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Taking a Local Stroll Through Google Analytics

If you have a local business, or your customers are in specific locations, then dive deeper into your Google Analytics for more relevant data.

If you have a local business, or your business’s customers are primarily located in specific locations, then you will want to do a little deeper digging into your Google Analytics beyond the basic data. You might find that your analytics have been misleading you into thinking you are receiving valuable traffic when, in fact, you are not. Here is why you need to take a local stroll through your Google Analytics and how to do it.

Why Your Visitors’ Location Matters

Let’s say that your small business website gets about 21,000 visits per month. That’s great! But what if your small business only serves people in a particular location? For example, if your business’s customers are located in North America, you may discover in the Audience Demographics section of Google Analytics that only half of your visits are from your geo-targeted audience.

This means that only half of your website visits (and data) are actually valuable to your business. And if your business is local (like a restaurant chain in California), then you could be looking at an even smaller fraction of visitors and data that is applicable to your business.

The result of looking at your data as a whole is that you could base your entire marketing campaign on referral traffic sources, social networks, and content that is not necessarily bringing visitors from your targeted location. For example, you could be focusing your online marketing efforts on traffic sources that are just driving spammers to your blog instead of clients to your lead form. While having higher visitor numbers is nice, it isn’t going to help your bottom line.

How to View Google Analytics Data by Location

The easiest way to see the Google Analytics data you want by location is by creating an Advanced Segment. Just like you can create Advanced Segments to show traffic from different traffic sources to measure your online marketing strategies, you can view it by location as well using the following setup.

Note the above are just examples – you wouldn’t have to include the continent, country, and region just to drill down to the city level.

You can create one Advanced Segment for visitors from every location you target (up to 20 in one segment) as well as create one segment for different locations in order to compare data. Once you have created your Advanced Segments, you can view your Google Analytics data to learn what is effective for visitors from particular locations. For example, you can see the Audience Overview data that will give you a percentage of how much of your overall traffic is from the locations listed in your Advanced Segments.

You can see which social networks are most popular for your geo-targeted audience.

If you have goals setup, you can see which locations yield the most conversions.

And you can view everything in between for your geo-targeted audience including organic and paid keywords, top content, mobile technology used to view your website, and much more.

Ways to Increase Geo-Targeted Visitors

So how can you increase the number of visitors to your website from a particular location? Using your Google Analytics data based on location, you can focus more of your efforts towards social networks, keywords, and other referral networks that are popular with your geo-targeted audience. You can also create the content that is most visited by that same audience. Beyond that, you do the following.

  • Employ on-site local optimization tactics. Make sure the location you are targeting is included in your website’s title, meta description, and image filenames / alt tags. Also list your local address and phone number throughout your website or create pages on your website for each physical location of your business.
  • Employ off-site local optimization tactics. Sign up for local directories, local search profiles, and local review sites. Include the location you are targeting in different versions of your keyword anchor text when link building.
  • Include your location on social network profiles. If you have a local business, you should definitely do this. And even if you don’t, you should still include it. While your business may serve customers worldwide, you still might get customers based on the fact that you and your customer are both located in the same city, state, or country. From an audience perspective, people will feel more comfortable working with you if you offer examples that hit close to home.
  • Include local examples in your content. Help boost your local keyword rankings by creating content that focuses on the locations you target.
  • Note the locations you serve on your website. If you don’t necessarily have a local business, but you only work with clients in particular countries, consider adding it on your About Us or another page on your website. Phrase it in a way that doesn’t leave out customers outside of those regions by saying something to the effect of “Our happy customers are located worldwide, particularly in North America, Australia, and the United Kingdom.”

As you can see, local marketing is important from start (on-site optimization) to finish (analytics). And it can be applicable even if your business is not a physical store or restaurant. If you take this kind of data in account when you are measuring your online marketing efforts, you will learn even more about how to focus your efforts in ways that will truly benefit your business.

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