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How Accurate and Reliable Is IP Geolocation?

How Accurate and Reliable Is IP Geolocation?

IP geolocation technology has been in existence for more than a decade now. It has dramatically contributed to several industries, especially to marketing. Still, IP geolocation technology remains a mystery to most, particularly to marketing professionals who have yet to reap its benefits.

What Exactly Is IP Geolocation?

Every time someone accesses the Internet, they get a unique identifier called IP address. Most of the time, an Internet service provider (ISP) has specific IP blocks or ranges that its customers are assigned to.

IP geolocation works by checking the available IP range in a specific area and then assigning one to a system that needs Internet access. It allows users to find the physical location of an Internet-connected device at a given point in time.

IP geolocation is an extremely dynamic technology that can spell a difference in an enterprise’s ability to relate to its online audience. In marketing, it tells analysts where their website visitors and loyal customers originate.

For marketing professionals, knowing their targets’ physical location can be a powerful tool in tailoring their efforts to best serve the customers’ interests. They can, for instance, offer product deals in a particular area based on what customers in it typically look for. They can also prevent their ads from popping out for visitors that won’t take kindly to their offerings.

While IP geolocation does not define an individual’s identity per se, it still gives marketing professionals intuitive information about their general audience.

Much Ado About IP Geolocation Accuracy

We’ve seen a lot of debate on IP geolocation accuracy. The majority of IP geolocation service providers rely on publicly available registration data, which can be inaccurate at the city level. However, country- and state-level IP geolocation data is nearly perfect.

Studies have found that IP geolocation accuracy significantly increases when combined with sophisticated analyses performed by using web spiders. This approach increases IP geolocation accuracy to 99.99% at the country level and 97% at the city level.

Most IP geolocation providers can only provide a website visitor’s location based on the nearest ISP network block. When users are in the suburbs, the IP geolocation shows the location of the closest metropolitan area or that of the ISP office. IP geolocation accuracy varies depending on the Internet connection service used as well. Landline connection-based IP addresses typically provide more accurate results than mobile connection-based ones. The method by which IP geolocation providers collect and manage their data can also affect accuracy scores.

IP geolocation usage aids marketing professionals in reaching out to a broader audience without having to track individuals and their online behaviors explicitly. As such, it is much less invasive than using cookies and much more accurate than using Global Positioning System (GPS) latitude and longitude data. Tracking customers via their IP addresses thus not only identifies their location but also provides context as to what kind of Internet connection they use, cluing marketers in on their lifestyle. One who accesses the Web via a mobile is likely to have a more active lifestyle than someone who almost always connects from home.

How Can IP Geolocation Improve Marketing?

Understanding the Market

IP geolocation provides site visitors’ geographic information such as country, state, city, zip code, and other relevant information. That gives marketers valuable insights into their market demographics. They can correlate this knowledge with their customers’ product and service preferences. They can, for instance, offer free delivery services to frequent customers who choose to have their orders sent to their homes instead of going to brick-and-mortar stores.

Strategizing Marketing Campaigns

Location information on customers helps in formulating marketing strategies, particularly during the planning phase. By getting accurate information on their locations, establishments can save money and effort by prioritizing their most important markets. To fully harness IP geolocation’s benefits though, IP address identification, tracking, and reporting must be made a fundamental part of crafting marketing plans. For example, marketing professionals must present monthly reports on demographic information from all channels and platforms so they can arrive at reliable and accurate user interaction analyses.

Improving Targeted Marketing Efforts

Marketing becomes useless when it fails to target its desired audience. Targeting is crucial for companies that want to adjust and improve their processes. For instance, if most of your customers are in the U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST) time zone, it may be best to make support services available within that timeframe. Focusing a considerable part of sales efforts on the relevant region may also be a good idea. Similarly, if most site visitors use their mobile devices to access your site, it would be best to optimize it for them. Through IP geolocation, marketing efforts can easily target niche markets that readily respond to customized content.

IP geolocation may not be 100% accurate, but it has several valuable benefits. For one thing, marketing professionals can significantly improve their campaigns by using an IP geolocation API that uses sophisticated methods to provide the highest IP geolocation accuracy rating. Reliable IP geolocation tools allow users to create more targeted marketing campaigns that will result in better conversion.

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