Tailoring content to meet the specific needs of particular market segments is the Holy Grail of marketing. The more finely grained calls to action and copy can be made, the more likely site visitors are to convert. very one prefers content that speaks to their specific situation and needs.
Geo-targeting is one of the simplest ways to present different content to different groups of visitors. Geo-targeting makes use of IP databases to locate site visitors to within a fairly narrow geographic area. There are more precise ways of locating people, but generally those methods require tracking or fingerprinting techniques that are complex and difficult for webmasters to deploy without using expensive third-party services.
Geo-targeting is particularly useful for businesses who have lead generation sites and do business in multiple markets. For example, a business based in the USA might also have potential clients in Canada, the UK, or even further afield.
There are several options for dealing with a multi-national client base, including having dedicated sites for each, which can sometimes be justified, but for smaller businesses without the resources to deploy dedicated sites and create original content for them, using geo-targeting to modify site content based on visitor location is an excellent option.
Conscientious site owners are occasionally wary of presenting different content to different visitors in case they fall foul of Google’s proscriptions against cloaking. However, cloaking refers to displaying different content to the search engine crawler than is shown to visitors. That should definitely be avoided, but with geo-targeting we are simply discriminating between visitors and tailoring content to their needs.
Awesome as geo-targeting is, the options on WordPress are fairly limited. We’ll have a look at three of the best plugin for geo-targeting.
The first thing to note about GeoPosty is that it’s probably the most comprehensive free geo-targeting plugin available. The second thing to note is that it’s sadly no longer under active development, which means no new updates will be coming. That said, for current versions of WordPress it works very well, using the Neustar Developer IP Intelligence service to locate site visitors.
GeoPosty will let you use short codes to target content at visitors from a particular location, including states and cities.
This is a paid-for plugin that geo-targets at the country level. It allows users to insert shortcodes within WordPress to adapt page content to location. WordPress GeoTargeting is easy to use , and you can choose to display particular content to specified countries, to groups of countries, and also to exclude countries from seeing content.
The plugin also includes redirection functionality, which allows webmasters to redirect site visitors to different URLs, perhaps to language specific pages, according to their location.
Given that GeoPosty is no longer being developed, WordPress GeoTargeting is the best solution customizing content by location.
If all you want to do is to redirect visitors to language or country specific pages or subdomains, without any of the other functionality we’ve discussed, then Geo Redirect will do the job.
If you have any suggestions for how to best incorporate geo-targeting into a WordPress site, or have had successes with geo-targeting, let us know in the comments below.
*This is a guest post by Graeme Caldwell.
About Graeme Caldwell — Graeme works as an inbound marketer for Nexcess, a leading provider of Magento and WordPress hosting. Follow Nexcess on Twitter at @nexcess, Like them on Facebook and check out their tech/hosting blog, http://blog.nexcess.net/.