Web personalization with geolocation

Is your website displaying the same message for each and every visitor ?

As Chris Anderson puts it, "The mass marketing is turning into a mass of niches".

A targeted message for each of your identified segment of audience is the stairway to greater conversion rates. And it is so much easier to write a strong message, when you know who you are talking to.

This post focuses not so much on what you can personalize, but for who you should personalize.

Web personalisation adds value to the visitor. People tend to prefer ads that are tailored for them.

A study by Janrain showed that 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content has nothing to do with their interests. 

By personalizing your marketing, you will not only raise your conversion rates, but your users will have a greater experience.

The first big step is to identify the relevant segments for your business. Then, you only have to tailor the message and the approach for each audience.

1) If your business do B2B and B2C

Most companies do either B2B (business with other business) or B2C (business with consumers). But some companies do both.

As professionals and consumers are 2 very different audiences, your website can't be one-size-fit-all.

In the example below, the generic homepage was changed, and 2 blocks addressing B2B and B2C audiences were added.

personalized website impact


Results: 85% more leads

Why? Because first-time visitors know in less than 4 seconds that this website has something for them. Also, they now know where to go to find what they need.

2) Different Types of visitors. Let'em choose

In a similar way, many websites have different audiences with different goals, like:

  • buyers
  • providers
  • partners
  • contributors
  • teachers
  • students
  • etc

Try to ask upfront what kind of visitors they are. Just like the example above, you may create blocks addressing these different audiences on the homepage. On other pages, you may ask visitors using pop-ups.

Doing this will help people find what they want, and they will thank you with conversions.

An alternative is a drop-down selection box, if you don't have room on the homepage, or if you want something visually lighter.

Then from now on, you know what kind of visitors they are (thank you cookies), and you are able to push relevant content each time they visit.

3) Existing customers. Greet them warmly !

Is your CRM software connected to your website ?

You may want to welcome your existing customers with relevant offers based on their purchase history, or their last viewed products/services.

No such thing than a personalized experience to give satisfaction to your existing customers, and retain them.

4) Logged-in visitors

But most websites still don't have their customer base connected to the site. Still, you can treat your audiences differently, depending if they are first-time visitors, or regular visitors like people who come in and log in.

These logged in people are already quite engaged with your company.

Why not ask them their advice? Or thank them with a special offer, or ask them if they'd be interested to test a new feature/service/product in beta ?

5) E-commerce cart abandoners

Since global retailers are  losing $3 trillion (USD) in sales every year from abandoned carts...

... When a cart abandoner comes back to you site, it is great news.

But don't celebrate too fast, these guys abandoned their cart earlier, they may abandon it again.

Depending on the cart amount, some incentives could boost the number of completed transactions :

  • Limited offer
  • Special discount for the next 30 minutes
  • Free delivery today...

...you get the point !

6) B2B Hot Leads

Some products or services need to be understood before the desire emerge. 

Not all companies should put a big red "buy now" button, for first-time visitors. Before that, there is a need to educate visitors.

For this purpose, you may offer an e-book. Visitors who have downloaded the e-book are one step further down your conversion funnel.

So it would be relevant to show them a different content when they come back a few days after reading your e-book. And maybe it's the right time to push your product or service with a big red call-to-action button.

7) Returning visitors always have potential

A living website is reassuring.

If the content is always the same, particularly on the homepage, people will get tired of it.

They are much more likely to visit your website often, if the content changes visit after visit.

There are many ways to personalise your website for returning visitors (like the 2 above) :

  • Entrance pop up with an opt-in form (email collection) for future blog posts, or special offers
  • Display the last viewed pages or products...
  • ...Or the newest products/pages since the last visit

8) Amount of cart

If you run an online store, with web personalisation you could do great things, like :

  • up-selling the smaller carts
  • Avoiding cart abandonment, especially for the biggest carts

By identifying the cart's amount in real-time, you will be able to push offers like:

  • Free shipping for carts above X dollars
  • Special gift for our valued customers... (for big carts)


Disclaimer note for e-commerce stores :

Personalization for e-commerce stores often relate to product recommendations. These recos are usually done by a specific recommendation software. All the personalisation tips described here is done with personalisation tools, which are not best used for product recommendations. That's why up-selling and cross-selling are not so much discussed in this post, despite the fact that it is also web personalisation.

9) Internal searchers tell what they want

If people are looking on your search form for "female shoes", why should you just offer them the page results ?

Go further and emphasize your navigation and modules on female clothes.

10) Device-based web personalisation

Here are a few website personalisation examples to provide your mobile users with an enhanced experience:

  • Provide a shorter content, easier and faster to read
  • Replace the download links, which are not very handy on a mobile, with "Receive on my email" buttons.
  • Simplify your checkout process for mobile users, as many, many users struggle to complete their transactions. 

So many mobile visitors surf your site, and think "OK, I'll buy it from my laptop later, it's more handy."

Help them to buy now, before they forget you.

11) Geolocation. Be global, and a neighbor at the same time

Thanks to visitors IP address and a public data base like  Max mind, it became easier to use geolocation. Now all modern web personalisation tools offer it. It allows you to communicate much more closely with your local audiences :

  • Promote your local event on your site, just for the targeted neighborhoods!
  • Show you are here locally, adapt your message with the look of trends and news,
  • Push messages in areas where you are more present,
  • Try messages in areas where you plan to do business in the future, as a market research…

  • Change the language automatically depending on the country,

Just like with iPhone apps, using geolocation is awesome. Be creative and create local marketing messages which resonate with your local audience.

12) Weather. Sell more bikinis when it's hot and sunny.

Do you sell seasonal items like mountain gear, or winter tires ?

Do you do better sales on rainy weekends ?

Then check this out:

Now you can personalize your web pages depending on the temperature and weather.

Recently, I used this segmentation to sell more winter tires in cities in the French Alps, only when it was cold, almost snowing.

How does this work?

Actually this uses the IP address of the visitor, which is geo-located. Then, the temperature and weather data is defined in real-time for this visitor's location.

Source-based web personalization

Depending on where they come from on the web, visitors will likely behave differently. As Marshall McLuhan said in his famous quote, "the medium is the message".

Hopefully now with personalisation tools, we marketers can create a relevant landing page, which can change dynamically depending on the medium/source.

12) PPC traffic. Use Keywords to transform your web pages

It's amazingly useful to retrieve the keywords used by a visitor before he lands on your site. 

You can find in Adwords or Google Analytics which keywords are profitable and which ones convert best. 

But you can do more. 

Why not offering visitors who typed in "divorce lawyer" exactly what they want,  from page 1 ?  

And the same for people looking for "immigration lawyer" and so on.

Detect the keyword, and adapt your site accordingly : 


IF keyword contains 'divorce'


  •  Change tagline to "Your best advice before getting divorced"
  • Hide the module "immigration lawyer"
  • Show the module "Divorce lawyer" on every pages
  • Change the menu
  • Show the divorce_lawyer.jpg picture on the homepage

See the power ?


13) Email Traffic

Each email you send has a specific topic. You know it since you made it. You probably put a link in each email with a relevant landing page.

People who click on it are interested in the topic, more likely than not.

Why not recognizing these visitors on all other pages as well ? This way, all pages can emphasize the tailored offer / content about this topic.

14) Social Traffic. Get your share !

What's good with people coming from Facebook is that... chances are your website is 1 tab away from their facebook account. 

And after a few minutes on your site, they will probably get back to it. 

So a smart personalized web page for social visitors would put a specific emphasis on everything that is  shareable

You're 1 step of getting a like, a tweet, a pin... maximize your chance, and give people something to share.

15) Traffic from a Partner

If you provided a special offer hosted by a partner, it's reassuring for people landing on your page to show the partner's logo as well. In a glance, visitors will know they've landed where they wanted to.

It's simple, but it may help with conversions.

16) Number of visits and time on site

It's a common criteria of segmentation, that you can use it on a blog, as it shows engagement.

For engaged readers, you may offer an opt-in form to collect their email address. If you don't like these forms, think of it : It's better to show such a form to engaged readers, rather than to everyone, isn'it ?

On an e-commerce store, you can use this segmentation as a long time on page can reveal a hesitating behavior. Try to offer a coupon to incite them to act out.

Or maybe they have a doubt, or a problem : Emphasize your phone number, or a live chat, to offer help.

17) Landing Pages tell you about visitors' intention

People landing on blog posts are mostly looking for free information, or an answer to their question -- not a paid service. 

In contrast, people who land on a service page, may have typed in Google keywords showing that they are more in a decisional process. They are more educated about the topic, and may be looking for options before making a decision. 

So it's crucial to welcome them amazingly well, and not let them go. 

As an example, people typing "personalization tool pricing" will land on a pricing page -- they are looking for a tool in their budget.

Visitors coming on your blog and site pages do not look for the same thing. 

So, there's a potential for web personalization. As a rule of thumb, it's okay to be gentle on the blog. As the visitor develops a stronger desire for your services/products, you may be more direct on site pages.



Mass marketing is obsolete. It's easier than ever for your marketing messages to resonate with your visitors. And segmentation possibilities get crazier and crazier.

It may sound a bit overwhelming, if you think about web personalisation as a way to create dozens of variations of your web pages.

To begin with, it's a good idea to focus on your primary key audiences. And then personalize big obvious elements like the header, the tagline, pictures, sidebar modules...

As you get comfortable with personalizing, have fun and expand it to narrower segments, and smaller in-page elements, like the copy.


Did this post helped you see opportunities for your business ? Who are you going to personalize your website for ? 
I'd love to hear about your context in the comments below.


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