Geo-target Without Flying Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Geo-target Without Flying Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
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Affiliate Marketing

Written by

Papa Whale


January 28, 2015


Affiliate Marketing


In a perfect world, everyone would be from the same place, with the same interests— at least in a web-marketer’s fantasy world, it would sure make our job way easier!

But hey, we live in the real world and - as a marketer - we have to deal with it.

That’s why some dudes invented a little something called geo-targeting. Indeed, it’s not only important to know where your user comes from, it’s paramount to adapt your ads and your content to fit its environment & culture. Tailor-made advertising - nothing less!

Sounds obvious, right? Well yeah, it’s pretty simple in theory. Now, the thing with geo-targeting is that its implementation can easily get really messy, especially if you plan to do it on your own. However, an efficient geo-targeting strategy can drastically improve your revenues.

This week, let's take a deeper look at geo-targeting to explore the good, the bad, and the hurdles every webmaster can potentially face.

Geo-targeting, what is it?

Geo-targeting is tailor-made advertising based on the geographic location of your visitors.

First off, let's state the obvious:  if this dream world did exist and you knew for a fact everyone lived in, let's say, California— it wouldn’t take you long to figure out how to cater to this demographic. (Hint:  you wouldn’t be advertising winter coats, that’s for sure!).

Well, that’s the whole point of geo-targeting; we want to make sure that the ads displayed match the needs and the habits of your user.

For instance, let’s say there’s a dating site that’s geared towards people that reside in the US. You wouldn’t promote a US-based dating site or its ads on a website with predominantly South American traffic, would you?  Nope!  You wouldn’t because the people in South America wouldn’t respond well to that; they’d respond better to advertisements and sites geared towards their native language—Spanish and Portuguese— and maybe ads featuring Latinas.

Traffic from everywhere means you should be displaying ads relevant to all countries, and geo-targeting can help you achieve this.

Why use Geo-Targeting?

In almost 10 years of business, we’ve noticed that visitors are 30 to 300% more likely to click on a geo-targeted ad depending on the product. This, of course, goes hand in hand with a pretty noticeable increase in revenue.

Moreover, the cost of traffic tends to increase while the emerging countries see their purchasing power rising. Long gone are the days of Indian, Brazilian and Mexican traffic getting a raw deal; these demographics are no longer getting the "red-headed stepchild" treatment, and, thanks to the power of geo-targeting, these visitors are highly convertible into sales.

Just take a look at various Alexa stats if you don’t believe us. You’ll see that some of the biggest websites in the industry have some pretty diverse geographics.

A skilled marketer knows not to focus on just one, but many countries at once.

And since people are more likely to purchase products adapted to their culture & habits, it’s time to become a true citizen of the world... with a salesman’s eye. But since the average person hasn't lived in or traveled to every country for the most part— one might encounter certain obstacles by attempting to geographically target ads on one's own.

Managing Geo-Targeting Alone: A Certain Path to Craziness

OK, so first, let’s take a look at what you need to do to successfully build your own efficient geo-targeting strategy…


Obviously, you’ll need various offers & products to fit every market. Going back to that earlier example of the Dating site, you'll want to make sure that you are doing business with providers that can accommodate almost every country. We hate to break it to you, but you won't be rolling in any dough if you do silly things like advertise a French dating site on a Norwegian site ... Remember, geo-targeting is your friend for many reasons, and there’s no denying it helps keep your ads diverse!


That being said, using banners to geo-target is the most common approach, and there’s obviously ones that are more likely to attract viewers vs. some other kinds. Ideally, you’ll want to feature a GEO-wise line of code (usually an iFrame) that displays various banners based on the user’s location in the world. For instance, a banner of a blonde girl might work for Russia or Australia, but it’s less likely to sell in India.

Don’t think that’s all you should do, though!  Your banner will go the extra mile by having a call to action and/or watermark in characters (or a language) that can be understood by your target.  In other words, to cover markets on a global scale, it’s in your best interest to have these banners translated in almost every language you can think of. We know, it’s exhausting - but so worth it!

Landing pages

So let’s say that your visitor does respond to the magnetism of your awesome banners— now what? Besides a congratulatory “well done!,” from us ... to keep the magic going, your landing pages will need to be just as tailor-made and friendly to all geographics as everything else we’ve been doing. (i.e., the Japanese visitor that lands on your page will see Asian girls and text written in Japanese) We love thinking of it as a GEO-wise “funnel.”


And now the fun part begins!  Once you have enough products, banners, and landing pages to cover all markets in the most efficient way, comparing them is the next step - so you don’t leave money on the table.  And who wants that?!  If you thought AB-Testing on a single spot was complicated, wait ‘til you add the GEO-wise stuff into the mix!

You want to cover all 200 countries, right? Well, a good rule of thumb is to double everything - you’ll need double the offers, double the banners, and double the landings to successfully AB-test. In other words, it’s only about 64 million possible combinations (400 * 400 * 400).  Expect to go crazy right around this step, that is, if you haven’t lost your mind sooner!

The Various Paths of Least Resistance to Geo-Targeting

Since most of us are pretty good at choosing the path with the least amount of resistance, we’ll often try to find any other way to accomplish geo-targeting, except by ourselves.

Among the most popular ways to geo-target are by...

  • Outsourcing the job
  • Selling the traffic (CPC/CPM)
  • Self monetizing using a 3rd party solution (Like a CPA network, *hint hint*)
  • Using the tool deemed 2015’s "Best Webmaster Tool" — The Geomatik

While we try to avoid shameless self promotion whenever possible, we felt our Geomatik tool was fair game to mention here since it has been recognized by the industry as the best geo-targeting tool on the market.  And let's just say that we're very proud of our tool and everything we've accomplished with that.

Just an FYI:

We’ve tested our Geomatik tool on more than 100 BILLION hits (that’s billion with a b) since its creation to get to the level of efficiency that it has today. Our tool currently works with almost 700 products, thousands of tours, and ads and landing pages in more than 20 languages.

The most important lesson we can impart on our readers is to never think, “I don’t have enough International traffic to bother with geo-targeting!”

Since tools like the Geomatik allow you to geo-target with ease, we want to emphasize that it’s efficient for every country, even the known top converting ones. So wherever your visitors may coming from, rest assured we’ll always show you and your visitors the top, highest-paying & converting offer through our highly targeted banners with the best CTR.

So, if you haven’t tried our GFY award-winning Geomatik tool just yet, maybe now’s the time to put it to the test to increase your sales… and once you do, don’t forget to tell us how it went in the comments!

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