Geo-Targeting Your Pages for Specific Audiences

The Geo-Targeting feature allows you to provide Bing with hints about the intended audience for your website (or a section of your site) by connecting it to a country. Whereas other Webmaster Tools let you do this only at the site level, the Bing Geo-Targeting feature provides you with additional flexibility:  multinational sites do not need to verify each section they want to geo-target separately . Instead, Bing Webmaster Tools Geo-Targeting allows you to define a country audience for your entire website or for sections of your website from within a single view. On top of that, you can do this on multiple levels:

  1. At the domain level: this option allows you to geo-target an entire domain to a specific country. This option will only available for sites that are on so called “geo-targetable top-level domains”, such as .com, .org, .net. With a few exceptions, country-code TLDs (ccTLD) will not be able to set a country-affinity at the domain level, as the ccTLD continues to provide the stronger hint. However, they will be able to use all of the following options as well.
  2. At the subdomain level: this option allows you to set a country affinity for an entire subdomain on your site. This is great option if you are using sub-domains on your site to segment your content by country, say http://nl.example.com for the Netherlands.
  3. At the directory level: this option allows you to set a country  affinity for a specific folder on your site. A great option if you are using country-specific directories or folders on your site, say http://www.example.com/italy/ for Italy. All pages within the folder will be considered to be for your Italian audience.
  4. At the page level: for even more flexibility, you can set a country at the page level. This is a great option if you have a single landing page for visitors from a specific country. For example, a site in the Netherlands — hosted on the a .nl ccTLD — can designate a single page to be targeted to a German audience, say http://www.example.nl/willkommen-deutsche-gaeste.html.

Geo-Targeting Step by Step

To geo-target your site or a section of your site, please follow these steps:

  • From the drop-down select the URL type you want to geo-target as explained in the above section
  • Enter the URL that corresponds to the URL type
  • Select the country from the country/region drop-down
  • Click Submit

When should I use and when should I not use Geo-Targeting?

You should use the Geo-Targeting feature for sites or sections of a site that are dedicated to a specific country and you are not hosting them on a local country-code TLD that matches the country. If you are targeting a specific country and your domain already uses a local TLD you also do not need to geo-target the pages on your site.

Also, there is generally no need to geo-target sites or site sections that are of aimed at a global audience or that apply to multiple countries at once. If, for example, you have a multilingual site that has a German section, you should not target it to Germany if you also are targeting other German-speaking audiences, such as those in Switzerland and Austria with the same content.

noteNote
Once you have geo-targeted a site or site section, your input will be seen as a strong signal that adds to other signals we are already using, one that gets stronger as we see more data. You should therefore start today and make sure to use the Geo-Targeting tool as an integral part of your long-term global SEO strategy.