How To Identify Top Performing Locations

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With Brexit approaching we have been examining the benefits of understanding where in the world your existing and potential customers are based. Whether you are looking to venture in to a new territory or want to maximise potential growth opportunities, outside of the EU, post-Brexit, using web analytics is a great way to help you prepare. By assessing what people are doing on your website you can not only identify new target markets but can also begin to tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.

In this guide we’ll show you how to do this in Google Analytics using the location reports to firstly pinpoint where the traffic is coming from and then to create segments based on those locations to understand their behaviour and tie it back to your marketing.

Within Audience > Geo > Location you can see the top countries your visitors are coming from. You can change this to cities by clicking that option in the navigation links above the chart. By default the report will be ordered by Users or Sessions (depending on whether you have user metrics enabled or not). It might be more useful to reorder this to show the top cities for particular behaviours you have set up as a Goal. In this example we’re using the Engaged Users Goal within Google’s Merchandise Store analytics.

  • Within Audience > Geo > Location you can see the top countries your visitors are coming from.
  • Change this to cities by clicking that option in the navigation links above the chart.
  • By default the report will be ordered by Users or Sessions (depending on whether you have user metrics enabled or not). It might be more useful to reorder this to show the top cities for particular behaviours you have set up as a Goal. In this example we’re using the Engaged Users Goal within Google’s Merchandise Store analytics.
  • We can quickly see that people from San Francisco are the most engaged, followed by Sunnyvale and New York. Now I want to find out more about people from these cities so my next step is to create a segment to only include session that has only come from these cities.

Google Analytics Cities Report

At the top of the page you will see an All Users segment has been applied by default, to create your own click on Add segment.

Add Analytics Segment

Now click on New Segment

Click on New Segment

This window will then be opened. As luck would have it the section you need for location is the one already there for you under Demographics. By clicking on Continent all of the location options become available so select City.

Analytics Segment Window

It’s up to you whether you want to look at one city of a few. If you only wanted San Francisco then you would have City Contains San Francisco. In this example I want to also include Sunnyvale and New York, therefore I’m going to use a basic regular expression that counts as ‘or’ and this is the | symbol. On the keyboard it is the 2 vertical lines directly above and below each other, use this with the shift key to get what’s known as the pipe. The example below shows how this would look when put together.

Now give your segment a name and save it

City Regex

You should now see your segment applied at the top of the page. This segment will now follow you around as you move between reports.

Saved Segment

I am curious to see what devices people in this segment use so I have gone to Audience > Mobile > Overview. I can now see the device split for sessions in my segment.

Analytics Device Report

I would also like to see where those sessions are coming from so I have gone to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. As you can see my segment is still being applied.

Analytics Channels Report

You may want to compare your segment to the performance of your site in general or other segments. You can apply up to 4 segments at a time together and compare the results. Here we can see that people in the segment have a much higher propensity to visit the site on their desktop than the site average.

Comparing Segments

This is just a taster of what you can look at and find out, you could compare what content they look at, other Goals they complete, videos they watch etc. Segments give you a lot of scope to play around and see how different groups of people or behaviours compare to others and can really help you tailor your user experience and messaging.

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