How Many Benefits Do You Get From Geotargeting?
When it comes to choosing a product or service, one of the most important variables is the geographic location of ourselves and of the brands with which we are interacting. That’s why geotargeting is so important for 360º marketing strategies; we can find our target based on their geographic location and we can get them to find us based on their location and concrete needs.
The analysis of search engines shows us that many are filtered by geographic location. Searches for “Where to buy…” + “... near me” have increased by more than 200% and more than 50% of searches with a physical location end in a visit to a physical establishment. Concepts like local SEO, IP address, and Google My Business are becoming increasingly important when designing an effective marketing plan. But we’ll start slowly and explain what geotargeting in marketing is and why it’s so important:
What is geotargeting in marketing?
Geotargeting is a form of digital marketing that focuses on the personalization of online content based on the geographical location of potential buyers. This technique allows companies to offer content of interest to the users, according to the place where they reside, to improve the user experience.
Examples can help us see it more clearly. When visiting a website that has various language options, it shows us the language from the country in which we currently are. This also affects the ads we see and even the specific deals and promotions from each country which we will be able to see (or not), according to our location.
Geotargeting also has a clear impact on the user, who uses it in their favor. It’s a variable that allows us to satisfy our needs faster, given that when filtering the search results, we find what we are looking for faster. The interaction is key: reviews and comments in establishments boost SEO and influence the shopping decisions of the users that will come after. We can have a bidirectional and closer relationship, thanks to knowing our respective locations.
How does geotargeting work?
Geotargeting is possible thanks to the information in our devices. Each user's device has an IP address that indicates its specific location. The first three digits of the IP address correspond to the country code, while the successive digits usually refer to specific areas within that domain. The geographic information we extract from the IPs of users who visit our website, when used for commercial purposes, is called geotargeting.
The system isn’t 100% exact. There can be errors when users use proxy servers, VPNs, or other tools to hide their IP address. However, these cases represent a low percentage compared to the rest of users that have a visible IP address.
You don’t have to have a large company or a high budget to carry out geotargeting actions or use geotargeting to benefit your company. Local SEO and tools like Google My Business allow us to position our business based on their location and optimize the Google Maps positioning to reach our closest audience.
Local SEO and Google My Business
Local SEO is a branch of SEO that looks to improve the positioning in search engines for local searches, linked to the geographic location. There are general searches (buy washing machine) and local searches (buy washing machine Valencia). If Google offers us localized results for “buy washing machine Valencia,” it’s because the intention of the local search is clear. But also in the case of “buy washing machine,” Google tends to show us, in addition to non-localized results, local results and/or Google Maps results with three local businesses. Therefore, businesses that know how to optimize their information on the network to appear in the first positions on local searches will see a growth in their business opportunities.
Google gives us advice on how to improve the local positioning that involves using Google My Business to create your own company file that appears in both Google and Maps search engines. The first thing we must do is enter precise and complete information about the business in question: address, telephone number, category, features. Verifying the location of the company also increases the probabilities of appearing in search results.
The SEO optimization of the establishment’s webpage is directly linked with its profile in Google My Business, given that Google uses the data of its website to make connections with the parameters of your company in Google Maps. Keywords, relevance of the business category, consistency of NAP (name, address, phone), correct implementation of the structured information of localBusiness, and the authority of the domain all affect the classification of search engines.
In your H1 and metadescription, use principle keywords that describe the type of business in a few words. A good trick is to use the formula Keyword + Location; an example in hospitality would be “Chinese food restaurant in Valencia.” Or in retail: “Plus size clothes store in Madrid.” The combination of your principal area with the geographic location is a formula that will help to attract targeted and qualified users to your profile.
Keeping opening hours updated is imperative so that the information the user sees is useful, including holiday and event special hours. And managing reviews is another key point: responding to client opinions means that you value their comments, and this is important. Positive reviews contribute to the visibility of businesses in search engines and attract a larger audience. Lastly, don’t forget to add photos so users can look at them and get to know your establishment better before deciding to visit it. Make sure they’re attractive and high-quality images.
An even stronger argument to optimize the local SEO is the growth of food delivery since the beginning of the pandemic in the last year. In fact, all reports until now confirm that it has saved many businesses; Kantar reports that delivery usage has increased by 60%, slowing the decline of restaurants. Google now allows customers to order food and reserve tables directly from Google Maps. Therefore, a good local SEO positioning directly translates into the growth of sales.
How can we trace the results of our efforts in local SEO to discover if they actually work? We can add UTMs to the links that we include in our Google My Business profile (for example, the link to the main webpage, reservations, or orders). There we can measure the percentage of web visits and reservations that Google Maps gives us and evaluate the success of its positioning.
The analysis also gives us clues about the need (or lack thereof) to use ads on Google Maps. To configure a local search ad on Google Maps, you need to enable the location extension on your account, use the geographic focusing, and bet on location. Observe the performance data; what is it? You can learn the number of clicks it takes to obtain details about the location, to get directions, and to call. That way, you’ll discover how people interact with your business to adapt your global marketing strategy to the obtained results.
Relevance, distance, and prominence are the three criteria that Google follows when it comes to obtaining results. The optimization of Google My Business gives more and better information to search engines so that they can decide to show firsthand if the user’s search fits your profile so it’s necessary to do it to gain visibility.
There are other marketing techniques related to geotargeting and one of them is iBeacon. Apple’s technology allows it to send content to the user in real time through mobile apps. For example, a buyer enters a store for the first time and is looking for the music section. At that moment, the application iBeacon will send him a map of the store so he can look at it and find the music section.
The application is based on a technology that is capable of transmitting data through short distances. The signals are transmitted from one or more “beacons,” located in concrete locations.
The possibilities of this technology are infinite. An example: in the US, a large part of pedestrian accidents and deaths are due to the use of earphones on the street, which puts them in danger without realizing it. A beacon technology application has been created that will be installed in pedestrian crossings. When people that are listening to music with earphones start to cross the street, the volume of the music will automatically lower until they reach the other side. It’s a small action so that they’re reactive to the sounds of the street. It’s just one of the many ways in which geotargeting is helpful today.
Benefits of geotargeting for companies
Using Google geotargeting to strengthen our branding, increase visibility, and improve relationships with our clients is a great option. Geotargeting improves user experience, given that it personalizes the content and uses the language of the user (many international newspapers show different news according to the country from which you visit it, to give an example).
This personalization ensures a greater interaction with the content and, in addition, advertising with Display campaigns guarantees a better performance. It’s also useful to prevent fraud: a payment with a credit card from an unusual location will send us an alert to confirm the authenticity of the operation. Companies that still haven’t updated their information on Google My Business or that haven’t designed a local SEO strategy with good practices have work to do. The good news is the potential for growth is enormous, so let’s get to work.
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