As ranking more highly in Search Engine Results becomes increasingly important for Businesses wanting to stand out from their competition Online, the methods to achieve this are becoming more and more strategic. And this is where Geo-Targeting, or Location-Based Search, comes in.
Now, don’t be scared off by this rather ‘tech-y’ sounding strategy because, once you know the fundamentals, it’s actually quite simple to understand. It’s also highly effective in boosting your SEO efforts.
More often than not, when conducting your own searches on Google, you’ll include the location of what it is your searching for, so you can see the results closest, and therefore more convenient, for you. For example, if you’re searching for a toy store in your area, you might type in “toy shops in Richmond”. Typically, the shops that then appear in the top results are the Businesses that have implemented geo-targeting as part of their SEO strategy.
So, if you want to be one of these savvy Businesses who ranks highly and gets noticed Online, then keep reading, because Geo-Targeting will help you get there – and we’re about to tell you all about it!
What is Geo-Targeting?
The official definition of Geo-Targeting is the practice of delivering content to a user based on his or her geographic location. In other words, Geo-Targeting is how Businesses are able to target local customers through organic search.
Search Engines, such as Google, factor in a searcher’s location when they are displaying results. This means that the more specific you can be about your Business’s whereabouts, the more likely you are to show up in the top results. And, given the person searching is located close to your Business, the more likely it is that you’ll make a sale!
Geo-targeting can be especially helpful for smaller Business, as your Website will likely be ranked higher than larger, well-known Businesses if the location is more relevant to the searcher.
How Geo-Targeting Works
In the Marketing days of old, targeting a specific audience near your Business was easy: you’d simply advertise your products or services in your local newspaper or phonebook that you knew would be distributed throughout your area.
But with the rise of Digital Marketing, things are no longer quite so straightforward. Anything can be viewed right around the world Online with simply the click of a button. So, just how do Search Engines know how to show your Business’s Website to those searching within your location?
Well, every smart phone, computer and tablet device has what’s called an ‘IP Address’. This ‘Internet Protocol Address’ is a numerical label assigned to every device connected to a network, which can also help Search Engines identify each device’s location. Once the user has entered their search and their IP Address has been identified, the Search Engine will then display the most relevant results based on their location. Which, if Geo-Targeting has been implemented correctly, should include your Business’s Website!
How You Can Implement Geo-Targeting
Wile it will be helpful to enlist the help of an SEO Professional to create a highly effective SEO Campaign that incorporates Geo-Targeting, there are a few key strategies you can use to help boost your rank in the results.
- Target Location-Specific Keywords
One of the most powerful ways to get around keyword competition and rank well in search, is by targeting location-specific keywords. This means that opposed to just targeting a very broad and competitive (therefore more expensive) keywords, such as “plumbing services”, you would include less competitive, but more specific additions relevant to your Business’s location. This might then change the targeted keyword to “plumbing services Altona”.
This is a strategy that almost any Business can utilise. All you have to do is find keywords that take into account user intent when searching, such as:
- Your Post Code
- Community name or neighborhood
- Nearby landmarks
- Popular venues or tourist destinations
- Well-known streets that are close by
All these terms will make it more likely for Search Engines to deem your Website as more relevant to people conducting searches containing these key words.
- Optimise for Google Local Search
Google estimates that roughly 73% of Online activity is based around local searches. This means the Search Engine base a lot of emphasis around displaying local results that are highly relevant to its users, so these will appear above all the other organic results for search queries related to local listings.
One of the ways that you can improve your Geo-Targeting efforts and claim optimum real estate, is to sign up for Google My Business. This can help your Business’s local ranking on Google and enhance your presence in Search and Maps, as you’ll be deemed more credible by the Search Engine.
Make sure your Business’s name, address and phone number are correct in Google My Business, as well as in other local Online directories, such as Yelp!. Google cross references these listings to determine your Business's credibility – and then ranks your Business in local search accordingly.
Make an effort to seek reviews for your Business on Google as well. These reviews will appear alongside your Business listing and, if they’re positive, could help score you a sale!
Does Your Business Need Geo-Targeting?
Basically, Geo-Targeting is a necessary step to take if you want your local SEO campaign to be successful. Search Engines gather as much information as possible from the searcher in order to provide them with the highest quality results, with their location being one of the most impactful pieces of data.
There are, however, a few instances where Geo-Targeting may not be quite so relevant. If you’re an Ecommerce Site with not brick-and-mortar store, produce a product that can be purchased and shipped nationally, or have garnered a large amount of brand recognition and are ready to pursue a national audience, then Geo-Targeting may not be for you. It would however, still be beneficial to seek out a professional, who can give you advice based on your specific Business.
As you can see, while Geo-Targeting may sound intimidating, the concept really is quite straightforward: make your Business as easily locatable and relevant to your local audience as possible, and you’ll likely start to out-rank your competitors.
Amid the huge amount of competition Online, Geo-Targeting will be a key stepping stone in helping you achieve maximum success for your SEO Campaigns. If you need to enlist the help of a professional to create a highly optimised SEO Campaign that will truly maximise your success Online, give us a call at Sites n Stores! Our SEO experts are able to create a Custom Campaign that’s targeted towards your audience, including their specific location!