Clearing The Air About Geo Targeting And Geo Fencing Once And For All

Geo Targeting OnlineThis guest post is by Asher Elran

While these are casual terms in our office; many people do not really understand what they exactly mean; and most Google searches out there give back results that are a bit too scientific – it would be nice to convey this article in an easy to read, applicable way; where the reader can apply both concepts in their daily life.  For example: I have an app downloaded on my phone called Zoomingo – and every time I drive past a mall, my app goes off telling me what sales are currently on and the latest trends currently at certain stores within that mall.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have been asked about Geo Targeting and Geo Fencing. Being a person that many look to for answers, I must have explained this to at least 106 people in at least 110 different ways. (A few came back for a repeat performance.) Each time I have explained it, I became a bit more confused myself. The answer actually lies in the reason for wanting to know. In other words, if you are running an Adwords campaign, the answer would be different than if you have a brick and mortar store with an ecommerce website built on to it. Once you have ferreted out the asker’s intent, the question is much clearer.

There are Amish Communities in Paraguay, South America?

If you run an Adwords campaign, Geo Targeting is a tool for which you have options about where you want your ads to be shown and Google, in theory, places the ads in front of anyone from that area who conducts a search enquiry using your key information. The reason this confuses so many people is that if you do not get the settings for your GEO Target just right, Google decides for itself what it is it thinks you meant, which is usually as wrong as it could possibly be. Telling Google to show your ads to the Amish countryside in Reading Pennsylvania without the proper settings in place might get your ads shown to people in Paraguay, wherever that might be, geographically speaking. (Somewhere between Bolivia and Brazil in South America…, I think.)What do they speak there, Paraguayan?

The Google Shuffle off to Paraguay Sidestep

By the way, you can sidestep Google’s decision-making process altogether if you adjust your “Advanced Location Options” settings and can be tracked with the new Google universal analytics. Just make sure that you have only selected “People in” and not the “based on Search Intent” as this limits Google to just following your directions for location and not guessing the intent of every search on the planet that has your ads keywords or metatags in them. It is a simple trick that saves you a world of frustration.

The Many Faces of Geo Targeting

For the rest of us, Geo Targeting is a simple phrase that has both a technical meaning and practical application that can produce amazing results when tempered with Geo Fencing. First, let us get the technical definition out of the way. The technical is, in itself, a confusing thing to have in front of you.

Technically Speaking

“Geo Targeting in geomarketing and internet marketing is the method of determining the geolocation of a website visitor and delivering different content to that visitor based upon his or her location, such as country, region/state, city metro or area code, zip code, organization, IP address, ISP, or other criteria.”

Connect It to the Dollar Sign and Watch as Comprehension Settles In

Now that I have taught my word processor five new words, let us move on to an explanation that is easier to remember and understand because it relates to your wallet and a couple of dollar signs. Geo Targeting is the practice of using GPS to find and track customers wherever they are. It is handy when you have a physical location that your website actually points to because you can use that information to find people right outside your stores and just a few miles in any direction. Here is where it gets interesting.

Luring Traffic through Geo Fencing Ads

Refine your search and do more with it. Findingpeople within range of your store via the GPS on their mobile phones allows you to send them targeted ads, coupons, and time sensitive material to entice them in the door. If you word it carefully and make it worth their while to stop, God only knows how successful you can be. Then… it gets even better!

Creating Geo Fencing Campaigns

Spin the Geo targeting with Geo Fencing. Geo Fencing allows you to create a Geo-Fence Campaign. Create groups by sectioning off areas and locations, like on a map, specifically around your store or stores. If you do not have a physical store but have an ecommerce website, choose locations that would benefit you the most, i.e. if you sell vitamins or spa treatments, target Gyms in your town. If you sell furniture, target real estate or competition furniture stores. Target dates with your locations by sending messages that read… “Shop now for Easter!” (Or Mother’s Day or whatever holiday is coming up) “Store-wide sale featuring 25% off just .08 miles west”

Combine with Other Useful Applications to Enhance Results

You can even pinpoint your analytics by combining features of Geo Targeting/Geo Fencing with inventory enhancement applications giving your customers real time stock updates as the products sell while they are in your Geo Fence. “Just FIVE king’s easy chairs left. Sales extended until 6pm.“ This allows you to track customers that respond to Geo Targeting through inventory sales.

Knowledge is Power

Now you can see why there is so much confusion around Geo-Marketing. There is no limit to the various uses of these applications except for your imagination.

About guest blogger
Asher Elran is practical software engineer and the founder of Dynamic Search™, enthusiastic about all things involving creative marketing, CRO, SEM, and killer content.

Image courtesy of BusinessBankofTexas

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