GEOLOCATION FOR MARKETERS
Geolocation is interesting to marketers in three ways. Visitor delivery, content delivery and visitor analysis can all be improved with geolocation. This article focuses on geolocation as applied to visitor delivery and content delivery.
DNS SERVICES AND GEOLOCATION
Most visitors navigate to websites by name rather than ip address. On the other hand, network navigation uses ip addresses. The browser obtains the name to ip address translation by using dns services. As in any translation, there is an opportunity to modify the output according to the needs of the moment. This is the essence of the edgedirector.com geolocation dns service.
A marketer divides the geographical universe into client location segments with homogenous traits. Each segment is assigned a unique ip address. When queried for the site address, edgedirector.com dns servers will answer with the appropriate ip address according to client location . In turn, the visitor browser will navigate to the given ip address where a website server is ready to serve the desired content.
GEOLOCATION AND SINGLE SERVERS
Site using geolocation normally deploy geographically dispersed servers for better network performance. While advantageous, this is not a requirement for geolocation. Especially when geolocation is used solely for visitor segmentation purposes. As long as multiple ip addresses are available, geolocation segmentation is possible. Even if all the addresses terminate at one server. As long as the server responds with differentiated content, the goals driving a geolocation segmentation project can be met.
A/B TESTING USING GEOLOCATION
A/B testing is used to test the effectiveness of different sales messages. Variations of sales message are presented to visitors and the response rate is measured. One approach is to present the variations serially at different times. A second approach is to present the variations concurrently to different groups. This requires a mechanism to divide the visitors into test populations. The division is often based upon server based randomisation seeded by a selected variable.
Geolocation can be applied as a means of splitting the audience for A/B testing purposes. The analyst only needs to decide on geographical boundaries that will steer visitor streams to the targeted server. One advantage is that it requires no server side coding. This is very quickly and cleanly accomplished because the logic is external to the web servers. A second advantage is that it completely separates measurement streams attributable to each test group.
AUDIENCE DIFFERENTIATION USING GEOLOCATION
In ecommerce, the potential audience is worldwide. However, it is often desirable or necessary to differentiate visitor presentation.
In some cases, visitors arriving from a region may be completely unserviceable. In those cases, it may still be possible to derive revenue from those visitors. One possibility is for the site to contract delivery of those eyeballs to an interested site.
In other cases, contractual or commercial considerations may require differentiated handling of visitors. For example, branding, pricing and sales territories may be region specific. Geolocation can be used as a means of ensuring that these considerations are properly handled.