How Geotagging Can Help Improve Your Google SEO

3 seemingly unrelated topics that have more in common than you realise! Let's get under the hood of digital marketing and geolocation.

Geolocation is a brand new tool that makes digital marketing more effective to get more leads

You are working from your home, when suddenly disaster hits you! No, not a suspicious cough that came from nowhere and makes life hell for the next 14 days to 3 weeks. We are past that. Kind of… The problem is: you ran out of working fuel. Your coffee, your tea, whatever you need to get through the motions of a rainy Monday is gone, and now you need to go to the shops.  

 Against all sense and logic, you decide to sacrifice your lunch break and make a run to the nearby shops for supplies. If you are anything like me, the very first thing you would do is check on Google Maps for “café” and see which ones are not only open, but are nearby. You see the first result that pops up on your mobile, pick up a nice cappuccino, and a nice cupcake to boost spirits, and merrily go back to your job. And that, right there, is one of the most innovative ways of doing marketing around. And you barely even registered it. But don’t worry, take a sip of your cuppa, and I’ll show you what I mean. 


Who makes the choices you think you make?

First things first in our scenario: who decided where to go? It wasn’t you, as you forego that decision to whichever result Google sends you. And, if we’re being completely honest, Google barely had anything to deal with the whole operation – they’re probably too busy trying to take over the world.  

In a weird twist of logic, it was the café you ended up visiting who decided your quick stop. By utilising Geotags, they positioned their address and pin on your localisation app to be the first result, and we all know that if you’re not the first result on Google searches, you basically don’t exist. Nowadays, Geotags and local SEO are two of the most powerful tools to bring clients back to stores, coffee shops, pubs, and any other establishment that relies on foot traffic to thrive. 


Geolocation: the oddest marketing tool (so far).

Our lovely hypothetical supplier of cappuccinos doesn’t even need to be the closest one to you. Nor the cheapest. Or the better reviewed, although that would definitely affect your decision. So, how did the earn that coveted first spot on your search? By creating an efficient mix of tags, ad budget and savvy data analysis, any business can virtually bypass traditional relevant factors on a mobile search such as physical proximity. 

That doesn’t mean you can just dump a barge of money on Google Maps’ headquarters and hijack any searches people make even tangentially related to your company anywhere in the world and have it revert back to your company on the outskirts of Dublin. Proximity to the place where the queries are being made in Google are still relevant, and no amount of money in the world will make a café in London pop up if the person looking for a hot tea is in the middle of St. Stephen’s Green. 


The ups and (many) downs of having a smartphone.

Ok, put your coffee down and let’s think for a second: how? How does Google have such power at their disposal? We’re saying that for the right price, companies can purchase prime spots in an app that, in theory, should be focused on simplifying your navigation around places. Google Maps can only do that because users allow them to. From the moment you turn on your phone, multiple companies are tracking your every move. You must be thinking by now, “that’s it. You’re full-blown paranoid!” but I have news for you… 

It is possible to check your entire Google history with simple clicks on their website. If you use an Android phone, you can track your every move around town, in a creepy diary the company keeps of each and every one of their users. Oh, and don’t think for a second that Apple doesn’t do something similar. Now, this does have its advantages. With surveillance comes practically all conveniences of modern life. Thanks to that, you could get that cappuccino on time for the next meeting. Tinder and other dating apps only work because they know where you are. LinkedIn can more effectively show you good jobs according to where you are. It all goes back to geotagging and tracking.


Right, so when nobody is anonymous, does anonymity matter? 

We tend to look at these issues of privacy and data tracking from an individual point of view. It is haunting to think Google, Apple, and other companies have so much information about our habits, our preferences, and choices. But before you stop here and start burning your family’s smartphones, let me discuss a counterpoint. This power those companies hold was given to them. By you. When you sign up for a Google account or you connect to the Apple Store for the first time, you know that “Terms and Conditions” part 9.9 out of 10 people skip through? In there, they clearly state what data they are gathering, and for what reasons, and most people – myself included, not gonna lie – simply signed and gave them permission.  

There is an eerie strength in this though. There are not enough data analysts to individually track you specifically every single day. While it is extremely important you keep a close eye on the “where”, “when” and “how” companies sell your information, 99% of the time, you are blended into a mesh of billions of people so in a way, nobody is really paying attention to you! Not all the time anyway, so you can sip your coffee again…. 


Don’t fear change understand it.

You went for a coffee and now you’re thinking about privacy and geolocation. Things sure can take a turn for the weird sometimes. The thing is, as a digital marketer, I think it is important to know where technology is going. By learning how companies are selling prime spots to the highest bid on such trivial things such as your Google Maps “creamiest cappuccino near me” queries, you can make the conscientious decision to avoid the first result.  

Maybe next time, you can give a chance to that independent café that doesn’t depend on geotagging? Alternatively, if you own a business and want to increase foot traffic on your spot, now you know one more tool for your company. One thing is for sure: all that talk about hypotheticals really made me want some steamy coffee right now. “Hello Google, tell me…” 


How can geolocation benefit your business?

Would you like potential clients or current clients to be able to find you on a whim? Get in touch with us and we’ll ensure your business is where it should be. Together we can help make your project a success.

Let’s work to achieve your goals together.

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