So, you have your website set up and fully optimized. You are directing traffic to it through marketing. Still, your website is not converting visitors. The problem may be that your website is too general (i.e. does not target specific visitors). What if there was a way for your website to dynamically display content based on the visitor’s location? For instance, let’s say you run an online store and you want to display sale items to visitors from Nova Scotia but not to visitors from British Columbia (due to seasonal differences). Well, there is a way to update the web page shown to visitors based on their location. Use GeoIP to dynamically display content to website visitors.

Intercept visitor’s IP

When a visitor visits your website, their web browser sends along the IP address of their computer (this is how your web server determines where to send the web page). For example, each time you do a search in Google, have you ever noticed how the website returns results near you? Google does this through geo-targeting. They intercept your IP address, look-up the IP in a database, determine your location, and send you a web page with local content.

Display Content based on visitor IP

Setting up geo-targeting requires adding a special database (there is a free version available at MaxMind). With the database installed and setup, you write the custom code that intercepts the visitor’s IP and conducts a database search. With the results, you use switching code to display the correct content to the correct visitor. Some of the information available from a database lookup include the visitor’s continent, country, province/state, and city.

In WordPress, there are plugins available that you can use to supply some geo-targeting functionality. I have not had much luck with some GeoIP plugins. If you really want to fully control the process, it is better to use custom code. The code can use PHP or JavaScript as the coding language to supply the logic and functionality. The main difference is PHP processes the information on the web server while JavaScript processes the data on the visitor’s browser.

Display highly targeted content

With geo-targeting, you can display highly targeted content to your website visitors. A visitor is more likely to engage with your website and become a new lead. Think of the extra benefits that geo-targeting can give your business. Use GeoIP to display highly targeted content on your website.

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Note 1: MaxMind does have a paid version of their database. One main difference from the free version is they do not update the database as often as the paid version of the database (they update the database monthly). They also supply support for the paid version.

Note 2: You must inform some visitors that you are using their IP address to target them in your Privacy Policy and give them a way to ask that you remove their information (mostly GDPR countries).

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