Geotargeting is “SEO-speak” for helping to ensure websites rank for searches that include specific places (cities, towns, counties, etc.). Car shoppers frequently incorporate locations into their Google searches. Take “Honda Civic New York City” for example. As such, it’s a crucial aspect of any automaker’s online marketing strategy. Unfortunately, because it sounds complicated and doesn’t feel as important as other site content, geotargeting is often overlooked by dealers.
Please, don’t make this mistake! Whether you manage your dealership’s SEO strategy yourself, or you work with Dealer.com or another provider, a basic understanding of geotargeting will help to ensure your website stays visible to in-market shoppers.
How geotargteting works
Specifically, geotargeting is the effort of optimizing a website for selected locations. For example: “With cunning agility, the new Honda Civic is made for New York…” These efforts are most often made by SEOanalysts, copywriters and Web marketers who balance geotargeting with a branded voice and strong consumer engagement.
By using this geotargeted content, SEO experts effectively tell search engines what a specific company’s target markets are. This boosts exposure among consumers making geo-specific search queries and ultimately helps to improve conversion rates.
“new Jaguar dealership” vs. “new Jaguar dealership serving Los Angeles and Van Nuys”
To put the power of geotargeting into even better perspective, let’s put it into context: the point in time when someone wants to buy a new car. The individual usually knows not only the brand they’re interested in, but how far they’re willing to drive to buy it. The same is true for car parts and service.
It stands to reason, then, that when integrated into compelling copy “new Jaguar dealership” becomes a lot more impactful when associated with the geographic area(s) the dealer serves: “new jaguar dealership serving Los Angeles, Van Nuys and Beverly Hills.” This simple change makes it relevant to consumers who have narrowed down their decisions and are very close to making a purchase. The better you can reach this audience, the more likely you are to achieve higher conversion rates.
The key is, of course, maintaining natural speak. Search engines are getting smarter by the day and know full well when you’re trying to dupe them. Overly targeted, “spammy” content risks the chance of being slapped with a penalty and negatively impacting rankings.
How to choose geotargets
Good geo targets start with good questions, such as:
- What is the search volume for your brand and actual location and surrounding geos?
- What geos are your competitors targeting?
- Are you expected to follow compliance rules both with regards to what geos you can target and how you can reference them?
- Is there a geo you want to pull in more consumers from?
- If you’re a luxury automaker, what’s the median income of your target demographic? Is it the same for the geos you want to target?
- Does a geo have a high-enough population to make it worth targeting?
- Is a geo target a reasonable distance away?
Where and how can you use geotargeting to help improve your SEO?
You can use geotargeting anywhere you have Web presence.
If you are currently a Dealer.com ManagedSEO subscriber, one way you can help your geotargeting efforts is to keep your dedicated Digital Advisor informed of market changes, including changes to where the bulk of your demand is coming from.
Beyond your website, you can also use geotargeting in your social endeavors. For example, the next time you post a service special on your Facebook page or Tweet about it, consider messaging that includes your geo targets. Here are a two examples to help you get started
- Save $20 on your next oil change at Vince’s Volvo near Boston and Providence – now, through December 22, 2012!
- 2 Days Left! Schedule your free brake inspection at our Volvo service center near Boston today.
Emily Grier is a Search Engine Optimization Team Lead