Last updated on November 17th, 2023 at 02:35 pm
If you've never thought about where your website visitors come from, it's time to learn about geo targeting website content for your market.
The internet is a big place, and if your business is focused on customers in a specific geographical area, your products and services can be lost if they’re delivered to folks searching from locations you don’t serve. All the marketing tools in the world won’t help you if the right people aren’t getting your message.
This is why you must take advantage of geo targeting website content so it’s more likely to be found by the customers in your area. Fortunately, most modern search engines are pretty good at knowing where you’re targeting your business, but they still need a little bit of help.
This is where geo-targeting comes in.
What is Geo-Targeting?
Geo-targeting is marketing strategy where specific content is built to be delivered to customers based on their location. The content can include ads and other marketing campaigns in addition to articles and general website content.
Geo targeting can include very technical approaches such as reading the remote IP address of the user and redirecting them to a page that’s specifically designed for users of that country, or simply creating multiple pages for different locales and relying on search engine algorithms to return the best one for the user doing the search.
Geo Targeting Website Content – A Static Approach
The simplest method of geo-targeting involves curating your website content and meta data for users in a location you’re attempting to target. Everything you put on your site would be targeted for visitors from those regions.
Type type of approach is good for small and medium-sized businesses that have a physical location they serve such as a restaurant or a construction company.
Site Meta Tags
If you’re a website design company in Baltimore, MD and you want to serve clients in your area, then you would include meta titles and descriptions on your site pages that make this clear. A site title such as, “ABC Web Design” does nothing to indicate the location you serve. Simply changing it to, “ABC Web Design is the Baltimore Area’s Preferred Web Design Agency” will go a long way for proper geo targeting.
Too many times I see websites that target a specific area but use stock images from around the world. You should use images from the geographical area you’re targeting. In my previous example, if you’re targeting Baltimore, MD, and you need a background photo of a city then that photo should be of Baltimore.
Within those images, you should include alt text that contains the location and the keywords your perfect customers would be searching for.
Overall Site Content
Your overall content should talk about how you serve the geographic area you’re marketing to. You might even include the ways you’ve contributed to the local community.
Make sure you set up a Google Business page that includes the location you’re targeting and has a link to your website. Consider also listing with the Better Business Bureau and any other review sites you feel comfortable with.
The links from these sites back to your page are a powerful search indicator that ties in to the location you serve. Be consistent across all listings.
Geo IP Targeting – The Dynamic Approach
Now even though the content on this site isn’t geared for large national and multi-national businesses, we’ll touch on the dynamic approach for geo IP targeting.
This method is much more technical to implement, and really only makes sense for large companies.
Imagine a customer in Texas visits your website, but the homepage they see is completely different than the one from someone visiting from Maine. And maybe people from different countries get something unique to their country, even though all of these people visited the same page. This is the dynamic approach to go IP targeting.
Pretty cool right?
How to Implement Dynamic Geo-IP Targeting
This isn’t a technical blog, but there are plenty of places where you can learn about implementation.
Most methods will involve determining the user’s location based on the IP address they’re visiting your website from. Once the location is determined, the code on the web server will deliver a version of your website that’s appropriate for this visitor.
Get in touch with your developer to implement a dynamic geo targeting website plan. You can find resources on how to accomplish it on popular developer resources sites such as stack overflow.
If your website is built on WordPress there are a variety of geo targeting website plugins that can be used and you might even be able to do this without a developer.
Special Considerations for Dynamic Geo IP Targeting
Determining a website visitor’s location is not an exact science. Most methods will utilize the visitor’s IP address and compare that to a database of locations the IP address is known to be used in.
As one can imagine, an IP address can be misleading. For example, many web surfers use VPNs to mask their identity and these services generally either hide their location entirely or deliver an IP address that doesn’t reflect their true location.
Mobile visitors frequently show locations somewhat offset from their true location as well. This is due to how mobile carriers pipe traffic to the internet, and while generally the country for mobile visitors is correct, regions, cities, & states may not be accurate.
Building your content around the geographical area of your target market is a smart marketing strategy and delivering custom content based on a visitor’s location can provide additional benefits if you’re a large business.
Like all strategies, it’s important to do a significant amount of testing before rolling it out across the board. If done correctly, your business will reap the benefits.
Mike is a freelance tech writer who follows the latest trends in digital marketing, SEO, & web design.