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Can You Use Geo-Targeting to Boost Your Rankings?

March 2019

How much does location matter in SEO?

Related: How AdWords Can Benefit Your Law Firm

For most businesses, the answer is simple: a lot.
It’s not so much a question of whether you can geo-target your content and your pages to improve your rankings. Indeed, Google’s search algorithms have geo-targeting elements built right into their code. Geo-targeting, in other words, isn’t something you can decide to do or not do with your SEO. Instead, it is an inherently important part of the SEO game.

Google and Geo-Targeting
Before we delve into how geo-targeting on Google works, let’s go back and address why location matters so much to search engine results in the first place. The simple fact is that most companies with an online presence are not aiming to do global business. Instead, they may be targeting just customers in one country, or in a certain region, a single state, or even in a specific city or county.

Google, in turn, needs to consider the intention of each website when determining when and how to rank that site in a search.

If someone searches for something like “family law firm,” location matters—even if that person doesn’t type a specific city name or geographical tag after the main part of the keyword. Google needs to know to return search results that are relevant not just to the search, but also to the person searching.

It’s an unspoken understanding that someone conducting a search for a “family law firm” in Chicago doesn’t need results from Sydney, Australia. Thus, geo-targeting is a vital part of the equation in Google’s pursuit of providing the most relevant search results possible.

How to Make Geo-Targeting Work for You
It is in your business’s best interest for Google to know where you are based and who you are trying to serve. There are numerous strategies you can employ to make sure Google knows how to geo-target your business properly. These strategies include:

Having a Google My Business account that includes your business address Having the right TLD (top-level domain) for the country where you are doing business Creating location-based content on your site Creating specific location/branch pages for different business locations Making sure location and contact information for your business is consistent across all online databases

If your business is based in the United States, you likely won’t have to worry about the top-level domain. A TLD is the country-specific domain you see on sites that are hosted outside of the USA. For instance, a site for a Canadian business will usually look something like this: Sites with TLDs outside of the United States are deemed by Google, in most cases, to be irrelevant to American customers. Thus, these sites won’t rank well. Bottom line, your site needs to be hosted and have a TLD in the country where you are doing business.

Location-based content certainly helps, too. Including location-driven keywords in your content can certainly help Google associate you with certain areas. It is also a good way to expand your keyword bank and get away from more competitive keywords.

Do you need help making Google’s geo-targeting features work in your site’s favor? If so, Inherent can help. Contact us today to get started.