Posts Tagged ‘Geo Targeting’
If you aren’t familiar with the term Geo Targeting, it’s the method used by search engines to determine where you’re searching from, so they can provide you with (what they think) are the best search results or ads based on your location (ie. country, region/state, city, post/zip code etc.)
How do they do this?
By looking at a number of factors, such as:
- Country-specific domain name – eg. .com or .com.au or .co.uk etc. etc.
- Where your site is hosted – be careful with this as a lot of hosting providers may have their offices in one country, but use servers and equipment based overseas
- Language used in your website content – even things like UK English vs. US English can make a difference due to spelling and colloquialisms
- Inbound Links to your site – are they mainly from other Australian websites, US sites, UK sites etc.
- Listing of your address / location / phone number on your website
- Location of people who look at your site – if your site has more traffic from Australian visitors it is likely to rank better in Google.com.au than it would in Google.com
7 Simple Geo Targeting Tips for Your Site
Knowing the above information makes it a lot easier to perform a Geo Targeting audit on your site. Here are the things I would do:
- If you run an Australian website and your main customers / clients are other Australians, spend the few extra dollars and buy a .com.au domain name. If you’re targeting clients in the UK, buy a .co.uk. etc. etc.
- Apply the same logic (as above) to the web hosting – spend a few extra dollars to have your website hosted in the country that you are targeting.Be sure to check that your hosting provider uses equipment based in your country too. If you still aren’t certain you can check their IP’s using SEOmoz’s IP Location Tool.
- Take the time to check your spelling and use the type of wording your clients will understand and are familiar with.For example the term swimwear, swimsuit, beachwear, cozzies, bathers and togs all mean the same thing but people in Queensland, Australia (where I’m from) rarely use the term bathers or cozzies – we wear ‘togs’.
- An inbound link is like a personal referral or testimonial for your website. Having links from other relevant local sites will be far more valuable with Geo Targeting than having lots of inbound links from overseas sites.
- Submit your site to local business and local search directories – this can often be one of the easiest methods of attracting local links and local traffic.As a rule-of-thumb, just make sure the directory presents well and that you are comfortable being listed amongst the other sites that are in the directory. If you think the directory isn’t great quality, you’re probably right and it should be avoided.
- Mention your address, location and contact details in the footer of each page – this is one of the easiest things to do which can help tell your clients and the search engines that you are a local business.The only time this doesn’t really help is if you have offices in multiple locations. Mentioning a dozen countries / cities in the footer won’t do much for your local profile in each of those places. If this is the case you should build separate sites (or at the very least separate pages) for each location.
- Build your brand locally as you will usually rank well for your business name before you’ll start ranking for more competitive terms.Ensure you promote your site through off-line advertising methods, which can be as simple as including your website on your business cards, letterheads and other corporate stationary.
This will help you gain local search traffic and as mentioned above, if your site has more traffic from Australian visitors it is likely to rank better in Google.com.au than it would in Google.com.