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Audience Geography Matters More Than Total Visits

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Planet EarthA local website publisher may get excited by 100,000 visits a month. But the excitement won’t last if half of those visitors aren’t local.

A national website publisher may get excited by 10 million visits a month. But again, the excitement dies quickly if half of those visitors aren’t from the nation the site is seeking to reach.

An audience geography report in site analytics is a useful tool in identifying whether a site is reaching the right location of the right audience.

It matters for at least three reasons:

  1. It shows the effectiveness (or lack of it) in audience targeting.
  2. For sites that have advertising, it weakens results.
  3. It helps manage costs.

Effectiveness of Geographic Targeting

Marketing efforts have a great impact on the geographic locations of a site’s target market.

Like the above examples, a local site wants to reach a local audience. A national site wants to reach the audience of a specific nation. An international site wants to reach multiple nations.

Even those targets have geographic subsets with higher or lower value. A local site such as one for the city of Denver may cover 50 zip codes. But maybe 10 to 20 of those zip codes have real value to advertisers, or generate the most e-commerce transactions, or attract the most customers to visit a store.

Likewise, a national site will find certain states, cities or regions have more value than others. An international site based on the English language will naturally want to see a high number of visits from countries where English is the dominant language.

A publisher who advertises a site will want to ensure strict geographic targeting in the ad campaigns. Social media posts, YouTube videos and other tactics should have geographic keywords when possible.

Strong or Weak Advertising Results

A local website will have weaker advertiser results if a large number of visitors come from outside the local market. For example, why would someone in California click on an auto dealer ad on a site in Denver?

National sites have the same concern. Why would someone from the Philippines click on an ad from Bank of America if BOA has no branches in that country?

An audience geography report will show if too many people are coming from the wrong location. It can lead to concrete steps to reduce that traffic by changing tactics or even blocking the traffic.

Yes, those valueless visitors might get upset. But it shouldn’t matter if they bring no value to the site. This is business, and a business that survives or thrives must take aggressive steps to stay ahead.

Managing Costs and Resources

Bandwidth, RAM and CPUs are cheap, but they still cost money. Site publishers have a bigger concern with server performance during major spikes in traffic.

No one should want a site to slow to a crawl during audience spikes if a big part of that audience isn’t the geographic target. Those visitors can cost a site a serious amount of money if they get out of control.

So it benefits a site publisher to discourage or even block unwanted visitors for the sake of getting the best performance possible out of a site. A geographic audience report from analytics is a useful guide for better targeting.

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