Thanks to leading technology, we’ve become accustomed to a tailored web experience. Facebook shows you content based on what you like, Amazon suggests products similar to those you’ve already purchased, and Google shows you results closest to your location. WordPress is no different.

With WP Engine GeoTarget, you can tailor content to create a more relevant, targeted, personalized experience. GeoTarget identifies a visitor’s location based on ZIP code, city, region or state, country and continent by IP address and delivers content that is geographically relevant. Because GeoTarget works seamlessly with WP Engine’s speedy caching system, users are able to get a localized experience, without compromising the performance of your site.

Global Sites, Local Feel

By using WP Engine’s GeoTarget plugin, you can leverage this functionality directly into your own WordPress site to generate unique content for a defined group of your choice.

WP Engine customer Edgenuity,  which provides online and blended learning solutions, needed a way to localize programs for students based on their state, as grade-level students across the U.S. are required to take different standardized tests. To help facilitate marketing for state-specific content, Edgenuity uses GeoTarget to serve different web content to fit the needs of different state requirements. The success of GeoTarget on Edgenuity’s site has allowed the company to expand its capabilities.

Another use case to consider is local government regulations. For example, reaching customers in China is often a difficult proposition for those in the West. Due to what’s often called “The Great Firewall of China,” a large group of Western websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are blocked in the Middle Kingdom. WordPress sites that use embedded elements from these social media platforms may load incorrectly or cause a site to load extremely slowly. So, if you don’t want to create an individual landing page for all the countries you serve, you could leverage GeoTarget to display alternate elements from blocked websites in China while serving them to other places in the world.
For example, you could add a Twitter widget to your homepage with code so that it doesn’t display the widget in China, but instead displays an alternate widget or message:

This is helpful as users understand why the page’s content appears differently but doesn’t fully alter the user experience. Other ways to solve this issue may be to replace the Twitter widget with a more China-friendly service, like Sina Weibo.

GeoTarget and

WP Engine’s own homepage also uses GeoTarget technology. As WP Engine has six offices on three continents, getting a local phone number or address to contact the office is imperative.

As such, depending on the country you are visiting from, a user will see a different phone number and mailing address in the footer of the website. If you aren’t directly in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, or Australia, GeoTarget code on the site will display the phone number for the nearest office.

By grouping countries into groups, WP Engine’s development team is able to leverage GeoTarget and custom PHP code to create a custom user experience for users around the world.

Other website owners may want to use GeoTarget help redirect users from different countries to different pages on a WordPress site. This may help display country-specific privacy policies or messages (like cookie information specific to each country). 

While these are only a few examples of how GeoTarget can be used, there are a myriad of tools and tags that can be used to create great new digital experiences for all users. Check out this webinar for more information about how to use GeoTarget, including how to set it up and some example use cases.