There are four methods that will let you track the geographic location of a visitor to your website and only A1WebStats (available on a free 30 day trial) can achieve all four:
- IP address tracking – typically used purely for companies that are easy to identify by their IP address
- IP address + geolocation tracking – more useful for identifying local locations of companies that share a centralised IP address location. For example, to identify one hotel within a nationwide group of hotels.
- Geolocation tracking for businesses – this uses geolocation to identify addresses of companies that can’t be tracked by their IP address (which will be the majority of companies)
- Geolocation tracking for individuals – this also uses geolocation to locate exactly where the individual person was at the time they visited your website. This is mostly used by those who sell B2C and who want to identify individual homes from where someone has visited their website.
None of the above are perfect (they can’t identify all website visitors – typically 10-30%) but they can provide you with information that’s not utilised by your competitors, whether you sell B2B or B2C.
IP address tracking to identify businesses visiting your website
Every visitor to your website will have an IP address.
Many IP addresses can be linked to the name of the company/organisation that visited the website – either from someone at that company location, or accessing their infrastruture via VPN (e.g. working from home).
This example shows you the name of a company that’s been identified by their IP address (in this case, within our A1WebStats system), including what they looked at page by page:
This video will interest you if you want to know how companies can sometimes (but not always) be tracked by their IP address, showing examples of companies identified and what those people looked at page by page on the website:
Although it varies depending on the business type, marketing activity, and overall visibility, you would expect to see a range of 5-25% of your website visitors as being companies that are identifiable by their IP address. Most of our customers see a range of 8-19%
To get a free insight into how many companies are identifiable by their IP address on your website, you have the option to sign up for our free 30 day trial.
For all those website visitors that can’t be tracked purely by IP address, read on for additional ways that website visitors can be identified …
IP address + geolocation tracking to identify local branches of businesses
Some businesses will be ‘seen’ as just one IP address location.
For example, there may be a plumbers merchants with multiple locations that all use the same IP address range.
In those cases, although it may be useful to know the name of the plumbers merchants, what you would ideally have is information about the specific branch that visited.
This is where geolocation tracking can sometimes help.
In the A1WebStats system it works like this:
- A visitor goes to your website – they will be tracked by IP address, which may or may not provide enough information.
- They will see a box pop up which allows them to share their location (10-30% allow that).
- If they are a localised location for a business then you will be able to identify them.
Here’s an example of a plumbers merchant that would normally only be identifiable as ‘City Plumbing Supplies’ (who have multiple branches), but in this case, geolocation has identified them within a specific area:
Such geolocation isn’t always perfect to the exact address though, but it would definitely be accurate to the town/area, which is usually fine because there would rarely be more than one branch/local outlet of a business in any one area.
Geolocation tracking for businesses that can’t be identified by IP address
Taking all the visitors to your website, they will be classified as follows:
- Businesses that can be identified by their IP address (the minority).
- Businesses that can’t be identified in any way at all. For example, someone in a home-based business who hasn’t got their business registered at that home address, or who is an employee working from home on their normal home internet connection.
- Businesses that can’t be identified by IP address, but CAN be identified by their geolocation (including address and post code/zip code).
- People who aren’t from businesses and have found your website, but will never be customers.
Here’s how we at A1WebStats go further than our competitors via geolocation tracking of businesses …
- A visitor goes to your website and they see a pop up box that allows them to share their location. You may think that’s annoying but people are far more familiar with it on websites now and just click Allow or Deny.
- If they allow that sharing – and our data proves that 10-30% will do – then their location will be identified by their full address or a geolocation reference.
- By looking up that address you can identify where the people were when they came to your website.
- Looking at the businesses within that area you will identify one or more who could feasibly have been the business that visited your website, plus many more that would be companies that don’t match the profile of a typical customer.
Here is an example of a website visitor that could only be identified by their geolocation (UK address in this case):
By looking up that location, we found the precise match of a business that was the perfect match for the products being sold:
Without that geolocated information, that website visitor would only have been viewed by their IP address as their internet provider (Sky) but WITH the geolocated information, they could be identified by their precise address.
The video below takes you through a few examples of geolocating business visitors within the UK and USA.
The first examples are from the UK, identifying health service organisations where they couldn’t be identified by IP address because the website visitors were on mobile phones not connected to the organisation internet (but could be geolocated to identifiable addresses).
The examples that follow within that video show car dealerships in the USA, who couldn’t be identified by IP address, but could be identified by geolocation to show the exact addresss locations of those website visitors.
In data from our subscribers we see a mixture of website visitors that match these patterns:
- On desktop devices connected to the business internet, but the business wasn’t identifiable by IP address, but was by geolocated address.
- On mobile devices not connected to the business internet (and so never going to be identifiable by IP address), but are identifiable by geolocation.
Taking that second point, it’s now very common for people, at their normal place of work, to visit websites from their mobile devices, but they’re not connected to the company network.
That’s something that wouldn’t have been seen years ago but now, when most people have unlimited data plans on their mobile devices, they visit websites whenever they want to, and don’t bother to be connected to their employers IT infrastructure.
In normal circumstances (without geolocation) they wouldn’t be trackable on that mobile device, but geolocation makes that possible.
One particular example of this was when we heard from a customer who had tracked a website visitor as being at a postcode location of a huge warehouse distribution centre. When they researched and made contact with who they wanted to speak to at that business, they then found out more about how the person found them. They were told that the person was having a smoking break outside the building and browsed their website on their mobile phone. Without geolocation tracking, that person would never have been identifiable and the opportunity would have been lost.
Another example was a customer who geolocated someone on a mobile phone looking at the construction site hoardings on their website. They used Google Maps to identify the person was at a building development site, undertook some research to get the names of companies involved with that development and reached out to offer their services. That fast action gained them not just the contract for the hoardings on that development but that led onto future work from the same client.
You can find out more about geolocating businesses by postcode locations on our page here.
Geolocation tracking for identifying visitors at their home addresses
A1WebStats customers who sell B2C have been very successful in using geolocation tracking to gain new customers.
The use cases are unlimited and they all involve putting promotional material through the doors of people who visited your website (and you can see what they looked at page by page), once you can identify the address, as in this example:
Here are just a few examples of business types who, if they knew the address of a visitor to their website, could put something in the post to that address, knowing that there is definite interest in what they offer:
- Car sales garages
- Financial advisor
- Mortgage advisor
- Solar installations
- Wedding venue
- Windows, doors, conservatories supplier
They’re just a few examples but this applies to any business who would take the initiative to reach out to homes where someone was clearly interested in what they have to offer because they’d been to their website.
This video takes you through how to locate website visitors through to a home address without using an IP address, using the example of a company that sells conservatory roof replacements, who geolocates their website visitors, double-checks (via Google Maps) that the address has a conservatory, and then puts their brochure in the post to them, knowing that someone there is definitely looking to replace their conservatory roof:
Here’s a summary of how it all works:
- A visitor goes to your B2C-focused website, and they see a box pop up that asks if they agree to be located.
- 10-30% of your website visitors click ‘Allow’, which allows us to get where they were located when they want to your website. This will often be a home address but it can also be other locations (e.g. at a restaurant, waiting for a bus).
- You will see information (full address or geolocation reference) linked to their geographic location at the time they went to your website.
- You will also see what they looked at – page by page – while they were on your website.
- You will also see what brought them to your website (e.g. paid advertising or an organic search click).
- Knowing the home location of the visitor. plus what they looked at within your website, you send an information pack to the addresses that are attractive to you. In some cases you may decide not to interact with the visitor if you felt that they wouldn’t be a good match for what you offer (for example, you may not want to deal with people living in certain locations). You won’t know the name of the person at that address but can send a generic mailing to that home address.
- The person at that address (who went to your website) is unlikely to be aware that there’s a link between them visiting your website and receiving something in the post a day or two later. Most of our subscribers don’t share that information but present the printed information as: “we are reaching out to houses in your area that may be interested in our services”.
- When the person or people at that address have something physical to hold in their hands, it gives you more opportunity to further impress them, plus they can share the printed material with other people who may be decision-makers.
- The person who has been to your website is likely to have been to other websites and hasn’t yet made a buying decision. If you are the only business proactive in sending something to that address then it puts you in a much stronger position.
Here’s an example of how one of our customers (a chiropractor) selling to individual people uses our geolocated data …
- They receive a daily automated report from A1WebStats, showing them only visitors tracked by their location, and who have got to their pain pages (e.g. back pain, neck pain, sciatica).
- They look up the geographic locations of those visitors, including the values of the property that has visited (to assess whether they are likely to afford their services).
- For those where they think someone in the household could pay for chiropractic services, they prepare an information pack to be sent to the property. That pack is addressed to ‘Solving your X pain and more’, where X would be the part of the website the visitor was most interested in (e.g. back pain).
- The contents of the envelope are a pack that contains a covering letter plus individual sheets, with the top sheets relating to what the person looked at on the website. For example, if they looked at both back pain and neck pain, then those would be the first two sheets and are supported by numerous testimonials from happy customers.
Each pack costs £2 to create and send out (including postage) and here’s how that pays for itself:
- 50 packs are sent to individual addresses at a total cost of £100.
- 10 (20%) respond positively to the information pack and book their first appointment (at a value of £35).
- The cost of £100 brings in sales of £350 plus ongoing treatments and referrals onto their own friends.
Of course, not all information packs generate sales but with measurement in place it’s easy to determine if it’s working. Here’s how …
When sending information to home addresses, the pack/brochure needs to contain a reference that people can mention when making contact. For example, a reference of 10%JAN only exists in the printed information and gives people 10% off the service/product. When that’s quoted then the business knows for a fact the source of the enquiry was the geolocated website visitor who received an information pack in the post.
We have customers that lower their costs even further by cutting out the postage and instead hand-posting brochures through the doors of houses that they know have visited their website. This is particularly relevant for businesses that work in a very local area.
But whether using postage or not, as long as the information sent is of a strong quality then it’s really easy to get results from this type of targeting (that most of your competitors won’t be doing), and can also be proven within the free 30 day trial we offer.
Results vary from proactively reaching out to homes that have been to your website. The lowest return we’re aware of from customers is a 6% conversion rate. The highest reported return rate has been 62% In all cases, the return on investment in the printed sendouts is good and by measuring conversion rates there’s always the opportunity to strengthen the materials that are sent out.
You can find out more about geolocating individuals by postcode locations on our page here.
A1WebStats is the only system (offered free for 30 days, and then extremely affordable if continuing afterwards) in the world that offers this type of deeper functionality.
If you’ve got any questions about using geolocated data to help you gain more business from your website visitors, please do contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.