Geotargeting WP Brings Powerful Geolocation Service to WordPress
November 8, 2017
Geotargeting WP is a powerful API service that helps WordPress users deliver content and redirects based on the geolocation of site visitors.
Timersys, the developer of the service, provides access to their premium IP database, and claims to accurately target the location of 99.9% of visitors.
The service includes two plugins that call the API to return the location of site visitors. The first plugin, Geotargeting Pro, provides content (e.g., pages, posts, menus, widgets, WooCommerce products) to visitors based on their geographic location. The second plugin, Geo Redirects, lets you set up page redirects based on a variety of rules and variables, including visitor location.
Altogether, Geotargeting WP aims to help you customize the user experience of your visitors, present more relevant content, and help increase conversions and sales.
In this review, we’ll take a close look at Geotargeting WP and tell you if we think it’s a tool you should consider for your WordPress site.
Geotargeting WP’s Main Features
Geotargeting WP allows you to geotarget content (e.g., posts, pages) and set up redirections based on nearly limitless rules and variables (including visitor country, state, city).
There are many ways to using geotargeting. Here are a few possibilities:
• Provide bonuses or special offers based on visitor location
• Show or hide products based on regional preferences, local climates, or culture
• Customize shipping offers based on customer location (e.g., free shipping to local customers)
• Use geo-targeted popups to increase signups or reduce cart abandonment
• Personalize user experience and run A/B testing of visuals, language, and text for better conversions
• Increase advertising and campaign effectiveness by geotargeting ads
• Block malicious visitors originating from certain countries
• Direct traffic to different versions of your site based on their geolocation
• Redirect visitors to location-specific landing pages
Here are the main features of Geotargeting WP:
• The API service includes two plugins that work with their premium IP database: Geotargeting Pro and Geo Redirects.
• They offer high geolocation accuracy without the need to install and maintain large databases on your own server (although you have the option to, if you wish).
• The service caters to both beginners and advanced users. You can easily create shortcodes to specify the content your visitors see. It also includes a complete set of documented PHP functions and hooks to allow advanced users to set geotargeting options.
• You can easily create regions (i.e., groups of countries, states, or cities) in order to make the targeting of content and redirects easier and quicker.
For example, you could create a region named Europe, and only allow European countries to view content intended for that region.
• Geotargeting WP includes a widget that allows your site’s visitors to manually choose their country from a dropdown menu, in case they want to override the geotargeting of the content they’re presented.
• The service supports multiple firewall programs (CloudFlare, Sucuri, Akamai, Ezoic, Reblaze, Varnish, etc.), allowing for autodetection of your visitor’s real IP address.
• Cache mode can save you money by making fewer queries and API calls to the database. How does it do this? When you get a visitor to your site, their location information is cached after the initial page visit. Page views beyond that do not make additional calls to the database.
The service also saves you money by excluding bots and crawlers from making API calls.
• AJAX mode makes Geotargeting WP compatible with third-party cache plugins such as WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and more.
Geotargeting WP’s AJAX mode loads filters, shortcodes, and geotargeting options after a page is rendered from cache. This gives you the speed of cache along with the benefits of geotargeting.
• Besides geotargeting content, you can geotarget menu items, widgets, popups, Visual Composer elements, and more.
• You can use the Geotargeting WP service through purchase of credits or a subscription. If you have a subscription, you have the option to use your own database through MaxMind, IP2Location, or WP Engine GeoIP.
Purchased credits never expire and can be used on unlimited sites.
Setting Up Geotargeting WP
When you sign up for Geotargeting WP, you get access to their premium IP database and plugins. You’re paying for the right to make a call to their server in order to find out geographical information about the visitors to your site. And with the plugins, you’re getting the ability to automatically present content and that is more interesting and relevant to your audience, based on that geographic information.
Here’s how to install and setup Geotargeting WP:
1. Go to https://geotargetingwp.com and click the SIGN UP NOW! button.
2. On the registration page that appears, add your name, e-mail address, and password. Click Register.
3. You’ll see a message that reads:
Registration complete! Please confirm your email address in order to continue.
Click the Okay button.
4. In your email program, find the message from Geotargeting WP, and click the Verify email button.
You’ll be sent back to your Geotargeting WP account dashboard, where you’ll be presented with the option to Buy Credits.
Note: To download the premium plugins for the service, you need to have credits or an active subscription.
5. After purchasing, you can download the Geotargeting Pro and Geo Redirects plugins to your computer.
Note: Timersys also offers free, more limited versions of the plugins through the WordPress.org plugin repository. You can install them through WordPress by going to Plugins… Add New and typing geotargeting lite into the Keyword search bar. You should see both plugins within the search results. GeoTargeting Lite is created by Timersys, and Geo Redirects Lite is created by Damian Logghe.
6. To install the pro versions of the plugins that are downloaded from the Geotargeting WP account dashboard, in WordPress, go to Plugins… Add New… Upload Plugin… Choose File.
Find the two files you downloaded, and install and activate them as you would any WordPress plugin.
Configuring Geotargeting WP’s Settings
After installing the two plugins, in WordPress, go to GeoTargetingWP… Settings.
Under Main settings, you need to enter the API key and API secret. You can find these from your Geotargeting WP account dashboard under Settings…API key. Just copy and paste them into WordPress, and click Save settings.
Also, back in your Geotargeting WP account dashboard (under Settings…API key), make sure you enter your website domain under Allowed domains, in order to whitelist your site.
• Back in WordPress, under GeoTargetingWP… Settings, turn on Cache Mode if you want to possibly save money if you’re using geotargeting on many pages throughout your website. By caching the visitor’s location after the initial page visit, Geotargeting WP won’t need to make extra API requests when they visit other pages of your site.
On the other hand, if you’re only using geotargeting on a limited number of pages, you can save money (credits) by leaving Cache Mode off. With Cache Mode set to off, you avoid sending an API request whenever visitors land on pages that are not geotargeted.
• You can choose to turn on Debug Mode if you want to print out debugging information as HTML comments in the footer of your site’s pages. This can be helpful when you’re troubleshooting a problem. But if you’re not having any issues, it’s OK to leave this option off.
• Fallback Country lets you set a default country for visitors whose IP cannot be detected.
• Bots Country lets you set a default country for bots and crawlers. If no country is specified, their IP will be used instead.
• Regions are geographic areas that are made of groups of Countries or Cities. You can add as many countries or cities to a region as you wish.
The benefit of creating regions is that you can more easily direct the content you want to share to visitors.
For example, if I create content that is relevant to the United States, Canada, and Mexico, I might create a region called North America and add the United States, Mexico, and Canada to that region. Then, when I create content, instead of having to specify each of the three countries separately as targets for the content, I can just target North America with a simple shortcode.
Or, I might create a region called Midwest and add cities from the United States such as Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Milwaukee. Then, if I want to direct content to visitors who are only from those cities, I can add a shortcode to the content that is tagged with the Midwest region.
• The last items under Main settings have to do with uninstalling Geotargeting WP, and exporting/importing your settings to/from another site.
• There’s a couple of other settings you’ll want to check out by going to GeoTargetingWP… Geotargeting Pro.
Ajax Mode will make Geotargeting Pro compatible with any cache plugins you might use.
Disable Menu Integration removes geotargeting options for menus you create in WordPress. Disable Widget Integration removes geotargeting options for widgets on your site.
Using Geotargeting WP
After you finish setting up Geotargeting WP, you’re ready to put it to use.
Again, to have access to their IP database, you need to purchase credits. With a subscription, you have the option to use your own database through MaxMind, IP2 Location, or WP Engine GeoIP.
Credits are purchased on an as-needed basis, with no contracts or extra fees. They do not expire and can be used on unlimited sites. When your credit level falls to 25% of the amount you purchased, they’ll send you an email to tell you that you’re low on credits. Alternatively, you can configure your account to automatically buy credits when that limit is reached.
If you run out of credits, the API will stop sending geolocation information and the plugins will fall back to the configured default country.
Geotarget Dropdown Widget
Tostart, to make it easier to test Geotargeting WP without having to purchase credits, we’ll set up their geotarget widget. The widget gives your visitors the option to manually select their country location from a dropdown menu, overriding geolocation findings from the services API call to the IP database.
By manually selecting different countries that a visitor is from, we can test if content appropriately displays based on the geotargeting applied to it.
1. In WordPress, go to Appearance… Widgets.
2. Find the Geotarget Dropdown widget, and drag it to a widgetized area of your site, such as a sidebar.
3. Set whatever options you want for the widget, including:
• What regions you want to display in the dropdown menu (the default is to show all countries)
• Whether or not to display country flags
• When to show the widget on your site (based on a visitor’s country, state, or city)
Note: Geotargeting WP allows you to geotarget any widget in WordPress. Whenever you add a widget, you’ll see a Geotargeting option for that widget. This allows you to show or hide any widget based on the visitor’s region, country, state, or city.
Geotargeting WordPress Content
Now that we set up the geotargeting widget, let’s apply a simple shortcode to test the geolocation service. To do so, we’ll set some WordPress content to only be displayed to visitors from the United States.
While shortcodes can be added manually, it’s easier for beginners to create shortcodes automatically as described below.
1. In WordPress, go to Pages… Add New.
2. Give the page a title and add your content in the text editor.
3. Select any content that you would like to geotarget. You can either select part of the content or all of it.
4. Above the text editor is the Country GeoTarget Content earth icon. Click the icon to choose options for geotargeting the selected content.
Options include showing/not showing your content according to geographic regions, countries, states, and cities.
5. For this demonstration, we’ll select the following options:
Choose: Only show content in
Choose Countries: United States of America
Then, click the Insert Shortcode button. The content you selected in the editor will be wrapped within a shortcode that looks like this:
Note: If you want to set geotargeting options for the entire post, you can do so without using shortcodes. Below the WordPress text editor, you’ll see a section that says GeoTargeting Options.
From there, you can choose to show or hide the post based on your visitor’s region, country, state, or city. You also have the option to Remove post from loop and present a message if they visitor is not allowed to see the content.
Testing Geolocation Results
1. After clicking Publish for your content, click the Preview Changes button (located above the Publish button) on the WordPress editor page.
2. Since we added the Geotarget Dropdown widget in our sidebar, you should see a dropdown menu on your site that lets visitors manually select what country they’re from.
3. If we choose Canada from the dropdown menu, we won’t see any content. This is because we geotargeted the content to only be for the United States of America.
4. If, from the same dropdown menu, we choose the United States of America, we will see the content.
Note: There are a couple of other methods you can use to test the results of Geotargeting WP before purchasing credits or a subscription.
One way is to pass a country ISO code in the url for the country you want to test for, such as: http://site.com/pagename/?geot_debug=US
Another method is to use your own VPN and add the following to the WordPress wp-config.php file: define(‘GEOT_DEBUG’,true);
Besides content and widgets, Geotargeting WP also allows you to show or hide menu items depending on your visitor’s geographic location. Here’s how you set that up:
1. In WordPress, go to Appearance… Menus.
2. Create a menu as you normally would by selecting a menu to edit and then adding pages to it.
3. To reveal or hide a menu item based on a visitor’s geolocation, in the Menu Structure,click the down pointing arrow to the right of the menu item.
From there, you’ll see options for geotargeting the menu item, including whether or not to show it to visitors from certain regions, countries, states, or cities.
The WordPress Geo Redirects plugin that comes with Geotargeting WP lets you redirect visitors based on different redirection rules and variables, including AND/OR statements.
You can use the plugin for regular redirections with no geotargeting, or you can take full advantage of its many geotargeting options. You can even exclude bots and crawlers from redirects to help improve your SEO and indexed pages.
Here’s how to create a geo redirection:
1. In WordPress, go to Geo Targeting WP… Geo Redirects, and click the Add New button.
2. Enter a title for the redirect. The title is to help you identify the redirect—it’s only for internal use.
3. Set the Redirection Rules to determine when a redirection happens.
With the nearly limitless combinations of AND/OR group statement types and variables to choose from, WordPress Geo Redirects provides a great deal of power to direct your visitors to different pages and sites.
With AND groups, all rules need to be true for a redirect to occur. With OR groups, any of the rules need to be true for a redirect to happen.
You can set up redirects based on:
Visitor location (region, country, state, city)
Specific pages, posts, templates, that a visitor lands on
Logged in/not logged in visitors
Mobile, desktop, or tablet users
Bots/crawlers visiting your site
Certain query strings
Post type, post name, post template, post format, post status, and post taxonomy
Page template, parent/child status, page name, and page type
Visitors that come from specific pages
Visitors that come from search engines
Here’s a simple example of a redirection rule you can easily set up with the plugin:
Perform redirect if… Page… is equal to… About AND Country… is equal to… Canada
Because this rule is using a AND statement, all rules need to be true for the redirect to occur. This means that for the redirect to occur, a visitor must be on the About page, and must also be from Canada.
4. After setting up your redirection rules, you’ll need to set up Redirection Options.
Redirection options include the Destination URL (where to redirect them to), whether it’s a one-time redirect (or every time they visit the page), whether you want to exclude bots and crawlers from being redirected, what redirection code you want to use (a 302 permanent redirect is the default), and whether you want to whitelist (exclude) certain IPs from being redirected.
5. Click Publish.
Note: It’s good practice to put any geotargeting rules as the last rule. This way, if an earlier rule fails for any reason, the geotargeting rule would not be executed. This will save you from an unnecessary API request, which could otherwise be a charge against your credits.
Video Tutorial: Setting up and Using Geotargeting WP
Support & Documentation
Timersys, the creator of Geotargeting WP, does a good job of providing documentation and support. They offer:
• Written documentation (including information on installation, configuration, a quickstart guide, FAQs, and more)
If you’re interested in trying out Geotargeting WP, you can give their free version a test run.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to have a free trial run with their full API service. Instead, you’ll need to purchase a small amount of credits to try it out.
Geotargeting WP Pricing
There are two pricing plans for Geotargeting WP. With both plans, you get access to their premium IP database and their plugins on unlimited sites (includes automatic plugin updates and support).
• Credit purchases
This is a pay-as-you-go service with no contracts or extra fees. You can make as many API calls from your site as you wish, as long as you have enough credits. Each call to the API equals one credit. You purchase as many credits as you need, and the more credits you buy, the cheaper the cost is per credit. Also, credits do not expire and can be used on unlimited sites.
For example, $25 will get you 12,500 credits. This allows you make a call to their IP database for $0.002.
With a GeotWP subscription, you pay a flat amount of $29/month or $290/year (two months free).
In addition, with a subscription you can use the plugins with your own database (through MaxMind, IP2Location or WP Engine GeoIP), and not have to use API calls through the Geotargeting WP API service.
However, with the Geotargeting WP API service, you don’t need to worry about manually uploading and updating large databases for accurate results.
Conclusions & Recommendations
Looking to provide your site’s visitors with more relevant content? Looking to improve their user experience and increase your conversions and sales?
Geotargeting WP may be the answer.
Geotargeting WP is a geolocation service for WordPress users. With access to a premium IP database and plugins (Geotargeting Pro and Geo Redirects), it can help you deliver more relevant content to your visitors.
It opens up all kinds of possibilities that are based on the geolocation of your visitors, including: providing relevant offers or bonuses, showing/hiding products based on regional preferences or culture, geotargeting popups to increase signups or reduce shopping cart abandonment, personalizing user experience through visuals and text, increasing advertising and campaign effectiveness by geotargeting ads, directing traffic to different versions of your site or different landing pages, and much more.
In the end, geotargeting is about helping you achieve your conversion goals across different segments of your audience.
While programs like Google Analytics can tell you the geolocation of your traffic, they don’t offer the power of content distribution and redirection in the way Geotargeting WP does.
I like how the service caters to both beginners and advanced users. It allows for simple geotargeting of content with shortcodes, as well as PHP functions and hooks for developers.
And the service doesn’t just provide for the geotargeting of content, but widgets and menus too. Plus, their geolocation API is compatible with other WordPress plugins, which allows you to create geotargeted popups, and Visual Composer, which adds a Geotargeting tab to its Add Element window.
I found Geotargeting WP to be an intuitive and easy-to-use program. With the ability to target all types of content, this is a service that can be used in a myriad of different ways to help increase the conversion goals of your site and business.