture form to get your visitors’ information with their permission
In addition, your page should integrate the search phrases and keywords that you discovered in the previous step for SEO purposes. This way, you help search engines to easily index and show your site to target clients who use those search queries.
However, SEO should be secondary to your objective to write useful and compelling copy for your target clients. Take advantage of your local knowledge. Whereas your competitors are filling their sites with generic information, you can give them real value by writing about how it is to live in your area, why it’s a great place, and why it’s worth making an investment in, etc.
4. Track and measure
You’d want to know whether your hyperlocal pages are working, which are being visited, where the visitors are coming from, etc., so make sure to install an analytics tool for your website in case you haven’t done it yet. Most site owners use Google Analytics, a free but powerful analytics tool. You can also track where visitors are clicking using heat map tools such as Crazyegg or Clicktale.
5. Repeat the steps above for every neighborhood you are serving
The reason for this is simple: Someone looking to buy a home in Rosena Ranch, for example, expects to arrive at a page with specific information on Rosena Ranch. If she wanted information on Verdemont, then she would have typed that query instead. So make separate landing pages for each of these places.
Stand Out by Going Hyperlocal
Your target clients are looking for you just as you are looking for them. Make the most of your homegrown knowledge and use it to bring them in and increase sales. Create not just a website with all your information in it, but also dedicated hyperlocal pages to welcome and attract your target clients. This is where you can stand out from the competition – by giving your visitors detailed, tailored information about each area you serve.
Creating a hyperlocal page that showcases your local expertise is simple enough. But if you need help in optimizing your landing pages for converting visitors to prospects, contact us.