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Analytics Location Report Builds Geo Targeting Strategy

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The Google Analytics location report is a useful tool in building conversions through geo targeting. It is especially useful in local search engine optimization.

What is local search engine optimization? It is a strategy whereby a business recognizes that it has customers only from a defined area. In the case of Google Analytics, the “local” areas are nation, state and city.

For example, an auto parts chain has locations in 10 states. It uses the GA location report to see how many customers it attracts to its website from each state. If the visitors per store is much lower in one state than another, the business considers an online ad campaign targeting the poor-performing state to boost website visits, store visits and sales.

How to Use the Location Report

GA users can find the location report by clicking on Audience in the left column, then Geo and finally Location.

U.S. users can either click on the United States in the map or on the link below the map to reach a list of states. From there they can see audience numbers for each state or click on the state to get cities.

At any level, users can click on Secondary Dimensions to get more insights about acquisition, e-commerce, time on site and other metrics.

These insights allow a business owner with a website to focus on content and search engine optimization that attract more audience from specific locations. It also is greatly useful with advertising.

For example, a business may find that certain geographic areas drive more profit and revenue. So the business increases its investment of time, money and other resources in trying to boost even more results from that geo target.

Legal limits on personalization, browsers that block cookies and other restrictions mean a limit on the total numbers. Monthly numbers will vary somewhat. So it is best for the marketer to use as much as a full year of data to gain helpful insights.

Why Location Matters with Advertising

In the above example, the auto parts store owner may want to buy advertising to attract new customers within a state. But he or she doesn’t want to pay for advertising in cities that are too far away from the stores and won’t attract anyone.

Offline advertising and search engine marketing that target down to the city and even the zip code level is the answer. Offline media can offer guaranteed targeting thorough distribution in a specific city or zip code. It also has a higher reach than online. But the cost is higher because of the means of distribution — usually by mail or by car.

Online media can distribute advertising via geo coding much more cheaply. But its saturation level is weak because it often can’t identify every household, especially in a specific zip code. So an effective campaign may combine both types of media.

Although the Google Analytics location report doesn’t show zip code activity, advertisers can get it from advertising platforms such as Facebook and Google Ads.

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