When a person performs a search on Google, his or her location affects organic search results tremendously. Google and other search engines constantly access the location of searchers and localize search engine results (SERPs). Mobile phone traffic growth only increases the percentage of SERPs affected by location.
In addition to this localization trend, there’s personalization and voice search – idioms, local terms and speech mannerisms that also influence SERPs. Combine these factors and consider that we’re in a content marketing era, where customers are bombarded with content all the time. It’s only natural for them to become more sophisticated and prefer content that speaks to them.
With SERP localization, personalization and sophisticated customers in mind, it’s crucial to understand and deliver content that resonates with our audiences. And that’s an important concept – delivering.
The Challenge of Delivering
Delivering requires an agent to find its receptor and successfully complete the transfer. As marketers, we can define a target audience, identify its geo-locations, and create and publish content that resonates with it. It’s part of our job; it’s our trade.
However, as we create increasingly more content, how do we ensure that our target audience will find it at their location? In other words, how do we deliver and effectively complete the transfer?
The Key for a Successful Delivery
One of the most important goals of Internet marketing is to facilitate constant growth in organic traffic. As we grow our organic traffic, we want most (or all) of it to be coming from our geo-targeted area. This ensures we’re “delivering” to our target audience. How can we guarantee this?
Here’s where geo-containment comes to the forefront. Geo-containment involves monitoring and optimizing a website’s organic traffic growth to reach and maintain a high percentage of it coming from a predefined geo-targeted area.
In practice, geo-containment is a multi-disciplinary effort, carried out jointly by SEO, content and social media professionals. Together, the team monitors organic traffic performance and optimizes existing and new content. The goal of these optimizations is to contain the organic traffic growth to the geo-targeted area. In a nutshell, geo-containment enables a web presence management team to create and publish content that speaks to a target audience and sends signals to search engines so it’s noticed as “local content.”
Geo-containment involves more than just creating content that resonates with an audience and growing organic traffic for it – that’s Web presence management. The geo-containment element includes practicing web presence management while containing the organic traffic growth within the geo-targeted area.
Why Should We Care about Geo-Containment?
The reason geo-containment matters for local businesses is obvious: We can’t serve customers we can’t reach. But what about national and global businesses? Does geo-containment matter for them?
As previously stated, customers aren’t just growing increasingly savvy, they’re also filtering out content that doesn’t fit their personal need for information or match their preference for style and tone. Furthermore, the level of localization to SERPs also is steadily increasing. Today, SERPs for Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York City can be vastly different when it concerns ranking players and ranking factors.
When we need to gain presence in a Web space that contains SERPs with high levels of localization, we must send strong signals to search engines signaling that our content is valuable for the audience at that specific location. If we add this to the fact that terms and topics trending up on the West Coast may not be performing the same in another part of the country, then we realize there’s a great need to evaluate and improve our national or global website at the local level.
In our next article, How to Assess Your Geo-containment Level, we’ll take a look at how SEO and content teams can work together to start a sustainable geo-containment program. We’ll also cover how to build a knowledge base of what works for our audiences and geos.