So, your web designer, website manager, and the empanada lady down the street has told you that your website needs to be geo-tagged to attract more online local customers. Is there truth to this claim? Well, quite possibly, yes!
What Is Website Geo-Tagging?
Geo-tagging is essentially a fancy term for embedding geographical information into your website, like the coordinates of your store or the name of the town you serve. Why does this matter? Because search engines like Google love to match local businesses with local customers. When someone nearby searches for “empanadas near me,” or “best local web designer,” geo-tagging helps search engines know that your business is in the vicinity and worth showing in the search results.
If your business serves a local community or has a physical location where you welcome customers, geo-tagging can be your secret weapon. It’s like putting a small signpost on the digital highway, signaling to search engines that “Hey, I’m here in this location, and I offer these services or products!”
However, if your services or products are aimed at a global audience and aren’t tied to a particular location, then geo-tagging might not be at the top of your to-do list. But even then, it might help differentiate you in a crowded marketplace.
So, listen to your web designer, or the empanada lady down the street; geo-tagging could be a good move for boosting your website’s visibility among local customers. Just make sure you’re also keeping tabs on how well it’s working through some website analytics, because data never lies.
Here Are the Ways to Geo-Tag Your Website:
Metadata in HTML:
The simplest way to start is by adding geographical meta tags in the HTML code of your website. It’s simply your business location in latitude and longitude coordinates. This usually goes in the head section of each relevant webpage. You can generate your own code here and validate as well.
Example of Metadata:
<meta name=”geo.region” content=”US-FL” />
<meta name=”geo.placename” content=”Jacksonville” />
<meta name=”geo.position” content=”30.332184;-81.655651″ />
<meta name=”ICBM” content=”30.332184, -81.655651″ />
For a more structured approach, which will directly speak with Google bots, you can use Schema.org markup to define your business’ location, services, description, etc. Schema markup is a code snippet, which can be in the form of JSON or Microdata markup, that would be placed in the head section of your website. This strategy provides pertinent information about your company to the local user. Use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to create the schema markup.
Example of JSON Schema:
"name": "Your Business Name",
"streetAddress": "123 Main St",
While this isn’t geo-tagging your website, listing your business on Google Business and providing accurate information about your company is an effective way to be seen by local customers.
If your website uses images, geo-tagging them can also boost local SEO. Various online tools can help you add geographical information to the metadata of your images before you upload them to your site.
Local SEO Plugins:
If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, there are plugins available that make the geo-tagging process straightforward. Just search for local SEO or geo-tagging plugins in the CMS’s marketplace.
You can also include geographical information in your XML sitemaps. Tools and services that generate sitemaps often have an option for adding this information.
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are tools that will help you set geographic targets. While this isn’t the same as embedding geo-tags directly into your website, it’s another way to emphasize and analyze your local SEO efforts.
Geo-tagging might sound a bit technical, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you’re not comfortable editing your website’s code or just want to make sure it’s done right, consider hiring a professional. Your web designer, SEO expert, or yes, even the savvy empanada lady, if she’s versed in local SEO, might be able to help.