What Is Geotargeting?
What Is Geotargeting? Learn About Geotargeting for Ads, Marketing, Websites & More
Confused by what geotargeting is and how it can help you? In this post, we'll answer your burning questions and take you through everything that you need to know about geotargeting and how you can use it on your website or in your marketing and advertising campaigns.
Basically, you can think of this post as geotargeting 101 - we'll walk you through what it is and how it can benefit you. Here's everything that we'll cover:
- What is geotargeting? Explained in more detail
- How geotargeting works
- Ways that you can use geotargeting
- Can geotargeting increase conversions?
- Geotargeting for advertising
- Geotargeting for marketing
- Geotargeting on your website
What Is Geotargeting? Explained In More Detail
At a high level, geotargeting is just the practice of delivering different content to a user based on their location. This can include:
- Only showing content/ads to visitors in some locations, but not others
- Showing content/ads to all visitors, but using different content based on their locations (personalization)
- Redirecting users to a different page/website based on their location
How Does Geotargeting Work?
In order to use geotargeting, you need some way to determine a user's location.
On a website, the primary means to do this is via a visitor's IP address. By comparing a visitor's IP address to an IP geolocation database like MaxMind (in real-time), you can accurately determine a person's location.
With the rise of smartphone devices, you can also use GPS to discover a visitor's location for geotargeting. However, this is a bit trickier as iOS and Android give the user control over whether to share their location.
However, the upside of GPS is that it gives you even more precision. For example, you can target a specific city block instead of a zip code. This leads to another concept called geofencing.
Geotargeting vs Geofencing
Geofencing is one specific implementation of geotargeting. It lets you trigger content/notifications based on a user's real-time location.
A simple example to grasp is the geofencing that many smartphone assistants/smart home devices allow - triggering actions based on your arrival at your home.
For example, you can use your smart home device to automatically turn on the lights as soon as your phone's GPS indicates that you're home.
Geofencing has applications beyond just smart devices, though - you can also use it in advertising campaigns.
For example, if you have a local restaurant, you could automatically send a notification or SMS to people who come within two miles of your restaurant during their lunch breaks. Or, a coupon app could automatically send a notification about a coupon for a store that the user is near.
Why Use Geotargeting? When Can It Help?
Geotargeting can be useful in several different areas, which we'll cover in more depth below:
- Advertising - if you're advertising on platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads, geotargeting can help you optimize how you spend your ad dollars and your PPC campaigns.
- Marketing - geotargeting can help you increase your conversion rates, which we'll cover in its own section next.
- Website optimization - geotargeting can help you optimize your site by personalizing it to visitors. For example, if you have a multilingual site, you can automatically redirect visitors to their local sites based on their locations.
Can You Increase Conversions With Geotargeting?
Yes! Geotargeting is an excellent strategy to increase your conversion rates.
In general, the more relevant you can make your offers, the higher your conversion rates will be. Of course, geotargeting is not the only way to make your offers more relevant, but it is a great option to have in your toolbox.
For example, let's say you have an eCommerce store that sells clothing and you target the entire USA…
Imagine that it's the peak of winter. It's absolutely freezing...in New York. But in Southern California, people are enjoying the beach and the sun! It doesn't make sense to feature the same clothing for all your visitors, right?
With geotargeting, you could display heavy winter coats to people in New York and swimsuits to people in San Diego. That way, everyone sees the products that they're most likely to be interested in.
Another area where geotargeting can increase your conversion rates is affiliate marketing. With geotargeting, you can make sure that you're always displaying the most relevant offers to visitors.
Many big brands are already using geotargeting to do just that. For example, in its 2018 Location Based Marketing Report, Factual found that:
- Almost two-thirds of marketers use location data for ads and promotions.
- 83% of marketers said that location-based marketing brought higher response rates and customer engagement.
Using Geotargeting for Advertising
Most advertising platforms let you geotargeting your ads by different criteria such as:
- Zip/postal codes
Essentially, you want to use these options to deliver the "right message at the right time" and optimize your campaigns.
Some strategies that you can employ here are:
- Personalize your ads. You can personalize ad copy and imagery to a person's location.
- Avoid wasting ad spend. For example, if your business is in Washington DC, you don't want to show your ads to people searching in Washington state. Geotargeting can help you avoid this.
- Prioritize certain locations. For example, you could spend more on lucrative locations and less on locations that don't perform as well.
Using Geotargeting for Marketing
Whether you're selling your own products or something else's products, geotargeting is a great way to boost your conversion rates, as we detailed above.
Again, some of the strategies that you can apply here are:
- Featuring different products based on a user's location, like featuring winter coats for cold-weather climates and swimsuits for warm-weather climates.
- Showing different affiliate offers based on a user's location - we detail the usefulness of this in our post on geotargeting for casino affiliates, but the same basic principles hold true for other niches.
- Personalize email marketing campaigns.
- Connect offers to current events, like offering a special promotion for a local region's event. For example, you could offer deals related to the performance of a region's local sports team.
Using Geotargeting On Your Website
Finally, you can also use geotargeting to improve your website in different ways.
One option that we already detailed is using a visitor's location to automatically direct them to their local version of your site.
You can also get creative and use it in other ways. For example, if you have a business with physical locations in different cities, you could automatically feature the proper contact information based on a person's location.
Or, you can go in the other direction and block visitors from certain locations. For example, if you don't ship to Vietnam, you might want to block Vietnamese traffic on your eCommerce store. This is one specific use of geotargeting called geoblocking.
How to Start Using Geotargeting
If you've made it to the end of our post and are ready to get started with geotargeting, here are some actionable tips to start incorporating geotargeting in your strategies.
First off, if you're running PPC ads on platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads, those tools include built-in options that let you target by geolocation - all you need to do is start experimenting with them.
Some other marketing tools also include their own geotargeting features. For example, most email marketing services let you personalize your email campaigns with geolocation.
Finally, if you've built your website with WordPress and you want to start using geotargeting on your website, you can use the GeotargetingWP suite of plugins. GeotargetingWP includes tools to help you geotarget virtually all of your WordPress site - here are some examples of what it can help you do:
- Geotarget WordPress page builder plugins like Elementor or Divi Builder
- Geotarget blocks in the WordPress block editor
- Create geotargeted affiliate links that send people to different offers based on their locations
- Block countries from visiting your WordPress site
- Redirect users to a different language based on geolocation
- Display different phone numbers based on a user's location
- Geotarget WooCommerce products
To get started and learn more, click here.
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