Using Heat Maps to find a clients next office location

AndySimpson

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
149
I might be overthinking this but thought I'd share what I am currently doing with you all.

A client wants an additional office in LA, we already have a good presence across part of the city but a second office location has been requested.

I was using Local Hawk Falcon to provide me with possible locations for where we should be looking:



But because LA is 2,769 miles away from where I live I'm not really familiar with the LA landscape, areas, etc. So recommending an office in say a position 7 might be a waste of time.

I then thought, I wonder what the population is across LA, which lead me to this rather interesting site.

ArcGIS - Population Heat Map

Giving me results for LA like this:




You can zoom into the map to almost street level so you can see the neighbourhoods, etc

So now combining the two I can perhaps come up with a few more informed decisions on my choice of office location suggestions.

Thoughts and feedback welcome...:unsure:
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,530
Pretty crafty, @AndySimpson. Couple thoughts:

1. AdWords data. If you haven't done so already, I'd definitely run a "feeler" campaign and then dig into the "User Locations" and "Distance" reports, to get a sense of where people are.

2. Ever notice how there's usually a Burger King right across the street (or busy intersection) from McDonald's? Why on earth are there two of those troughs right next to each other? Wouldn't both get more business if they spread out more? No. The BK boys know that the McD people know the perfect place to build a new location - because they did their research - and vice versa. You may want to create a 3rd heatmap: of where in LA businesses similar to your client's are located.
 

AndySimpson

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
149
Thank you @Phil Rozek appreciate the feedback, in this case it's an attorney (surprise, surprise) and we know how they usually like to flock together i.e. one building contains 12+ law firms! I think it has something to do with safety in numbers? My term for this is a "Pack of lawyers".

Anyway, yes, once I've found a suitable location I then do a little competitor analysis to see who the local players are, again I use Local Falcon for part of this process as well.

In this actual example local Realtor feedback was also welcome...as where I had suggested was somewhat undesirable.

Thanks again more to explore with Adwords data.
 

brettmandoes

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
62
With a gym membership, distance from the person's home is incredibly important. People are unwilling to travel more than a few miles. With services like financial advisors, lawyers, etc. it's a little different. Research has found that people are willing to travel further and that distance is a relatively minor factor.

I hope that's helpful. Good luck!
 

AndySimpson

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
149
With a gym membership, distance from the person's home is incredibly important. People are unwilling to travel more than a few miles. With services like financial advisors, lawyers, etc. it's a little different. Research has found that people are willing to travel further and that distance is a relatively minor factor.

I hope that's helpful. Good luck!
Exactly Brett and thank you for the comment. I hope this simple example has made others think about perhaps looking at other factors that may influence their local search results.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,815
Have you looked at average household income? That would be huge. But I have no idea where you would find that honestly.
 

AndySimpson

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
149
Have you looked at average household income? That would be huge. But I have no idea where you would find that honestly.
Joshua, I like your thinking...🤨

Median Household Income for Counties in the United States: 2013-2017

QuickFacts Los Angeles County, California - filters can be applied for zip code, city, etc.

And with a little bit more Googling....Census Explorer



Note:
  • Data is old(ish)
  • Requires Flash so won't work on mobile (how quaint)
So with a combination of these three we're looking good!
 

AndySimpson

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
149
wow...just look at all this local data you could also apply to your local strategy...I just wish the data was more current.

 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,815
Wow, nice work!

I would still use the data. You can project with it. You won't know the exact number for household income (or other stats) but you will know that one area is higher or lower than the other. It can't have changed that much over time so that there are areas popping up that are much higher median income vs the average that they used to be.

We do have a case of that in Nashville where East Nashville used to be a dump but now it's the trendy part of town. Houses are being bulldozed and rebuilt all the time there. You've got a crazy mix of median income in there now. But I think that's an outlier. Plus, the demographic didn't change completely. The median income went up but not drastically. Maybe 20% or so would be my guess. And although that is insane growth when it comes to demographic trends, it's not that big of a difference when making your decision vs an area that's always had a high or low median income (depending on your target market).

I think you're safe to use that data to project.
 

AndySimpson

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
149
Wow, nice work!

I would still use the data. You can project with it. You won't know the exact number for household income (or other stats) but you will know that one area is higher or lower than the other. It can't have changed that much over time so that there are areas popping up that are much higher median income vs the average that they used to be.

We do have a case of that in Nashville where East Nashville used to be a dump but now it's the trendy part of town. Houses are being bulldozed and rebuilt all the time there. You've got a crazy mix of median income in there now. But I think that's an outlier. Plus, the demographic didn't change completely. The median income went up but not drastically. Maybe 20% or so would be my guess. And although that is insane growth when it comes to demographic trends, it's not that big of a difference when making your decision vs an area that's always had a high or low median income (depending on your target market).

I think you're safe to use that data to project.
Can I blame you for getting lost in this data instead of trimming my clients content today!?

More data...and I made this example Tennessee just for you Joshua!

data.census.gov
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,815
Dude, that is crazy. Thanks!

You're absolutely crushing this. Hope your client appreciates it.

And yeah, I'll take the blame haha.
 

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