How To Strengthen Your Keyword Research With Geo-Targeting

We've come a long way since the days when keyword stuffing and inbound links were the two go-to strategies for ensuring search engine exposure. One Google algorithm update after another, we've moved away from the shady practices of the early days of search engine optimization to a time when content is king, and relevance and value are the two words marketers need to hold above anything else.

How To Strengthen Your Keyword Research With Geo-Targeting: eAskme
How To Strengthen Your Keyword Research With Geo-Targeting: eAskme

But even though relevance and value are the names of the game today, keywords haven't gone away. They are as useful as they ever were for market research and reaching audiences, and marketers go to a great length to ensure they have strong keyword researching strategies. Among the musts of keyword research, geo-targeting is getting an increasingly prominent place.

What Is Geo-Targeting?

Geo-targeting is a concept that doesn't apply to keywords alone. Companies, for example, can geo-target people using their IPs, and serve them a localized version of the company website.

In terms of keywords, geo-targeting usually means adding a word or two to a keyword or a phrase in order to establish a location. A keyword like "plumbing services" becomes "plumbing services Seattle, WA", or "plumbing services north of the 3rd street."

How Is Geo-Targeting Beneficial?

Using geo-targeting, businesses can provide a more relevant and valuable experience to their users. Visitors to business' website can be automatically transferred to a local version of the website, which can contain location-specific content, offers, and in the case of international websites, content written in the local language.

To understand why keyword geo-targeting is beneficial, you need to know two statistics:

1.    In 2015, the number of people using Google from mobile devices surpassed the number of people using it from desktop devices.

2.    A half of the people who perform a local search for something they need actually visit a store within 24 hours.

These two statistics demonstrate that the share of Internet users who are prone to taking action after a local Google search is rising. Mobile is the local business' friend, and researching geo-targeted keywords can help businesses reach the audience who likes their Internet on the go.

How to Research Geo-Targeted Keywords and Phrases

Finding keywords and phrases that are useful for highly localized searches isn't that difficult from the usual way of finding keywords and phrases.

You need to think about the keywords and phrases that are useful for your niche or industry. You can use Google Suggest as your starting point, or any of the many keyword research tools you usually use. As always, looking at the keywords your competition is focusing on is a viable way of getting some ideas.

Once you get a group of keywords and phrases you're happy with, you should add location-specific modifiers to them. That's how your "dentist implant" phrase, for example, becomes "dentist implant Traverse City, MI." You can also add another word or two to further zero in on the services your offer and get the full benefits of using long-tail keywords, but be careful not to overdo it.

Tips for Better Geo-Targeted Keywords

There are some things you can do to make sure that your geo-targeted keywords and phrases perform well. You can use area codes, ZIP codes, names of landmarks and prominent streets as the location-specific modifier.

Depending on your business, you might also benefit from using popular tourist spots and landmarks as the modifier. Including names of communities, as well as local jargon in your geo-targeted keywords and phrases might also be a good idea.

Including the keywords you want to rank on into your landing page is also a great idea. In fact, if you're using geo-targeting for keyword research, you should make sure that you have landing pages that reflect how your business relates to the location you're targeting. If you're targeting multiple locations, you should create multiple landing pages.

There are also some things you should avoid doing with geo-targeted keywords and phrases.
The easiest way for your local campaign to fail is to target a location where your service isn't available, or at least is not available readily enough. People will not go to a neighboring city for products and services they can find in their own city.

Read More: Keywords vs Queries

Not being sensitive enough to the locals' ways is another thing that might harm your campaign. In certain parts of the United States, large parts of the population are Spanish-speakers, and if you're not sensitive to that you'll lose a lot of potential customers.

With the rise of mobile Internet users, local businesses have got a great way to reach qualified customers. To be able to benefit from the new Internet usage practices, they need to understand how people are searching for the things they need. And since data shows that local searches are not only popular but also a sign of the customers' intent, using geo-targeted keywords to reach the customers that are ready for action is not a strategy that should be skipped.