Staying Local on the World Wide Web?

Tom Snyder photo by Tom Snyder on Jan 17, 2000

We recently received an inquiry from a local company whose market is limited by territory restrictions. They wondered how a company like theirs could take advantage of a medium that automatically gives them a universal reach.

Many companies are in the same boat. If you’re one of them, here are some pointers.

If you offer absolutely no products, services or information that can be marketed outside your region, you’ll want to make that fact plain and clear on every page of the Web site (not everyone comes in through the home page… some find your site via a search engine link that points to an internal page within your site).

You’ll also want to put that fact in your page titles and metatags. That way, the search engines will grab that information from your site. People performing a search will see the appropriate information when your company comes up (either that you don’t do business in their area, or that you do if they’re here in Wisconsin).

Do the work and research to get your site listed in any directories that target your industry, especially if they break down their linked sites by geographic region. Also be sure to get your site listed in any geographic directories. Finally, make sure you’re in both a business category listing as well as a geographic listing in Yahoo.

Most site owners expend considerable resources to drive traffic to their sites. So, it’s always a shame to get traffic to your site and not be able to capitalize on them. If you can’t market your primary product or service via your site, there may be other ways to turn those hits into revenue.

Some ways to do it:

If it’s an issue of exclusive territories dictated by a corporate policy or franchise restriction, leads generated by your Web site from outside your authorized territory could still make you some money. See if you can offer those leads to reps, companies and or franchisees in other areas in exchange for a finder’s fee.

Sell subscriptions to valuable consultative information on your site so visitors can stay abreast of developments in your product area. It will be of value to them because it will enable the to make the right choice of vendors in their area when they’re ready to make their choice of who they want to do business with.

Sell banner ads to other companies that would find your visitors a valuable target.

Find a related product or service you CAN market. If there are books on your industry, set up an affiliate program with and list several of those books on your site. If people buy a book from your site, you’ll make a commission!

Above all, keep in mind that just because your Web site has only a limited geographic audience, doesn’t mean that you can scrimp by having cheap-looking site. Make sure that your Web site says “quality” whether your target community is local or global. Because you’ll have fewer eyeballs looking at your site, you need to increase the chance of those people doing business with you. A well done Web site stacks those odds in your favor.

Not that these ideas are exclusively for limited market companies… many of them will work on any Web site! As always, if you ever need a company that can help you take the best advantage of your market, regardless of its size, feel free to contact us.

Share this article