A Guide to Geotargeting Specific Content for WordPress
Is all traffic to your website “good” traffic? When you’re starting out it may seem that way (superficially anyway). However, it’s best to look at your WordPress site’s traffic as you would publicity: any publicity doesn’t necessarily make for good publicity.
There are a variety of reasons why you may want to control where your website’s traffic comes from:
- If you’re running a local business and you don’t want to waste your server’s bandwidth on traffic from other countries. After all, only locals need to know about your wares, not families in far-flung countries.
- If you’re frustrated with your site’s monthly analytics that are skewed by high volumes of irrelevant spammer traffic and shrinking conversion rates.
- If your business targets customers in a specific geographic region because there is high demand for your services or products and less competition.
- If your website is particularly vulnerable to overseas hackers and you want to make your site safer.
For some websites, the geographic location of visitors won’t matter much. For others, though, it’s a big deal. The whole reason you built your WordPress site is so you can reach the right audience. That’s why it’s essential to optimize your website for overall performance, search, conversions, and security.
But if you’ve done all that and you suspect that geography is somehow standing in your way, it’s time to look into geotargeting.
Geotargeting Resources for Your WordPress Site
Google Analytics can tell you where your WordPress site’s traffic originates from geographically. Whenever someone visits your site, their IP location will tell Google Analytics (or anyone else logging this information) where the person is located around the globe.
You get the picture.
While Google Analytics is helpful in understanding where your web traffic currently comes from, this tool can’t help direct your traffic to or away from specific geographic regions. So if you’re looking for an easy way to determine what’s happening with your web traffic and where your visitors are coming from, start first by reviewing your WordPress site’s analytics.
Once you’ve got a firm grip on current web traffic patterns, it’s time to assess whether or not those are the right visitors for you.
There are a variety of third-party tools you can use to optimize your website for geo-specific purposes. CDNs are a good tool to use if you want to target an audience abroad, but your web host doesn’t have servers located in those parts of the world. You can also use Google Webmaster Tools to designate a target country for your website.
If you’re wondering about WordPress, sadly, there is currently no built-in functionality within the CMS to help developers optimize websites geographically. That being said, there are a number of plugins that will help you accomplish your geography-related needs.
The Versatile Uses for Geotargeting on WordPress Sites
If you want to block traffic from a particular country, target traffic in another country, show certain products based on specific regions, or even deliver different content to certain geographic regions, you’ll need a plugin to enable your WordPress website to do so.
Below are some of the plugins that can help you optimize web traffic based on visitors’ IP addresses.
Geotargeting Plugins for Delivering Custom Content
For when you want to deliver geo-specific content.
This is the free version of the all-in-one GeoTargeting Pro plugin mentioned below. The main exception between that plugin and this one is that GeoTargeting Lite only enables you to geotarget. If you need advanced targeting and blocking capabilities, you’ll need to get a geoblocking plugin or purchase the full GeoTargeting Pro.
If you’re already using the Icegram plugin for WordPress (the premium plugin, not the free one), then you may be interested to learn that there is a Geo Targeting add-on for it. What is already a powerful opt-in and marketing campaign plugin can be further optimized through the use of this geotargeting plugin.
Geotargeting Plugins for Advertising
For when you want to optimize your advertising efforts with geotargeting.
If you’re planning to monetize your website and you want to serve different ads to different countries, states, or cities, check out the AdRotate plugin. While there is a free version of it available in the WordPress directory, only the premium one provides geotargeting capabilities.
Here is another website monetization plugin that offers geotargeting. While the plugin is free, the geotargeting and geoblocking add-on is not. If you need more extensive customization of geotargeting rules for your on-site ads, this may be the plugin you need.
For when you want to block entire countries or regions altogether from accessing your WordPress site.
While geotargeting typically enables users to deliver different types of content to visitors from specific countries, geoblocking’s goal is to keep visitors out. And, not just visitors, but also people trying to hack their way into your site for malicious purposes. This IP Geo Block plugin blocks designated visitors, IP addresses, and even entire countries from accessing your site through:
- The login page
- Form comments
- Hacked plugins or themes
- And all other back-end entrances to your website
If you’re only looking to restrict traffic to your actual website, you can use this geoblocking plugin instead. There are a number of reasons you may want to do this:
- Clean up the source of the issue skewing your site’s statistics.
- Deliver content specifically created for visitors from other countries.
- Prevent hackers from finding your website in the first place.
All-in-One Geotargeting and Geoblocking Plugin
For when you want full control over targeting, redirecting, and blocking visitors based geography.
This is a premium geotargeting plugin that’s great for high traffic websites or networks of multi-sites that need to serve geo-specific content to visitors from countries around the world. You’ll have greater control over what types of content is served to different visitors as well as which version of your site your traffic is redirected to. Geotargeted content types include blog posts, web pages, navigation menus, widgets, and popups.
Geotargeting and geoblocking can be especially helpful when you’re trying to reach the right audience, keep the wrong audience away, improve your site’s performance, or increase your conversions.
If you’ve ever wondered if your WordPress site would benefit from enhanced targeting efforts and you have a very specific geographic audience in mind, look into these geotargeting plugins and tools. You won’t regret the effort.