Where are you? Location on Websites

tri-countyIf your website is promoting an online service (like this one), your location is not important. I’ll edit for anyone, anywhere. If your website is promoting a physical store, a service that requires in-person meeting, or a service in a specific area, your location is critical.

The internet is a very big place, so it’s not enough to use a term that locals know, like, say tri-county area. The name of your town is not enough either. There are nine Springfields just in Pennsylvania. Many large and well-known cities share their name with lesser known cousins, including London, Vancouver, and Paris. If the location of your business or service matters, the location needs to be described completely and unambiguously.

Your location also needs to be easy to find on your website. Visitors may not arrive at the home page, and they may not want to search for your location page. Ideally, the location is on every page, so visitors immediately know if you are in their area. The location could be in your page header or footer. A sidebar is less useful, as it may be hidden when the page is viewed on a mobile device.

If you have multiple locations, every page can provide the general area, and you can have location details on a locations page. A location page is also a good place for driving directions, bus routes, a map, GPS coordinates, and so on. A photo of the storefront or building is also helpful, especially if the entrance is not obvious. You can link to your location page from your location description on every page. For example, every page could have:

7 locations in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Go to Addresses and Maps.

One more location tip: You may have a toll-free phone number. If it’s not worldwide, state where it is valid, and provide a regular number that people can use if they are outside of the toll-free service area. Even if your customers are local, you may get inquiries from out of the area, from visitors using out of the area mobile phones, or from people using services such as Skype, where calls may appear to originate from another area.

A website makes your business visible all over the world. Be sure to tell potential customers where you are.

By trc

Freelance writer, freelance editor, web consultant, and film studies scholar.

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