Click to Print

Close to Home

Geographic-targeting features get your online message to customers right around the corner.
February 1, 2005

There's no point investing in a national marketing campaign if your goal is to reach local prospects. Fortunately, there are online advertising programs that include a geographic-targeting feature, allowing business owners to spend a lot less money communicating with the right audience.

Next, check out your local newspaper's website. Surf around to find a local business directory, and look for content areas where you can buy a link or banner ad or sponsor a how-to article. Remember to ask the newspaper's advertising department about special offline/online ad package deals.

Overture has a separate program, Local Match, in which advertisers choose a geographic area for their ads to be seen (a 0.5- to 100-mile radius around your location). When Overture users type in a keyword, they're given the option of entering a city and state or ZIP code. Local Match advertisers' listings will then be displayed, which take users to a Yellow Pages-type page.

Find out if other marketing venues offer geo-targeting. Perhaps a magazine sells sponsorships in its online newsletter and can segment the mailing list by ZIP code. You won't know unless you ask.

Local advertising won't yield the flood of site traffic that a national campaign can, but you'll be able to communicate with prospects in the regions of your choosing at a very reasonable price.

Speaker and freelance writer Catherine Seda owns an internet marketing agency ( and is author of Search Engine Advertising.