Geo Targeting SEO is a subset of SEO that ascertains the Geographical Location of someone visiting a website and delivers specific content to that person’s location. The geographical criteria are parameters such as country, state or region, zip code, IP address, or other specifications. Also called local or city targeting is commonly used in both web-based advertising and also, in attempts to control digital rights for Internet delivered television, which often limits content usage to customers by country. Currently, it is estimated that a quarter of Internet searches are for local goods and services. It follows logically that IP-targeted marketing, aka geotargeting, is a primary means through which local businesses can effectively compete with national keyword campaigns for local customer dollars.
The Use of Geo Targeting Provides a Higher Quality Site Visitor Experience
Different organizations often apply the principles of Location Targeting in unique ways, depending upon their own location, goals and targeted market. For example, a local, small-town business that seeks primarily foot traffic through its front door will use Local SEO applications with its website for that purpose only. At the other end of the spectrum is a multi-national corporation whose potential clients are located all over the world, or perhaps one that itself has locations around the world and wishes to direct its web traffic accordingly. Many of these websites wish to detect the geographical location of website visitors and divert them appropriately to sub-sites without them ever having been aware. Such diversions provide a far smoother visitor experience than do sites that immediately require visitors to choose a country.
Geotargeting Levels the Playing Field for Savvy Businesses Far and Wide
Using tools found at Webmaster Central, Google allows websites to associate themselves with the particular geographical location it is targeting, even when it isn’t physically hosted in that region. This flexibility allows a website that is physically located in one country to appear to visitors in another as if that were its place of origin. Furthermore, sub-domains can be created to further target even more geographically specific targets. The advantage to implementing such a strategy is, of course, the fact that it allows a non-local company to become a major player in geographically precise search results. Savvy local businesses benefit from using the same technique to maintain their local footprint and to compete with larger players from farther afield.
Geotargeting Nuts and Bolts
Other ways that geographical targeting draws local traffic include optimizing sites for mobile devices such as tablets and cell phones. Current statistics indicate that far more web searches are initiated from mobile devices than on desktop computers. Google, ever concerned about its users’ end experience, will analyze any site’s URL and determine whether or not it is considered mobile friendly. The importance of being mobile friendly can’t be over-emphasized. Google recently announced it will demote the ranking of sites that do not perform well on mobile devices. Also, make sure the business’s physical address is on as many pages of the site as possible. When the business itself is registered with Google Places, and Google Maps and participates in review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List, the resulting inbound links also help boost the site’s local ranking.
Local targeting, for your city or neighborhood, has been proven time and again. Locally targeted SEO campaigns typically provide businesses with a noticeable corresponding increase in traffic. When compared with traditional means of local marketing and advertising, targeting geographically by website is far more cost effective. Television, radio and newspaper advertising are not inexpensive, and fewer people than ever before see or hear such ads as they watch television and get their news over the Internet, and listen to dedicated, commercial free radio. Geotargeting is definitely the way of future marketing, and offers the highest ROI available.