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How to track the exact geographic location of a website visitor (with more than just IP address)

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:

  1. IP address tracking – typically used purely for companies that are easy to identify by their IP address 
  2. 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.
  3. Geolocation tracking for businesses – this uses geolocation (e.g. postcode or zip code) to identify companies that can’t be tracked by their IP address (which will be the majority of companies)
  4. Geolocation tracking for individuals – this also uses geolocation (e.g. postcode or zip code) plus address details to identify an area where the individual was located at the time they visited your website.  This is mostly used by those who sell B2C.

None of the above are perfect – they purely give you more options than having no information at all.


IP address tracking

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.

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:

Company tracked by their IP address

This video will interest you if you want to know how companies can sometimes (but not always) be tracked by their IP address:

Although it varies depending on the business and individual website, you would typically expect to see a range of 5-25% of your website visitors as being companies that are identifiable by their IP address.   The majority of our customers will see a range of 10-19%

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 trialFor all those that can’t be tracked in this way, read on for additional ways that website visitors can be identified …


IP address + geolocation tracking

Some businesses will be ‘seen’ as just one IP address location.

For example, there may be a builders merchants that all use the same IP address range.

In those cases, although it may be useful to know the name of the builders 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:

  1. Visitor goes to your website – they will be tracked by IP address, which may or may not provide enough information.
  2. They will see a box pop up which allows them to share their location.
  3. If they allow that, their geolocation (typically a partial address plus postcode/zip code) will be tracked.
  4. If they are a localised location for a bigger business then you will be able to identify them.

Here’s an example of a builders merchant that would normally only be identifiable as ‘Travis Perkins’, but in this case, geolocation has identified them within a specific area:

Example of company geolocated by area

Although that example geolocation is not 100% precise (the local depot is actually PE25 3TE) it’s close enough to do a Google search of PE25 3 +travis, to identify that specific branch of the builders merchant:

Travis Perkins Google search result example

Armed with that information, you would know which specific branch went to the website, instead of the generic knowledge that ‘someone’ from the larger business had been to the website from an unknown location.  You may be thinking: “who would willingly share their location?!” but you’d be surprised at how many do, which is something we cover more in the next section …


Geolocation tracking for businesses

Taking all the visitors to your website, they will be classified as follows:

  1. Businesses that can be identified by their IP address (the minority).
  2. 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.
  3. Businesses that can’t be identified by IP address, but CAN be identified by their geolocation (post code/zip code).
  4. 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 …

  1. A visitor goes to your website and they see a pop up box that allows them to share their location.
  2. If they allow that sharing – and at least 10-20% will do – then their location will be identified by a partial address and postcode/zip code.
  3. By looking up that postcode/zip code you can identify both residential addresses and businesses within that area.
  4. 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 (postcode in this case):

Geolocated business by postcode 1

By looking up that postcode, two businesses were identified in that area:

Geolocated business by postcode 2

What was interesting in this case, was that both businesses could have feasibly been interested in the product viewed on the website (welding equipment), so in this case the customer had to contact both of them.

Without that geolocated information, that website visitor would only have been viewed as their broadband provider (Carphone Warehouse) but WITH the geolocated information, they could be identified.

This video takes you through another example of how to identify businesses (that wouldn’t otherwise be identifiable by their IP address) via their geolocation, using A1WebStats.  In this case, it’s identifying plumbers, who wouldn’t otherwise have been possible to identify as businesses visiting the website:

We have also seen examples of people, at their normal place of work, who visit websites from their mobile devices, but who aren’t connected to the company network.  

In normal circumstances they wouldn’t be trackable on that mobile device, but geolocation makes that possible.

This is 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. 

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.

You can find out more about geolocating businesses by postcode locations on our page here.


Geolocation tracking for individuals

This solution isn’t perfect, but A1WebStats customers who sell B2C have been successful in using it to gain new customers …

  1. A visitor goes to your B2C-focused website, and they allow themselves to be tracked by their location (by agreeing to the box that pops up on your website).
  2. You will see information (partial address plus postcode/zip code) linked to their geographic location at the time they went to your website.
  3. You will also see what they looked at – page by page – on your website.
  4. Focusing on those visitors who seemed to be more engaged with your website, you look up their location online and will see one of the following:
    • A few residential addresses (up to 10) in that area, any one of which would have been your website visitor.
    • More residential addresses (more than 10) in that area, that you may decide are too many to target (although it’s still often worth it).
  5. Knowing what the visitor looked at within your website, you send an information pack to each address in that geolocated area.  
  6. One of the recipients of that posted pack will be the person who had been on your website and, although they may not realise they’ve been targeted, are likely to spend more time absorbing what you offer, and then, hopefully, make contact with you.

This video takes you through how to geolocate website visitors through to a postcode or zip code area (and partial address):

Here’s a real example of how one of our customers selling to individual people (a chiropractor) uses this technique …

  1. 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).
  2. They look up the geographic locations of those visitors, including the values of the properties in that location.  
  3. If there are too many properties or the values of the properties imply that they would not be a customer who would pay for chiropractic services, then they are rejected.
  4. If there is a match (up to a maximum of 12 properties in their case, plus house values imply they could afford chiropractic services) then an information pack is sent to each 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).
  5. 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.  

Each pack costs £1 to create and send out and here’s an example of how that pays for itself:

  1. 12 packs sent out to 12 houses in an area, at a total cost of £12.
  2. One of the pack recipients is in the household of the original website visitor and spends time looking at the information in more detail.
  3. They contact the chiropractor and book their first appointment (at a value of £25).

Of course, this doesn’t always work – there’s not always a sale from each post campaign to a targeted area.   But here’s what’s been the outcome for the chiropractor (over a period of just over 5 months):

  1. 758 visitors identified by geolocation (16.4% of their total website visitors over 5 months).
  2. 304 areas selected for postal campaigns.
  3. Those 304 areas equated to 3,294 individual houses.
  4. Each pack sent out cost £1, so a total cost of £3,294 over 5 months.
  5. 151 of recipients booked in their first appointment (at a cost of £25 each).
  6. Those initial appointments generated £3,775 of revenue.
  7. 116 of those customers became repeat clients, paying £25 each time they returned for chiropractic treatment.
  8. As at the time of measurement (just over 5 months), the chiropractor had generated (from their £3,294 costs):
    1. £19,125 revenue.
    2. 38 referrals from new clients onto their own contacts (because they were both pleased with the service and incentivised (with a free session) to refer them on).
    3. As a bonus, 6 of their new customers were people from the same geolocated area, meaning that although each posted pack was intended for one person, other people in that same postcode area found it interesting and decided to make contact about their pain problems.

The great thing about this B2C focus is that it can be tested very cost effectively – even just targeting a small handful of postcode areas to start with, which is how the chiropractor started off (because they were unsure if it’d gain return on investment).

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.