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Geotargeting: Proven Practices of Location-Tailored SEO

by Alexander Kesler  |  
February 16, 2016

Much like scientific experiments, optimization processes are data-driven. Fundamentally, your current website traffic provides data on which you are able to base optimization decisions in order to reach specific goals.

Website owners have a great deal of control over fundamental website elements such as content, design, user interaction, and light-boxes that boost conversion rates, but different users often have different reactions to the same stimuli. Especially in the independently driven cultures of Western societies, it should come as no surprise that users appreciate being addressed as individuals, not as statistical probabilities at the top of your marketing funnel.

In digital, therefore, you should not make assumptions about your audience.

From age and gender to screen resolutions and computer literacy, users differ in many ways. Moreover, people land on your pages from all over the world. They live in different climates, speak different languages, use different currencies, and most important, they are part of different cultures. Even if you have a dot-com, English-only website, you may be an international business without even realizing it.

How does geotargeting work?

Geotargeting is a way of determining the location of users and delivering tailored content based on that location.

In digital marketing, geotargeting allows for measurement and personalization at a more complex level than possible with traditional media. With the proliferation of mobile devices and the remarkable granularity and specificity they provide in terms of geolocation, tapping into the benefits of geotargeting provides a competitive edge to any digital marketing endeavor.

Ever wondered how Google or other Web services list ads according to your location? Ad servers look at users' IP addresses to determine their location. The ad server uses a large database that contains every IP address already mapped down to country, state, and postal code. Upon receiving a request, the ad server obtains the IP address from the header of the request, probes the table, finds the location data, and chooses an ad that matches the specific criteria.

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Alexander Kesler is the founder and president of inSegment, a Boston-based digital marketing agency, as well as INFUSEmedia, which helps B2B organizations drive full-funnel results via demand generation solutions.

Twitter: @alexanderkesler

LinkedIn: Alexander Kesler

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  • by Vince Tue Feb 16, 2016 via web

    Decent article with some basic SEO knowledge and some dated practices. Exact match domain has little to no power in the ranking decision. EMD had ranking power back in 2011 when the linked article was published, however in the 5 years since then this practice has changed. Might as well have added in their keywords stuffing as a good practice too.

  • by Martin Kura Tue Feb 16, 2016 via web

    "Google offers an edge to sites with local server IPs and country-specific domain name extensions: - not really, Good article otherwise, thanks.

  • by realSEyOda Fri Mar 25, 2016 via web

    Google discussed RankBrain during Q&A #March and commented that the specificity of queries (such as when you're looking for a driver for a specific laptop and graphics card) will show very specific results. I infer from this that this may be the reason that Exact match domains still work. I elaborate on this more, along with commentary on Content and Link being confirmed as the #1 Ranking Factor, in my summary of the 1 hour video here:

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