Mobile Targeting: The Secret To Increasing Your Website Traffic

Think about the last time you’ve been in a situation without access to a smartphone. Mobile devices have become an integral part of our lives, making mobile targeting a crucial aspect of any marketing strategy. After all, marketers need to be where the attention is.

Mobile targeting refers to tailoring advertising messages and content to specific mobile users based on location, demographics, behavior, and interests. With most internet users accessing the web via mobile devices, mobile targeting allows businesses to reach and engage with their target audience more efficiently.

This guide will explore the various techniques and best practices for mobile targeting, including location-based targeting, in-app advertising, mobile search advertising, and more — and dispel misconceptions about mobile phones and smartphone users.

The different types of mobile targeting

Now that we have a better understanding of what mobile targeting is, let’s dive into the different types of mobile targeting that can be used to reach your audience effectively.


Geo-targeting is a type of mobile targeting that uses geographic location data to deliver ads to users in specific locations. You can target users based on their current location, home, or work location. 

This type of targeting is helpful for businesses with physical locations, as they can target users in their area and encourage them to visit their store. Geo-targeting can target users at specific events or certain neighborhoods to promote events or products.

Use cases

  • A retail company uses geo-targeting to send mobile app push notifications to users near their stores, offering them a discount or promotion to encourage them to visit the store.
  • A restaurant chain uses geo-targeting to show mobile ads to people in the same city as their restaurants, promoting their menu items and driving traffic to their locations.
  • A real estate agency uses geo-targeting to position itself as an authority in the local market, showcasing the homes they’ve sold to prove their value to other prospective sellers in the area.

Time targeting

Time targeting is mobile targeting that allows advertisers to reach users at specific times or days of the week. With time targeting, you can target users during specific hours when they’re most likely to be engaged with their mobile devices — like during the morning rush hour, when they’re likely to be on a commuter train

This type of targeting is helpful for businesses that want to promote particular products or services during certain times, such as restaurants advertising their lunch specials during midday.

Use cases

  • A coffee company uses time targeting to show ads promoting their products during the morning rush hour when people are most likely looking for a caffeine boost.
  • A fitness app uses time targeting to show ads for their workout plans and gear after work hours when people may be more likely to have time for a workout.
  • A music streaming service uses time targeting to show ads for their premium subscription during the evening hours when people may be more likely to be at home and listening to music.

WLAN/3G targeting

WLAN/3G targeting is a type of mobile targeting that uses information about a user’s Wi-Fi or mobile data connection to deliver ads. You can reach users connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data networks and tailor your ads based on their network speeds. 

This type of targeting is helpful for businesses with data-intensive products or services, such as video streaming services, as they can target users likely to have fast network speeds and be more receptive to the ads.

Use cases

  • A mobile game company uses WLAN/3G targeting to show ads to users playing other mobile games, promoting their own game as a similar option.
  • A ride-sharing app uses WLAN/3G targeting to show ads to users in a car or public transportation, promoting their service as a convenient alternative.
  • A video streaming service uses WLAN/3G targeting to show ads to users on long flights, promoting their service as a way to pass the time and watch movies in flight.

Terminal device targeting

Terminal device targeting involves specific mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, or feature phones. This can help advertisers reach particular audiences more likely to use specific devices. 

For example, an advertiser promoting a gaming app may target devices with larger screens and more processing power to ensure a better user experience. Terminal Device Targeting can also exclude specific devices or ensure ads are displayed correctly on a particular device.

Use cases

  • A food delivery app targets smartphones with GPS capabilities to show nearby restaurants and delivery options.
  • A mobile game developer targets devices with high processing power and larger screens to show high-quality graphics and gameplay.
  • An e-commerce site excludes feature phones from its targeting to focus on users with higher purchasing power.

Operating system targeting

Advertisers can optimize their ads for a specific operating system or exclude users with certain operating systems to focus on their target audience. Operating system (OS) targeting covers specific operating systems like iOS, Android, or Windows Mobile. 

This can help advertisers reach users more likely to use a particular operating system.

Use cases

  • An app developer may target iOS users with higher purchasing power for in-app purchases or subscription-based services.
  • An Android app developer may target users with lower-end devices to promote lighter-weight apps that can run smoothly.
  • A game developer may optimize their game for iOS to take advantage of the higher revenue potential from the Apple App Store.

Provider targeting

Provider targeting concerns specific mobile carriers or service providers, such as AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. Advertisers can optimize their ads for a particular provider or exclude users with specific providers to focus on their target audience

This type of targeting can help advertisers reach users who are more likely to use a particular carrier or service provider.

Use cases

  • A mobile network provider may target users of other providers to promote their services and special offers.
  • A music streaming service may target users with unlimited data plans to encourage more streaming and less concern about data usage.
  • A travel booking app may target users of certain providers with international roaming packages to promote travel-related services.

Category targeting

Advertisers can optimize their ads for a specific app category or exclude users with certain categories to focus on their target audience. Category targeting focuses on specific categories of mobile apps, such as sports, news, or social media

This type of targeting can help advertisers reach users who are more likely to use certain types of apps.

Use cases

  • A sports apparel brand may target users of sports-related apps to promote its products to a relevant audience.
  • A news publisher may target users of news apps to promote their articles and drive traffic to their website.
  • A social media platform may exclude users of competing social media apps from focusing on their user base and increasing engagement.

Tips for effective mobile targeting

Mobile targeting has become a required component of any successful marketing strategy. However, with the increase in mobile devices, ensuring your marketing efforts reach the right audience can be challenging. Below, we’ll provide tips for effective mobile targeting to help you connect with your target audience and drive conversions.

Tap into location intelligence

Location intelligence uses geospatial data to gain insights and understanding about a particular location. In mobile targeting, IP address geolocation data identifies a user’s location and targets them with relevant advertising. By tapping into location intelligence, companies can better understand their target audience and tailor their advertising efforts to match their interests, behaviors, and preferences.

The keys to effective location intelligence

To effectively leverage location intelligence, companies need to focus on four key factors: speed, accuracy, compliance, and reliability.

  • Speed: Location data needs to be processed in real-time to be useful for targeting. Fast processing speeds are fundamental for delivering opportune, relevant advertising to users.
  • Accuracy: Location data must be highly accurate to ensure ads are delivered to the right audience. Inaccurate data can result in wasted ad spend and a poor user experience.
  • Compliance: Companies must follow privacy regulations when collecting and using location data. Failure to comply with regulations can result in fines and damage the brand’s reputation.
  • Reliability: Location data needs to be reliable and consistent to ensure that ads are delivered to the right audience at the right time. Inconsistent data can lead to missed opportunities and wasted ad spend.

Choose the right targeting criteria

Setting up your mobile targeting campaign can involve many criteria, including location, time of day, device type, operating system, and more. Choosing the proper criteria is crucial, as it can determine the effectiveness of your campaign. Ensure you clearly understand your target audience and what criteria will be most effective in reaching them.

Create engaging and eye-popping ads

Creating fantastic content is vital, with many mobile ads vying for attention. Engaging, eye-catching ads highlighting your brand’s unique value proposition can help grab potential customers‘ attention and encourage them to act.

Track and monitor the results of campaigns

Tracking and monitoring the results of your mobile targeting campaigns is indispensable for determining their effectiveness and identifying areas for improvement. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what metrics you’ll be tracking and how you’ll be collecting and analyzing data.

Select ads that are relevant to your brand

Finally, ensuring that your ads are relevant to your brand and the message you’re trying to convey is paramount. Determining the alignment of your ads with your brand’s core values and positioning can help build brand recognition and loyalty among potential customers.

A note on IP targeting for mobile users

As more and more users access the internet through their mobile devices, IP targeting becomes an increasingly important part of mobile marketing strategy

IP targeting for mobile users enables companies to tailor their mobile ads to specific audiences based on location, and device type to help them reach their mobile audiences more precisely and effectively.

Expand your mobile targeting with Digital Element

Effective mobile targeting is critical to the success of any modern marketing campaign. Companies can reach and engage their mobile audiences more effectively by tapping into the power of location intelligence, selecting the proper targeting criteria, creating engaging ads, and tracking and monitoring results.

With our unmatched tools for ease of use and IP solutions, Digital Element can help your company take its mobile targeting to the next level. Learn more about how we can help you optimize your mobile marketing efforts and get started!

Want to sign up for our Email Newsletter?

Sign Up Now