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Site Geographic Data Gives Voice to Content

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Website geographic data is useful to know in developing more relevant content and better SEO profiles.

Two actual sites reveal some stark differences in the location of their visitors. One has 73 percent of its total audience from the United States. The other has only 37 percent from the U.S.

The difference lies in part because of their content categories. The first site has a travel focus on an international destination while the second has a focus on a business niche.

Strangely, the travel site is the one with 73 percent of its audience from the U.S., even though the destination isn’t in the U.S. Both sites have content with appeal to international, English-speaking audiences.

Regardless, the differences between the two shows the importance about knowing the geographic location of site visitors rather than making assumptions about them.

In more practical terms, it also suggests the site needs to increase its focus on attracting audiences from outside of the United States. Small changes in content can make a difference.

For example, consider how a writer may describe weather. The U.S. uses Fahrenheit as a measure of temperatures while many other countries use Celsius. Instead of referring to a temperature in an article only in Fahrenheit, the site can describe it using both Fahrenheit and Celsius.

A site with references to politics, economics, history and many other topics can use quotes or references to people and sources of information from a wide variety of countries.

A locally focused site can do the same. It can refer to sources in multiple cities within a region, again creating geographically diverse content.

Geographics by Page

A deeper look at analytics may show startling differences in how individual pages rank with specific countries.

Good analytic reports can drill down into individual countries and from there to the specific landing pages of visitors.

Landing pages with a consistently higher ratio of visitors compared to pages for the entire site will suggest the possibility of unique characteristics that might be transferable to other pages.

External linking is a feature that may help. A page with content that uses external sources of information may link to different sites in other countries rather than consistently to sources within only one.

Even if none of these tactics improve the geographic profile of a site, they make the content more relevant to site visitors based on their location.

Geographic SEO

MapSite publishers can use geography as a tactic in search engine optimization to enhance rankings.

Location identifications include city, county, state and nation as well as zip codes. Yes, people do searches with zip codes to find certain types of information.

Publishers and writers can produce original content and review it for the potential to mention location names. Like other SEO tactics, the locations can appear in the document title, meta description, headline, body copy or image captions among various options.

Of course, the location names don’t have to appear in all of those places in a document. But getting them in there two or three times will enhance the article’s potential for higher ranking based on location.

Likewise, publishers and writers should do periodic audits of past articles that still do well with search engines. Making sure that geography is well represented is a good idea for any meaningful audit.

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