Why Geolocation + Geotargeting is Essential for Ecommerce

Geolocation + Geotargeting
Geolocation + Geotargeting

When hearing the term Geolocation, the useful Google Maps springs to mind, a fantastic, navigation tool that is essential in this day and age.  In contrast geotargeting sounds insidious, thoughts of unwanted solicitation and tracking of the nasty variety. However, geotargeting is also essential so as to not target the wrong people.

Does your website promote a product, service, or an idea? Whatever you are selling, in order to be successful you need to collect data on not just your customers but potential customers (website visitors). This is necessary to understand them and others like them, why they are interested in what you are selling or why they are leaving without buying. At the top of the data hierarchy is geographical location data otherwise known as geolocation data. It is the most basic and widely available form of data, collected by tools like Google Analytics to enable geotargeting for their advertising platform. It is freely available and if you have a website then you are likely already collecting this data.

This geotargeting of audiences is commonplace, with most visitors having experienced a website requesting permission to know user geolocation. This is an example of a website employing technology to obtain your location. Authorizing the collection of your location data is essentially opting-in to later Geotargeting. Every website should lay out their privacy and terms and conditions in relation to data use.

Most businesses selling something have a range of different consumer groups for that something. The data you collect enables the website owner to identify and differentiate between consumer groups (defining what marketers call personas), enabling the segmentation and thereby personalization of the consumer journey for each group.

Individuals in different countries are likely to have different buying habits and different reasons for buying any product or service. Therefore content that speaks directly to those local needs is necessary to obtain optimal conversion rates. The most basic of these needs when speaking about the location and an obvious example is language preference.

Geotargeting Enables Websites to Select Language.

Geolocation enables websites to detect visitor location and serve content in different languages. But it’s value doesn’t end there, for example, countries with the same language can have variations in terminology used to describe things. Therefore, different terminology is used when searching for items on Google Search. You can use a combination of Google search term data and location data to tailor content to target users in specific countries.

What this means for those carrying out CRO, is that when creating and testing content it is often beneficial to split campaigns into separate campaigns for each country and have variations of the same content with different terminology in order to identify what works

You cannot create a single generic campaign for all English speaking countries and expect to have optimal results. 

It really depends on whether you have the marketing budget and resources to create different campaigns for different countries. However, with CRO tools like OptiMonk, this has become increasingly straightforward, easy even.

Geotargeting is essential for increasing the understanding of your customer base, enabling you to more precisely target specific groups. This is particularly valuable for physical retail stores because it allows stores to predict sales and gear up the supply chain and procurement automation accordingly. It enables the targeting of individuals when they are close to a store to announce a sale notification, supplying a discount coupon for example. When users in a specific region show interest in a specific product type online, it implies that the item should also be stocked locally in their nearby store (global retail chain). Or perhaps, it even might even suggest where a physical store should be opened.

Understanding Buyer Motivation

By identifying the buyer’s motivation you can serve content that directly addresses the website visitors problem, otherwise referred to as a pain point. This process is an important part of conversion rate optimization and is the constant refinement of content to match the consumer’s needs. The most basic of data points is the location of your website visitor. Targeting website visitors according to that geographical location is known as geotargeting but alone a users geolocation says little about their motivation.

Geotargeting is often used in combination with other kinds of targeting, using other kinds of demographic data or even psychographic data. With each additional piece of data added to the mix the greater the potential for increasing personalization. While analytics platforms enable the tracking of website visitors. 

It is conversion rate optimization tools that enable the interaction with those same individuals in real time. OptiMonk is one such tool, it uses data supplied by Google Analytics by adding a snippet of code into your website. CRO enables you to leverage the data to target individuals with content tailored for their specific needs and the needs of others, those with a similar profile or in the case of Geotargeting, those from the same location.

Let’s look at the other types of targeting, you must consider utilizing in combination with geotargeting.

  • New vs returning visitors,
  • Traffic source, Social media, organic, direct, AdWords (or any custom source).
  • Time spent on a page
  • Specific pages visited
  • Number of pages visited
  • Frequency of visitor visits
  • Literally, ANY custom variable can be used.

In addition, any of these targeting techniques can be combined to be uber specific. If you have ever used Google Ads or Facebook ads, you might think that the options for targeting are pretty complex, however, the functionality of these tools is wholly inadequate when you consider what is currently possible and now available to everyone. The good news is that all of the above targeting methods can now be accomplished and even combined, quickly and simply for conversion rate optimization. You can even AB test every variation of every combination of targeting. It all depends on how deep down the CRO rabbit hole you want to go.

What many customers fail to realize is that by trying to test audience conversion rates with Facebook Ads or with any other kind of advertising is a complete waste of time and money.


Well because you can only AB test your advertisements, not your content.

What’s the difference I hear you ask?

You need to get your content right BEFORE buying advertising or testing advertising variations.

What is the point of running great ads and pushing traffic to content that doesn’t convert?

The consequence is of course that customers complain a lot, whining about the cost of Google and Facebook ads. Fix your content, and if it’s not your content then it’s your product or service, you are missing something.


Content generation is easy when you can identify user intent, luckily for us google search is getting better at understanding this. But Google will never be good at understanding visitor/consumer motivation, or the emotion that drives the purchasing decision.

Geotargeting does not supply this alone, but in combination with other demographic data and psychographic data you collect on your website, you can gain important insights into buyer motivation. It’s all about asking the right questions at the right time and supplying the right content that the visitor is looking for, explaining why your product or service solves their problem.  

Most importantly it prevents you from targeting the least likely to buy.  With every additional piece of information, you can obtain you can improve your targeting thereby improving your conversion rate.  Geotargeting technology provides a world where only those most likely to be interested in your product will be targeted, consequently, those same people are more likely to welcome your offer.

OptiMonk provides the targeting options but the message is up to you.

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