Today is the turn of website geographics and how knowing and understanding where your visitors are coming from can make a real difference to the success of your site content, your online marketing strategy and to your website as a whole.
Geographics can be divided into several areas. In this blog post, we will take a look at these areas in turn and help you make the most of the geographical information you have about your website visitors.
Using Google Analytics will enable you to see user languages preferences that are set on their computers (or mobile devices) and this may prove useful if you have international website copy. Remember that this report only shows what the computer is set up to show, so may not always be an accurate reflection of a user’s spoken language (e.g. if an English speaker from the UK has a computer built in the USA and hasn’t changed the default setting, they may be shown in Google Analytics as US English, rather than UK English).
Take-away tip: If your site is in English but has a large number of visitors from a particular country, you may want to consider different language versions as part of a responsive design solution.
Where your visitors are located in the world will probably make a big difference to the type of website content you are providing, the sorts of products or services you are offering and the types of online marketing you carry out.
Your first port of call for this data should be Google Analytics, where you can find country and city information. Based on your findings, you might want to look further at your website images and colours to make sure that they are relevant (and non-offensive).
Take-away tip: Don’t forget to drill down further to see which pages people from different countries and cities are visiting most and least, where they enter and exit your site and where there are the best web page conversions. If necessary, create extra pages.
Climate and weather
Once you know where your website visitors are coming from, you will be able to target their needs much better. This is particularly true if you sell climate-related or seasonal-related goods (umbrellas, snow ploughs, bikinis etc.) or offer services that are specific to a particular part of the world (e.g. courses on ‘How to open a restaurant in France’).
It might sound obvious, but there are a surprising number of businesses and website designers who don’t take this information into account.
Take-away tip: If you are carrying out your own PPC management, tailor your keywords to match your audience and only apply them to the locations they are applicable to. If you leave everything as default, you could end up wasting time and money trying to sell surfboards in Russia and skis in the Caribbean!
Similarly, it’s useful to know whether your audience is from rural, urban or suburban areas. You will have to use an even more advanced tool than Google Analytics to obtain this information, but depending on your business, this could prove an important piece of data.
For example, if you owned a blog dedicated to the rural life, it would be useful to know whether the majority of your readers are country-dwellers themselves, green welly-wannabes or city slickers. This could have a real impact on the type of content you provide and you could boost your readership substantially by getting the mix just right.
Take-away tip: If you need information that you don’t have about your audience, the easiest way can be to simply ask them. Sending out a carefully structured and well-planned questionnaire with just a few simple questions can yield a lot of information. You might want to consider offering a voucher or entry into a free prize draw for visitors who complete the form.
By using a tool called ‘geographic mapping’, you can see the specific geographical areas where your audience are physically clustered. Having this level of detail about large audience
groups can allow you to not only target your website advertisements appropriately, but also carry out advertising in local media (radio, newspapers etc.) and offer special in-store events and coupons or prizes for local visitors.
It’s useful to know how close your regular website users are to your physical shop/office/headquarters. If you have a large local audience, your website could include all kinds of local, ‘insider’ tips or references, which would make your users feel more at home.
Take-away tip: Don’t forget to link any local promotions to your social media strategies and campaigns too.
When it comes to geographics, the more you know about your users, the more you can target your site to their needs. The above has only touched on the types of information you could gain from looking closely at website visitor location.
Looking deeper might send you off into the realms of population density, food or culture to come up with a website and an online marketing strategy that really focuses in on your users and gives them exactly what they’re looking for, in the places they need it.