Geotargeting is a sub-area of targeting and belongs to the large field of online marketing. The term “geolocation” is also used synonymously. Advertisers or webmasters can control content and advertising with the help of geo-targeting with a regional reference. IP addresses, GPS data, databases and algorithms are used to locate users geographically.


Targeting is an important part of marketing right from the start. Because it is assumed that the number of conversions increases with the relevance of the search result. Geotargeting is a segment of geo-marketing that should not be underestimated. Especially when it comes to advertising, it can happen that users in different regions have different requirements for advertising clips or banners.

Areas of application for geotargeting

Geotargeting is not only used for addressing the exact target group in online advertising. The sub-areas are briefly outlined below:

  • Payment providers often use geo-targeting to check online payment transactions again by comparing the user’s location with the payment data stored.
  • Market research uses geo-data to be able to localize the demand for certain products.
  • Online advertising can be controlled regionally using geotargeting. Campaigns via Bing Ads can be made more precise, for example, with the help of geotargeting, just like via Google AdWords.
  • Programs designed to prevent Internet fraud such as phishing use geotargeting to uncover inconsistencies.
  • Web portals of news broadcasters or YouTube, for example, use geo-targeting to restrict the broadcasting of content to a specific region for legal reasons.
  • Online shops rely on geo-targeting to show visitors a suitable language version or the nearest branch.


In order for geotargeting to work, the location of the user must be able to be determined exactly. However, since many users surf the Internet via VPN or proxy servers, they cannot be located exactly. Advertising that is controlled with a regional reference can therefore not have an exact effect. Likewise, the use of VPN or proxies prevents, for example, search results from being regionally aligned.

An example of this is the search function on Google if it has a regional connection. If the user’s location is determined automatically, Google enriches the search results with local search hits if necessary. If the location is kept general, no regional search hits from Google Maps or Google Plus Local are displayed.


geo targeting
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Search with Google for the keyword “fireplace” without geotargeting

Geo-targeting and SEO

For SEOs, geotargeting plays a major role, especially in the area of ” local SEO “. On the one hand, websites can be optimized in such a way that they rank well for keyword combinations with locations and, on the other hand, Internet pages can be marked in such a way that the appropriate version for a locally specified search query is output. In the latter case, Google recommends adding hreflang to the source text, for example. In order to optimize a web project for local search queries, texts should contain as many regional references as possible. There is also an entry on Google Mapsor Google+ Local to be listed at the top of the SERP for search queries with a local reference. Geotargeting can also be strengthened with references to industry portals or local portals.


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