You can use Google Analytics to help you determine if you’re accomplishing your goals for reaching an audience in certain geographic regions.
If you’re using content to market your business and your business is focused on a specific geographic region, it’s important to look closely at where your site visitors are coming from and what they do once they get on your site.
This is especially true for local businesses, but can also be true for businesses that may serve a larger area, but perhaps want to focus on their own nation or on just a couple of countries. As an example, my goal is to serve clients who are located primarily in the U.S. and Canada, so when it comes to gaining clients from the content I create, it’s not as helpful for me to have readers in a lot of other countries.
Let’s take a look at how to determine where your blog readers are coming from.
The first thing you need to do is log into your Google Analytics account. Once you there there, you’ll notice various options on the left hand side. You’ll click on audience, demographics, then location.
Once you do that, you’ll see a map like the one below. All of the countries that have sent visitors to your site will be in green, with the darker the green, the more visitors.
On the overlay map in Google Analytics, the countries where your visitors come from are highlighted in green; the more visitors, the darker the shade of green. The good news for me is that most of my visitors are from the U.S., which is exactly what I want.
Beneath the map is a list of the countries, with the country with the most visitors being at the top. You’ll note in the image below that the number one country to send me visitors is the U.S. which is great news for me, since that is where my primary target market is located.
It’s also important to pay attention to not just the countries and the number of people visiting my site from the various countries, but what they do after they arrive on my site.
I found the following stats in my Google Analytics account to be especially encouraging:
- The visitors from my two primary target countries (the U.S. and Canada) spend an average of 2:17 minutes (Canada) and 3:02 minutes (U.S.) on my site.
- Visitors from Canada view, on average, 3.57 pages and visitors from the U.S. view, on average, 3.5 pages.
- I have a low bounce rate for both of those countries as well (5.21% for Canada and 7.48% for the U.S.), but I have a low bounce rate for my site overall, so that may not be all that significant. Even so, it’s good to note that the people I’m targeting are going beyond a single page on my site.
Getting Closer to Home with Google Analytics
While I haven’t yet chosen to focus on providing services within my own city or even within my own state for that matter, there are some advantages to providing services to those who are close to home. Because of that, from time to time I find it helpful to take a look at where in the United States my readers are located.
To find this information, I first clicked on the “United States” link, which then brought up a list of my visitors coming from the various states.
Note in the image below that my current state, Colorado, is second on the list, with just slightly more visitors coming from California. Since I haven’t specifically targeted Colorado with my content, this could be an indication that some of my offline networking may be paying off, since the largest number of people I meet in person are located in Colorado.
As you have probably guessed by now, I can dig even deeper by clicking on the “Colorado” link to see where the specific cities where my visitors in Colorado are coming from. As you can see from the image below, my number one city is Littleton, which is the city where I live.
The high concentration of visitors from my hometown is a good indication that people I rub shoulders with in real life are interested in what I do. While I’m not yet super focused on finding clients in my hometown, the high number of visitors from my own city indicates that the people I am meeting in person are likely coming to my site to learn more about me and the services I offer.
It’s also interesting to note that people in my own town are spending a longer than average amount of time on my site. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that I have some crazy stalker person living near me! While that’s unlikely, there may be a “curiosity factor” at play when it comes who people who know me checking out my site. However, if I were a truly local business, this would be a very healthy sign, and even though I haven’t specifically used content to target my local city, it could very well be an indication that people I meet at local networking events are spending a good amount of time on my site.
Different Ways of Looking at Things
The above image shows 3 different ways to view information in Google Analytics. You can further tweak this by selecting different options from a dropdown menu which is located above the graphics.
Before I wrap up this post, I want to show you just one final thing in Google Analytics. On the right hand side of the page, you’ll see little icons you can click on that will provide the same information various ways. For instance, it will show you the information in pie charts, graphs, etc. That’s great if you’re more visually oriented, or if you want to add some visuals to a presentation or report.
More to Come
What I didn’t deal with in this post is how to target your content to a specific geographic region. I will do so in a future post, so stay tuned.
Do you use Google Analytics? If so, I’d love to hear about how you use it and the information you find within Google Analytics that is most helpful to you. If you don’t yet use Google Analytics, I’d love to hear about what’s holding you back from getting started.