The Beginner’s Guide To Geofencing

By Matt Bertram

By Matt Bertram

Matt Bertram is Head of Digital Strategy at EWR Digital. He is a nationally recognized expert in SEO and the Co-Host of the top rated SEO Podcast, "The Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing." Author of Build Your Brand Mania: How to Transform Yourself Into an Authoritative Brand That Will Attract Your Ideal Customers with contributing articles in Forbes, Search Engine Journal and numerous other publications pertaining to digital marketing.

Geofencing is fairly new on the block, and it’s becoming increasingly popular as more and more marketers and business owners learn about it – and for good reason; it can be quite powerful.


As a business owner, you should already know just how important it is to optimize your website for mobile – because everyone is on mobile nowadays. Mobile marketing is an essential tool you should be using for your business.

If you’re still not convinced, check out the following statistics on mobile marketing:

  • 80% of internet users own a smartphone.
  • Users spend, on average, about 69% of their media time on their smartphones.
  • Over 50% of smartphone users grab their smartphone immediately after waking up.
  • 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy.
  • 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.

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  • Works in real time
  • Uses cell towers to determine location
  • Often requires people to have location services turned on and opt in
  • Only sends ads to the people who went to that specific location at that specific time

If you’re familiar with internet marketing, you’ve probably heard the term geofencing being thrown around (you’ve probably also heard of geoframing – learn the difference by clicking here).Whether you know what it means or don’t know anything about it, we’re here to help. Read on below to find out what geofencing is and why it’s important for your business.

Geo-fencing, or geo-framing, allows you to target a unique group of people by their specific location at a certain date and period of time. Basically, an app (or other software) uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when your mobile device enters or exits a virtual perimeter set up around a geographical location. This geographical location is known as a geo-fence.

We like to thinking of geo-fencing as extremely advanced mobile advertising based on physical location. This technique is great for events, works in real time, easy to customize audiences, and can go back up to 6 month prior in terms of collecting data.

Geofencing is a specific type of Location-Based Marketing. Basically, this direct marketing strategy uses a smartphone’s (or other mobile device’s) location to alert the person who owns the device about an offer from a nearby business.

30% of people globally are already using Location-Based Marketing services.


  1. People are attached to their mobile devices and use them all the time. One of the rules of audience targeting is knowing where your market likes to hang out. Target them where they already are – on their smartphones and tablets. And with geofencing, you can take it a step further!
  2. People want location-based marketing – really! In fact, 80% of people say they desire location-based alerts from businesses, and 70% are willing to share their location if they get something good in return.


  • Typically marketers use push notifications and mobile ads tied to business locations.

You can think of geofencing like a virtual “fence” around a certain location you’d like to market in. When people turn on their phone’s Location Services (GPS), your geofencing campaign can communicate with them when they’re in your “fenced” location.

Your “fence” can be as small as a grocery store or as large as the city of Houston – it’s up to you. You can make them into squares, circles, or any type of polygon to fit your company’s marketing needs.


Geo-fencing marketing is a virtual fence that is traced around a location where the advertiser wants to build an audience based on their visit to that particular location


Once someone enters the geo-fenced area, they will become apart of an audience that can later be targeted with your company’s ads


Once your ad is live, consumers will then start to see your ads on free apps that they have on their phone. The consumer can see those ads from 1 to 30 days after they have entered the geo-fenced area.

Technology That Works with Geofencing:

  • WiFi – Standard on all smartphones, WiFi is a great way to reach more customers. If it’s an open network (not WPA/password-secured), then your customers won’t have to opt in to get your messages, making reaching them even easier! Since customers must keep their WiFi on, it can sometimes cause the battery to drain quickly.
  • GPS – Used with data or WiFi, GPS is a great way to target your customers, especially outdoors. Unfortunately, it does cause heavy battery drainage and isn’t as accurate when used indoors.
  • Bluetooth Beacons – Bluetooth beacons help identify nearby devices within signal radius using Bluetooth and location. They’re highly accurate and help customers save battery. However, you would need to install these devices in all locations you want to track.
  • RFID – This is the most precise tracking out there right now.  It’s also the best battery-friendly way to target them – meaning that it saves your potential customers from losing battery levels on their devices too quickly. Investing in RFID can be costly, but it’s also extremely accurate.

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  • Better audience targeting
  • Deliver your campaigns at the right time and place
  • Target specific audiences at events/certain locations

Geofencing allows business owners to limit their marketing messages to certain geographic locations. This can be extremely helpful when trying to hyper-target a specific buyer persona, like at industry events or conferences.

Brands can expect as much as a 20% increase in conversions by adding location-based marketing to their arsenal.

Business that implement geofencing can see a variety of benefits, including:

  • Increased foot traffic to your physical store
  • Increase web traffic on your website
  • Improved customer service
  • Happier customers and increased referrals
  • Integrated social sharing to improve brand awareness
  • Rising above your competition

In other words, geofencing is a great way to target people who are more likely to be interested in your business. As any internet marketer will tell you, the best people to target are people who want what you sell. And there are people out there looking for your business. Geofencing is an extremely efficient way to target them.


If you’re headed to an industry-related conference, you might want to geofence the conference location. Why? Because the people attending the conference are obviously already interested in your industry, and are more likely to positively respond to your marketing messages.

Say you want to beat a heavy competitor. Simply geofence a competitor location to redirect shoppers to you!

Perhaps you’re a music school looking for more kids to teach. Your local zoo is hosting a Music Night and you want to target parents attending that event. It’s a genius way to directly market to people who are most likely going to be interested in your business!

There are tons of ways you can use geofencing to help your business target customers and increase conversions.

Talk to an Expert


Interested in geofencing for your business? We’d be happy to help you learn more and see exactly how we can help your business grow. Speak with one of our experts today by calling us at (713) 592-6724 so we can get your business booming!

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The Beginner’s Guide to Geofencing | EWR Digital – Houston, TX Internet Marketing Services