Definition

A method of detecting a website visitor’s location to serve location-based content or advertisements.

Information

Every visitor’s computer is tied up with an IP address that indicates its specific location. The first three digits of an IP address corresponds to a country code, while the succeeding digits often refer to specific areas within that domain. This geographical information, when used for marketing purposes, is called geo-targeting.

Geo-targeting aims to improve the cost-effectiveness of marketing programs. For example, if the product is a plane ticket from Honolulu to Vancouver, then it will more likely sell to someone who is located in either of the two cities. If a visitor is in a different city, then a different set of offers may be given.

The system is not 100 percent accurate. Inaccuracies happen when web surfers use proxy servers or some other IP-masking tool, among other methods. However, these instances are rare enough for geo-targeting to still be effective. Geo-targeting is available to even small advertisers via outlets such as Google Adwords.

Related Terms

view all terms in the Online Advertising glossary or all terms in the Digital Marketing glossary

Articles

Geo-Targeting: Old School and New School
ClickZ (February 12, 2010)

How to Geo-Target PPC Campaigns for Local
SEO Moz (September 22, 2009)

Using Geo-Targeting to Boost Your PPC Results
Search Engine Watch (July 9, 2009)