Conversion is the only objective of optimization and it hardly matters whether it is an online store or the site gets registration for newsletters or the objective is to get maximum advertising impressions.
The optimization process is largely data-driven that is a site is modified according to needs of visitors. While most of the elements like design, navigation, and presentation can be controlled, the traffic or number of visitors can’t be controlled. The visitors can be from any age group, income bracket, language, culture, society, and country. But you need selecting your visitors in order to get business.
Know how to market the business to attract targeted audiences and use the existing infrastructure to cater to the needs of a large number of customers. But the question is how to drive targeted traffic and the answer is Geo-Targeting.
What is Geo-Targeting?
Simply put, it is targeting people according to their location and the consumers are identified using different metrics including IP, Wi-Fi and GPS. Process is to serve location specific content to identified audiences. And the location can be tracked to a region, country, state, city and even a market. The simplest way of Geo-Targeting is through SERPs. It is search engine that displays location specific content to searchers.
Why it is important?
Conversion experiments test different page elements but the results can be improved by using location based elements. Testing different ideas and approaches could be more helpful than testing common elements. For instance, it should be predetermined whether the language should be changed according to countries and whether Euro should be the standard for price quotes.
What should be tested?
Geo-Targeting can help in increasing conversions in the following ways:
- Experiment with languages
Match the website language with countries visitors are coming from. A language switch can be of great help. Also measure what works for conversion after using language funnel. Use a KPI to measure performance of the site after language funnel.
- Match currency
Allow the visitors to select the currency they used in their countries or region. For experiment, you can start with popular products and then measure difference in sales in combination with location. See whether there is any fluctuation in sales after using country specific currency.
- Evaluate serving local/relevant offers
Optimize your offers to suit to locations. For instance, a product could be in high demand at one place than others. It looks simple but needs planning. You have to measure funnel performance for visitors before determining relevancy of content. Know how do visitors behave when they are served location specific content than those that are allowed to choose their location.
- Match making
Geo-Targeting has made it possible to run location specific ad campaigns that serve location based content all over the world. The marketing message and way of presentation changes automatically according to location and so changes the landing page. Here you can try landing the location specific traffic directly to your website that has generic content and see what works better.
- Evaluate visual elements
Just like texts and monetary signs, difference in content can be created with visuals. Colors and other design elements could change according to location. Holiday themes and national flags are good examples of difference in visual elements.
How to geo-target your pages for testing?
Now you know advantages of Geo-Targeting but the knowledge is incomplete unless you know how to geo-target the site.
- IP Redirect
It is the simplest way of geo-targeting as you only need adding redirects using .htaccess or httpd.conf on your Apache server to your site. Use GeoIP API to configure the server to divert traffic according to IP. Rest of the job will be done by analytics an optimization team. Start with a couple of landing pages to test the process.
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
It is another way of testing geo-targeting ads but it could be a little expensive. Use Google AdWords to set geo-targeting ads. You will be allowed to direct your ads to specific geographic locations and also you can optimize the ads using time factor. It is quick and you will get a enough data to analyze location based conversions.
- Geo Target domains/subfolders
Using Google’s Webmaster guidelines for country segmentations is also a reliable way of geo-targeting. Or you can use subdomains or subfolders to target countries and languages.
- Geo Target Content
There are several ways for segment traffic according to location.
- Using user friendly optimization platforms like UnBounce and Visual Website Optimizer
- The Google Website Optimizer + BTBuckets solution
Test each method to determine reliability of the methods.
How to monitor Geo-Targeted conversion tests?
Once you have started geo-targeting, you will want to see the results of testing. The simplest way to test a geo-targeted ad is to contact people from targeted countries and ask about their experience on your website. Or you can choose a convenient way that is to use one of the many Global visibility tools like global geo proxy network.
There are immense tools that can give you an insight on the performance of geo-targeted ads. You can see:
- Whether the geo-targeting ads are working
- Run through the funnel, if you find any issue in filtering process
- Personally examine issues related performance and conversion
- If you’re advertising on your site, you can see whether the ads are displayed on your site or only when they are viewed from targeted locations
- Examine what your competitors are doing and how are they doing
Remember that monitoring of geo-targeting is very important for success of Geo-Target ad campaigns.
The article introduced Geo-Targeting web pages and also educated about its value in search marketing and online promotion of businesses. We learnt that sometimes location of visitors becomes more important than browsers and even keywords. We also learnt that geo-targeting is simple and beneficial for all the businesses. But success of the process largely depends on execution and monitoring of the ads.