Google Analytics - Map Overlay Report

Posted 11 years ago by Internetrix

4 Minute(s) to read

Google Analytics Map Overlay Report provides users with an automatically generated geographic segmentation of their website visitors. The initial view of the report allows users to see global visitor locations. However, it is a simple process to view geo-segmentation by country/territory and also by city.


By examining this global geographic data, decision makers can determine the volume and quality of page visits by region by drilling down into more precise geographic segmentations.


This data provides city specific metrics which can be used to define and devise SEM/Adword campaigns aimed at eliciting the greatest number of conversions per geographic region. This will ultimately have a positive impact on your entire e-Marketing campaign and your Return-On-Investment (ROI).

By identifying where your website visitors are coming from, you will be able to devise an e-Marketing strategy that focuses spending on regions that generate the greatest ROI whilst minimising spending in regions that are either out of your operational geographic scope, or simply don't provide a particularly profitable return. For example, if you are a Sydney based firm which has implemented a nationwide general Adwords spend, yet are experiencing few conversions from Melbourne, you could reduce spending in Melbourne and focus on generating greater conversions from markets which generate a greater ROI.

Localisation of your marketing communications and messages to target areas greatly improves your chance for conversion as this will boost the relevance of your advertisement to the audience. People accessing your site or clicking on your Adwords from your local area may be prompted to visit an in store location, whilst those coming from further a field may be given a message to buy online with free delivery, for example. Alternatively, local tastes/appeals can be applied to messaging for specific regions to elicit the greatest response.

If you are noticing a substantial amount of clicks from outside your geo target, you could use this information to consider broadening the geographic scope of your operations. The Map Overlay function can therefore be extremely useful in unveiling new markets and opportunities for your business.

Government departments can also use the Map Overlay Report to identify where their sites are being visited from, like whether expats are accessing information relevant to their home government. If a substantial audience is found in a certain location outside your expected range, certain programs extended to these groups might be relevant to your departmental needs.

The internet is not a cultural vacuum in which national, cultural and social sensitivities can be ignored. Geo-targeting with the help of Google Analytics Map Overlay function can assist in both the localisation and budget allocation of your e-Marketing campaigns and can also identify new market opportunities.


If you opt for multiple geo-targeted Adword campaigns, there are a few things you should keep in mind for successful implementation.

  • Create multiple Adword campaigns for each specific region to allow for region specific budget control
  • This will also improve the data Analytics generates because data will be region specific
  • Region specific campaigns can be used to help ensure ads are being viewed at the correct time of day for their specific region.

To perform a conversion analysis/goal achievement analysis of your campaigns based on geographic regions follow these steps.

  1. Set up Goal Funnels in Google Analytics
  2. Navigate to Map Overlay, then the Goal Conversion tab. This report shows the percentage of visitors from each area that completed a goal.

NOTE: Other factors can sometimes influence conversion rates - a weak page within a website, an ineffective landing page etc may result in lower conversions. Therefore, be careful not to exclude particular geo-targets just because they do not have a high conversion rate. Paid traffic with an effective landing page and clear goal funnel may provide increased conversions in a previously poor performing geographic region as a result of cultural/social differences. You should test and analyse these variables before excluding a geo-target.

Benefits for Different Sectors

Multi-National Corporations

  • Identify new foreign markets
  • Segment cultural/social differences by region for campaign effectiveness
  • Develop appropriate budget allocation per region/country
  • Segmented campaign performance per market

Domestic Corporations

  • State/regional targeted campaigns
  • Appropriate budget allocation per state/region
  • Appropriate messaging based on social differences

Medium Businesses

  • Localised advertising to increase response rate
  • Appropriate budget allocation per region
  • Boost brand awareness outside of primary market
  • Visualise success of other marketing campaigns e.g. TV, radio, print etc.