Geographic Targeting

National advertising gives 100% coverage, but searches for local products and services claim 27% of all searches. Geotargeting, serving ads to particular geographic areas, is a powerful technique for increasing the likelihood that customers see your ads and find them relevant.

The most precise geotargeting uses site or customer registration databases and ties that data back to market descriptors—such as designated market area (DMA), area codes, time zones, or Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, for example—or asks that visitors type in a country, state, city, or zip code to specify a location. Internet protocol (IP) addresses provide some geotargeting capability, but their precision varies and they have limited usefulness.

A new addressing scheme is important not only to better handle domestic U.S. traffic, but also to accommodate international visits. While most traffic to U.S. ad networks originates domestically, visitors from Canada and other countries make up about 15% of the total volume—a number likely to increase as internet adoption rises worldwide. Adopting country targeting allows website operators to tailor pages to Canadian or foreign visitors and address any location, pricing, or language issues (Posman 2001). Travel Alberta, for example, fine-tuned its marketing campaign based on visitors’ locations that it captured through site registrations. Multiple-currency solution provider E4X Inc. offers its e-commerce customers the ability to ...

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