SEO Glossary: Geotag

In a nutshell: What is a geotag?

A geotag is used to assign geographical coordinates to media. This makes it easier to find recordings in combination with a specific location. You can also add a geotag to posts and stories on social media, for example. Geotagging works using GPS data.


What is a geotag?

A geotag is used for various media, such as photos and videos. If the meta element has been set, the corresponding geographical position at which the respective media element was recorded can be seen quickly and easily.


Among other things, digital cameras and smartphones are able to set a geotag during the recording. This usually stores the longitude and latitude. Information such as the place name, country and current altitude is also stored.


Geotagging is particularly useful in large albums on the computer and on websites in order to be able to assign images. Where did I take this picture again? The geotag provides the right answer!


How does geotagging work?

The basis for geotagging is GPS data. These are stored directly by the GPS-enabled device. Many smartphones, for example, have the necessary technology and have an integrated GPS receiver. Depending on the device, additional software may be required to make full use of the function.


If you are working with an external GPS receiver, the geographical coordinates are assigned to your recordings according to the time. To do this, the time on your camera must be synchronized with the time on the GPS receiver. Only then is a clear geographical assignment possible.


Your camera must also be able to save JPEG files with stored EXIF data. This data includes not only the time, but also the GPS data.


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What are the benefits of geotagging?

Geotagging on the internet is a method of displaying the location of a person or a website. Especially in social media - such as Instagram - coordinates can be used in the status report or in posts.


However, photo services also use geotagging: other users can search for images that were taken at a specific location around the globe. Geotagging is also an excellent way of displaying images on virtual maps. Google Maps and Google Earth are just two examples of this.


Geotags are also increasingly being used in various industries. The following areas benefit from the use of geotags:


  • Tourism
  • Environmental planning
  • Road traffic
  • Civil protection
  • Spatial planning


Geotags and SEO - how do they fit together?

The geotag is also used in search engine optimization (SEO ). This is primarily about local SEO or local search engine optimization. Regionally active service providers benefit from being found by users from their region. With the help of geotags, for example, restaurants, retailers and tradespeople can be found at a specific location via the search engine.


If you add geodata to your website, you can be found under the search term "restaurant [location]", "store [location]" or "agency [location]". Even if your website is otherwise not well optimized, you can still achieve a high reach.


What are the benefits of geotagging in social media?

Geotagging in social media, such as Instagram, offers very special advantages:


  • More engagement: If your post has a location, it will also appear in the location's feed. A geotag can increase engagement by up to 80 %.
  • Local cooperations: If you are looking for collaborations with companies in your area, you should use geotagging. Companies may be actively looking and become aware of you as a result.
  • More visibility: Just as with local SEO, a geotag also increases the visibility of your content on social media.
  • Additional information: Perhaps your community is very interested in where you are traveling and where a photo was taken. They don't have to search for the location in the hashtags if you add a geotag directly to the post.


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What are the geotag types?

There are three different types of geotags:


Direct GPS tagger:


  • This geotagger is mounted directly on the camera's hot shoe. When a picture is taken, the GPS data is saved in the image file.
  • No separate synchronization of the time is required, everything runs fully automatically
  • GPS taggers drain the camera's battery and are also more expensive to purchase. They also offer limited functionality.


Attached GPS tagger:


  • The attached GPS tagger is also plugged directly into the hot shoe. However, the position data is recorded independently of the camera in a separate memory.
  • No direct connection to the camera is required to synchronize GPS data and time
  • To link all the location data of the images with each other, software is required on the computer later on
  • The attached GPS tagger is cheaper, saves the battery and saves more than just GPS data. City and street names are also recorded.


Separate GPS logger:


  • The separate GPS logger is probably the most flexible solution. It is integrated directly into the digital camera or smartphone and is activated as soon as the user switches the device on.
  • No software is required to display the location and GPS data later. The logger saves all data in the EXIF file, which can then be conveniently viewed later in the image details.
  • GPS loggers are inexpensive, easy on the battery and store all relevant coordinates such as street names precisely.



Conclusion: What is a geotag?

Geotags are very useful when taking photos and videos in order to track locations and street names later on. They can also help with local SEO to rank higher in regional or local search queries.


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