What does geo-targeting mean?
Geo-targeting or geotargeting is the practice of providing differing content tailored to a user’s needs based upon where the user is geographically located.
There are a few ways of providing geo-targeting to a user:
- By choice geo-targeting
- Automated geo-targeting
By choice geo-targeting is when a user visits a site they are not immediately given the content specific to their geo-location and would have to instead select their preferred location from a menu or otherwise selection process. An example of this could be when a user visits a multi-language site they would select their country location and the user would then be presented with different site content or similar site content but in a different language. Another benefit of site redirection could be that each different language site could be based on a different server in that specific geo-location which will provide the user with a smoother experience since the server used to host the site will be closer to the user.
Automated geo-targeting is when a user visits a site and is automatically given content tailored to the user’s geographical location. So in the example of a user visiting a multi-language site the user would be automatically redirected to the most suitable language site.
Automated geo-targeting is done via a user’s IP address being scanned upon visiting a site to determine which IP address space the user belongs to and therefore the site can base the user’s location from that and provide the most suitable geo content available.
Some examples of where geo-targeting might be used could be:
- Pay per click advertisements
- Multi-language sites
- Online analytics
- Enhanced network peformance
- Content based on local time