SEO providers have a box full of tools they can lean on to do what they do. These are digital tools, mind you, not tools like hammers and wrenches. But like hand tools, digital tools are amazingly effective when used by skilled SEO practitioners. Take geo identifiers. They don’t get talked about much, but they can accomplish a lot.
If you are not familiar with geo identifiers, this post is for you. You are about to learn what they are, why SEO developers use them, and why they are so important to people who search for things online. A lot of companies could make their websites more productive if they paid more attention to geo identifiers.
The Geo Identifier in a Nutshell
Let us start with a basic understanding of what geo identifiers are. The SEO experts at Utah-based Webtek Digital Marketing define geo identifiers as location-based keywords embedded in online content for the purposes of targeting people in the same location.
For example, most companies will use geo identifiers in their online content from time to time. They mention the state name because they want to target people who are looking for local services. There are times when they also use city and even a neighborhood. Doing so obviously targets potential customers in the specific area.
People Search for Things Locally
As to why geo identifiers are so important to SEO, just think about how people search online. Think about your own online searches. If you are like most people, you do a lot of searches for local businesses. That is just the nature of how people use the internet.
You might need a plumber to come in and replace your water heater. Searching locally is the ticket. You might need to search for a wedding boutique now that you’ve learned your daughter is getting married. Again, a local boutique is really what you’re after. Whether you are searching for restaurants, movie theaters, auto repair, etc., chances are that a good percentage of your internet searches are local searches.
Search Engines Need Geo Identifiers
The way you use a search engine is just one half of the equation. The other half is how search engines answer your queries. Going back to the previously mentioned example of searching for a plumber, Google does not want to recommend a contractor located in another state. It doesn’t even want to recommend one in a neighboring county.
Google wants to recommend plumbers that do work in your local area. In order for that to happen, Google algorithms need to know where businesses are located. Local plumbers can help their own causes by including geo identifiers on their websites.
Geo identifiers can be embedded in multiple ways. Here are just a few possible suggestions:
- Contact Pages – Putting geolocation info on a website’s contact page is a no-brainer. If nothing else, search engine web crawlers will go right to a site’s contact page in search of a geo identifier.
- About Pages – If a website has an ‘about us’ page, that page is a prime candidate for geo identifiers.
- Site Content – It is a good idea to include geo identifiers in web content including blog posts, FAQs, videos, etc.
Benefits of Geo-Targeting
Using geo-identifiers in SEO brings numerous benefits. Firstly, it significantly improves local visibility. When businesses target specific geographic locations, their content is more likely to appear in local search results, making them more visible to a relevant audience. This specificity leads to higher conversion rates as local customers find businesses more relevant to their needs. Moreover, geo-targeting enhances user experience for local searchers. Users searching for services or products in their area are presented with results that are more applicable and useful, leading to a more satisfactory search experience.
Local SEO Strategies
Implementing effective local SEO strategies is crucial for businesses looking to capitalize on geo-targeting. One key strategy is to include local keywords in website content, meta tags, and URLs. For example, if you’re a bakery in Austin, Texas, using keywords like “Austin bakery” or “best bread in Austin” can help improve local search rankings. Another strategy is to create location-specific pages on your website if your business operates in multiple areas. This not only improves local SEO but also provides visitors with more relevant information. Additionally, encouraging customer reviews and actively engaging with them can significantly boost local SEO efforts.
While geo-targeting offers many benefits, there are challenges to consider. A major issue is maintaining consistency in NAP information across all online platforms. Inconsistencies in your business’s name, address, or phone number can confuse search engines and potential customers, negatively impacting SEO and customer trust. Moreover, businesses need to be aware of the dynamic nature of local SEO. Search engines frequently update their algorithms, which can change how they interpret and rank geo-targeted content. Therefore, staying informed about these changes and adapting strategies accordingly is essential.
Google My Business
Optimizing Google My Business (GMB) listings with accurate geo-identifiers is vital for local SEO success. GMB listings provide valuable information to potential customers in local search results, including business location, hours, and contact information. Accurately and consistently updating this information helps improve local search rankings and makes it easier for customers to find and interact with your business. Additionally, adding photos and responding to reviews in your GMB listing can further enhance visibility and credibility in local search results.
Local SEO Tools
Several digital tools can aid businesses in enhancing their local SEO with geo-targeting. Tools like Moz Local and SEMrush offer features for tracking local search rankings and identifying opportunities for optimization. Google Analytics provides insights into how local traffic interacts with your website, which can inform content and keyword strategies. For managing online reviews, platforms like Yext or BrightLocal can be invaluable. These tools not only help in monitoring and responding to reviews across various platforms but also assist in maintaining NAP consistency. Utilizing these tools can streamline local SEO efforts and improve a business’s local search presence.