Google geotargeting is a tool Google uses to narrow down search results for the user. When a person searches for something on Google, that person will be given results based on where they live and the type of search they’ve done. Google does this in an attempt to give user the most relevant results for their queries. Google uses information from your website, such as your domain, the geographic region of your IP address, and information found on your actual pages. You can also change your website settings so that your website can be subject to geotargeting.
In many situations, this can be very helpful for both your website and the Google user, but there are also a few drawbacks. Some businesses and websites will want to use Google geotargeting, but others will want to stay far away from it.
When to Use Geotargeting
Enabling geotargeting on your website is the best option for local businesses. When a Google user searches for “pizza,” the businesses offering pizza in their area will show up first. This puts your business in a prime location, as well as helps the user to narrow down the copious results. Your targeted audience will be more likely to convert into a customer. Marketing-wise, this cuts down on a lot of SEO effort you might currently be doing, as the fight to the top of the Google search results will be a lot easier after geotargeting.
For those using PPC advertising to market their small business, geotargeting can save you money. The CPC in New Jersey is $1.61, while Rhode Island’s CPC is $0.52. Limiting the area in which your advertisement shows up alongside a search result can severely cut down on your expenses.
When Not to Use Geotargeting
There are many situations in which you won’t want your website to be viewed only by members of a geographic area. If you have a small ecommerce business, you want your products to be viewed by people all over the country, possibly all over the globe. Geotargeting will limit your potential customer base by people who live near you, near the location of your IP address, or near some of the locations you have talked about on your page.
If you have a website that you want to market to an audience of a certain language, geotargeting is also not for you. For instance, if you want your audience to be seen by Spanish speakers, you wouldn’t want to narrow your targeted area to Spain for fear of leaving out Spanish speakers outside of Spain. The number of people who would see your website would be cut down by huge margins.
Any website you have that you don’t want limited by your or your audience’s geographic region should not have geotargeting enabled in their settings. This includes blogs, informational websites, global businesses, and similar types of sites. Websites that use country-coded domains already only show up in searches that are relevant to that country.
Tabeling, Jason. “How to Take Advantage of Google AdWords’ Improved Geotargeting.” http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2205818/How-to-Take-Advantage-of-Google-AdWords-Improved-Geotargeting. (17 July 2013).