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Geo-Targeting - Right Match

Stephen Yagielowicz

Widely used to deliver advertising, such as the ubiquitous “meet me in your town” adult dating ads that are familiar to many readers, the value of geo-targeting extends beyond maximizing the profitability of adult affiliate promotions to become a vital tool for displaying highly targeted content to your website’s audience.

In both of these cases, the fundamental application is traffic control — and when viewed in this context, further possibilities for implementing the technology present themselves to savvy online marketers who realize that there is one inescapable fact of Internet marketing life: not all website traffic is equally profitable or equally desirable.

While all web traffic has its uses, “better quality” visitors are the key to increased revenues and lower overhead.

While all web traffic has its uses, “better quality” visitors are the key to increased revenues and lower overhead — but what constitutes this seal of quality?

In the real world, the ability and willingness to pay for online products and services is the final arbitrator of a visitor’s worth — which in practical terms may mean an affluent American with a credit card — or a German with a bank number, or a Swede with SMS.

Each market requires a unique approach, but they share the ability to pay.

Consider that the declining conversion ratios reported by many adult site operators and their affiliates is blamed on many culprits; from the economy, to piracy, to a fear of identity theft — but one often overlooked factor is that the fastest growing sectors of the Internet audience are visitors from faroff lands, where credit cards and other easy online payment methods may be unheard of — and your wares simply unaffordable, even where the ability to pay for them exists.

This essentially leaves you with two classes of website visitors: those that you can sell to directly, and those you can’t.

For example, a paysite operator with a single billing provider simply cannot make sales to a visitor from a country that billing provider doesn’t support; making that visitor an unnecessary drain on the site’s resources and an unneeded content piracy risk.

Knowing this, why let these unprofitable visitors in to your site in the first place?

This same concern extends to sponsor programs that you may send traffic to as an affiliate: are you being paid for all traffic, from all countries? Many programs limit their payable countries, or relegate some to an alternative payout scheme, providing guidance for other operators to emulate and affiliates to be aware of.

For example, a website could allow visitors from countries it can bill into its content pages and redirect visitors from un-billable countries to an ad network or sponsor able to better monetize these surfers — and who is willing to pay for these visitors.

But how can you do this on your own site?

Companies such as MaxMind (www.maxmind.com) maintain geo-IP databases, while geoPlugin (www.geoplugin.com) offers a variety of easy website integration solutions. Your existing adult trade script or ad management tools may also offer this functionality.

Finally, consider that not every visitor from an “un-billable” country is unable to pay; so you may want to toss your otherwise “worthless” traffic at a revenue sharing cam site or other affiliate site that offers robust payment options, in hopes of landing a whale.

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