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The Role of Geotagging in Local SEO

Mahesh
2023-06-30

Modern digital marketers are under immense stress when it comes to website rankings.

Why?

Because the first result alone takes roughly 40% of all the clicks. The second and third results have click-through rates (CTR) of 18.7% and 10.2%, respectively.

What does this data say?

It means that the top 3 results account for almost 70% of all clicks. People don’t seem to be even bothered about the fourth, fifth, and sixth results. The condition of the results on the second page is worse.

With cutthroat competition, in terms of business and marketing, being normalised, getting the edge over competitors is the need of the hour.

There are many ways for marketers to achieve this. One way is to outsource your SEO campaigns to an experienced digital marketing agency.

The other method involves doing things on your own. Yes, it takes time. But at the end of it, you will be a marketer who can add SEO to their CV.

This article is focused on the second group of marketers. SEO is vast, and it is impossible to master it in a short period of time. Hence, this article will discuss only a small part of SEO. A part that’s very useful for local exposure.



Geotagging

When the topic of local exposure comes up, you cannot ignore geotagging.

In layman’s terms, geotagging is simply adding your location information to your website and the elements on it.

So, what does it do?

Say, for example, you own a clothing store in Paris. You are looking for ways to promote it. Aside from the capital of France, many places happen to have the same name. There are multiple cities and towns in the US with the same name. There are even places in Canada and Denmark with the name Paris.

Your store may appear in searches, and you may even get traffic. But there’s no point in such traffic, as the chances of leads are non-existent. Also, you’d ideally want people in Paris, the capital of France, to know about your clothing store rather than those in Denmark or the US.

In other words, there’s a difference in the results that appear when someone searches for the terms “digital marketing company” and “digital marketing company in Chennai.”

This is where geo tagging comes in handy.

Google prioritises searches that end with “near me.” So, when someone searches for something, say “grocery store near me,” Google will try to find the location of the person who searched for the term. Then, it shows the grocery stores nearest to their location.

This is possible with local SEO.

And geo tagging is a technique to boost local SEO.


The Need for Geographic Targeting


All websites, or at least the good ones, have an “About” or ‘Contact Us” page. This page holds the contact information of the business.

Sadly, this is the only place where a business’ location information is found.

Even if Google manages to find its way to your website’s “About” or “Contact Us” page for the location information, there are chances that it may misinterpret it.

And, when that happens, your website/business will be ignored. Even if the person performing the search is only a few hundred metres away from the store.

Then there’s the probability of a competitor ranking higher than you simply because their website has more accurate location information.

When I say accurate location information, I mean something more than addresses, like latitudes and longitudes.

Where to Add Location Information

Although geo tags can be included in just about any element on a website (like the title and text content), they are often used in the meta tags of images.

Though small, meta tags are powerful components when it comes to SEO. They contribute to search rankings and help search engines understand what the content is about.

It is only fair that you include location-related information in them.

Here are a few spots where you can sneak in location information in meta tags.


Image file name

Your visitors don’t see image names; you do. Use that to your advantage. Include the name of your business and the location in the file name.


Image alt-text

There is a notion that the purpose of alt-text is only to aid the visually impaired. Though it is true, the alt-text of an image offers an opportunity to include keywords and location-based information.


Image captions

Captions and text near images are great places to squeeze in keywords, especially location-related ones. Crawlers usually search the captions and the area around the image for information about the image and the website. Including location-based keywords in image captions is a great way to boost local SEO.


Geotagged data

Geotagged data refers to the information that is embedded in the photo at the time it was captured. Just about all smartphones and GPS-enabled digital cameras automatically store location data in the images that are captured. A website can be easily geotagged by including images with geo tagging data in them.

It is recommended to have geotagged images on each page of the website. Even if you ignore the other pages on your website, it’d be wise to include geotagged images on the Homepage, Contact Us page, Location page, and blog posts (if possible).


How To Geocode Images

Meta data can be entered manually into images and can be done easily as well. The same cannot be said for geo tags.

Most smartphones and modern digital cameras come with the option to include the location of the photo when it is captured. This is possible with the GPS function.

For those who do not have geo tags on their images, the following techniques might help.


GPS-Enabled Devices


As said earlier, many modern devices come with GPS, be it smartphones or digital cameras. You just have to play around with the settings to enable location when snapping pictures. The location information will be automatically embedded in it.

The data in the pictures is stored in the image’s exchangeable image file format, or EXIF. In addition to location information, the EXIF also holds the image’s meta data.


Image Sitemap


A sitemap for a website is a file that holds information regarding the pages, videos, and other files and the relationship between them.

On the same note, an image sitemap is a file that contains information about all the images on a website. An image sitemap is also great at helping Google find images that would otherwise be hidden. You can include the geo tags of an image in an image sitemap.


Use an EXIF Editor


You can use an EXIF editor to update geo tags. There are multiple programs available to include location data in an EXIF file. Although the user interface of the programs may vary, the core functionality remains the same.

Some editors, like thexifer, come with an integrated map. After uploading an image to the website, you get the ability to drag and drop pins on the map. Once you have dropped the pin on the desired location, the location information will be generated below.

 

Geo tagging, when done correctly, has tons of benefits for SEO, especially local SEO. Not just images; you can include location-based keywords wherever possible. Like, if you own a marketing agency in Velachery, a keyword like digital marketing agency in Velachery will be more beneficial and specific to your website than a generic, highly competitive keyword. It helps you gain an edge over competitors when it comes to local presence.

Running a business is difficult. Keeping track of the online side of things, even more so. But one cannot ignore the importance of SEO. Without a proper SEO strategy, your website will be buried among millions of other websites.

Getting your website featured among the top 3 or 5 results is vital for the success of your business. With the right balance of website optimisation, a well-planned SEO strategy, and informative content, your website can outshine your competitors and reach the top of the rankings.

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