Local Design Techniques for your Local Audience
When designing for your local audience, the main aim is to cover your targeted niche in that area.
- PRIORITIZE INTENT
Targeting local users is a very important measure. You have to think about why your visitors came to your site and how they intend on using your content to complement an in-person experience if there is any.
Using Fusion Fitness Center as a case study:
The Menu in the header provides the local gym members most of the information they would likely be looking for. This is what we refer to as the Google Micro Moments Proposition. The navigation is the next thing the users see. The About Us Pages, Team Bios and So On can exist somewhere else on the website, the focus is to be on what that business can do to speed up the in-person experience for its local members.
2. ADD MAP TO YOUR HOMEPAGE
A Map is Essential for businesses who intend to drive traffic to their website and also for those who want to drive customers to their physical business location. It can be customized to your taste, make it blend with the colors and styles of your website.
let’s use Foxwood Resort Casino as our case study:
as you can see the Google Map on there isn’t your regular google map, it has been customized using a greyscale of their mapped location, thus the links giving visitors relevant information.
3. LOCALIZE CONTENT
Your local visitors have emotional connections within the area they live in. the good news is that you don’t have to betray your brand in other to pull this off. Based on the business type you are creating a website for, using colors or images that are reminiscent of the local landscape, home team, etc isn’t too difficult.
Case Study: Cervera Real Estate
Take a look at that hero image. It’s beautiful, right? And it’s definitely one that is taken from the scenic Miami cityscape. But look a little closer. Notice how the orange hues within the sky—and even the animal sculpture on the deck on the right—play off of the orange in the logo? That wasn’t an accidental choice.
This image was selected (or custom-photographed) because of what it would do in terms of appealing to Miami residents as well as establishing a stronger brand identity that’s tied to the city.
Also, don’t forget that it’s not just visual content that needs to be localized. If you’re targeting an area with a specific dialect or jargon, make sure your writers account for that when developing content for your beautiful and local-friendly designs.
4. CREATE LOCAL PAGES:
Business with several locations and teams should have dedicated pages for them, take for example slalom, a consulting firm with locations all over the U.S. Each location has its own customized and localized sub-domain as this example form the Atlanta Office shows.
Businesses with multiple locations and unique teams and identities at each should have dedicated pages for them.
In addition to including an address for the location, this page includes:
- An image of the Atlanta cityscape;
- An introduction to the team;
- Local customer case studies;
- Job openings;
- And more…
These local pages give you a chance to establish a unique identity for each location, helping prospects in those regions to develop stronger connections to the people and not just the brand.
5. USE RECOGNIZABLE TRUST MARKS
Trust marks are an important part of convincing online shoppers, in general, to trust a website. But when it comes to convincing local users to believe in your brand, it’s not enough to include a Norton security seal or logos from big corporate partners on your site.
To impress a local audience, you need to use names and logos that mean something to them.
- Local companies as advertising sponsors;
- Case studies from other local businesses or residents;
- Logos from local events your brand participates in;
- And so on…
LYONS GROUP doesn’t commit it’s homepage- or even most of it’s site not to talk about how they’re a successful restaurant group in Boston
Instead, it highlights dining establishments that exist within its family of restaurants. Boston residents know these establishments quite well, so leveraging these known “trust marks” is a smart move by the Lyons Group.
Designing with More Detail
While a local website might not have the ability to generate sales around the globe, this niche market does open up other opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise have. In fact, it allows you to do much more powerful and personalized things with design as you now have a clear audience to target and you can appeal directly to things like user intent and emotions.
The key here is to do your research, so that you can aptly impress visitors with design alone.
credits: Suzanne Scacca