How to localize your Ads

Last Updated Mar 12, 2021
Emma Jagger

Engineer, maker, Google alumna, CMU grad

Whether your business has an international, national, or even local reach, you most certainly have an interest in localizing your ads.

What is localization?

Many people confuse localization with translation. Localization is not only about displaying all or part of your web pages in different languages. Localization is a process that consists of taking into account the whole environment of your visitors to target them better when displaying your ads, sales funnels, or any other marketing content.

What should I consider to better target my marketing content?

For those who have an international business, you are undoubtedly already considering your visitors' language and translating your content into this language.

Similarly, a winning strategy is to consider the cultural environment of your audience, even for local businesses. The day-to-day concerns of someone in a big city are different from those of someone in a small town, and you have advantages in adapting your message.

Geographically, it can also be interesting to adapt the content of your ads according to the physical proximity of your visitors to your points of sale or distribution.

For all these reasons, considering the localization of your content is essential, regardless of the scope of your business.

How do I localize my ads and content using an IP address?

Technically, your website's visitors' location can be done through two elements: the IP address assigned to them by their internet provider and a Geolocation service that can translate this IP address into a physical location.

Obtaining a visitor's IP address is an easy task for a developer, even for a beginner, provided that he knows how to avoid the common pitfall of a web server located behind a proxy server. Read more about it in this article.

As far as the geolocation part is concerned, the solution that allows reducing the setup and operational costs is to use the Abstract IP Geolocation API that works in real-time and offers a generous free tear subscription.

What are the situations where geolocation does not work with an IP address?

Abstract's Geolocation API is among the most accurate on the market. However, there is a very well-known way for any Internet user to fake their geographical location, and that is by using a VPN service.

Indeed, VPN services allow any user to appear to your web server as if he was geographically situated in a place of his choice, regardless of his actual location.

How to detect visitors using a VPN service?

In your localization strategy, while displaying localized marketing content to your visitors, you may want to show more generic content to the visitors spoofing their location. The starting point is to implement a mechanism able to detect VPN users.

The same Abstract's API used for IP Geolocation can also detect if your visitor IP address belongs to a VPN network, making the API even more convenient because, with a single query, you get your visitors' geographical location can detect if they are using a VPN.

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