What is a Geo-Targeting?

This concept is pretty straightforward: some advertisers will want their ads to appear only to visitors accessing a website from a specific location. Most commonly, advertisers request that their ads be shown to U.S. visitors only.

This is generally an optimization technique; if an advertiser isn’t equipped to sell their products or services to consumers outside a specific country, there is no point in paying to show ads to visitors who aren’t able to become customers.

In other situations, advertisers may with to hyper-target visitors in specific locations. For example, the Southwest ad below was likely geo-targeted to serve to visitors in specific cities or ZIP codes:

Example of a Geo-Targeted Ad

This ad is promoting a very specific product (a flight from Chicago to Cancun) that will be relevant to only a very small portion of the population. As such, the advertiser has an interest in avoiding “wasted” impressions of this ad unit to web traffic that would have no interest in purchasing this flight (for example, people living in California).

Geo-Targeting Capabilities and Pricing

It is up to publishers to implement geo-targeting restrictions on campaigns, though many advertisers are now able to monitor the locations of visitors to whom ads are served. Many ad serving platforms have relatively advanced geo-targeting capabilities now; below is an example of the interface used in DFP that can focus in on specific countries, states, and even cities:

Example of Geotargeting in DFP

Some generic geo-targeting requests, such as excluding non-U.S. traffic, generally won’t merit an increase in rates. However, “hypertargeting” requests such as the Southwest example above may warrant higher pricing. Typically, geo-targeting requests beyond the basic “U.S. only” warrant a premium of 10% to 50% above the rate card.

Practical Applications Of GeoTargeting

The central idea behind geotargeting is that understanding a consumers location that helps marketers achieve delivering the “right message at the right time.

In more sophisticated use cases, geotargeting doesn’t have to be solely based on a consumer’s real-time location. Locations or businesses a customer has visited recently can be a great predictor of interests and intent, so adding targeting based on historical location as well can be key to delivering a captivating, relevant message.


What does geo-targeting mean?

Geo-targeting refers to the practice of delivering different content or advertisements to consumers based on their geographic locations.

Why is geo-targeting is important?

Testing different ideas and approaches when the location is taken into account usually creates very interesting insights. if the traffic is segmented correctly according to the location before the split, your experiment is of far better quality, which will yield better results for you.

What is the difference between Geo-fencing and geo-targeting

Geofencing refers to drawing a virtual barrier around a location using users’ IP addresses. And Geotargeting refers to delivering ads to people that meet specific targeting criteria and are inside a defined radius.