Local SEO is often hot topic in the SEO world, and this causes many new strategies and approaches to surface. Lessons in local SEO are always changing, so it can be tough to sort out the best practices that have remained as you sift through all the new advice. It seems that one of those lessons is geo-tagging, which is a way for a company to optimize images for local search. Whether this is something you’ve put on the backburner, something you think you’re doing correctly, or something you know nothing about, it helps to take a look back and discover why it all matters. You have to ask yourself: Am I taking full advantage of the geo-tagging option, and does it even make sense for my specific company?
What is Geo-Tagging and Why Does It Matter?
This term is actually a concept that is very familiar to many (however the term is something that sometimes trips companies up, which will be discussed in the last section). Geo-tagging essentially refers to metadata that is embedded into a photo in order to help search engines see the association between that photo and a specific location that you added as part of your metadata. A few benefits include:
- Search Queries. Search engine users typically add in location-based information when typing something into a search bar. For example, someone might very well type in “Accountants in Aurora, IL.” Therefore, you want your company to be associated with this location so that you pop up in that search.
- Image Search. You can’t forget that photos also show up on many SERPs, often at the top. If you can geo-tag your images, it will help search engines determine which images should show up on that SERP.
- Foursquare. Being a part of social geo-tagging, particularly Foursquare, is a great way to get your company name out there on a platform that is familiar to millions. If you can show up on a list of suggested businesses in the area through this outlet, you have a great chance of improving your business. This social network works with other networks like Facebook to allow people to “check-in” to where they are, which helps businesses utilize some of the tactics above on a social platform. You can sign up for Foursquare here.
So when is geo-tagging not a good idea? The idea of geo-tagging will help businesses in a very geographic specific market be found by relevant consumers, as well as helping companies gather data about a local audience. Therefore, if you are a regional company or business, geo-tagging is incredibly important; if you are a national or international business, it won’t do much to help your cause.
It is also important to realize that Google has stated in a video that they don’t look at geo-tags too often. Instead, Google puts a focus on following IP addresses, top-level domains, and likes for websites to create a sitemap.xml file, which you can learn more about in the video. Still, Bing uses geo-tags quite often and they are easy to do, so it certainly can’t hurt (whether you want to focus on Google or Bing).
How to Get Started Geo-Tagging Your Website Images for Local Search
There are many different types of geo-tagging. If you want to geo-tag your images, there are really four different ways to make it happen:
- Tools. The most popular way to do this is to go through one of several tools that walk you through the steps. I recommend Panoramio or Flickr as the easiest way to make this happen. You simply upload a photo and fill in title tags and descriptions.
- GPS Camera. This will likely work best for bloggers who take their own photos. If you buy a GPS enabled camera, all of the information you need will be saved for you on the actual camera.
- Manual. Of course, there is always the manual way of doing things. This involves quite a bit of coding, which you can learn more about here.
- Image Sitemap. This overlaps with what was discussed above. You can use a geo-tag within your image sitemaps for ranking on Google, but this isn’t incredibly relevant anymore. It’s probably best to use one of the other methods if you’re worrying about ranking for Bing or Yahoo.
If you want to get even more advanced, consider geo-tagging your entire website. You can visit Brand Builder Company for more information.
Have you had any struggles with geo-tagging in the past? Any success stories? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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