How to build a Local Website
Go Local is the name of the game in 2011/12 and the success of bringing the global web developments back home is a trend of the time. First it was about tagging people, now we tag locations, be it on social networks such as Facebook or on Photo sites, such as Picasa or Flickr.
Based on the fact that surfers search for and prefer local business to cross border transactions, social networks namely have built in the local tags and stimulate users to hook media and events to geographically tagged locations.
How to dominate the local market?
In order to dominate the local market, you need to assess the use of the internet your neighbors make; chances are that they mostly hang out on social media, search Google and use email. This is of course an extremely simplified view but it gives an indication about where we need to build high visibility.
You also want to have an idea about how people access the net and websites; you will notice an increased use of mobile deices, which means that your content needs to be formatted and optimized for desktops as well as for tablets and mobile phones.
Finally you may notice that surfers prefer visual content to text, which impacts on editing and publishing for multiple platforms.
How to Dominate Google Top 10
In order to build high visibility on search returns, you need
- a local website.
- make use of all possible Google Listings pertaining to the geographic location.
- great content and consistent publishing to provide useful information and trigger conversation.
How to Dominate Social Networks
To dominate social networks (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn) we need
- optimized profiles.
- Facebook Pages.
- a consistent flow of information to trigger attention and conversation.
- an optimized set-up to assure traffic back to our websites (let the social networks work for us instead of the opposite).
How to dominate the Mobile Web
To dominate the mobile web we need
- mobile versions of our websites (tablets and smartphones).
- mobile search optimization.
- ideally an App.
- easy to use interactive functions.
How to manage a Local Presence online
The answer is similar to managing a business online. There are three main elements I like to focus on:
- an optimized workflow to assure maximum productivity.
- high quality content and content providers.
- an integrated publishing network to hit all the important targets with per platform optimized content.
How to monetize a Local Website
- Ads from Local Business.
- Ads from external Business wanting to do business locally.
- Eventually by integrating a local directory.
- Eventually by integrating a real estate classifieds feature.
- Eventually by integrating a service and products exchange.
- … and more.
How to get readers to the Local Website
Just a few ideas:
- Talk about people.
- Talk about events.
- Talk about stories concerning the community.
- Talk about Local Sports, Clubs, Associations.
- Publish Pictures (people like to see their face and place).
- Talk about local business.
- Integrate a news wire from the major’s office.
- Have a local Gossip column.
- Let visitors contribute and discuss content.
- Don’t forget rating.
- Create competitions, contests, top 3 lists.
- Exchange advertising space with local media to promote your site quickly an consistently.
- Bring the conversation from social networks back to your site.
- … and so much more!
I hope this post helps your brainstorming when creating your local project. I will publish shortly a detailed project for my demo community, Vouliagmeni.